Almost four years ago our lives changed for the better when we decided to create the Body Confidence Canada Awards (BCCAs) – and we haven’t looked back!
Inspired by outstanding body image awareness initiatives taking place in the United Kingdom, namely their Campaign for Body Confidence (2009) and the inaugural Body Confidence Awards (2012), my partner Aisha Fairclough and I decided it was time to create a likeminded platform in Canada. We created the BCCAs to acknowledge and celebrate people for whom their personal and professional lives embodied and inspired body confidence, body positivity, and body diversity in our communities.
“Girls just want to wear diamonds.”
“Allergic to Algebra.”
“I’m too pretty to do homework, so my brother has to do it for me.”
“Future trophy wife.”
It’s hard to believe, but stores in Canada market girls’ T-shirts bearing disempowering messages like these. Stereotypes sell, even though they’re the last thing girls need.
It seems to me that as feminists we often shy away from any suggestions of what women can do to improve our circumstances, as though conversations of that nature are tantamount to victim blaming. Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In is dismissed as “faux feminism”, and even beloved Jennifer Lawrence caught heat for acknowledging the role she feels she played in the wage gap between herself and her male counterparts.
I get where this resistance comes from, and I know it’s ultimately a good place. As women we’ve spent so much of our lives being defined as an ‘other’ and told that the injustices of the world stem from our inherent inferiority, rather than the flawed world we live in. The suggestion that we are holding ourselves back is uncomfortable, to say the least, but I think it is important to consider.