WAGGGS and Dove have been working together towards an incredible mission - to create a world where no one is worried about the way they look.
Earlier this year, our Peer Education Trainer, Emma, 29, joined her fellow Body Positivity enthusiasts at the WAGGGS and Dove Free Being Me event.
Emma tells us all about her incredible day and shares how her zest for Body Positivity inspires her role here at Girlguiding North West England.
What encouraged you to apply for the WAGGGS Dove event?
I had seen that WAGGGS had been invited by Dove to come and talk about body-confidence to their partners and influencers from around the world. They needed someone who loved Free Being Me and Action on Body Confidence who was willing to travel down and talk about the amazing work the resources has achieved not only here in the UK but also around the world - I knew it was an opportunity for me.
When I was a Peer Educator I had the privilege of training so many young women on Free Being Me. I chose body-confidence and media influence on young women as my research area for my Queen’s Guide Award. As part of this, I was asked to take part in a media conference in London in 2015 that connected young people with major media chains to talk about how things could be changed for the better.
I am passionate about the topic and the amazing resources WAGGGS and Dove Self-Esteem Project have created and so I was eager to be able to attend the event.
What did your day at the WAGGGS event look like?
I was so excited for this opportunity and I was not disappointed. I and a member of WAGGGS travelled around London in a Dove-sponsored bus, talking to people from around the world about the success of Free Being Me.
It was great to be able to share our stories and insight into the views of the young women Girlguiding and WAGGGS work with and hear about projects that other partners are doing with Dove in relation to body-confidence around the world as well as Dove’s new project #ShowUS.
What did you enjoy most about your day?
Talking to so many women from around the world about the amazing things they do on body-confidence – it was inspiring! It was good to reflect on the work WAGGGS and Dove have achieved and continue to achieve in their partnership – I am very proud to be a small part of it.
There were many telling me all about their campaigns to make a change in their communities, all of which were inspiring, but I was sat there thinking many of our members have also done so many great things through the Free Being Me resources that have impacted on so many lives - from delivering assemblies and poster campaigns at schools to creating an inclusive fashion show that made national headlines – our girls are changing the culture around body-confidence.
If we all do a small bit, as often as we can, collectively we can make the world a much more body-confident place for all.
Do tell us more about your thoughts on body-confidence and self-esteem in girls.
I am always concerned when I hear girls unhappy with how they look, dieting, and taking drastic measures to change their appearances at such a young age. I always remind them, they are beautiful just as they are, be proud of their bodies, be proud of the skin they are in, they are quite literally one-of-a-kind, embrace it!
What changes would you like to see in female body confidence and self-esteem?
Women being more openly supportive of one another - not judging or comparing themselves but instead embracing the variety and beauty of the female body in all its forms.
What would you say to girls/young women struggling with body confidence and self-esteem?
You are beautiful! You are unique and the only person in the world that looks like you – be proud of that – embrace it and enjoy it.