This page contains various resources that are useful for researchers and practitioners relating to increasing awareness and promoting research.
About Appearance Matters: the Podcast!
Appearance Matters: The Podcast! is produced by the Centre for Appearance Research (CAR) – an internationally renowned academic authority for body image and appearance research. The podcast is ideal for health practitioners, educators, social workers, students, as well as anyone else interested in issues related to body image and appearance.
Each month, CAR releases a new episode on a different topic related to body image, appearance, and visible difference. Some of the most popular episodes to date are on mindfulness and body image, Barbie’s new body, body image interventions, the colour of beauty, and feminism and body image.
To date, the podcast has been listened to in over 100 countries across six-continents, and has been recognised by the British Psychological Society.
The podcast is available to listen to on Soundcloud, Acast and iTunes.
The aim of this project is to develop training materials, supported by a range of resources, for new or existing vocational guidance counselors and vocational trainers. These training materials will be designed to enable professionals to understand and recognize the causes and consequences of disfigurement and/or appearance dissatisfaction in their clients and the stigma, the potential consequences of appearance-related distress, and techniques for addressing these in vocational training settings.
The material includes 7 training modules and theoretical report on appearance in 6 languages – English, Swedish, Norwegian, Italian, Lithuanian and German.
Link to the website: Appearance Matters
Negative body image can adversely affect a person`s self-esteem which, in turn, impacts on other aspects of his or her life, from school and work performance to daily interaction with friends and colleagues.
The negative consequences cut across all key areas of living, including health, psychosocial wellbeing, education and vocational functioning as well as contributing to social exclusion.
These negative consequences are recognized as formidable obstacles. All of these facts bring the Mirror, Mirror project into focus:with its aim of developing a training package
that will increase the awareness, knowledge for teachers about the potential consequences of negative body image.
Links to material:
Lack of adequate psychosocial training to provide suitable provision of care to families that are affected by disfigurement, unintentional marginalization and social exclusion are becoming increasing problems in some European countries. In many cases health care professionals lack the capacity to deliver appropriate psychosocial care in combination with not understanding the specific cultural stigma associated with disfigurement.
A consortium of experts from across seven European countries are collaborating to develop a training resource for health professionals together with RSBDF (Norway) and ECO (The Netherlands) that aims to optimise the provision of psychosocial support for individuals with visible difference, which is currently ongoing.
Link to website – Face Value
Body image dissatisfaction, resulting from disfigurement or the consequence of perceived social pressure to conform to unrealistic and narrow beauty ideals, indiscriminately affects the mental and physical health of a significant and growing proportion of the European population. Those with disfigurement also experience social discrimination that negatively impacts on personal aspirations, education and work opportunities. As medical advances improve the survival rates of those born with or who acquire a disfigurement, and the demand for cosmetic interventions and psychological support increases, professionals from diverse health and social care areas are increasingly being exposed to the challenges of identifying and addressing the needs of patients burdened by complex and unique psychosocial issues. These professionals are perfectly placed to ameliorate these issues but report that they often lack the necessary expertise to help and therefore patient access to expert support is inadequate.
An EU funded collaboration between Universities and NGO’s across six European countries is developing (ongoing) an academic programme for health professionals from a variety of specialist areas, which will provide training to enable them to identify and support patients with appearance-related issues and thus optimise patient outcomes.
Link to website – When Looks
In Europe, 1 one out of 40 pregnancies is affected by a congenital anomalies (birth defects) that can result in medical, social and/or psychological disabilities throughout the lifespan for the affected individuals and their families. When it come to children with disabilities there are often negative consequences in their education, which can have a detrimental effect on their future. Currently the lack of adequate psychosocial training for many health care professionals in Europe to address the medical and treatment aspects that can influences educational achievement is inadequate. The consequences for those individuals with congenital anomalies is that they become unintentionally marginalised in educational settings across Europe, which substantially increases the risk for social exclusion throughout their lifetime.
A consortium of experts from across seven European countries are collaborating to develop a training resource for health professionals together.
Link to website – IHEM
CAR strives to make a real difference to the lives of the millions of people worldwide with appearance-related concerns. We conduct applied, interdisciplinary research to understand the size, impact and root causes of appearance concerns. We use this knowledge to develop practical, evidence-based strategies to help individuals and communities, and to shift social norms.