A Sheffield YouTube star has backed a programme which aims to improve body confidence, after it was revealed that 62 per cent of teens in the region feel insecure about their appearance.
Sheffield local and YouTube mega star Luke Cutforth of LukeIsNotSexy fame is set to join fellow vlogger Grace Victory and TV psychologist Dr Anna Colton to help tackle teen body fears this summer with a youth empowerment programme from the National Citizen Service (NCS)
This comes after new research commissioned by NCS and conducted by ICM revealed nearly half of girls (47 per cent) have tried to lose weight by the age of 17 and a third (34 per cent) of boys feel pressured to be muscly.
The research also revealed that appearance matters more at the age of 17 than at any other age in life with 83 oer cent of the 17 year olds surveyed stating that appearance was important to them compared to 66 per cent of 1,000 adults also surveyed.
The survey of 1000 teens across England highlighted the growing influence of Insta stars over traditional celebrities when it comes to body image; 37 per cent of teens in Yorkshire and the Humber surveyed in the NCS research revealed their appearance was influenced by what they saw on social media compared to just 25 per cent of Yorkshire & the Humber teens who stated they were influenced by celebrities.
There was some evidence as to the darker side of social media; 58 per cent of teens admitted to experiencing feelings of jealousy, negativity or insecurity as a result of social media, with just under a quarter (24 per cent) feeling negative about themselves because they don’t look like their friends’ social media images. Almost a third (32 per cent) of girls admitted that they are ‘obsessed’ with receiving likes on social media.
In addition, 37 per cent of teens in Yorkshire & the Humber say that their appearance is influenced by what they see on social media
Luke, who has more than half a million YouTube subscribers, says he hopes to use his positive influence to urge young people from Hertfordshire to take part in youth empowerment programme NCS to boost confidence and tackle body fears.
He said: "It’s so important that we try to change the conversation around body image. Stigmas surrounding all forms of mental health render them practically invisible, making it all the more vital that we raise awareness and tear down boundaries. Breaking these stigmas will quite literally change and save lives and that’s why it’s important male teens get involved this summer in programmes like NCS that are proven to boost confidence and to help tackle anxiety issues.”
The NCS programme, which is held during the summer holidays, is designed to help teens develop their confidence.
According to NCS, eight per cent of people who have taken part in the programme say they feel less anxious about their body image after taking part.
The national programme encourages young people to get involved with positive physical activity, which is widely recognised to help people feel better about their body.
Body image expert and TV psychologist Dr Anna Colton says she is keen to help change the conversation around body image this summer.
She said: "Young people are surrounded by thousands of images all the time, and this only increases in the summer as people share more body snaps. Yet, many of these are airbrushed or touched up.
"People who have body image difficulties are unlikely to post photographs of themselves so by definition the images to which young people are exposed are those of people who are comfortable in their own skin. Talking about body image and body confidence is fundamentally important in helping teenagers develop a healthy body image – by teaming up with NCS Grace and Luke are having this really important conversation with their fans”
Recent independent research has revealed that NCS, the once in a lifetime opportunity for 15 – 17 year-olds, can have a positive impact on a young person’s life skills, confidence and resilience. The popular programme gives young people an opportunity to have fun, experience adventure, meet new friends and give back to their community through social action.
Luke and Grace’s vlogs about being body confident this summer are live on their channels.
For more information click here.