An aspiring actress, who feels appearance often takes priority over talent in the performing arts world, is creating a campaign with Fixers to challenge the importance of beauty.
Maddie Wilshire (16) from Cusgarne, Cornwall is worried that many young people focus on looking similar to celebrities shown in the media.
She believes this focus on beauty means that young people neglect the importance of developing talent, because the emphasis from the world of television, music and fashion is just to be attractive.
Because of this she is concerned that young people develop eating disorders and take drastic measures to look ‘perfect’.
Maddie has created a survey to gain people’s views on how body image is represented by the media (click here to complete the survey) and how she can best create a campaign that challenges the importance of beauty.
‘It upsets me to see young people hate the way they look,’ she explains. ‘Because they're surrounded by edited photos of celebrities looking slim and perfect, they are pressured into conforming to that look.
‘The media promotes how important beauty is but ignores talent, especially surrounding the area of performing arts. This means that many young people change their lifestyle to lose weight and to change who they are.
‘I'm hoping to help everyone who wants to get into performing arts, to make them realise that they should not change the way the look to be successful.’
Research from Beating Eating Disorders (beat) estimates that 1.6 million people in the UK suffer from an eating disorder, and that the media does negatively influence how people view themselves.
‘A lot of the change needs to come from the top, from the media outlets which promote beauty above talent,’ says Maddie.
‘It is tough to change the views of society, but through my Fixers campaign, I would love for appearance to come second to talent.’