St Mary’s students say ‘No BODY is Perfect’

St Mary's Secondary School students with their message 'No BODY is Perfect.'

St Mary’s Secondary School students with their message ‘No BODY is Perfect.’

Following on from the success of last year’s Young Social Innovators (YSI) project ‘Stop Trafficking Of People’ at St Mary’s Secondary School, this year’s YSI class, consisting of 30 students along with their teacher Ms Donna Lyons, have chosen a new project to get stuck into. The topic that the girls have chosen to raise awareness about is called ‘No-BODY is Perfect’. This project is aimed at raising awareness about eating disorders, highlighting the issue of pro-anorexic websites, which are extremely dangerous to vulnerable individuals who suffer from eating disorders, and the St Mary’s students feel that the websites need to be removed from the internet.

The students also wish to raise awareness about the latest phenomenon to particularly effect our male population, ‘bigorexia’ which is medically referred to as Muscle Dysmorphia, which typically occurs in boys and men who have a well-defined muscular build. People with this disorder believe and spend a great deal of time thinking that their muscular build is undersized and underdeveloped, and they desire bigger muscles. People who have muscle dysmorphia display a number of similar behaviours. Here is a list of typical behaviours of someone who is experiencing muscle dysmorphia; extreme exercise, especially resistance and weight training, many hours lifting weights, constant mirror-checking, avoiding social situations where they may appear muscularly small, comparing their muscular build to others, extreme attention to diet, lifting while being injured, anxiety when missing a workout, neglecting family, friends, and job in order to exercise, and use of anabolic steroids to enhance muscle mass.

Statistics show that the men and women suffering from the issues outlined above are on the rise at a terrifying rate, with individuals even as young as eight years old being affected. The St Mary’s students believe that, given their platform as Young Social Innovators, they have been given an opportunity to raise awareness about these serious societal problems and make a change. They invite you to join their movement. You can show your support for the students’ campaign by following them on Twitter @No-BODY Is Perfect, or visit their Facebook page No-body Is Perfect.

The students thank the community of Mallow and surrounding areas in advance for their support. Key words of inspiration from the St Mary’s students are, ‘If we change the way we look at things, the things we look at will change. Ask yourself, if not us, who? If not now, when?’