Boys worry about body image, too, teachers say
A survey of nearly 700 teachers in the UK revealed that about 50 percent of school-aged boys worry or obsess about body image.
Children as young as 4 are concerned about getting too fat, and 63 percent of respondents said that there is more pressure on children than ever to have a particular shape, size or weight.
Boys feel it but don't admit it
One teacher at a secondary school in Ireland said that boys definitely feel the pressure to look a certain way, but many of them won't openly speak up about it.
"In my year 11 GCSE English class the girls all openly admitted to feeling pressure about body image and many of the boys confessed to it, too, although they said usually they wouldn’t admit to it affecting them," the teacher stated in an article on The Independent.
What do boys want to look like? The survey revealed that 38 percent of young males want to look like Harry Styles, pop singer in One Direction; 38 percent want to look like Justin Bieber, pop star; and 36 percent aspire to look like David Beckham, professional athlete.
Comparison leads to "misery"
Mary Bousted, general secretary of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL), says that students today have too much on their plates; pressure to look perfect should not be an added burden.
"With academic and other social pressures, young people already have enough to deal with," said Bousted. "Comparing and competing not only with their peers on looks, but with airbrushed celebrities in the media only leads to misery.”
The ATL and the National Union of Teachers will be meeting at their conferences in the next two weeks to discuss the effects of body image pressure on children.