Almost half of the young people we surveyed chose “body image” as one of their biggest concerns. We think this should concern us
“Even with all of the body confidence campaigning, young people still struggle with seeing their self worth.” - Emma, 17, Female, Cambridge
Survey participants were asked to choose from a list of 18 concerns, including an ‘Other’ option. 46% of respondents (479 people) chose ‘body image’ as a top concern just after ‘Succeeding in studies and getting good grades’ (chosen by 49% of respondents, or 514 people).
Young people of all ages from 12 - 24 cited body image as a worry from the list provided. 82% of the respondents (395 people) who chose ‘body image’ as a major concern identified as female.
“I’m worried about mental health and the negative power of social media influencing youth regarding body image, relationships etc.” - Merekara, 22, Female, Cambridge
This is not to say this is an issue that only affects young females, as young males were underrepresented in our survey overall. However the large number of young females who chose this as a major worry should be of concern to anyone interested in ensuring youth wellbeing.
“I have a friend who has anorexia to the point where she was hospitalised, another who is depressed and has had serious suicidal episodes, another who had a period of regular panic attacks, another who is afraid to come out to her parents because she doesn't think they will accept her, another who self harms, and another who regularly struggles with body image and self worth. All 16 or younger, all normal, high functioning, wonderful people.” - Anon, 15, Female, Christchurch