Body Image and Self-Esteem

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Type of Resource

Guidance

Publication Date

September 18, 2023

Topic/s

Harmful or inappropriate content  

It is normal for children and young people to use online spaces to discuss a range of interests, including beauty, fitness, and health. However, there are instances where this content can be harmful.

Particularly when something encourages or glamorises disordered eating, unhealthy exercise regimes, or dangerous body modification and beauty practices.

Examples of Harmful Content

Why is This Content Harmful?

This content can be harmful to those who may be vulnerable to or are currently living with an eating disorder or mental health issue. This content can encourage unhealthy habits which a child or young person might not have engaged with before.

In some cases, influencers promote products that profit from exploiting low self-esteem and body image issues.

Peer Support

While it’s normal and in some instances helpful for young people to engage with peer support during challenging times, it can be counterproductive. There is no way to verify the quality or reliability of the information provided on social media.

The Importance of Appropriate Supports

You should make sure young people know about moderated peer support forums like the Childline website, where they can interact with their peers safely. Childline will contact a young person if they are particularly vulnerable or in need of immediate medical attention. They will also make sure the quality of the information is beneficial to children and likely to make things better.

Practical Tips

Welcome to the Online Safety Hub

How old are you?

If you are under 18, click the blue button below to visit the Online Safety Hub micro-site for children and young people.