Ursula Frayne graduates talk body positivity

28 November 2018

According to Beyond Blue, body image is the number one concern for many young people in Australia.

It can take a lot of courage to talk about such an issue, but for 2018 Ursula Frayne Catholic College graduate Emily Shepherd it was too important to keep quiet.

Emily enlisted fellow graduate Pat Mangmee to join her in presenting body positivity workshops at the College, organised with the help of College psychologist Lyndsay Darwent-Hunt.

“I believe that body image is one of the biggest issues our generation faces,” Emily said.

“More often than not, children are taught about how to cope with bullying but what many people do not acknowledge is that the biggest bully in one’s life is often themselves.”

Ms Darwent-Hunt said body positivity was about “appreciating and loving your body for the amazing things that it does,” despite the often unrealistic and unachievable expectations presented in social media and advertising.

She was extremely impressed with Emily and Pat’s balanced presentation to the students, acknowledging that body image affects boys as well as girls.

“It was amazing to witness the growth in Emily and Pat, who have both offered to come back to undertake a few more workshops in the coming year,” she said.

“This growth is a testament to the efforts of the whole Frayne community in working to shape these Frayne graduates.”

Emily and Pat presented to students from years 7 to 12 at the College’s secondary campus at recess and lunch time, in separate age-  appropriate workshops.

“Emily and I really wanted to get that message out to everyone and truly make them realise how much their own self judgements can affect them subconsciously,” Pat said.

“I wanted everyone to at least leave with the sound knowledge that everyone’s definition of ideal perfection and beauty differs, and that no matter how hard you try to conform to everyone’s standards it is impossible to truly please everyone.”

Emily said there are many little changes people can make in their lives to learn to love their bodies for not only how they appear but, the amazing things they do.

“The presentations were also aimed at showing how students could adopt strategies that they could use to transform their own negative self-talk into positive-self talk,” she said.

For more information on body image, body positivity and how to access help, visit these links:

https://www.smilingmind.com.au/

https://au.reachout.com/articles/the-how-and-why-of-practising-gratitude

https://thebutterflyfoundation.org.au/understand-eating-disorders/body-image/

https://www.nedc.com.au/eating-disorders/eating-disorders-explained/body-image/

https://au.reachout.com/articles/what-is-body-image

https://www.youthbeyondblue.com/understand-what’s-going-on/low-self-esteem-and-body-image

http://bodypositiveaustralia.com.au/category/blog/

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