Shocking new research has shown more than 200,000 children in the UK are unhappy, more than the whole of the last decade.
Almost 14 per cent of girls now don’t like the way they look, according to the Children’s Society. And for the first time, boys are now catching up with 7.7 per cent saying they are unhappy with their appearance.
One boy, when asked, said: “You see all these models, you see all these weightlifters, bodybuilders, and you look at yourself and you’re like: ‘I look like a stick.’ I feel like we’re exposed to a lot more, so we are less secure about our appearance.”
It is a worrying trend. And one we cannot ignore at Sportsafe.
Social media has made it even easier for companies and personalities to get across what the ‘perfect’ body should look like.
Every day, children are blasted with photos presenting misguided body images without giving the full details of what exactly that person has done to look the way they do.
Perhaps they naturally have bigger muscles, we are all different after all. But in many cases spending hours at the gym with a personal trainer or, whisper it, surgery are the more likely option.
What children don’t realise is that we are not meant to look alike. We all have different attributes and skills and it is our failing as adults in helping them see that.
For too long the conversation has been centred around the perfect body image. We need to get back to what healthy looks like, and for all of us that means doing regular exercise and eating well.
As adults, we can all do our bit to show our children how to live healthily. Eating your five a day and staying away from sugary snacks and treats are a must. But exercise also plays a huge part.
At Sportsafe, we work with primary and secondary schools, councils and financial management companies to bring exciting and innovative sports equipment to schools and sports centres across the UK.
From indoor cricket nets, basketball goals and climbing frames to outdoor trim trails, athletics, imaginative play and MUGA’s. We focus on bringing fun to all activities and showing children that healthy means being happy.
Hopefully, with time, it is a change we can all make.