Get Involved: Be Real body confidence campaign

10624794_756102464455558_8043322634630947295_nAs a public platform for professional and personal growth for inspirational women in business, charity, politics and sport, We Are The City are proud to support YMCA England in the Be Real: Body Confidence for Everyone campaign.

Join the national movement to change attitudes to body image and help all of us in the UK put health above appearance and be confident in our bodies.

Did you know that more than half the population in the UK suffer from low body confidence?

Too often, the way we look becomes a measure of who we are. There is a growing pressure on achieving an aesthetic ideal – an ideal that few of us can ever live up to. On average, we see 1,500 adverts a day but they rarely feature someone who looks like we do. We can’t feel confident in our bodies if we never see them reflected back at us. The people we see in the media don’t reflect the true diversity of Britain – not only in terms of shape and size, but also of ethnicity and disability. This is damaging lives. It affects everyone – all ages, both sexes – and starts young. It impacts people’s physical and mental health and holds them back in life, stopping them from achieving all they could. And for children and young people, low body confidence has a critical impact on their mental health, stunting their confidence and ambitions for the future. A third of children say they worry about the way they look and appearance is the largest cause of bullying in schools.

Be Real launched in October 2014. Our goal is to help everyone, whatever our size, ethnicity or ability, to put health above appearance and be confident in our bodies.

To make this change happen, our campaign is focusing on three key areas:

1. Real education: We want to give children and young people a body confident start to life. We’re calling for parents to set a positive example, schools to adopt a whole-school approach and young people to support each other to be body confident.

2. Real health: We want healthy living and general wellbeing to be prioritised over just appearance and weight. We’re calling for the healthcare sector and those in the diet, health and fitness industries to promote long-term healthy living and wellbeing ahead of short-term quick fixes. We want individuals to celebrate feeling good and being healthy.

3. Real diversity: We want the media, businesses and advertisers to positively reflect what we really look like. We’re calling for businesses, publishers, editors and advertisers to act responsibly by positively promoting different body shapes and sizes, people with and without disabilities and all ages, genders and ethnicities. We want the public to choose brands that promote body confidence and challenge those that don’t.

With 36 million people unhappy about how they look, 15 million people on a diet and 1.6 million with an eating disorder, low body confidence is a major public health issue for the UK.

Being real makes business sense. Consumers are 200% more likely to buy products if adverts show people with realistic body shapes. A body confident workforce is a healthier, happier and more productive one.

The relationship we have with our bodies is a long and important one. Feeling confident about how our body looks and works is vital for good physical and mental health.

Talk to your networks about the campaign and Be a positive force for body confidence.

YMCA are uniting schools, businesses, charities, public bodies and individuals to change behaviour and celebrate real, healthy and diverse bodies.

Join us today: together we can build a body confident nation.

The campaign is coordinated by YMCA and supported by leading brands, including Dove bareMinerals, Debenhams, Facebook, Forster Communications, Government Equalities Office, N Brown, New Look and Superdrug.

Find out more here:

You can also donate to help make lasting change here:

Follow us for more info and live updates: @BeReal_Campaign and

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