THE PRESSURE TO BE PERFECT

The Mental Health Foundation asks whether the pressure to be perfect is crushing young lives .. and, if it is, should we not be helping to relieve it?

From the ‘Mental Health Foundation’

They stated; “Last year, concerns over body image stormed to the front of our thinking. Our stress report revealed that 47% of young people had experienced stress over their body image to the extent of being overwhelmed and unable to cope in the last year. Therefore, after seeing a series of cosmetic surgery ads aired around the TV show ‘Love Island’, we urged the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) to ban them as they ‘painted a false picture of perfection’and ‘exacerbated young people’s insecurities’ – and the ASA agreed.”

ITV’s ‘Love Island’

“This year’s Mental Health Awareness Week report shows that over a third of teenagers worried in relation to their body image often or everyday and even more shocking that one in eight adults have experienced suicidal thoughts because of these concerns. It is clear that body image is something that needs to be addressed.”

“Being sold idealised images of people as if they are ‘the norm’ distorts reality and it has often left me feeling excluded and somehow ‘wrong'” – IAIN

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Sylvia MacGregor (above left) is a tireless advocate on body self-conscience issues. At the age of 3, she was hospitalised from an accident at home after falling into boiling water. After surviving life support, she went on to have numerous surgical procedures and operations. She found that growing up in a society with a so called ‘perfect body image’ left her screaming inside. Her mental health was severely affected as well as having to deal with lifelong physical pain.

Sylvia eventually began to love her body and founded ‘Love Disfigure’ to help others come to terms with their visible or hidden differences. She said, “I wouldn’t want anyone to go through years of depression and suicidal thoughts as I did.” It wasn’t long until she started receiving messages from around the world and she began campaigning to help other people and their lives.

“I was even more surprised to hear from people who had all types of conditions including biopolar, depression and stretchmarks and they all wanted to become involved.”

For more information about ‘Love Disfigure’ CLICK HERE

In December 2018 Sylvia was awarded the 1063rd Point of Light award with a personal letter from Prime Minister Theresa May. She has also been honoured by the ‘Mayor of London Hidden Credits’ page for people who selflessly give their time to others. She has also picked up the ‘Beautiful Survivor of the World’ award.

And currently, GOOD THINKING is working with her and other people who manage online communities, to develop resources that will equip them to support the wellbeing needs of their community members as well as promoting their own good mental health. If you would like to be part of this project, contact; [email protected]