Childline has featured award-winning blogger Grace Victory to promote its body positivity campaign for young girls.
The charity’s weekly video chat features Grace giving advice to young people on how to stay body positive as figures show young girls are eight times more likely to have body image issues than boys.
Grace is well-known for her honest and fun insight into tackling the problems that all young people face in her BBC Three shows Clean Eating’s Dirty Secrets and The Cost of Cute and is now an advocate for enforcing a positive body image.
Childline founder Dame Esther Rantzen said the figures were “very sad and extremely worrying” while body image campaigner and X Factor star Stacey Solomon spoke about how children “strive for an ideal which doesn’t exist in reality”.
The NSPCC analysis of Childline calls revealed the charity had delivered almost 2,000 counselling sessions to girls with body image concerns, compared to just 256 for boys.
Experts added exposure to ‘body perfect’ images on TV, in magazines and across social media were given as reasons why girls in particular were so unhappy with their appearance and fears heightened when they also experienced bullying at school or online.
Dame Esther said: “It’s very sad and extremely worrying that girls in particular are so unhappy with the way they look.
“Without the right support and a general change in attitude across society there is a real danger these issues could intensify and continue into adulthood.
“It’s important all young people realise that everyone is different and everyone has the right to and be comfortable in their own skin.
“Childline will continue to provide vital support for any girl or boy who is struggling with a body image problem.”
A number of young people who were counselled by Childline about how they look also revealed that they were struggling with self esteem issues, depression and eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia.
Any adult concerned about the welfare of a child or young person can call the NSPCC helpline for free, 24/7, on 0808 800 5000.
Children can call Childline at any time on 0800 111, visit www.childline.org.uk or download the ‘For Me’ app.