As many of you know, a good chunk of my “spare time” is spent volunteering with GIrlguiding UK. Currently I help lead two units – a Guide Unit with girls aged 10-14, and a Ranger Unit with (soon to be two groups) of young women aged 14-25.
One of the things that has come up again is issues of body image, self-esteem and self-consciousness. At our first meeting of Guides this term, we asked them what issues they felt girls their age were facing today. The perceptions of girls and their ability to participate in sport, or unwillingness to participate in sport or what they are told about participating in certain sports was a hot topic that the girls spent a lot of time talking about with no prompting from us. I’ve heard more than one of our girls tell me they think they are fat, or that they ‘can’t do it’.
I had heard about the ‘This Girl Can’ campaign through following Clare Balding on twitter. I love what she is trying to do to get women more equally recognised for their sporting achievements, and saw pictures of the campaign launch night.
Because it isn’t just young girls who struggle with body image and feeling self conscious…women of all ages do. And quite frankly if us older generations don’t get ourselves in a place where we are content with who we are, then the generations coming up are going to learn from us that they should have issues with body image too.
Be inspired. Get active. Quit judging. Find people you’re comfortable with being yourself and do it together, or if you prefer, use the exercise time to have some peace to yourself!
Oh, and get a good sports bra. Trust me, especially if you go on a running machine or do zumba…you’ll appreciate that support (or as I like to call it boob prison…sometimes I wear a bra and then my sports bra over the top for extra boob incarceration!!)
Thank you to the women who took part in filming. Thank you for showing that yes…WOMEN CAN!
What is your favourite way to stay active?