PEEBLES teenagers are trying to help their younger peers not to obsess about their looks.
The town’s high school students found in a survey of people aged 14 and 15 that girls spend as much as two hours getting ready for school and that boys as young as 13 are drinking protein shakes and going to the gym to try to bulk up.
But older teens in the school, who are part of Fixers, a national movement of young people “fixing” the future, are trying to persuade their younger colleagues that happiness is more than what they see in the mirror.
Peebles’ Fixer Sam Matthews, 16, said: “Our message is about getting people to be comfortable in being themselves and not trying to be what everyone wants them to be.”
The survey found body image concerns were worse among girls but that boys, too, felt under pressure to look good.
The school’s Heather Allen, 17, said: “There should be role models for young girls who are confident in themselves and not afraid to make their own decisions about what they wear or what they look like.”
The group hopes to create a booklet that can be used in social education classes to help teenagers become more confident with their body image.
Fixers supports thousands of young people across the UK to take action and change things for the better, addressing any issue they feel strongly about.
The charity recently won a £7.2million grant from the Big Lottery Fund and aims to work with 20,000 young people over the next three years.