Back to school: Third of girls find personal appearance one of their biggest worries after summer holidays

The Independent reports that going back to school can be an anxious time for pupils and parents alike, with new rules, textbooks and academic expectations often keeping children awake the night before the first day of term.

But in 2017, one of the biggest worries for young people heading back into the classroom is in fact the way they look, new research suggests.

Not only are girls more likely to have concerns about their appearance than boys as they return to school after the summer holidays, but all genders were found to become increasingly anxious as they get older.

The survey, commissioned by the Be Real Campaign, found that more than one in four (26 per cent) of secondary age pupils questioned said their appearance is one of the biggest worries about going back to school.

The survey found that of all of those surveyed, nearly a third (31 per cent) of girls said they were worried about their appearance, compared with 21 per cent of their male classmates.

The YouthSight online poll questioned 1,006 young people in the UK over a two-week period in the lead up to the new term.

Denise Hatton, chief executive of YMCA England & Wales, said: “Young people are constantly bombarded with images of unrealistic body types in the media, advertising and online, which can have devastating effects on their confidence and overall well-being.

“We know that some young people are so worried about their looks that it stops them from raising their hand in class or taking part in school activities, including PE.”

Read more Back to school: Third of girls find personal appearance one of their biggest worries after summer holidays

Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin

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  1. This has always been the case. When I was at school (and that was before the internet and more than 4 channels on the TV, with Mary Whitehouse and a strict 9pm curfew) as girls we were all still concerned about how we looked, following the latest fashions etc as bullies have been around for thousands of years and that’s what it’s about – fitting in! Its just now they do surveys to evidence it.

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