A CIRENCESTER therapist and a top London magazine artist have launched a new campaign to help Gloucestershire schoolchildren with body-image issues.

Solution-based hypnotherapist from the Cotswold Practice Dipti Tait is partnering up with London fashion ‘retoucher’ Toby Sillence in a series of presentations and workshops to show pupils how fashion magazines create unrealistic body-shape images.

“We’re calling the campaign ‘Skinny Lies’ because that’s exactly what children are having to deal with,” said Dipti. “Toby and I will be showing youngsters before-and-after images, and demonstrating exactly how photographs are retouched. Children need to understand that the figures they are aspiring to achieve are not realistically attainable.”

Toby has worked with some of the best fashion photographers in the world and has retouched images for magazines such as Vogue and Vanity Fair.

“He has worked intensively on images of all the well-known super models and knows exactly how to create a ‘fashion magazine mannequin’ image using the wonders of photoshop,” continued Dipti. “He is also keen to spread the word about the dangers of this sort of manipulation.”

This joint-initiative was brought on by the increase in problems related to body-image that Dipti has seen over the last year at her hypnotherapy practice.

“These body dysmorphia issues are not new ones but the severity seems to be increasing. I am seeing younger and younger girls and boys with symptoms such as anorexia, bulimia and obsessional compulsive disorders.

“These issues can lead to permanent problems with not only their physical development but also mental and emotional development if this goes untreated and unrecognised.”

A ‘Skinny Lies’ presentation is an hour long and requires a fee. It can be delivered in the classroom or an assembly with the opportunity to book further interactive photoshop workshops for a full or half day. For more information contact 07818 050999.