- Encourage positive body images. Let’s stop celebrating celebrities with unnatural bodies or ultra-thin shapes and subliminally indicating that there is a “right” and a “wrong” body shape. Women come in all shapes and sizes because our individual bodies work to keep us alive and breathing and healthy. Stop encouraging girls to mess with biology just to fit an unrealistic magazine cover.
- Stop focussing on body image full stop. Why are we all so preoccupied with the way women look in our society? Support campaigns like Jameela Jamil’s “I Weigh”, where the value of women is placed on their achievements in life, passions, careers, families, aspirations and more, rather than what the scales say. We should be teaching our girls that the most important thing is to be a good person who contributes positively to society.
- Create better support systems at universities. If 17 to 19 is the age bracket that is suffering greatly, then a benefit could be found in providing a support through student unions, societies and colleges at universities across the UK. We should make sure that all girls starting university know that they can talk about the process in a comforting and safe place.
- Cut back on social media. With everyone tweeting, uploading to their Insta Stories and FlashbackFriday-ing everywhere you look it’s impossible to breathe without social media knowing about it. This puts a stifling pressure on everyone, but especially young people. So, what if we all worked to reduce this pressure? Let’s set better examples and lead younger generations into an age where the dependency on a social profile is lessened.
- Provide better opportunities for young women in STEM fields. We’re working on equalising the playing field in terms of career development, so let’s make sure girls know they have all the opportunities they could wish for. As they’re approaching their 20s and starting their careers, we can be there to support their studies or work in typically male-dominated fields, like science, technology, engineering and maths.
These guidelines are just a way for our community to combat the general aspects that may be impacting young women as a whole. Every person who battles against negativity in their mental health will have their own, very personal, reasons about why they feel that way. Some of the general issues within our society will obviously come into play, but it’ll all be interpreted differently.
So, our one tip for if you have a someone in your life who you think is suffering with their mental health: reach out and ask if they’re okay. Kindness is the most powerful tool we all have at our disposal, let’s use it.[/vc_column_text]