Body positivity

Project duration:

01.03.2022 – 28.02.2023

Project number:

2021-2-PL01-ESC30-SOL-000038117

The aim of the project is to strengthen self-esteem of young people (14-20), free them from provincial complexes and pressures, broaden horizons, give the courage to self-realization and self-confidence independent of fitting into the canon of beauty. The project will be implemented in Kętrzyn.  The project includes ten activities carried out using workshop methods. There will be used informal methods of work, activating participants during the activities. Youth will be able to join single or several classes, depending on needs. The meetings will be conducted by specialists, so they will be on a high substantive level.

Activities to be undertaken in the project:

Workshop "The essence of beauty - how canons changed at the turn of the century".

Objectives: In this activity participants will learn about the evolution of beauty canons on the example of art (sculpture, painting), with reference to Umberto Eco’s “history of ugliness” and “history of beauty”. They will see how the perception of the body has changed over the centuries, how cultural conditions have influenced this process, and what stereotypes exist today. During the workshops we will debunk myths about appearance, discuss whether it is ok to be not ok and why our culture is saturated with expectations about our bodies (in the shape, size and appearance of the body we read stories about strength, weakness, femininity, masculinity, good, evil, stupidity, wisdom, etc.).

Workshop "Media without secrets"

Objectives: Together we will consider how the body of another person is presented in the mass media, why obese or disabled people are excluded from the media as an image of something inferior, where did the popularization of nudity in the media come from and where did the emphasis on the cult of a beautiful and attractive body come from? We will show the participants how social media functions and how reality is created by means of computer programs. We will point out that social media manipulates us with images and that audience pressure may have an impact on what influencers present in social media. We will learn what does #polishgirl and #instaboy look like.

Workshop "Beauty without filter"

Objectives: This activity will allow participants to see how an image (portrait) can be altered using computer programs (e.g. Photoshop, Lightroom, etc.). We will learn how light models the face, how the beauty of a person can be brought out by using digital equipment settings. The workshop will end with taking portrait photos of the participants. We would like the youth to take these photos themselves, trying to bring out the natural beauty of the other person.

Workshop "Our SPA"

Objectives: During the workshop we will learn simple and proven recipes, based only on natural ingredients. We will learn how to read the composition of cosmetics, and what to avoid in them. From the workshop, in addition to invaluable knowledge, participants will take their own handmade cosmetics and cleaning products, and simple and quick recipes to make cosmetics at home. Discovering the secrets of creating their own recipes, in addition to quality, is extremely engaging and fascinating.

Workshop "My wardrobe" - meeting with a local clothing designer"

Objectives: During the meeting, participants will learn how the process of designing clothes looks like, why the sizes of clothes available in chain stores are so different depending on the brand. What standards of beauty are created by the fashion industry, the media and pop culture? An important element will be building consumer and ecological responsibility in the participants.

Workshop "Body - go ahead!"

Objectives: During this activity, participants will learn about body positive and body neutral movements, what the lack of acceptance for one’s own body and appearance can lead to, and what dangers stem from that. We will talk about the causes of eating disorders (anorexia, bulimia), but also draw attention to the fact that excessive care about appearance leads to another disorder, which is orthorexia. A dietician will tell us how to eat with our heads and how to provide ourselves with a balanced diet adapted to our needs.

Workshop "Me and my complexes"

Objective: Obsession with appearance manifests itself in constant dissatisfaction with one’s own body. It can take a milder form that, apart from the negative impact on our mood, does not threaten our health. In extreme cases it leads to a disease called dysmorphophobia. During this activity we will put emphasis on building self-esteem, we will train ourselves to notice the unconventional beauty of our body. One of the elements of this activity will be a workshop of casting a fragment of your body (there may be other “problematic to like” frames).

Workshop "We all need intimacy"

Objectives: The specialist will introduce us to the topic of sexual diversity and gender identity, we will talk about the needs of teenagers, discuss facts and myths about sex education, how the body changes during puberty, how to build good, safe relationships, characterized by respect for the other person. How do teenagers with disabilities feel about their sexual needs? We will discuss whether adults are ashamed to talk to their children about sex.

Workshop "How to support a child's good relationship with their own body"

Objectives: The meeting will provide an opportunity for parents to look at their own beliefs about corporeality, words that hinder and facilitate children’s building a good, with their own bodies, strategies parents can reach for to help their children be comfortable in their own skin. This activity will give space to show the needs of young people resulting from their natural development (search for themselves, need for independence, self-reliance, experimenting with their own appearance), draw parents’ attention to the importance of a supportive family system based on full acceptance.

Workshop Informed consent - workshop + self-defense training

Objectives: During the workshop, participants will learn what informed consent is, in which types of contacts between people consent is important, who can give informed consent, how to recognize that a relationship or intimacy with someone is dangerous, what sexual violence is, what is sexting, body-shaming, sexualization, sexism. We will try to dispel stereotypes about relationships in marriage (e.g. that marriage is automatic consent to sex), we will talk about psychosomatic symptoms that indicate violation of your boundaries and how to protect yourself from psychological and physical violence, where to seek help. A specialist will show us how to defend ourselves against physical assault.

The project is co-financed and implemented by the European Solidarity Corps programme

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