Body image isn’t just about body size and shape. It’s also an awareness of attributes like skin colour, birthmarks, scars, facial features, religious clothing or adornments, physical disabilities and the use of equipment or aids. Children with positive body image are comfortable with their physical appearance and are more likely to think about their body in terms of its functionality rather than its form – that is, they focus mostly on the way their body helps them to do the things they want to do like playing sport, climbing trees or walking the dog, rather than how their body looks.
Primary schools are in a valuable position to promote positive body image to students. To help get the conversation started, KidsMatter has produced a special video resource for schools that focuses on how body image affects primary-age children, why staff should be providing positive messaging, and strategies for schools to consider when creating a positive culture around body awareness.
There is a video presentation, featuring experts in mental health and education, along with an information sheet that can be printed out and shared among the school community.