"Rock Your Own Brand of Gorgeous!"

Research shows that 70% of girls and 30% of boys aged 11-19 cite their relationship with their body as their 'number one worry'. It also shows that body insecurity prevents young people from raising their hand in class, expressing an opinion, partaking in physical education lessons, or even from turning up to school or college at all.

The Body Gossip campaign does not believe that it is acceptable for society's attitude towards beauty to stop young people from fulfilling their potential and enjoying their lives. By using a combination of powerful first-hand accounts, psychology and media literacy, we are inspiring students to make their own beauty and grooming rules and to rock their own unique brand of gorgeous.
 

The Body Gossip Teaching Team

At Body Gossip, we know that it is crucial body image education is delivered in the right way, by the right people. We have a small team who deliver our lessons, each of them selected because of their experience, expertise and natural rapport with young people. You can find out a little more about each of them below.

The team passionately believe that the key to allowing young people to fulfil their potential lies in schools having the funding & resources to implement a range of facilities which nurture students’ emotional, mental and physical health. We have seen first-hand how our classes have allowed young people to throw off the shackles of the body image worries and issues that are holding them back from being their best. Through the Body Gossip petition, we are attempting to persuade Education Secretary Michael Gove that PSHE (or the equivalent) and pastoral support are the cornerstones of a first rate education. If you agree, please sign at www.bodygossip.org/petition.

 

Natasha Devon

Natasha is a writer and television and radio pundit. She has co-authored a number of best-selling books (many centred around food, exercise and body image) in collaboration with scientists, psychologists and celebrities. She writes regularly for the Independent Online, the Sun newspaper and is a columnist for Cosmopolitan Magazine. She is a body image expert for BBC Breakfast, Sky News and ITV’s Daybreak and was one of Gok Wan’s body confidence mentors for the channel 4 series ‘Gok’s Teens: The Naked Truth’. Natasha works alongside the All Parties Parliamentary Group on Body Image, specifically reporting on the issues faced by 14-18 year olds.

Natasha recovered from an eating disorder in 2006. Overwhelmingly, she was left feeling that the illness had robbed her of the potential she had as a healthy, confident 17 year old sixth former. She didn’t want any other young person to sacrifice their own potential in the same way. She went on to work with hundreds of male and female students and with the (much appreciated) support of the Hertfordshire & Essex High School (for girls) & Bishop’s Stortford High School (for boys) produced the blu-print for what is now the Body Gossip self-esteem class. She has gone on to personally work with in-excess of 25,000 students from throughout the UK.

Natasha trains the other members of the team. She regularly attends conferences and seminars on body image, diet and exercise, including those hosted at Parliament by the APPG. The information gleaned here as well as continued feedback from teachers and students means the Body Gossip self-esteem classes are constantly evolving in keeping with the latest research and social trends.

 

Grace Barrett

Grace is a musician from London. As well as producing her own material, Grace has been a backing singer for some of the UK’s most popular indie bands. Her work regularly takes her on tour.

Growing up in the Midlands during the 1990s, Grace was acutely aware that her mixed-race heritage made her ‘different’, which in turn made her relationship with her body rather fractious. Aged 18, she moved to London to pursue her ambition of being a singer and was plunged into the looks-obsessed world of rock n roll. Here, she was considered attractive and was getting jobs as a result, but at what cost? Today, Grace has struck a balance between being the performer her job requires her to be and being herself.

Grace’s experiences sparked an interest in body image and it’s relation to ethnicity and the media. She was ‘scouted’ for the Body Gossip Education Programme by Natasha, who knew that her natural speaking ability and warm, relatable character would make her an instant hit with the students. She is living proof that it’s okay to be different and that it’s possible to hold onto your unique identity in a culture that often makes us feel that we have to conform.

 

Nadia Mendoza

Nadia is a journalist, currently working as a showbiz editor. She has worked for the majority of Britain’s best-selling tabloid newspapers. Her job gives her a unique perspective on the inner workings of fame and celebrity, which in turn has played a huge part in our body image culture.

Owing to childhood difficulties and bullying at school, Nadia began self-harming at an early age as a coping mechanism. This continued for many years, until she found a different way to express her emotions – Through writing and a unique sense of style. Nadia is now fully recovered, through a combination of therapy and understanding her illness. Her experiences made her want to reach out to other young people who are struggling with feelings they find difficult to communicate and deal with.

Natasha picked Nadia for the team because her of her humour, positivity and youthful outlook. She knew straight away that teenagers would love Nadia and it turned out that she was right! Nadia speaks for all the young people who feel like they aren’t ‘cool’ enough and shows them positive and creative ways they can express themselves.

 
"Gossip School fulfills the key objective of body image lessons"
 
- JO SWINSON MP, Minister for Equalities and Chairman of the APPG on Body Image

"However excellent a school's teaching, or however bright the student, both will fall short of their potential without the right emotional guidance, delivered by the right people."

- NATASHA DEVON for the Times Educational Supplement