I reckon when we’re at a point where young Australians are listing body image and self esteem as their number one concern in Mission Australia surveys, when we see dwindling confidence and self assurance from those who cannot possibly live up to the entirely unrealistic images that they are being bombarded with and aspire to replicate- then the time is probably long overdue for us to actually see some action.
Federal Minister for Youth, Kate Ellis, has written an interesting article about body image, as part of the publicity tour for the recent proposed national strategy on body image. There’s some good recommendations in the report – though you can’t help feeling that the whole thing is a little bit wishy-washy. However, politics aside I was struck the with magnitude of the quote above: that the number one concern for young people would be body image and self-esteem. If that sort of research doesn’t have an impact on how you teach: I don’t know what would.
(More information about the proposed strategy on body image can be found at youth.gov.au)