“I like makeovers and using cosmetics only just to enhance my beautiful features, and for reassurance that I look beautiful no matter what people said in the past”, said a woman campaigner.
A woman campaigner quoted, “I am a tattooed single mother, I also have a law degree and my own business”.
Another woman campaigner stated, “I have experienced severe adult acne. I have also got a masters degree and a job that I love. I now wear my acne scars with pride”.
These statements are based on the real-life experiences of women from Hull, illustrating the issues and stigmas women and girls face regarding their appearance, bodily characteristics, and social status.
Women’s Resource Centre (WRC, London) launched a nationwide training course, ‘Women’s Leadership for Social Change’ in 2018. Six different locations have been chosen across England by the WRC to conduct the women’s leadership training course. Hull is one of them.
We have created a social group called ‘Hull Women Leaders’. The group consists of 12 women activists who have been working and volunteering with different organisations across the city. We have been invited to the House of Lords to present their journey as Hull Women Leaders.
After completing intensive training conducted by the WRC, Hull Women Leaders were tasked to identify an issue that needed to be tackled for social change. Therefore, we planned to make a short film for social media, contributing our personal statements of our own real-life experiences of issues regarding body image.
Peer pressure among young girls can be very destructive and damaging to self-esteem when it comes to body shaming and following the stereotypical standards of beautification. We have used our own statements to convey a message, to empower and to build confidence among other women and girls.
Hull Women Leaders believe that we should be supportive of each other, and should never miss a chance to praise and encourage other women.
[Syeda Nudrat – Hull Women Leaders group]