“It is not all about what we look like, but what we do and who we are”.

    1st November 2012 marked the start of Positive Image Month and the launch of a brilliant new campaign – to encourage each and every one of us to donate an hour to help someone else realise that it is who they are who matters, not what they look like. This isn’t an anti-beauty or anti-fashion campaign – it is just, quite simply, the start of an amazing movement to help us all recapture what really matters in life and to remember that it is not all about what we look like, but what we do and who we are.

    All of us are under huge pressures from the media and the world we see around us to appear in certain ways, and this pressure is particularly acute for girls, who are bombarded from a very young age by images of so-called ‘perfect’ women. In fact, it is estimated that a girl today will see as many pictures of ‘perfect’ beauty in a single day as her grandmother would have seen in her entire adolescence. These are often artificial pictures – airbrushed and unrealistic – but their effect is pervasive and powerful. In fact, the overwhelming effect of so many similar pictures is to create in girls and young people a sense of inadequacy and a feeling of never being able to match up to these bodily ‘ideals’. It is only a small step from this to thinking that she will never be successful unless she can look like the pictures she sees around her, and before you know it, she will be trying, desperately, not to be herself at all. She will cripple herself and her ambitions because she does not feel good enough about herself, and this is wrong.

    Our young people deserve better. Each of our daughters is an amazing and unique human being, who deserves to feel good about herself for who she is, not because she looks a certain way, and conforms to a media-hyped false creation. But it is hard for them, and this is the point of this campaign – to get people to speak out, directly to young people (and sometimes not so young people who need to hear this too). Simply by sharing stories of how we have come through hard times, when we didn’t believe enough in ourselves, can really help give courage to others. It can all help to develop self-esteem – all because we use our voices to share with others. This Positive Image campaign is all about creating a collection of voices to help turn the dream of a world of positive images into a reality, and you can help!

    Check out the campaign at www.timetolookbeyondthemirror.co.uk – you will read about some amazing contributions already, and you can sign up to donate an hour of your time this month to help someone feel that they can feel really good about themselves.

    Eileen’s comment

    The need to be appear “perfect” is a huge concern for our younger generation (and possibly many of our older generation)!  I strongly recommend this article and hope some of you will take the time to support and help someone  who is having problems with this area of their life.

    “Be yourself, everyone else is taken”.

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