In response to the survey findings released today by the Children’s Society, the Bishop of Gloucester, the Right Revd Rachel Treweek says no child should feel unhappy because they don’t conform to the expectations of their peers and society.
Bishop Rachel said. “It is shocking that so many children are unhappy to the extent that they are self-harming.
“The issues raised around children unhappy with their appearance and lack of self-esteem resonate with my own engagement with young people.
“For the past two years I have been spearheading #Liedentity - a campaign focused around engagement with children and young people in schools and colleges to combat the lie that who you are is predominantly about how you look.
“This misleading message about human worth being rooted in visual appearance is perpetuated by advertising and social media. No child should feel unhappy because they don’t conform to the expectations of their peers and society when it comes to different aspects of their identity.
“A focus on building and strengthening healthy relationships with family and friends is core to changing the message and I am deeply encouraged by The Children's Society’s work in this area.
“I hope that this report will focus people, not least in our churches, on the contribution we can make in both listening to young people and being committed to being part of the solution in the messages we give and the relationships we live."
As part of the #liedentity campaign Bishop Rachel has listened to young people’s own experiences and stories. In these three videos we hear what young people have to say.
How social media makes me feel
How can we change the message that who you are, is all about how you look?
Bishop Rachel visits a school to talk about body image anxiety