State of Mind are keen to support mental health awareness week May 13th – 17th and this year’s theme is body image and thank goodness the State of Mind Family are all unique individuals
Why does body image matter?
We are all intimately aware of the particular bits of our own body; its strengths and wonders and its limitations. No piece of technology that you will ever buy will match the complexity, sophistication and regenerative powers of your body.
And yet… For too many of us, our bodies are sources of shame and distress. From an early age, we are bombarded with images that define what an ‘ideal body’ looks like. Sometimes we have faced stigma or cruelty as friends and family have used how we look as a way to put us down for a cheap laugh.
It is as if we each have our own internal GIF on a loop reinforcing what the ideal looks like.
Should I look like Daniel Craig strutting toned and chiselled from the sea or rugby players modelling new kits?
And although we know girls and young women are particularly vulnerable to poor body image, this year we will explore body image as an issue that cuts across gender, age, sexuality and ethnicity. Bodyguard star Richard Madden is among the surprising voices to have spoken out recently against the demands they face to look a certain way.
Body image is closely linked with mental fitness
All this might not be so serious if it didn’t have profound implications for our mental and physical health. The opposite also seems true: the more comfortable you are with your body, the greater your overall wellbeing, and the less likely you are to engage in destructive behaviours.
During Mental Health Awareness Week, we will release findings that will bring together the latest research on body image with one of the largest surveys ever completed to give a picture of how people of all ages and across the UK feel about their bodies. It will also set out the increased risk of mental health problems that accompany poor body image.
We want to ignite a national conversation about how we can be kinder to our bodies as a guard against the individual, family and cultural influences that can lead to a gnawing and sometimes debilitating sense of dissatisfaction with our bodies.
For more information about the Mental Health Foundation and resources available for the week click on the link here www.mentalhealth.org.uk/blog/body-image-key-better-mental-health?bblinkid=152527097&bbemailid=13276502&bbejrid=1014166806