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Christian youth worker: Being authentic on social media will tackle bad body image

Fri 25 May 2018
By Tola Mbakwe

A Christian youth worker has encouraged people to be more authentic on social media in order to help people suffering with body image issues.

There's a warning hundreds of British teenagers are refusing to go to school because of how they look. It's thought around 5 per cent could have body dysmorphic disorder, where sufferers believe they have flaws which often go unnoticed by others.

Jessie Smart, founder of Christian youth charity Belle Ministry, told Premier that excessive use of social media worsens body image because social media posts "aren't representative of real life".

 

She said: "Girls are thinking social media is having a positive influence on the way they see themselves when the scary thing is they are basing their validation and finding their affirmation in likes and comments."

Smart said everyone can be part of the solution.

"It's not conforming to these crazes and fads that come up and all the different standards and expectations that seem to flutter through society.

"Another side of it is being real on social media. Often we post the highlights and actually sometimes we need to take a step back and check that we are being authentic in what we're putting out there."

Smart also advised people to support those who feel negative towards their body by affirming their character, talents and gifts rather than outward appearance.

Listen to Jessie Smart speaking with Premier's Cara Bentley here:

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