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Broadcast On: 6th Apr 2017

Challenging Beauty Perceptions

India wants to challenge perceptions of beauty
India has created a magazine cover poster with Fixers
Helga Dittmar supports India's campaign

'We’re constantly bombarded with images of beautiful people from the moment we wake up to the moment we go to sleep. I would compare myself to the people I saw online and think that even if I lost weight I’d still never look like that, because my scars are always going to be there.' 

 

When India Gale was three years old, her dress caught fire. She survived but was left with 40 per cent burns covering her body. 

 

'This left me with not just physical scarring but the emotional scars that come with that, particularly to do with confidence and how I felt in myself,' she says. 

 

The 17-year-old, from Brighton, wants to challenge perceptions of beauty and is campaigning for more diversity of images in the media. 

 

'We’re surrounded by a lot of very unrealistic beauty standards and I feel that really effects young people’s self esteem and their mental health, encouraging eating disorders and low levels of confidence,' she says. 

 

India has teamed up with Fixers to create a poster in the style of a magazine cover, which she appears on.

 

You can view it below.  

 

 

The charity arranged for her to tell her story on ITV News Meridian (E and W) on April 6.  

 

She says: 'As I got older I started asking myself - 'are you going to spend your whole life just hating yourself for your scars?'

 

'I decided to accept that I've got them and that they make me who I am. I don’t want people to see me as someone who is ugly and hides away in themselves so I’m not going to be that person, I’m going to believe that I’m beautiful.

 

'I’ve realised that if I have confidence in myself and how I look, then other people will follow.' 

 

 

Helga Dittmar, a reader in psychology at the University of Sussex, supports India's campaign. 

 

She says: 'The pressure on young women to conform to these unhealthy and unrealistic beauty ideals is worse than ever and I’m so pleased that India can be, if you like, a role model for young girls stepping forward with confidence and saying we should reconsider what we think beauty is and broaden our horizons.' 

 

India adds: 'I hope by doing this project young girls will stop feeling like they need to strive for unrealistic perfection and that we’ll all start calling for more diverse people in media and advertising.' 

 

To find other resources on this topic, and watch Fixers films, click on the image below.

 

Author: Molly Kersey

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