Kiwis to share body confidence stories

Research by Kellogg's cereal brand Special K showed seven out of 10 New Zealand women have an "I hate my body" moment every week. Photo: Kellogg's New Zealand/YouTube
Research by Kellogg's cereal brand Special K showed seven out of 10 New Zealand women have an "I hate my body" moment every week. Photo: Kellogg's New Zealand/YouTube

High-profile Kiwi women will tonight share their own body confidence stories as a campaign begins to encourage women to love their bodies.

Research by Kellogg's cereal brand Special K showed seven out of 10 New Zealand women have an "I hate my body" moment every week, prompting the breakfast food giant to launch the #OwnIt campaign.

Influential women, including broadcaster Kerre McIvor, Silver Fern Maria Tutaia and former model and alOpecia ambassador Anna Reeve, will share their own body positivity stories on social media tonight.

The survey of 602 women aged between 18 and 54 also found almost two-thirds don't wear certain clothes because of doubt about their physical appearance and almost half avoided beaches or pools because they were afraid of wearing a swimsuit.

The most common focus of body blues for Kiwi women is the mid-section, with 82 per cent of women surveyed saying their belly or waist caused them self-doubt or negativity.

Almost a quarter admitted avoiding the gym or participating in sports because of concerns about their appearance.

The survey found 8 per cent of women did not apply for a job that they felt they were qualified for because of doubt about their physical appearance.

Kellogg's Australia New Zealand spokeswoman Tamara Howe said the campaign aimed to counter the negativity women directed at their bodies.

"While we may not be able to eliminate self-doubt for women, we can be their ally in the fight against it, by exposing how widespread it is and becoming an advocate for body confidence and inner strength. When Kiwi women are able to take control of self-doubt, they are stronger, more confident and ultimately empowered."

Women's Health Action, a charitable trust aimed at improving body image among young people, is also involved in the campaign.

Director Julie Radford-Poupard said body image was a critical health issue, particularly for women and girls.

"The Special K #OwnIt campaign is a welcome addition to the cause. It highlights the role body image can play in such damaging practices as depression, bullying, eating disorders, reduced physical activity, poorer sexual health, diminished sexual negotiation, risk taking behaviours and lower self-esteem."

- NZ Herald

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