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Teaching girls to prioritise function over form for better body image

Abbott, B.D. (2013) Teaching girls to prioritise function over form for better body image. The Conversation, 15 February .

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The body is a gateway to experiencing and exploring the world. It’s the first thing people see when they look at us and it’s the canvas on which we express who we are. But the relationship we have with our bodies, or our body image, can change over time and is influenced by the messages we receive from our peers, families, society and culture.

One of the most turbulent periods for body image is adolescence. Annual Mission Australia studies of over 45,000 young Australians aged 11 to 24, have consistently found body image to be among the top three concerns of Australian adolescents. Just over one third (34%) of Australian girls report that body image is one their greatest worries, with older adolescents consistently more concerned than their young peers.

If we’re serious about improving girls' body image, we need to shift the focus from appearance to function and teach girls to value more than just looks.

Item Type: Non-refereed Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Psychology and Exercise Science
Publisher: The Conversation Media Group
Copyright: The Author
United Nations SDGs: Goal 3: Good Health and Well-Being
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