Chariho Youth Task Force launches “positive body image” campaign

Poor body self-image can lead to failing academics, trouble concentrating, and a loss of confidence.

Every Body is Beautiful, the Chariho Youth Task Force is emphasizing in its latest campaign, to encourage young people to love their bodies. 

“This campaign is the result of having an open and accepting place for young people to speak up about what they think we should work on,” Executive Director Dan Fitzgerald told the Westerly Sun in December. “Body image is something that impacts every part of every day. We’re here to help change the culture of how we talk and think about our bodies.” 

“Members of the Chariho Youth Task Force were in the school late Tuesday evening prepping for this launch,” he said. “We put ‘Every Body is Beautiful’ stickers on every mirror in the building as well as a poster with behavior-change strategies to a more body-positive life throughout the building. “

“With the support and approval of the [Chariho High School] administration, we came in and put our ‘Every Body is Beautiful’ stickers on all the mirrors in the building,” Task Force Member Ryann Clarke noted. Members also created posters, made public announcements, and invited students to join the campaign.

The Sun article refers to the nonprofit International OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) Foundation and its findings on body dysmorphic disorder (BDD).

“Studies have shown that BDD in teens and young adults leads to significant worsening of their academics, because of their body concerns,” the foundation states. “This can include failing tests, missing school and having trouble concentrating in class.”

As Clarke explained to the Sun, “This campaign is so important because our culture teaches youth and adults, men and women, people of all ages and backgrounds, to degrade our bodies,” she said. “It’s important to our health and wellness to stop and appreciate them for what they allow us to do.

The campaign’s next milestone takes place on Feb. 8 with a fashion show at Chariho.

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