Girls outnumber boys for body image counselling

Almost 2,000 body image counselling sessions were delivered to girls last year by Childline

Young people counselled about about body image revealed they struggled with self esteem issues, depression and eating discorders such as anorexia and bulimia.

Body image issues were made worse when bullying happened at school and online, driving some young people to try and change the way they look.

Exposure to 'body perfect' images on TV, in magazines and across social media is cited as one of the reasons why girls in particular are so unhappy with their appearance.

    • In 2016, Childline delivered 1,983 counselling sessions to girls with body image concerns
    • In comparison, just 256 sessions took place with boys
    • Children can call Childline any time on 0800 1111 or download the 'For Me' app

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Dame Esther Rantzen, founder of Childline, said:

"It’s very sad and extremely worrying that girls in particular are so unhappy with the way they look.

"Without the right support and a general change in attitude across society there is a real danger these issues could intensify and continue into adulthood.

"It’s important all young people realise that everyone is different and everyone has the right to and be comfortable in their own skin.

"Childline will continue to provide vital support for any girl or boy who is struggling with a body image problem.”

TV personality and body image campaigner Stacey Solomon said:

"Childhood should be a happy, care-free time but these figures show that many young people are getting old before their time.

“The 24-hour nature of social media along with the constant stream of airbrushed images on television and in magazines is encouraging girls in particular to strive for an ideal which doesn’t exist in reality.

“All adults who care for the wellbeing of the younger generation need to try and make both boys and girls understand that each person has a beauty, talents and a personality that are unique to them."

Stacey's photo (above) was pictured on her Instagram to show the difference between how she looks before having her hair and make-up done for TV.