The Fine Line Between Body Positivity and Obesity


Where do we draw the line between body acceptance having a positive effect on our mental health and obesity having a negative effect on our physical health? This is the question a Cardiff Metropolitan University student has been focusing on in her end of year showcase.

Izzy Young, 22, from Chepstow, has been studying Graphic Communication at the Cardiff School of Art and Design at Cardiff Met for the past three years. During the week-long CSAD Summer Show, Izzy’s graphic design installation will focus on the fine line between body positivity and obesity, immersing viewers in an interactive experience.

With a positive rise in recent years in body acceptance, championed by brands like Boots, who only use women with more ‘average’ body types for their promotional campaigns, Izzy’s project poses the question – is this positive trend on body acceptance having a negative effect on our physical health?

Izzy said: “1 in 4 adults in the UK are classed as obese. I was shocked by this statistic and wanted to use my skills in graphic communication to explore the link between these high numbers and the recent rise in body acceptance, and whether improved mental health is having a detrimental effect on physical health.

“The audience can engage with my piece, so when they touch the posters the sound of my voice can reveal a message. There are also various animations that communicate different messages, so the audience can reflect and vote on whether body positivity or obesity is more important to them.”

“CSAD has supported me by building on my transdisciplinary skills through working with other creatives in different fields, and it has given me the opportunity to travel abroad, enter competitions and work with live clients. The tutors have challenged and supported me throughout my degree to improve my creative and conceptual thinking.”

Izzy has also been awarded Membership to the International Society of Typographic Designers, allowing her to improve her typographic skills and work with renowned designers.

Izzy’s work will be presented at the CSAD summer show along with other final year students’ art and design pieces. The show runs from Wednesday 29 May until Tuesday 4 June. For more information, visit: