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Who you are is more than how you look.
60% of girls opt-out of everyday activities because of how they think they look. Around half of adolescent boys are unhappy with their bodies. (stats via UWE/Dove research).
Young people’s happiness is at its lowest since 2010. Increasingly, many young people 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.
Bishop Rachel said, “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 are bombarded with messages of what the ‘perfect body image’ is, and for many this undermines true identity. We know that for these young people having negative thoughts about how they look can impact on their entire life, causing deep unhappiness and contributing to poor mental health.”
Teaching resources and content
The pictures are quite stark, but it was to help highlight to young people and remind us that being Photoshopped does not create a realistic image. We want people to feel happy inside out and delight in their whole self.
Initial pictures without logo:
Girl Guides: Free Being Me
The Dove Self Esteem Project
YMCA: Be Real campaign / pledge
UWE: Appearance Matters conference
Body Project: studies
Messy Church: Real Me resources
Flourish: tools, support and guidance
Get involved via #Say1Thing
We’re asking for action! ‘Say1thing’ is an initiative as part of the Liedentity campaign, which asks the simple question; “What do you value about your best mate? #Say1Thing”.
We are living in a society where our value is being determined by what we look like, rather than who we are from the inside out. So we are encouraging all people on social media to change this message by posting a picture of their friends or family and sharing one thing they value about that person with the hashtag #say1thing.
We first ran the campaign during the week of Monday 16 July 2018 and we had a great response, with 5,000 people watching our #say1thing video clip above. Young people came out in force to share what they valued about their best mate. But you don’t need to put a time limit on getting involved!! Please do continue to share what you value in others, together we can change the message that ‘who you are, is all about how you look’.
Where do we get our value from? Hear what pupils at Newent Community school had to say:
The Real Me: a free, creative teaching resource designed for a Messy Church setting:
Young people from across the region share how social media makes them feel:
Bishop Rachel asks students from Stroud High School how social media impacts them:
Young people share how we can change the negative messages on social media
Bishop Rachel appears on BBC Breakfast News, talking about the campaign:
Initial Liedentity school visit:
Three of the videos above kicked-off our national conference: we asked teenagers from across the region how image-first social media made them feel.
Working in partnership:
UWE Centre for Appearance Research
The Children’s Society
The Good Childhood Report
Teens in Crisis
Mentoring & courses: Flourish
NHS: On Your Mind website
Dove: Real Beauty
Cyber bullying: Alex Chalk MP
Bible Reading Fellowship: Messy Church
Asha: Peel campaign
All Saints School
Bishop Rachel said, “Over the last couple of years I have been speaking publically about this issue and promoting the message that who you are, is more than how you look. I launched a social media campaign #liedentity with pupils from All Saints Academy in Cheltenham, challenging negative body image and encouraging young people to look within to discover true value and beauty. This has given me a great opportunity to speak with young people about my own identity in Christ and my desire for every person to discover their worth and potential as a unique individual created in the image of God.”
Have your say
If you would like to tell us your story, or share work and resources that challenge negative body image in young people, we would love to hear from you!
Tweet us via @glosdioc and follow us on Instagram or email
Tweets about #liedentity
The Heart of Fashion
Can fashion and faith can live together? The former Chief Operating Officer of the British Fashion Council, Simon Ward explores this important question in this radio series. Over eight episodes he speaks with designers and deacons, activists and agents, and boffins and bishops to discover just what it is that makes fashion trigger such strong reactions. The Heart of Fashion will also look into issues like social justice in the production cycle, sustainable fashion, and image & identity; particularly amongst the young, and why we express ourselves through what we wear.
Listen to ‘The Heart of Fashion’ now
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