Over the weekend thousands of people got involved through Twitter and Facebook in conversations about body image and the pressures young people face on social media.
Bishop Rachel launched a soical media campaign with pupils from All Saints’ Academy in Cheltenham, promoting the message that who you are is more than how you look.
Bishop Rachel said. “So many young people today are sourcing their identities from social media and advertising and in the process losing their self-esteem, which is one of the reasons why our campaign is called #liedentity.
“So much of what they experience through social media presents a message of value based on physical appearance. I long for every young person to discover their worth as a unique individual created in the image of God and to find happiness as they go on becoming who they have been created to be.
“We need to start thinking about the messages we give out to others and how what we say, can shape how people see themselves. When we compliment others how often do we link it to physical appearance? For example, our opening comment in a conversation with a young girl is often about how pretty she looks.”
At Bishop Rachel’s recent visit to All Saints’ Academy in Cheltenham, we captured some of what the young people said about how they feel about themselves and what they perceive as ‘perfect’. The video, four minutes long, can be watched here
As part of the #liedentity campaign we asked each young person if there was anything that they didn’t like about their bodies. We took a portrait picture and removed the part of their body they wanted to change.
Bishop Rachel said. “The pictures are quite stark, but remind us that being Photoshopped does not create a realistic image. I want people to feel happy inside out and delight in their whole self.”
Photos can be seen on the Diocese of Gloucester’s Twitter account @Glosdioc