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Dove launches ‘Free Being Me’ badge with Girl Guides

Dove has partnered with the Girl Guides to launch a new badge as part of its work to tackle body confidence issues in girls around the world.

'Free Being Me'

Guides free-being me Dove self esteem badge

The ‘Free Being Me’ badge will be awarded to girls between the ages of ten and 14 who participate in activities which help to educate them on common body myths and expose practices such as photoshopping of models in magazines, which fuel unrealistic images of beauty. The badge will also be available to younger girls aged seven to ten in the Brownies.

Overall Dove is aiming to reach more than 400,000 girls and young women by the end of 2016 as part of its Dove Self-Esteem project. Those who take the courses are encouraged to become ‘body confidence correspondents’ and spread the word about body image in their local community through posters, videos, t-shirts and even public service announcements to help others feel more confident in their own skin.

The badges – which have launched in the UK and US markets – are being rolled out internationally and will include Spanish, French and Arabic versions.

Boosting body confidence

Lucy Attley, Dove UK and Ireland Brand Director, says that low body confidence is a serious issue which can have a “vast and damaging” long-term impact on quality of life.

“The Free Being Me badge builds upon the work being done by the Dove Self-Esteem project, allowing us to reach more young people and positively affect their body confidence and self-esteem so they can realise their full potential in life,” she adds.

Scary statistics

The work comes after research undertaken by Girl Guides UK found that one in five primary school girls had been on a diet, while 47% of girls between the ages of 11 to 21 were unhappy with their looks and 87% said they thought they were judged more on their looks than their abilities.

Jenna Nicholls, one of nearly 1,000 peer educators who are being specially trained to deliver the programme, says: “They are quite scary statistics, as is the fact that people are seeing this as acceptable behaviour.

“I have seen friends go through eating disorders, really suffer from self-confidence issues. It’s always there, there’s always that constant expectation to look a certain way.”

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