This was our vision back in 2013 as we began the Free Being Me project in a joint partnership between WAGGGS and Dove. Three years later we are closer than ever to realising this vision, having reached 3.28 million girls and boys through Free Being Me activities, and on track to reaching our 3.5 million target by December 2016.
A truly global programme, Free Being Me has been translated into 19 languages and delivered in 125 countries. We would like to say a huge thank you to all the Member Organisations, leaders, girls and boys that are leading the movement for body confidence and positive self-image.
In every society myths and stereotypes exist on what it means to be beautiful. Young people around the world have been challenging these ideas and fighting against the pressures they increasingly face to conform to these narrow and unrealistic ideals. Through their Take Action projects, girls and boys are spreading the Free Being Me message to their wider community, encouraging their peers to value themselves and the differences that make us all unique.
Many Member Organisations have received national press coverage for the work they are doing as pioneers in body confidence education, and young women are calling on decision makers to include body confidence in the global conversation on girls’ rights at advocacy events such as the Commission on the Status of Women.
Girl Guides in Nigeria taking action against skin bleaching
However, there´s still a lot more to do! In today´s digital world, where we are bombarded by photo-shopped images every day, and where as many as nine out of ten teenage girls are re-touching their Facebook pictures before publishing online, it is more important than ever that we lay the foundations for young people to develop a positive relationship with their bodies as they grow into adults.
Poor body confidence leads children to stop participating in important life activities such as playing sports, going to social events and putting their hands up in the classroom. This can prevent them from reaching their full potential- as they grow into adults these barriers can stop them from going to a job interview or going to work.
We must continue to raise our voices for a more positive and accepting world, where what we look like will not determine how successful we will be, nor is a source of shame and insecurity in how we see ourselves.
That is why we are pleased to announce the second phase of Free Being Me from 2017- 2020. We want to continue supporting Member Organisations (MOs) to be change makers for a more body confident generation- here´s how:
- Continuing to deliver Free Being Me: We will support MOs to continue delivering the Free Being Me programme- any MO can get involved, and small grants will be available through the Free Being Me fund to support activities such as training events and translating the activity packs into your local language.
- Action on body confidence: We will develop a new badge programme to support young people to plan and deliver community action and advocacy projects that promote body confidence. We expect to launch the programme in early 2017.
- We will provide support to MOs interested in running their own national campaign on body confidence.
We look forward to working together in this new phase of Free Being Me as we empower members around the world to become the agents of change in their local community and develop the skills to advocate to national and global policy makers.
In joining together, we can change the outlook of a generation!
If you have any questions on the next phase of Free Being Me please email firstname.lastname@example.org