Body image top of Bishop’s agenda

Bishop Rachel Treweek with teenagers at London Fashion WeekThe big question of how we tackle body image anxiety in young people was at the top of the agenda in a national conference  hosted by the Bishop of Gloucester

The Rt Revd Rachel Treweek brought together 200 delegates to share knowledge and resources and to build a nationwide liedentity campaign. Her goal was to empower people and to provide practical solutions that will build confidence in children with the message that ‘who you are, is more than how you look’.

According to research by the YMCA more than a third of 11 to 16 year olds said they were willing to do ‘whatever it takes to look good’ and The Children’s Society statistics demonstrate that a third of girls are unhappy with their appearance. These views can be extremely damaging to the mental health, self-esteem and the wellbeing of a whole generation who are growing up deeply immersed in social media.

The conference drew together some of the country’s leading experts on body image and social media; people from across the country that work with and support young people; organisations that produce resources that aim to tackle this issue and young people themselves. All sharing  ideas and making real headway on this issue.

Key speakers  included Dr Phillippa Diedrichs, Associate Professor at the Centre for Appearance Research at the University of the West of England, who talked about the academic research into the causes, consequences and most effectiveness strategies for improving body image.

Liam Preston, Press and Public Affairs Manager for the YMCA spoke about the Be Real campaign and the Body Confidence toolkit for schools. Jim Davis from the Children’s Society talked through research from the Good Childhood Report and the ways mounting issues affect the well-being of young people.

Bishop Rachel said. “The hope is that we can build a network of people and organisations, all working together and having a voice on this important issue. Since starting the liedentity campaign I have had the privilege to meet with a large number of young people and some of what I hear is so sad. Many of them hating how they look, causing issues with their self-esteem.  The more we can raise awareness of this issue and link with others doing the same, the more powerful our message and support will be.”

For pictures and resources from the day , please visit www.gloucester.anglican.org/parish-resources/communications/liedentity 

Ends

For more information contact:

Lucy Taylor, Director of Communications and Engagement, 01452 835515, ltaylor@glosdioc.org.uk

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