Butterfly’s Body Kind September looks to improve Australia’s widespread body image issues
5th September 2023
- 90% of young people have some level of body image concern 1
- 35% of adults said they felt depressed because of their body image 2
- Programs focusing on self-esteem, media literacy and supporting peers are proven to be most effective in maintaining positive body image 3
Body dissatisfaction is a leading risk factor for the development of an eating disorder, and with research showing that body image concerns are widespread among adults and young people, it is something that Australia can no longer ignore. As early intervention and education are proven to be critical in improving outcomes for people with body image issues, Body Kind programs to help build positive body image and support mental health and wellbeing are an essential resource for families, schools and communities across Australia.
Butterfly’s Body Kind September coincides with Body Image and Eating Disorder Awareness Week (4-10 September), making it the perfect time to join Body Kind, a free, annual awareness initiative, featuring practical, evidence-informed tips, activities and webinars to encourage everyone in Australia to be kind to their own body and to others.
Helen Bird, Education Services Manager at Butterfly Foundation, says that while body image has been in the public discourse for years, everyone needs to take action to make a real change: “We know from our Body Kind Youth Survey that young people think schools need to do more to promote positive body image and we are also seeing more adults seeking support to deal with negative body and appearance ideals proliferated in the media, online and in society.
“Getting involved in Butterfly’s Body Kind September is a great first step in promoting positive body image in your school, family and community. We understand that finding ways to like, accept, love or even feel positive about your body can be challenging, but by thinking about how we nourish, nurture and move our bodies, and the language we use out loud, online and in our heads, we can all learn to be a little kinder towards our own bodies and to others”.
Philip Heath, Head of Barker College in NSW, talks about the positive impact Body Kind Schools has had on students: “Barker College is grateful for the Body Kind Schools initiative by the Butterfly Foundation. We want our young people to know that they are precious and valued just as they are. The Body Kind program plays a significant role in the prevention space for eating disorders and body image issues. It not only helps to build a strong sense of self in our students as they learn to appreciate all the amazing things their bodies can and will do in their lifetime, Body Kind also assists our students to recognise the unhelpful messages they get from the outside world and to care for each other.”
Body Kind is free to anyone in the community who wants to learn to be kinder to their body, or help others to do so:
- Body Kind Schools – practical resources and learning activities for educators and youth professionals to help foster positive body image environments to support students in upper primary to late secondary schools.
- Body Kind Families – bite-sized videos, audio resources and activities to help parents and carers of teens build body kindness at home.
- Body Kind Clubs – activities, posters and digital clips for sporting and activity groups to create an environment where all bodies are treated with kindness and respect.
- Body Kind Youth Survey – from September, young people aged 12-18 can take part in the second annual Butterfly Body Kind Youth Survey to better understand body image in Australian young people.
For more information about Body Kind and to register now, visit: https://butterfly.org.au/get-involved/campaigns/bodykind/
To ensure that Butterfly can continue to support body confidence across Australia you can also help by taking part in a Body Kind Fundraiser. Register your interest and look at our Body Kind Fundraiser Guide here: https://butterfly.org.au/get-involved/campaigns/bodykind/fundraiser/
Ph: 0451 837 044
Edelman for Butterfly Foundation
Ph: 0435 671 617
About Butterfly Foundation
Butterfly Foundation is the national charity for all Australians impacted by eating disorders and body image issues, and for the families, friends and communities who support them. Butterfly is on a mission to create a more ‘Body Kind’ Australia, where young people grow up treating their own bodies and all bodies with respect and kindness. Butterfly has been running school prevention and intervention programs for over 17 years, supporting both primary and secondary schools to help kids thrive and learn to love their bodies from a young age.
About Butterfly Body Bright & Body Kind
Body Kind Schools is just one part of Butterfly’s Body Kind initiative to create environments (home, school, sporting club, online) which help young people to be kind to their own body and others. For more information on Butterfly’s school-based programs, click through to Butterfly Body Bright (for primary school children) or Butterfly Body Kind (for upper primary and secondary school children).
About the Body Kind Youth Survey research
Released by Butterfly Foundation. Overview: This research was conducted by Butterfly Foundation with n=1635 young Australians aged between 1218 years old, through a self-completed ethics-approved online survey This research took place in September – November 2022. The data was first released to the public in May 2023.
Editor and producers note
Please include the following support line details in all media coverage of this story and refer to the Mindframe Media guidelines for safe reporting on eating disorders.
Anyone needing support with eating disorders or body image issues is encouraged to contact:
- Butterfly National Helpline on 1800 33 4673 (1800 ED HOPE) or firstname.lastname@example.org
- Eating Disorders Victoria Helpline on 1300 550 23
- For urgent support call Lifeline 13 11 14
3 O’Dea (2008), Wilksch (2009).