Government Tells Parents How To Talk To Children About Body Image

22/06/2012 14:20 | Updated 22 May 2015
New government-backed parent pack tackles body confidence and the media's obsession with perfectionRex

Oh dear - could this be more nannying of parents by the Government?

A new Westminster-backed guide to help mums and dads instill body confidence in their kids has just been launched.

The pack - designed for six to 11-year-olds - will teach parents how talk to their kids about body issues and the media's unrealistic portrayal of bodies.

It will encourage mums and dads to make their children aware that celebs and models are often digitally enhanced to perfection, and that the 'perfect body' is just a 'socially and culturally constructed ideal'.

The guide - which includes before-and-after touched-up images of celebrities such as Britney Spears - has been launched just days after a coroner blamed the fashion industry for the death of 14-year-old Fiona Geraghty, who killed herself after suffering from an eating disorder bulimia and bullying over her weight from her peers.

Equalities Minister Lynne Featherstone said the new pack - which has been devised by not-for-profit organization Media Smart - is an important contribution to the Government's campaign to boost body confidence among children.

She claims it will empower parents to 'have those difficult conversations' with their youngsters:

"Young people are being set an impossible standard by images in media and advertising which can erode their self esteem. As parents, we are often aware of these issues but may not have the advice and guidance we need to talk to our children," she said.

Media Smart launched a similar resource for teachers last year, and chairman Paul Jackson said they had been 'overwhelmed' by the feedback it got:

"We have been overwhelmed by the response we have had to the body image teacher pack, both in terms of the volume of responses and the enthusiasm with which it has been received.

We have found that children respond really well when they realise that most of the images they see have been altered in some way and are aspirational but not realistic."

The parent pack can be down loaded free of charge here.

What do you think about this? Will you be downloading it and having a 'body confidence' chat with your children?

Or do you think instilling healthy body awareness is something parents should be doing without the need for Government intervention?

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