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YMCA campaign aims to fight unrealistic 'beauty standards' and online body image pressure

Written by Samantha Lade, Donr

Published on Wednesday, 1st August 2018

YMCA campaign aims to fight unrealistic 'beauty standards' to challenge online body image pressure

The YMCA are asking the nation to fight against unrealistic beauty standards by encouraging people to sign up to its new Body Image Pledge.

#IPledgeToBeReal is part of the Be Real Campaign's mission to tackle body image anxiety and create a body confident nation where health and wellbeing is placed above appearance.

People are being urged to show their real-selves this summer, after figures revealed that celebrities and people on social media put the most pressure on young people to look 'perfect.'

The YMCA spoke to more than 1,000 people between the ages of 11 and 16 about body image expectations.

58% said celebrities were responsible for these expectations, while 52% blamed people on social media.

The pressure to look perfect especially increases amongst older teens, with almost two-thirds of 15 to 16 year-olds admitting pressure came from individuals on social media, compared to 43% of 11 to 12 year-olds.

By signing the Pledge, individuals are making a commitment to limit or stop editing their pictures for social media, and to hold brands and organisations accountable if they lack diversity or promote unhealthy body image

Denise Hatton, Chief Executive for YMCA England & Wales and founding partner of the Be Real Campaign, said: 'We've all been guilty of only posting our most flattering pictures on social media. 

'Today's beauty standard is completely unobtainable, leading us to constantly feel bad about our bodies and looks. This is particularly the case for young people and it can have serious effects on their mental and physical wellbeing.

'It's time we take back control of how we feel about our bodies and celebrate our real-self so that everyone can feel confident in their body this summer and beyond.

'This is why we're calling on people across the nation to sign our Body Image Pledge – together we can create a body confident nation.'

The Body Image Pledge is being launched alongside the Be Real Campaign's new Ambassadors, which were picked from across the UK to share their personal experiences to highlight the damaging consequences of society's unrealistic beauty pressures.

To join the movement and take a stand against unrealistic beauty ideals, sign the Pledge today.