Body Image Anxiety ‘Worsened By Reality TV’

Anxiety is becoming a growing problem for people of all ages, but it’s a particular problem in young people. Feelings of anxiety can come from many quarters, but one area that many people struggle with is their body image.

New research carried out by the Mental Health Foundation found that 24 per cent of people aged 18 to 24 worry about their body image as a result of what they see on reality TV.

The survey also found that 23 per cent of young people had experienced suicidal thoughts and feelings due to worries about their body image. 15 per cent revealed they had self-harmed because of how they feel about their body image.

The charity noted that reality TV programmes, like Love Island, exacerbate the problem because they make people feel distressed and ashamed if their body doesn’t measure up to what they see on screen.

Dr Antonis Kousoulis, from the Mental Health Foundation, said that we’ve seen how TV can play a positive role in addressing stigma surrounding mental health problems. However, he added: “It is not acceptable to keep allowing the aspects of television that have the potential to harm people’s mental health to go unchecked.”

While the organisation noted that it’s positive that producers are providing support to contestants on Love Island, they also want them to think more about the impact their programme could have on other people’s mental health.

Last month, research from the Be Real Campaign found that 61 per cent of young people feel pressure to always look their best online, while 67 per cent of those questioned admitted to regularly worrying about how they look.

If you’re looking for a counsellor in Manchester city centre where you can discuss your worries, get in touch with us today.

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