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Stand Up For Girls!!

Its terrifying how these days our lives revolve SO much around our appearances. We are constantly trying to achieve unrealistic body goals, the perfect face, the perfect hair, the perfect sized bum but perfect doesn't exist. Its all fake. As an advice blogger, I always try to promote positive body image for girls and help them as much as possible to love the skin they're in. I've decided to support the Children's Society campaign to bring awareness to the government, that emotional and mental health support NEEDS to be available in schools. 
If I think back to when I was at school, there was never anyone you could turn to. Yes the teachers would say 'come and talk to us if you have any issues' but when that happened, they never knew how to deal with them. Mental health was not spoke about AT ALL and I'll always question why its still not, when so many young people suffer with it?? The Children's society have found that one in seven teenage girls feel unhappy with their lives. This statistic does not shock me one bit as the support and advice is not available in schools and there is a tremendous amount of pressure placed on looks from social media.

I remember suffering from major anxiety and body dysmorphia at school, I didn't realise quite what it was at that age but I just remember feeling on edge about everything and hated the idea of PE to the point it would make me sick. Why? Because the teachers didn't understand how to deal with girls who were self conscious about their bodies. They would tell girls to get on with it because everyone has to do it. The amount of girls I used to watch break down because they were told they were being stupid and lazy is disgusting.  I wish I could of stood up for myself but when someone in a position of trust doesn't even understand how you feel, how can you ever expect girls to open up to a teacher about a mental health issue or any worries they have?

I still remember to this day how a teacher reacted to a situation where a group of girls were picking on me. We were in dance class. I was extremely self conscious and thought I looked disgusting on a daily basis, which in later years I discovered was body dysmorphia. These girls just wouldn't leave me alone and ended up shouting out 'I was doing nothing'. The teacher without even knowing the situation told me to stand at the front of the group of 30 girls and dance. She said we are all going to watch you. My worst nightmare. I was reduced to tears.

So many girls suffer in silence in schools because there are teachers like that who make you feel stupid. We need teachers who understand, who are willing to provide that support but isn't it human to treat people with respect and most importantly respect how they feel? Some people are so ignorant to the fact someone may suffer with a mental health issue or they feel so self conscious. Why can't they provide that support to make someone feel a little more at ease with the situation instead of knocking them completely. I'll tell you why, because there is still a huge HUGE stigma attached to mental health. 

On the other hand, a third of 10-15 year old girls are unhappy with their looks.There are so many pressures on young girls to look, act and live life a certain way. We live in a selfie obsessed generation where we only feel liked and validated by how many likes we get on a picture. We are expected to be able to do our makeup like a makeup artist, have the body of a Victoria Secret model and not have any flaws. Social media is nothing but toxic. We are all guilty of falling into its trap. We need the media to represent girls in a different way, to show its OK to have stretch marks, its OK to have acne and its more than OK to not have perfectly drawn wings on your eyeliner. No one is perfect because it doesn't exist.

I strongly believe social media is unhealthy for young girls who aren't aware of how much of it is edited. Its extremely damaging for their mental health and I really wish airbrushing didn't exist so we could all learn to love the skin we are in. 

So my advice to the girls who feel completely isolated by their issue, is to speak up because there are so many people in the same boat who will do anything to try and make you feel better, including me. The Children’s Society is a national charity that runs local projects, helping children and young people when they are at their most vulnerable, and have nowhere left to turn. I know I would have done anything when I was a teenager to have an organisation or a person that I could share my worries with. So never feel like your alone!

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