On Thursday 16th October charities, organisations, businesses and high profile individuals came together at the House of Commons to celebrate those leading the way in promoting positive body image as part of the 2014 Body Confidence Awards.
The awards were held by the APPG on Body Image at the end of Body Confidence Week (13-19th October) which saw the launch of Be Real; Body Confidence for Everyone - a new national movement for body confidence.
Compèred by Radio 1 DJ Jameela Jamil and introduced by the campaign’s chair Caroline Nokes MP and founding partner Dove, the awards were attended by key influencers within the campaign’s three core areas, health, education and diversity, as well as celebrities such as Gok Wan, paralympian Stef Reid, fashion commentator, Caryn Franklin and comedian, Viv Groskop.
Ten awards were presented in total with winners chosen for their impact on improving body confidence, whether this was through a grass roots approach, reaching under-represented people, challenging perceptions of beauty, their scale or reach, or igniting debate and seeking to mainstream diversity. The winners have been selected by a judging panel made up of experts, researchers and leaders within education, health and advertising industries. The full list of winners is below.
1. Education in schools and colleges
Winner: The Self Esteem Team
The Self Esteem Team was hailed by the judges as a ‘small team doing great things’. To date the team has worked with about 40,000 teenagers, both boys and girls, delivering tailored body confidence lessons for teenagers ages 13 to 18 as well as parents and teachers. Whilst touching on subjects such as media literacy, self-harm, eating disorders, nutrition and exercise, the lessons are focused on self-esteem and good mental health for everyone.
2. Education outside schools and colleges
As the biggest membership organisation for girls and young women, Girlguiding was praised for a long-term commitment to developing girls’ body confidence, training up 250 peer educators to deliver their ‘Free Being Me’ programme. The programme was commended for delivering real, tangible impact.
3. Healthy eating
Winner: The Jamie Oliver Foundation
The Jamie Oliver Foundation was selected for its pioneering approach to improving the UK’s relationship with food through focused work with schools and communities. The charity was praised for ‘making healthy eating cool’ through the work of Jamie Oliver who is seeking to make a genuine difference.
4. Physical activity
Winner: Youth Sport Trust
Youth Sport Trust was selected for its Girls Active programme, which used the medium of sport to not just increase girls’ participation in PE and sport but in doing so, improved their body image and self-esteem. After the programme, girls who were happy with the way their body looked more than doubled showing real proof of impact linking clearly to self esteem and body confidence.
5. Responsible media and advertising
Winner: the guardian
The guardian was chosen for its Body Image column on the website, which covers all aspects of body image from mental wellbeing to physical health and brings the body image debate to the wider public. The paper’s ‘fashion for all ages’ series was also recognised for showing a commitment to representing different people. Judges commented that ‘the guardian has been sparking debate in this area long before anybody else has’ and that they ‘bring the body image debate to men as well as women’.
6. Responsible beauty
Winner: Lancôme and the partnership with Lupita Nyong’o
Judges said it was ‘inspiring to see a big beauty brand working with a non-Westernised, dark skinned, African American woman’ and were in admiration of the advocacy that Lupita is doing independently to spark debate around beauty. It was noted by judges that the fact that one of the main reasons this was shortlisted is because this happens so rarely says ‘a lot about the beauty industry and how far it has yet to go’.
7. Responsible fashion
Winner: ASOS Curve
ASOS Curve was commended for being an understated, quiet, ongoing campaign that has had a far ranging impact on the confidence of women through their affordable, fashionable clothes that they can feel good in. It was applauded for living its values on a day to day basis, for its ‘refreshing name’ and for using real women to model the line.
8. Dove Self-Esteem Award
Winner: Breast Cancer Care and Jill Hindley, Heather Shekede and Ismena Clout
This brave and honest campaign featuring Ismena and Jill showing their mastectomy scars and Heather posing with a letter to her body written on her back was praised for being an inspirational, honest, self-esteem boosting campaign for women experiencing breast surgery. The organisation was praised for being a vital network that addresses the emotional impact of a physical change.
9. Body Confidence Campaigner
Winner: Susie Orbach, psychotherapist, writer and UK convenor of www.endangeredbodies.org
Susie Orbach was selected for igniting the debate on body confidence and was regarded as a pioneer of the whole movement. Whether through her work with Dove, with the government, with Endangered Bodies, as a therapist or as a mentor, Susie has influenced many people on this topic and has helped the body confidence debate get to where it is today.
10. Body Confidence Individual Award: ‘People’s choice’
Winner: James Partridge, CEO Changing Faces
James Partridge was selected by the public for his ongoing advocacy on the subject of accepting one’s appearance both as an individual and as founder of charity ‘Changing Faces’ which supports and represent people with disfigurements of any cause. Since suffering severe burns in a car fire at 18 years old, James was highly commended for authoring ‘Changing Faces: the Challenge of Facial Disfigurement’ and has since presented widely on disfigurement, disability, inclusion and social entrepreneurship in the UK and internationally.
Caroline Nokes, MP, says: “As the number and diversity of the award winners show, body confidence is a complex issue. So many organisations, like our award winners, are doing fantastic work in this space but the UK’s body confidence problem can’t be resolved by a single person or even a single organisation.
She continues: “All of us need to play a part – parents, educators, businesses, charities, and what is different about Be Real campaign is that it recognises this. For the first time ever, we’ve come together with one shared aim. By working together we can and will build a body confident nation.”