Celebrity Selfies Endorsing Negative Body Imagery Among Children

Celebrity Selfies Endorsing Negative Body Imagery Among Children

Negative Body Imagery Among Children

England’s Education Secretary Damian Hinds has urged social media influencers and online celebrities to click lesser selfies in a bid to diminish the effects of negative body imagery among children and youngsters. The secretary said children were growing up and developing a distorted view of reality because of the bad influence of social media on them. Children were developing distorted notions of normality because of the false images that were disseminated through the social media platforms, he added.

Hinds requested online celebrities to be more open and transparent with their young fan base, engaging in more discussions about how body images had altered over time. She also requested them to use #notedited hashtag while posting real content on their official handles.

These comments came just after Mental Health Foundation revealed that found two in five British teenagers felt nervous because of the way body images were idealised on online forums. Moreover, a new study this week revealed how Headteachers around the world were anxious about cyberbullying and misusing of online platforms among students globally.

Talking about this menace on ‘Stop Cyberbullying Day’, Hinds said: “I want social media influencers to think about what they are putting on their platform – is it honest? Is it authentic? Is it too image focused? I have always been supportive of the benefits of the internet and for many children and young people it can open up worlds that would otherwise go unexplored. What I am asking online celebrities for is for fewer selfies and more travel, more nature, more honesty. Use your access to educate your young followers rather than focus on body image.”

He urged online celebrities and bloggers, media companies, streaming websites and TV channels to be more careful and understand their responsibilities. “We need action now to stop today’s young people facing a lifetime of abuse online.”

From 2020, health education will be mandatory in all state schools in Britain., where children would be taught about the harms posed by the internet, including dissemination of unrealistic body images by the online media, alongside imparting the importance of mental health as part of their statutory lessons.

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