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‘Praise character over appearance’ was the message our young people heard earlier in the week. 160 students from years 10 and 11 took part in engaging presentations on Body Esteem, presented by from The Butterfly Foundation.

WSSC’s Jacqui Boehringer and students Tara Rockermer, Steph Lee, Isaac Thompson and Tyler Evans with presenter Amberley

We explored stereotypes and how they shape us, and how it’s during times of transition that we are most vulnerable to these influences.

Our mindset can be either a Positive voice , which we called our Inner Coach or Cheerleader and our Negative voice, which we called our Inner Bully or Critic. We noted the louder voice is often the Inner Bully! We were encouraged to hear, or tune in more to our Inner coach.

We explored the concepts of ‘Fat Talk’ and ‘Negative Body Talk’. We determined that these are toxic as they reaffirm appearance ideals, and thought about how the media directs us to thinking about ourselves as incomplete or needing more to be happy.

We were encouraged to have Self-Compassion.
To recognise no one is perfect and we are not alone in our experiences.
To have self-kindness. To be kind to ourselves when we fail, suffer or feel inadequate.
To cheer your Inner Coach.
To practise Mindfulness. To recognise that some days are great, some are not. But this feeling will pass.

Thanks to Headspace and School Focus Youth Services for bringing The Butterfly Foundation to the North East for the week.
Young people were encouraged to Take Action Together. To raise awareness on Body Esteem and Look out for their friends and notice change, find a trusted adult and get the tools they need.


Jacqui Boehringer
Defence Transition Mentor


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