This week’s #TradesTalk Twitter chat returned to the topic of mental health, with a focus on body image to match the theme of this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week.
The trades discussed the reasons for poor body image, how that can impact mental health and what the solutions might be. Here is our round-up of the best bits.
The first question looked at poor body image, and there was a huge variety of answers with many people feeling they had become more comfortable as they got older.
A1 Fine now, pretty self conscious 3 years ago. I let myself go for years and put on some weight. I have since dropped about 30 pounds and it has made a huge difference to my confidence. #TradesTalk
— Oilcanfinish Landscaping and Property Maintenance (@oilcanfinish) May 14, 2019
A1 I love my body, I feel happy within. So I’m going to say good body image regardless of what others say or think. #TradesTalk
— Dyfed Roberts (@DyfedRoberts) May 14, 2019
The Mental Health Foundation‘s research suggests that social media plays an important role in body image, and this was discussed next.
I don't think people realise just how easily social media can impact you and your opinion of yourself. When all you see online is the 'ideal' body type, it's hard not to believe that's the way you should look and it can often end up with trying to lose a few lbs #TradesTalk
— Options Skills (@OptionsSkills) May 15, 2019
A2: It's up to social media + the media in general to stop promoting stick thin models + more or less telling people how or what they should look like. Also it's up the parents to teach them them that people will like them for who they are and not what they look like #TradesTalk
— Bitter & Twisted Future (@Bearded_Toaster) May 14, 2019
Yes but in a positive way. I’m a realist and don’t expect to get slim drinking cup of coffee or tea
— Marc (@Marc_I_Jones) May 14, 2019
The conversation then moved on to other influences on mental health and body image.
A3 friends and family can dress it up as banter but can effect people quite a bit #TradesTalk
— Lloyd Stafford (@lloydlwlheating) May 14, 2019
A3 Society!!! Everyone has to copy of everyone else and fit into a perfect pc world of bmi and healthy living.
Well not me sorry.
— HB Chippy (@hb_chippy) May 14, 2019
Oh and not being able to fit in the places I need to to do my job or reach as far as I would like.. hahaha
— Ellen (@EllenPlumber) May 14, 2019
The fourth question was about whether the trades are expected to look a certain way.
A4 No, as long as you are clean and presentable I don’t think much else matters. #TradesTalk
— S.N.L Home Repairs (@snlhomerepairs) May 14, 2019
A4:occasionally people assume I can’t be very strong, or lift boilers etc because of my build. It’s like they think I’d be bigger if I did it more.
They just aren’t familiar with wirey strength.#TradesTalk
— Green Albion Ltd (@GreenAlbionLtd) May 14, 2019
The next question asked the #TradesTalk community to define their body image, with mixed results.
Bloody amazing in my eyes – because that’s all that matters –
— AC plumbing&heating (@plumbing_ac) May 14, 2019
A5: Can do it in one word. Content #TradesTalk
— Christina Birch (@CBirchy81) May 14, 2019
— Artisan Electrics (@ArtElectrics) May 14, 2019
The final question looked at measures to improve body image.
Hard to beat this! pic.twitter.com/3Xlx2Y66HV
— Bott Smartvan (@bottsmartvan) May 14, 2019
#TradesTalk takes place on Twitter every Tuesday from 8-9pm, talking about everything from tools to mental health.