Increasingly, schools have a vital role to play in encouraging a positive body image in their students.

As a teacher with many years’ experience, a parent and a body-image advocate I have witnessed first-hand the impact of a negative body image: low self-esteem, poor mental health, disordered eating, fat-shaming and, critically, underachievement.

The Weight Debate - scale saying Don't Weigh Your Self-Esteem

Today, more then ever, young people need skills and strategies to resist critical media messages. I show them how to use social media to build their body image – not hurt it.

Uniquely, the Weight Debate offers talks and workshops which support students from different cultures and backgrounds in an informed and sensitive manner – understanding ethnic and social differences is vital in battling negative messages over body image and beauty ideals.

For many students this will be the first time this is highlighted.

Did you know?

  • Studies of young adults revealed the same levels of bias against overweight individuals as those shown in racial bias studies.
  • 66% of teens in a recent study were afraid of getting fat.
  • Students do not only experience weight-related stigma from their peers; research suggests parents and educators also endorse negative stereotypes.
Jeryl Scurr with Mona and Sara at Paddington Library

I have enjoyed working alongside Westminster Library’s Paddington Branch, supporting their efforts to help local schools with body image concerns and to combat weight stigma.

Talks and Workshops

Each session is tailored to your school’s needs, supports the PSHE curriculum and forms a popular addition to 6th Form Lectures, Enrichment Studies and General Studies.

The 60+ minute talks are now being offered via Zoom or your preferred on-line platform. They use powerful graphics, include plenty of time for Q&A and are geared to Year 10+ pupils and above.

Workshops are on hold for the moment.

  • Is Fat (Still) a Feminist Issue?
  • Doesn’t Every BODY Deserve Respect?
  • No Body’s Perfect: Don’t Weigh your Self-esteem!
  • Self-Esteem and the Media: How to Build a Positive Body Image

Support for Students

  • What messages about weight do we get from the media, family and friends?
  • What body image issues do we have and what impact do they have on our lives? 
  • How do we build practical strategies to promote and maintain self-esteem and body acceptance?
  • How do we build resilience against the pressure to conform to weight norms?
  • Body Acceptance – how do we get it, now? 

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