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The Centre for Appearance Research (CAR) at University of the West of England (UWE Bristol), has partnered with educational games specialists Focus Games Ltd to launch an exciting new resource to help children understand and respect the differences in people’s appearances. CAR is a world-leading centre of excellence in psychological issues related to appearance and body image.

Everybody’s Different: The Appearance Game is an educational board game that aims to help young people to discuss and explore issues around appearance and body image.

Many young people are happy with the way they look, but many are not. Factors including the media, and their friends and family can influence how they feel about their own appearance, and how they react to other people, including those who have a visible difference (disfigurement) of any sort. Celebrating and appreciating the variety in people’s appearance is really important, and this game aims to help children understand that differences in appearance are normal, and people come in many different shapes, colours, sizes and appearances.

Professor Diana Harcourt, Director of CAR said, “We know that appearance is an important and sometimes worrying issue for many young people. We are always looking for new ways to encourage people to be more accepting of diversity of appearance, and to feel confident about their own bodies. This game is a novel way of helping young people to consider some appearance-related issues including how the media influences how they feel about their own appearance and how they relate to people who look in any way different. It encourages them to think positively about their own bodies, and to think about what they can do, not just what they look like.

The launch of Everybody’s Different: The Appearance Game, comes prior to the 1st December UK release of “Wonder”, a Lionsgate production based on the bestselling novel by R.J Palacio. “Wonder” tells the story of Auggie Pullman, a ten-year old boy with a visible facial difference and his uplifting journey to find acceptance as he starts mainstream school for the first time.

It is hoped that the launch of both the film and the board game will spark conversations and awareness around appearance and visible difference, and encourage both children and adults to be more accepting of differences in appearance, and to feel positive about their own body image.

Everybody’s Different: The Appearance Game is a team board game for up to 8 players, aged 9 and above. Two teams compete against each other, asking and answering questions, and completing activities which promote discussion around body image, appearance and differences.

Questions and activities explore a variety of key topics including body confidence, visible difference, body talk, appearance related bullying, appearance ideals in the media and putting appearance in perspective.The game is a fun but informative alternative to traditional educational activities, and could be used by schools, groups or clubs, or for health promotion.

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