Is body positivity the answer to body image issues? – Phillippa Diedrichs © Getty Images

Is body positivity the answer to body image issues? – Phillippa Diedrichs

We live in a society that values looks, but only if they fit into a restrictive set of ideals. Is loving your body the key to defeating body image issues?

We live in a society that values looks, but only if they fit into a restrictive set of ideals regarding size and shape, age, skin colour, as well as many other features of our bodies.

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The result is an immense pressure to look a certain way. According to a recent survey by the Mental Health Foundation, one in five adults in the UK had experienced shame over their body at some point in the last year.

The rise of social media has provided a platform for a rebellion against these ideals in the form of body positivity, which advocates loving your body, even the parts that don’t fit the ideal standards of beauty.

So, is loving your body the key to defeating body image issues? Or is it making the problem worse?

In this podcast, BBC Science Focus Magazine online assistant Sara Rigby speak to Professor Phillippa Diedrichs, a psychologist at the Centre for Appearance Research at the University of the West of England. She takes us through the importance of a healthy body image and the research into how body positivity could help or harm.

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