Should Body Image Lessons Be Mandatory in Schools?

Members of Parliament in the UK from a cross-party group believe the schools should teach mandatory lessons about body image. Children already have so much peer pressure because of the unrealistic body images presented in the media, with celebrities and advertising campaigns that it’s not just peer pressure anymore, according to Medical News Today. Young girls just six years old are asking their fathers if they look fat and 15 year old boys are worried about their physiques and taking steroids on a regular basis to try to fit the image. Sadly, these examples are not uncommon and show how badly our society has gotten, says Jo Swanson with the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG). The UK has never had such a high rate of dissatisfaction among such young people when it comes to their body image. In 2011, the APPG was established and they heard from hundreds of spokespeople from teachers, health professionals and members of society talk about the anxiety surrounding body image in the UK. When people are dissatisfied with their body image it weakens their self-confidence and results in a variety of emotional, physical and societal problems. It can even be a contributing factor for depression. After the APPG inquiry, an 80 page report was published that explains the current problems our young people have regarding body image. The report states how fundamentally important it is that we promote positive body images and begin addressing these public and social health issues that bombard our young people on a daily basis. The report showed that about half of young girls and nearly one-third of young boys have already dieted to try and lose weight. Also concerning was the fact that those who are unhappy with their bodies become less likely to engage in learning during school.

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