Sixteen-year-old Ellie Hawcutt wowed hundreds of delegates from the School and Public Health Nurses Association (SAPHNA) at their annual conference in Manchester when she launched the Fixers report on Body Image.
‘The atmosphere at the event was really positive,’ said Ellie, from York. ‘A lot of them were recognising they needed to spend more time with the students talking about body image.
‘We can all do a little bit and I hope this report and the school nurses will bring about change.’
The report, titled Girls Fixing Body Issues, draws on the findings from workshops we have been holding across the country this year.
Girls aged between 16 and 25 have been asked to discuss body image in relation to five key areas: Home, health, school, employment and the media.
The workshops, funded by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, through the Tampon Tax Fund, culminated in a one-day event in London which saw young people talking about their experiences of body image and self-esteem with professional facilitators.
During the afternoon, celebrity campaigner Melissa Johns, and body positive ambassador Fixer Shannon Finnan co-hosted a debate where the young people and audience members contributed to the body image discussion.
Themes from the workshops and London event have been developed into a significant report, which Fixers will use to help bring about change.
Recommendations include asking for regular and consistent PSHE lessons which include discussions on how to cope with the scrutiny and pressure young girls find themselves under over body image.
Young women are also calling for a relaxed approach to school uniform and makeup would better prepare them for college or employment and help them feel more relaxed in the classroom.
Sharon White, CEO of SAPHNA, attended the event in June and said: ‘The response to the launch of the report has been immensely positive.
‘Delegates – ranging from front-line practitioners, national leads, commissioners and directors of public health – all agree this is an excellent, high quality and informative report and intend to use this, the microsite and resources, to support their work with schools, children and young people, families and stakeholders regarding body image and the impact this can and does have on the emotional health and wellbeing of children and young people.
‘SAPHNA will continue to work with Fixers on this project and capitalise on the strength of feeling from the conference delegates to jointly address some of the report recommendations.’
To read the report, visit our dedicated microsite here.
To find other resources on this topic, and watch Fixers films, click on the image below.