More than half (55%) of ALL young people have been bullied about the way they look according to a YMCA report. Most of the bullying focuses on weight and body shape; two fifths of those being bullied experience it at least once a week. Contrary to popular belief, bullying mainly happens face to face in person and not on-line; 80% of those being bullied for how they look say the abuse happens at school.
Most (60%) of young people said they tried to change the way they looked after being bullied; nearly a quarter (24%) said they reduced the amount they ate or went on a diet. In some cases the effect was even more severe: one in ten of those being bullied about their looks having suicidal thoughts and 9% saying they self-harmed as a result.
The YMCA Report ‘In Your Face’ spoke to more than 1,000 young people aged 11 to 16 years old and is available in full and with guidance about bullying on from the YMCA.