The Free Being Me programme
What is Free Being Me?
Free Being Me (FBM) is an educational programme that promotes body confidence and a world free from appearance-related anxiety. Through relevant, exciting, accessible and learner-led activities, young people learn that body confidence and self-esteem come from valuing their bodies, challenging beauty stereotypes and advocating for a healthy body image in their friends, and communities.
All around the world, young people – especially girls and young women – struggle with self-esteem as a result of low body confidence. They often lack body confidence because they are constantly told to achieve an impossibly ‘perfect’ look: society’s beauty standards. The impact of all this pressure has serious consequences on young people’s physical and mental health, and holds them back from achieving their full potential.
Free Being Me is expertly designed to support young people to recognise and challenge these global beauty pressures, grow their body confidence and ultimately become an unstoppable force for change.
Who can take part?
Any Girl Guide/Girl Scout group (girl-only and boys and girls mixed), aged 7-14, and 15 plus.
Why should my group take part?
Change lives: Academic studies and our own programmatic evaluations of Free Being Me have shown that taking part in activities like those in Free Being Me have a lasting impact on young people’s self-esteem.
Trust the science: Free Being Me has been created with world-leading experts in body confidence and its activities are based around the principles of cognitive dissonance and media literacy.
- Cognitive dissonance is the uncomfortable psychological state we experience when our actions and words do not match our beliefs and feelings. To reduce this discomfort, we try to change our beliefs to match what we are saying and doing. For example, many people believe in society’s beauty standards (even subconsciously). When we speak out against them, our belief in these standards will change over time to match what we’re saying.
- Media literacy is the ability to identify different types of media and critically analyse the messages they send. When we can judge them more critically, we can protect ourselves from ones that are untrue and harmful.
Community reach: at the end of the activities, your group will Take Action! You will reach out to your local community, boosting the body confidence of more children and young people, and raise the profile of Girl Guiding/Girl Scouting where you live.
Especially for you: written especially for our non-formal Girl Guiding/Girl Scouting setting, Free Being Me reflects the World Association’s values and focus on developing skills for life.
Develop young leaders: Free Being Me is ideal for peer educators or young leaders to run. Peer leaders may help girls and boys feel comfortable with taking a more active part in the activities.
What to do next
Apply for funding to deliver Free Being Me, and be trained as a Free Being Me Trainer.