Body Confidence Awards 2014: Prepare To Be Inspired

To celebrate the end of Body Confidence Week.

The Body Confidence Awards 2014 last night saw charities, business leaders, journalists and celebrities come together to celebrate those leading the way in promoting positive body image.

Held at the House of Commons, the inspiring event was sponsored by bareMinerals and was hosted by Radio 1 DJ Jameela Jamil, who kicked off the evening by giving a very personal, and very moving, speech.

‘Body confidence is something that’s been incredibly close to my heart for a long time,’ she said. ‘It’s something that’s affected me and I’ve seen it devastate some of the most amazing people I know – a lot of them are women, but some of them are also men.

She continued: ‘We forget that our bodies are miracles, we forget that our minds are miracles, and we have so much to give. It’s so sad to watch us being held back by this invisible shadow that is looming over us – and it’s one that we ourselves now perpetuate every single day.

‘So, I stand here and I say to you “Pardon me, if I will always wobble just a little bit when I walk, pardon me, if I let my face wrinkle and I enjoy the smile lines that are growing on face because they show I have laughed, and pardon me, if I have enough stretch marks on my bottom to look like an A-Z of London. And, finally, pardon me, if I want the daughter, I may one day have, to grow up wanting a good heart, a good mind and a good life – and not a fucking thigh gap.’

Ten awards were presented to winners, chosen by a panel of experts, researchers and leaders within education, health and advertising industries, for their impact on improving body confidence.

The glamorous event came at the end of Body Confidence Week, which saw the launch of Be Real: Body Confidence for Everyone, a national movement made up of individuals, schools, businesses and charities to campaign for a change in attitudes towards body image.

Here’s a list of the Body Confidence Award winners:

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
Winner: Girlguiding
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.

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 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.

Congratulations to all the winners.

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