Toronto District School Board

Body Confidence Awareness Week is October 9-13

Tuesday, October 10, 2017
Categories: Great Things, Happenings @ TDSB

The TDSB is recognizing its first annual Body Confidence Awareness Week in the second week of October.

 

Speaking openly with students about body image and confidence is important to help build self-esteem. The Board’s student census reports offer some concerning statistics that discrimination on the basis of body image was the highest form of harassment reported in Grades 7 and 8; 27% of high school students reported being treated negatively based on other peoples’ perceptions of their bodies; and that only 58% of high school students liked how they looked.

 

All students have the right to learn and thrive socially, emotionally and academically in a safe and caring school environment that is conducive to optimal performance and student success without fear of discrimination based on their appearance. This week will serve to remind and highlight the importance of positive body image, healthy relationships and safe and caring school environments.

 

“It is so important that we nurture our children and youth to develop a healthy self-esteem with strong pride in their body and who they are,” says Monica Duffy, a social worker in the TDSB. “We need to continue to educate our students that they are unique and special in every shape, size or culture. At developmental stages when youth feel it is important to be similar to their peers we must respect that, but also help them appreciate their uniqueness and internal beauty.”

 

Duffy hosts a number of workshops in the TDSB related to eating disorders, body image, the influences of media, learning to become a critical consumer and how it all relates to self-esteem.

 

“Psycho-education is vital in helping our students learn about subtle and overt messaging on body image ideals versus realistic body image and attainable goals. We also want to encourage all our students to have healthy relationships with food,” she says. “We need to encourage and foster an environment where student respect each other’s differences and celebrate beauty from inside out.”

 

There are Grade 10 and 11 curriculum resources available through Health and Physical Education related to Body Image.

 

TDSB Social Workers are available to host workshops and learning sessions on body image.

 

The TDSB also has relationships with many community agencies and organizations that offer programs and supports around mental health and well-being.

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