Body image issues are a concern for our mental health but is there enough support on the topic in Salford?
Salford does not seem to offer any body positivity groups. There are counsellors in the area to address body image issues, as well as available help from the Pendleton Gateway, however resources are very limited.
Salford resident Georgia Cranstone said: “I suffer with body image issues and have suffered since I was a child, so essentially all my life.
“I don’t think enough places in Salford promote body positivity at all.
“I feel that communities kind of push body image issues down because they don’t know how to react to it, but facing the problem means getting closer to sorting it out.
“I just think Salford needs to directly address body image issues as they are just as important as depression and other mental health issues that people deal with.
“I think groups would be helpful in the area to talk and know that you are not alone.”
The body positive movement is huge within our society at the minute. Being body positive means accepting all bodies, no matter the shape or size, and treating them all as equal.
Many people suffer with body image issues. This means that people have issues accepting their body for what it is and normally leads to not liking the way they look.
The Mental Health Foundation with YouGov conducted online surveys in March 2019 of 4,505 UK adults 18+ and 1,118 teenagers from Great Britain, to find out how body image affects us.
Results show that 20 per cent of adults felt shame, 34 per cent felt low and 19 per cent felt disgusted in the last year due to their opinion about their body image.
Over one-third of adults expressed that they felt anxious or depressed because of their body image, expressing how important body image is when it comes to having an effect on mental health.
Thirteen per cent of adults were even experiencing suicidal thoughts because of how they viewed their bodies.
Georgia said: “I define body positivity as supporting people of all shapes and sizes, no matter the sex or gender. It’s nice to just give good vibes to those who don’t have the stereotypical figure that society deems as perfect!
“I have promoted body positivity but only for the past year or so.
“I think body positivity can only really be true when you believe and practice it yourself, something I have only been doing for the past year”.
There are many influencers, especially online, that promote body positivity and help people with accepting who they are.
One of these influencers is plus-size model, Tess Holliday who came up with idea of #Effyourbeautystandards in 2013, a campaign to express that everyone is beautiful and that they do not need to look a certain way. Many people take part in the campaign by hash tagging their photos on Instagram and Twitter.
More close to home, another influencer is Katey Hayward. She is a Salford University graduate, who is also body positive and shares her journey through Instagram.
She said: I think #effyourbeautystandards is an amazing campaign to show you’re beautiful no matter how you look. It’s redefining beauty!
“To me, body positivity means accepting and celebrating your own body and other people’s bodies, no matter their shape or size.
“It is important to talk about because the world and the media are too focused on the ‘perfect body’ which can lead to an unhealthy mindset”
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Experiencing body image issues can be very common. You do not need to suffer in silence.
You can find help (no matter your age), online, your GP or via local counselors.