The aim of the project is to spread the idea of respect for human body diversity and to counteract discrimination against teenagers on the basis of their appearance. We have invented this project for young people who study in secondary schools in the City of Gdansk. A 2021 survey by the Ombudsman for Children in Poland showed that as many as 67% of secondary school students would like to change something about their bodies. According to the Empowering Children Foundation, 24% of young people say that if they looked better, their lives would be better, 20% of teenagers agree with the statement that they ‘would like to look more normal’, and as many as 40% of girls and 26% of boys worry that they might get fat. These figures show the huge problem of alienation experienced by teenagers who are overweight, have disabilities, suffer from gender dysphoria, or have non-white skin colour.
During our ‘Look at Yourself’ campaign, we produced a performance in collaboration with young people dedicated to the phenomenon of bodyshaming. According to young people’s testimonies, those whose bodies deviate from the accepted standards face low self-esteem, experience bullying from their peers and feel a sense of not fitting in with their group. Their experiences even lead to suicide attempts and psychiatric treatment. The project’s beneficiaries are young people with ‘excluded’ bodies, but also parents and teachers from the Pomeranian Province. As part of the project, we offer young people psychological consultation and support as well as organise body-positive anti-discrimination workshops for them. For adults, we run a series of training sessions on recognising violence caused by intolerance of body diversity, counteracting such violence and responding to it. The project partner is the 180 Degrees Association, responsible for psychological consultations for young people.