Tuesday, 13 July 2010

The Ugly Face of Beauty....

...is the name of a TV programme tonight on Channel 4 about plastic surgery. I found much of the information in the programme unsavoury and reinforced some of my questions about the ethics of some plastic surgery/surgeons.

The programme highlighted again how many young people do not like/hate their bodies. It quoted a survey that found body image is one of the biggest causes of unhappiness amongst young people. Whilst I don't know the details of the survey or the questions asked, this echos my experience and that of colleagues at Brook, and I do know from talking to a lot of young people over the last 15 years that it is an issue for both girls and young women as well as boys and young men. With an ever watchful eye on celebrity, we all as parents, carers, educators and service providers must do a lot more to help children and young people grow into young adults who are confident in their own bodies and have the skills and understanding about diet, exercise and its relationship between emotional health as well as physical well being.

But we must take heed of young people's warnings that simply saying nobody is perfect, we all come in different shapes and sizes, and who cares what other people think without taking their concerns seriously won't make any difference to how they feel about themselves.

We have to understand what influences thoughts and feelings, and changes in gender stereotypes and expectations as well as lifestyle changes to understand what needs to happen at both individual and societal levels to turn the tide on young people's loathing of their bodies.

If you didn't watch it, it is worth viewing.

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