Summary

Be Real USA gives teachers professional development workshops and HECAT-compliant body confidence curriculum for US school health classes and after-school groups. With the help of the regional National Eating Disorders Association’s Network Partners, we are working together with local state boards of education to disseminate evidence-based resources.

Challenge

Today’s visual social media — where people edit their pictures to carefully curate an image — has created a culture where 70% of adolescent girls and 45% of adolescent boys don’t feel comfortable in their own skin. They feel flawed in comparison to the perfect images they see on Instagram and other social media. Their body dissatisfaction contributes to the serious mental health problems kids face: eating disorders, depression, isolation, anxiety, risky sexual behavior, and low self-esteem.

Solution

The school environment makes a big difference in children’s body confidence. Teachers can help when they learn (1) what causes body image problems, (2) what schools can do to create a body confident school environment, and (3) specifically what curriculum they can use in their classrooms to help avoid body dissatisfaction. Be Real USA’s Body Confident Schools Workshop addresses all of these questions in a 3-hour professional development for teachers.

Long-Term Impact

Studies have shown that kids who learn about body confidence in schools are more likely to look after their bodies, more likely to value health over appearance, have better general mental health, do better in and out of school and are more likely to fulfill their unique potential.