Critical of the unrealistic standards of beauty that can be portrayed in the media, Maddie Wilshire is urging young people not to compare themselves to images they see in magazines.
Her story was shown on ITV News West Country (W) on Friday 6th February.
Demonstrating how easy it is to digitally alter images, the 18-year-old from Cusgarne near Truro wants others to celebrate diversity, and feel confident in the way they look.
‘Magazines have pages of diet tips so you can look like celebrities. But many have professional help to get a figure that most people can't achieve,' explains Maddie.
‘Every time I get spots it’s difficult because you don’t see anybody with any kind of flaws in images that are photoshopped.
‘It’s like they’re saying your freckles aren’t right, your neck needs to be longer, your forehead needs to be smaller, and there’s only one way to look.’
With Fixers, Maddie has helped create a series of posters and postcards to highlight the importance of individuality.
See the posters, and find out more about Maddie’s campaign, by clicking on the image below.
Cathy Schofield, Psychology Lecturer at Truro and Penwith College, appears in the broadcast piece in support of Maddie’s campaign.
She discusses the pressure on young people to be ‘perfect’.
‘It can lead to a negative evaluation of yourself and your body,’ Cathy comments.
‘It can lower self-esteem and in the long-term can lead to depression, increased suicide risk and eating disorders.’
Maddie adds: ‘My project is to encourage young people to accept the way they look, instead of the media standards.
‘I’ve already had a friend tell me she’s seen my Fixers poster and when thinking about weight she’d put on recently, it made her stop and realise that it’s okay.
‘It’s fine to look the way that you do. If more people could think like that, then it would be great.’
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Also promoting positive ideas of body image, Shannon Finan shows that beauty
comes in all shapes and sizes. Watch her TV story.