Friday, 21 March 2014

Dove & Girlguiding UK launch body confidence badge

You may remember a while back, I blogged about body confidence issues and Dove's Self Esteem Project designed to help young women and girls think about real beauty and see through all the photoshopping and other tricks used to make models and famous people look unrealistically good. I was delighted to learn that they've partnered up with Girlguiding UK to introduce the first body confidence badge that young Girl Guides can work towards achieving. This is part of a huge programme designed to empower girls throughout the UK and I think it's a great idea. More details below.



Girlguiding and the Dove Self-Esteem Project today announced the nationwide roll-out of a ground-breaking programme to empower thousands of young people across the UK to speak out and challenge beauty myths – and boost the body confidence of a whole generation.

The new programme - Free Being Me – challenges young women to stand up and take action to stop unhealthy body ideals affecting the next generation of girls. Girlguiding Peer Educators will deliver body-confidence training to thousands of seven to 14-year-olds: unmasking society’s beauty myths, exposing airbrushing and challenging unhealthy body talk. The trainings will take place in thousands of Brownie and Guide groups over the next two years.

Peer Educators are young women aged between 14 and 25 years old specially trained to talk frankly to girls about a range of sensitive issues– from bullying and eating disorders to sex and healthy relationships. They are being trained to deliver the Free Being Me programme at a special event this weekend in Staffordshire. (March 21st- March 23rd)

Nearly 1,000 young women will be recruited and trained to deliver the programme by 2016.

Group activities will see girls challenged to become body confidence “correspondents” – hosting press conferences and coming up with their own self-esteem boosting news stories. They will also be tasked with taking the body confidence message viral using posters, video and t-shirts to spread the word in their schools and communities.

They will be rewarded for their efforts with a special Free Being Me badge, the first body-confidence badge of its kind in the UK.

Girlguiding and the Dove Self-Esteem Project is taking action to tackle a growing body confidence crisis among girls and young women. Latest research by Girlguiding reveals girls feel under intense pressure to look a certain way – which is having a damaging effect on their future aspirations.

Girlguiding’s Girls’ Attitudes Survey 2013 found:

· One in five girls of primary school age say they have been on a diet
· 38 per cent of girls aged 11-to-21 say they have sometimes skipped meals to help lose weight.
· One in four girls aged between 11-to-21 would consider cosmetic surgery
· 87 per cent think they are judged more on looks than ability.
· 43 per cent of girls say the way women are sometimes criticised for their looks on TV puts them off wanting to be on TV themselves.

Meanwhile, alarming statistics from Dove show that 47 per cent of 11-14 year old girls are opting out of everyday activities such as swimming and speaking up in class because they don’t like how they look.
Laura Ede, 24, Chair of Girlguiding’s Peer Education National Co-ordination and Support Team, said: “Young people today are under constant pressure to conform to impossible and unattainable standards of beauty in a society obsessed with image and appearance.

“Free Being Me shows young people just how ridiculous this ‘Image Myth’ really is – teaching them to value their bodies and celebrate diversity – so they are never put-off doing something because of the way they look."

Other blogposts you may be interested in :

Dove launch the Self-Esteem Project to help parents build their daughters' body confidence and self esteem


  1. The other day I posted about my 8 and 6 year old girls refusing to wear a skirt without tights because they were ashamed of their hairy legs. Kaycee (8) goes to Brownies and Ella will be going soon so I'm really very happy to read about this new badge :)

    1. It's scary how young they are when they start worrying about things like that now - I guess it's down to the influence of TV & magazines. So sad that carefree childhood innocence is lost so soon :(