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National Survey finds that more than 1 in 3 Australians are unhappy with the way they look


Monday 3rd September – Today sees the launch of the first national ‘Insights In Body Esteem’ Report produced by The Butterfly Research Institute with support from corporate partner Sportsgirl. As a result of the report, the Butterfly Foundation is calling on every Australian to play their part in changing how we talk about our bodies and others this Love Your Body Week, 3rd -9th September.

The Butterfly Foundation CEO Christine Morgan says the results from the survey are very concerning but set the foundation for much needed change in Australia.

“Through a national survey The Butterfly Foundation invited Australians to share insights into the perceptions of their bodies and how this impacts on their day to day life.  Survey results show that we are placing immense pressure on ourselves to look a certain way and often make negative comparisons to others.”

“The survey shows that more than half of Australians rarely speak positively about themselves and remember being teased about their appearance as some point in their life. How we talk about our own and others’ appearance can seriously impact body confidence. This is not just about being kinder to ourselves and others. There are serious health ramifications if we do not challenge fundamental belief structures that are translating into nationwide body shape and size stigma.”

“When poor body self-esteem impacts on an individual’s self-worth and value system it can cripple their ability to fully participate in life. Shifting national conversation about body image is a huge undertaking that requires investment in stigma reduction and health promotion but, if we acknowledge the complexity of the problem and each play our part as individuals, it is more than achievable.”

“This Love Your Body Week, the Butterfly Foundation is calling on everyone to reconsider how they talk about their body. Language matters when it comes to body confidence, both for ourselves and others. Conversation must change.”

Key findings from the survey include:

  • Over 40% of people are dissatisfied with their appearance.
  • An overwhelming 73% of people wished they could change the way they look.
  • 66.6% of people remember being bullied or teased for their appearance at some stage in their life.
  • 41.5% of people most of the time or always compare themselves to others on social media
  • 53.6% of people rarely or never speak positively about their appearance.

These survey results are just the start in supporting us to better understand what contributes to the high rates of body dissatisfaction in this country and how we can promote positive body image among Australians.

Colleen Callander, CEO, Sportsgirl, says, “The Butterfly foundation now has a better understanding of body image in Australia. This information will help advocate for funding with government, for a national health promotion campaign and drive messaging and programs within schools to build resilience and confidence in young people. Sportsgirl is thrilled to be in our 12th year of supporting the Butterfly Foundation and promoting Love Your Body Week to change the conversation around body image.”

This year the Butterfly Foundation have also collaborated with Instagram, who will announce their new “Own Your Feed” campaign during Love Your Body Week, which is committed to ensuring time spent on social media is positive, inspiring, and empowering. The campaign will include steps to manage your experience on Instagram, highlighting the safety and wellbeing tools available now on the app. Full details will be announced on Wednesday 5 September 2018.






Anyone needing support with eating disorders or body image issues is encouraged to contact Butterfly’s National Helpline on 1800 33 4673 or

For urgent support call Lifeline 13 11 14

Media Contact:
Danielle Cuthbert - The Butterfly Foundation     
0421 978 940  |
A reminder to refer to safe reporting guidelines on body image and eating disorders

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