Too many of us are obsessed with looking perfect and it's damaging young people. That's why we're offering the badge for 'body confidence'

It is heartbreaking to hear young people dismiss themselves based purely on image

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The Independent Online

There are so many people who want to change their bodies, whether it's a tuck here or a blemish there - we're obsessed with looking 'perfect'.

It's a preoccupation that is now damaging children and young people.  Our constant begrudging attitudes towards the natural female form should come with a health warning.

The latest findings from Girlguiding’s annual Girls’ Attitudes Survey reveal that one in five girls of primary school age have been on a diet.

This needs to change.

Girlguiding is partnering with the Dove Self-Esteem Project to launch Free Being Me – delivering body confidence training to thousands of young people across the UK.

As a Girlguiding Peer Educator I feel privileged to be part of this body confidence revolution, to help change the shocking statistics.

It is heartbreaking to hear and see what young people say and do regarding their image; standing in front of mirrors sucking in their tummies, or talking non-stop about their 'flaws'.

From airbrushed images to constant talk of diets and surgery - it is no surprise girls feel pressure to look a certain way.

Trying to obtain this unrealistic image is not only hard work, but also impossible. Failing to live up to this mythical ‘ideal’ leaves many girls and young women feeling worthless.

Whether it's bullying or body confidence that they're concerned about, young people need a space to explore their body insecurities in a safe environment, free from judgement.

We want to empower girls to make a difference themselves by spreading the body confidence message to others. We want to encourage them to focus on what they like about their bodies and personality and dispel the 'image myth' so they can change the way they think about themselves.

Low self-esteem holds too many of us back
Think teaching body confidence is pointless? Try speaking to the teenagers affected by it