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Love your body

courtesy to Doctor Katherine

courtesy to Doctor Katherine

Mari Spanja, ECU Reporter

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Butterfly Foundation’s Love Your Body Week from 3-9 September focuses on celebrating all forms of body positivity by actively challenging negative conversations.

It does this by being active on social media, getting involved in community events and urging people to display printable online flyers at work, school and in public areas.

Everyone is encouraged to post activity that glorifies body idealism and social gratification with the hash tag #loveyourbodyweek and ‘my body is great because…’

Christine Morgan, CEO of the Butterfly Foundation is kicking off the campaign with her own statement, “My body is great because it is made up of about 37 trillion cells that work in perfect harmony to support my busy life.”

Butterfly Foundation’s chief counsel Jennifer Muir said the proliferation of styled lifestyle images on social media “has a knock on effect and contributes to increases in a desire for public validation from social media audiences, and an increase in anxiety and depression.”

Young Australians in particular have identified body image as one of their top three personal concerns – for the sixth year in a row in Mission Australia’s National Youth Survey which questioned 22,000 15 to 19 year-olds.

“Consequently young people are becoming more and more engaged in self-objectification in the way they present themselves, in an attempt to portray the beauty ideal as presented in its edited form by the media influencers and mimicked by followers,”  Ms Morgan said.

“The consequent inner monologue of self-objectification, appearance-based talk and body comparison can be unremitting, with little understanding of how detrimental it is for self-esteem and mental health.”

Dr Katherine Iscoe is a body confidence expert with a masters and doctoral degree in Health Science. She said “With the popularity of social media not only are we swamped with airbrushed perfect bodies, but the addictive nature of social media promotes further social isolation, Perth already being one of the most isolated cities on earth.”

To further raise awareness of these topics, there are a number of opportunities in Perth that can help educate people on body positivity and how to shift themselves from the pressure of social media.

One of them is an innovative Body Confidence weekend in South Perth on 23-24 September. The retreat is held by Dr Iscoe, under her brand name Doctor Katherine, and aims to help women and men take on topics around body image and self-esteem.

Her approach encompasses seven key pillars that she claims make for a healthy and happy mind and body: nutrition, activity levels, sleep quality, stress levels, state of health, state of mind, and state of satisfaction.

For a fee of $395 each, participants will be supplied with meals, exercises, access to her expertise, a workbook, support networks and a relaxed environment.

Dr Iscoe had a complicated relationship with food and spent many years partaking in fad exercise and diet trends, which resulted in long-term damage to her health.

Courtesy of Doctor Katherine

“That’s me, around 12 years of age. I’m the girl who got a massive texter and scrawled “flabo” on my thighs… It might sound funny now but if you think about the mindset doing that to myself took, it was pretty horrible,” she said.

“But my feelings were so strong. I hated my thighs; I hated myself and I was so miserable. For me, for a long time, it was all about my body. I thought if I had the perfect body I would finally be happy.”

She now uses her knowledge and experiences to help others lead a life with more confidence, freedom and fulfillment.

“The good news is that 75% of our Facebook survey respondents think that it is possible to love your body. What’s missing is the availability of practical and science-backed tools to help people do this – and that’s why I do what I do.”

“Forget diets and squats, let’s concentrate on what’s really important: happiness,” Dr Iscoe said.

There are also other ways that people can encourage body positivity from home. Registered psychologist Sherry-Lee Smith said that not all media is negative and how you choose to position yourself online is the key.

“I think social media can have a positive or negative affect on young people’s body images. If they are following pages or people that are focused on a drive for physical perfection, this is likely to reinforce negative body images,” Mrs Smith said.

New 2017 US-Australian research shows how the use of social media platforms impact on young women. It tells us that young women tend to internalise the beauty ideal when they use social media platforms that are image based for more than 30 minutes a day.

“I think what we allow into our awareness can have a strong influence on where our attention is focused and the feelings and thoughts that are generated by that attention.

“However if the pages or people are focused on self-love and body acceptance it likely to promote both of those things” Mrs Smith said.

 

 

For more support on body positivity contact:

Butterfly foundation for eating disorders (Love Your Body Week)  Click here 

Phone: 1800 33 4673

Email: [email protected]

Psychologist Sherry-Lee Smith’s website: click here

And there’s more info on Dr Katherine Iscoe’s workshop here.

 

 

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Quality journalism by ECU students
Love your body