Body Empowerment in Young People

Body Image Empowerment in Young People

Concerns and worries about appearance are commonplace among young people. One survey of 11-16-year-olds in the UK by Be Real found that 79% said how they look is important to them, and over half (52%) often worry about how they look.


Statutory guidance for Relationships Education and Health Education, which comes into effect in September 2020, ensures that every child is guaranteed a PSHE education that covers learning about safe & healthy relationships (including understanding consent and negotiating life online), physical health (including healthy lifestyles and First Aid), and mental health & wellbeing. With a growing number of young people affected by body image issues and concerns, and with the age limit for those being affected dropping year on year, it is important that education covers these areas.


A positive body image supports mental and physical health. It can boost confidence and help children develop a healthy image of themselves. A negative body image or body dissatisfaction can lead to low self-esteem, anxiety, depression and poor self-perception. It can also affect learning, participation and school achievement, lead to unhealthy eating practices and ultimately increase the risk of developing eating disorders in later life. For young children, attitudes about body shape and size can start as early as three or four years old, when they are becoming aware of societal pressures to look a certain way. Conversations and images shared on social media can be especially harmful for older children. Body image issues do not discriminate between genders.

men face

Schools have an important role in creating an environment where everyone else feels special and valued for qualities, talents and skills unrelated to appearance, where children can develop a positive body image for themselves as well as a healthy relationship with food and exercise. Starting early by promoting a healthy sense of self-worth and positive attitudes to body image is thought to help avoid later problems, and this is reflected in our 1decision PSHE learning resources.

improve body confidence by teaching children

1decision seeks to improve body confidence by teaching children to celebrate diversity and difference, valuing each child’s strengths and abilities, and being happy and proud of who they are and how they look. Exploring what it feels like to be healthy, rather than what it looks like, encouraging healthy food choices and exploring how to keep safe online are all covered and support this crucial area of learning as well as ensuring all statutory curriculum areas are covered.

For further details on this topic, check out some of the links below.



We create interactive PSHE and RSHE resources for primary children. As part of the media generation, we know how important it is to engage and teach from a young age. Each module is carefully created by PSHE and Safeguarding experts together with schools and, most importantly, children. We are proud to offer resources to over 2,000 schools in 47 UK counties and across the world.


  • 1decision Ltd Suite 1, Niall House 24-26 Boulton Road Stevenage, Herts, SG1 4QX
  • 01438 750330
  • Company ID:07875122


We like to practise what we preach and, as such, are always looking for new ways to gain feedback, become aware and grow. If you have any thoughts or insights into our resources and company, please feel free to get in touch. Awareness leads to change, after all.


Stay in the loop and subscribe to receive up-to-date PSHE/RSHE news and guidance.

Invalid Input
Request Taster Pack

Request Taster Pack / Interactive Tour

To receive instant access via email, please complete the form below.

Invalid Input
Invalid Input