RCPsych Wales - Psychiatrist and ex-model deliver workshops to promote body esteem
11 May, 2020
In March, we supported Eating Disorder Awareness Week by promoting the Celebrate Everybody Project, in partnership with social media vlogger & blogger, Jess Davies alongside the projects author Dr Jacinta Tan.
The Celebrate Everybody project is a joint enterprise between health and education to evaluate and incorporate resilience and body esteem in primary and secondary schools. It's led by Dr Jacinta Tan who recently delivered the Eating Disorder Service Review on behalf of Welsh Government.
In promoting the project, primary school children explored the negative portrayal of celebrities in the media and the pressures of young people on social media sites such as Instagram, through workshops and interactive exercises.
BBC Video and feature on the event
Dr Jacinta Tan, chair of the eating disorder faulty at the Royal College of Psychiatrists in Wales, said: “These workshops are important in raising awareness because we know that diagnosing and treating eating disorders at an early stage, saves lives.
“Poor body image is common. It can develop in childhood and its very sensitive to family and social influences.
“There is a body of evidence that media literacy can challenge unrealistic ideals and prevent poor body image.
“Furthermore, the advent of social media and idealised body images has created even more threats to positive body image and fostered more body dissatisfaction in both sexes, even amongst young children.”
The event was co-hosted by ex-model, turned social media influencer Jess Davies:
“It was a wonderful to present at the Body Image Workshop with Jacinta in a local school for National Eating Disorder Awareness Week. I have been modelling and competing in pageants since I was 16 years old, and spent my teenage years and young adult life worrying about the way my body looked and what I put into it.
“Over the last 8 years I have grown a large following on social media and after personally feeling the effects of beauty image ideals and the pressure to compete and keep up with societal beauty standards on the platform and beyond, I have made it my personal mission to engage with social media in a more authentic way by posting un-edited images on my channels, highlighting the industry tricks which are used by influencers and models to look ‘perfect’ and discuss the importance of self-love on platforms which so often can encourage you to dislike yourself.
“I believe the ‘Celebrate Every Body’ Workshops are a great way of opening up the conversation of body image and self-acceptance to the youth who will be faced with certain ideals at a young age due to the huge popularity of social platforms.
I hope through telling an authentic experience of the struggles I have faced with my body image, I will be able to provide a step on the path to help children grow up to love who they are and not worry about beauty ideals.”
The Celebrate Everybody project is an EMS-Ltd funded project delivering body image and esteem workshops to children from years 6 & 7, in schools in Newport.
We look forward to continuing our support of the work of the Celebrate Everybody Project, and you can find out further information by following them on Twitter.