Parents encouraged to talk to children about body image

Government backs body confidence pack for 6 to 11-year-olds

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A pack to help parents teach their children about media images of the perfect body and their own self-esteem has been backed by the Government, reports the BBC.

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The pack, developed by not-for-profit organisation Media Smart and free to download, is aimed at 6 to 11-year olds and gives advice to parents on how to explain that the media alters images of celebrities and that they should remain confident in their own bodies. It shows before and after-touch-up pictures of celebrities such as Britney Spears.

The Government said it wanted to “empower parents” after the All Party Parliamentary Group on body image found that more than half the public have a negative body image. The group advised that all school children should take part in compulsory body image and self-esteem lessons.

Equalities Minister Lynne Featherstone said the pack made an important contribution to the Government’s campaign to boost body confidence among children.

“As parents we are often aware of the issues, but may not have the advice and guidance we need to talk to our children.

“I want the pack to empower parents to have those difficult conversations and open the door to discussion.”

A similar guide for primary school teachers, also produced by Media Smart, has been downloaded 1,500 times since its launch last year.

Media Smart chairman Paul Jackson said, “We have found that children respond really well when they realise that most of the images they see have been altered in some way and are aspirational but not realistic.”

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