Plate up the Positives
Join in the Butterfly Foundation's pledge to challenge negative body image and promote healthy self-esteem.
In our media-saturated climate, the social and cultural messages to people around looking a certain way are strong and pervasive. These ideals can contribute to body image concerns, which in some cases can lead to poor self-esteem, feelings of worthlessness and anxiety.
This month, The Butterfly Foundation asks us to Plate Up the Positives – to make a commitment to challenge negative ideas about body image, promote healthy self-esteem and to raise awareness about body image concerns and eating disorders.
Body image in Australia
Despite the stereotype that body image is an issue confined to young girls, body image concerns affect both men and women of all ages. Feeling worried and dissatisfied about appearance can not only cause considerable distress in its own right, it can also contribute to the development of low self-esteem, depression, unhealthy weight loss or muscle building behaviours and clinical eating disorders.
Research highlighted by the National Eating Disorders Collaboration has found that:
• 90% of 12-17 year old females are on a diet of some type
• Young people who diet are six times more likely to develop an eating disorder. That number increases to 12 times more likely if a young person has been on a diet for 12 months.
• Nine out of ten girls feel pressured to be thin by the fashion and media industries
• 25% of people with body image & eating disorder issues are males
The Butterfly Foundation provides support to Australians faced with negative body image and those who are affected by an eating disorder. The demand on The Butterfly Foundation National Support Line continues to increase, indicating that many Australians are coping with concern around weight and shape.
Why Plate up the Positives
The Plate up the Positives campaign is about changing the conversation about our bodies – recognising the pressure from media, advertising and social messages to look a certain way, challenging rules about good and bad food, and encouraging healthy attitudes to the way we eat and the way we look.
What can you do to help make a difference? It might be as simple as paying attention to the way you engage with media and the socio-cultural messages around food and bodies. Better yet, you could create or join in an event that brings people together to discuss these issues and celebrate a holistic and healthy approach to living well.