Body Confidence Awareness Week
Body-shaming is an epidemic. Body Confidence Awareness Week (BCAW) helps to create systemic shifts in schools and community organizations by addressing body and/or appearance-based discrimination and Gender Based Violence through awareness, prevention and intervention. We are thrilled to have Body Confidence Awareness Week recognized across two of Canada’s largest school boards . This October more that 300,000 students and over 600 schools across two provinces will be able to celebrate #BCAWEEK.
On April 19, 2017 Toronto District School Board, Canada’s largest school board, became the first to pass this motion created by Trustee Tiffany Ford and seconded by Trustee Jennifer Story. On May 15th, 2017 Winnipeg School Board, the largest school division in Winnipeg, Manitoba passed this motion created by Trustee Lisa Naylor.
BCAW provides an opportunity for students, educators, school staff, community stakeholders (i.e. parents, caregivers etc.) and local organizations to gain an intersectional socio-cultural awareness of the importance of respecting body diversity. Body Confidence, is an individual’s ability to “love the skin they are in” within a safe, caring, equitable and inclusive environment where they are free from judgment, exclusion, lack of access to resources or ridicule because of their physical appearance. Body Confidence can only be achieved if body equity is front and centre. When youth feel comfortable “in their skin,” their self-esteem radiates. This directly compliments their ability to be better social, emotional, academic and civically well-rounded students with a greater impact of their student voice resonating in their school and larger community.
We invite your school board, division, and community organizations to consider adopting the 2nd week of October annually as Body Confidence Awareness Week (BCAW). According to most research, appearance, body image, and sometimes referred to more generally as “looks,” emerges as the greatest concern of children/youth of any age. Adults are not immune either with over 95% of adults, inclusive of all genders reporting ‘body issues’ and experiences with body discrimination. The societal pressures to adhere to unrealistic body and beauty ideals also encompass more than only size, shape and weight concerns. Pressures are often experienced to an even greater extent for those of whom their body image intersects with their identities as disabled, racialized, LGBTQ2, gender non-conforming and newcomers often dealing with acculturation/assimilation influences among others.
Body Confidence Canada is available to consult and collaborate with you as necessary with additional resources and supports as you begin to implement BCAW at your school or community organization.
To learn more about Body Confidence Awareness Week visit us here