May 6th is No Diet Day. This event, which began in Britain in 1992 with an anti-diet campaign called Diet Breakers, is now an annual internationally celebrated day that encourages community awareness and discussion about healthy attitudes to food, and celebrates diverse body shapes.
I think it is a day well worth commemorating at your school or workplace, hence the early heads-up. Here are some ideas you might like to pursue:
- Fundraising: The Butterfly Foundation, an organisation supporting Australians with eating disorders, is asking for groups to host a morning or afternoon tea, at which guests make gold coin donations to the foundation. For a fundraising kit, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
- Film screenings: Hairspray is one of my favourite feel-good movies to show girls. For older girls, Muriel’s Wedding offers some great messages on choosing to be yourself. Do you know of others?
- Art projects: I love Nancy Bruno’s Beautiful Women Project. This series of photos and stories focuses on real women and what makes them truly beautiful in the present moment. A wonderful idea might be to ask girls to record an image of themselves at their most beautiful and to write an accompanying reflection on what real beauty means to them.
- Closet clean-outs: Encourage girls to clean out their wardrobes and donate to charity any clothing they’ve been keeping “until they get thin”.
- Sharing the love: Girls could make cards that celebrate diversity and send these to their family and friends. How about these ideas: “I like you the way you are”, ” You’re beautiful because . . .”
- Awareness campaigns: Love Your Body Day (www.loveyourbody.nowfoundation.org) runs an excellent poster design competition. Some of the past entries are fabulous (including the one below by Australian Anand McCorquodale, from Pyrmont, New South Wales) and may inspire your own budding artists to reflect on how they can spread some positive body image messages.
Any other good ideas we can share?