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Body-shaming is an epidemic. Body Confidence Awareness Week (BCAWeek) helps to create systemic

shifts in schools and community organizations by addressing body and/or appearance-based discrimination

as a legitimate form of gender - based violence through awareness, prevention and intervention.


BCAW provides an opportunity for students, educators, school staff, community stakeholders (i.e. parents

, caregivers etc.) and local organizations to gain an intersectional socio-cultural awareness of the importance

of respecting body diversity. Body Confidence, is an individual’s ability to “love the skin they are in” within a

safe, caring, equitable and inclusive environment where they are free from judgment, exclusion, lack of access

to resources or ridicule because of their physical appearance. Body Confidence can only be achieved if body

equity is front and centre. When youth feel comfortable “in their skin,” their self-esteem radiates. This directly

compliments their ability to be better social, emotional, academic and civically well-rounded students with a

greater impact of their student voice resonating in their school and larger community.

We invite your school board, division, and community organizations to consider adopting the 2nd week of 

October annually as Body Confidence Awareness Week. According to most research, appearance, body 

image, and sometimes referred to more generally as “looks,” emerges as the greatest concern of children/

youth of any age. Adults are not immune either with over 95% of adults, inclusive of all genders reporting 

 ‘body issues’ and experiences with body discrimination.The societal pressures to adhere to unrealistic body 

and beauty ideals also encompass more than only size, shape and weight concerns. Pressures are often 

experienced to an even greater extent for those of whom their body image intersects with their identities as

disabled, racialized, LGBTQ2, gender non-conforming and newcomers often dealing with acculturation/ 

assimilation influences among others.


Adopting BCAW in school boards, divisions and organizations provides an opportunity to raise

awareness of body differences and similarities in a way that encourages conversations. It also

provides opportunities for youth and adults to practice advocacy and leadership skills as Body

Confidence Ambassadors (BCAW). Similar to other institutionalized days or weeks of significance,

BCAW is meant to engage entire communities. Most importantly it allows for a dialogue that goes

far beyond healthy eating and healthy activity – the dominant discourse in most spaces. Education

about nutrition and movement on their own are limiting in the engagement of people about body

image and self-esteem. Education must include an awareness about the environmental, social and

structural policies and practices that support every day overt and even ‘invisible’ body-based

discrimination as a system.


BCAW provides an opportunity for:

  • A deeper, whole-person, culturally-relevant approach to body confidence which includes social and 
    emotional confidence, and learning about the importance of healthy relationships and mental health.

  •  Learning about some of the social determinants that make our bodies ‘look’ and ‘move’ differently.

  • Learning about the ‘isms’ or stigma and oppression that impact how we feel about our bodies and
    other bodies.

  • Learning how to create, implement and evaluate body equity through a Body Equity Walkthrough© checklist 

  • Ensuring  all spaces are equitable & inclusive to all bodies.

  • Recognition of body confidence as a human rights issue for everybody.

  • Collaboration with Body Confidence Canada between your school or organization with Body Confidence Canada
    to support your BCAW Programming.


Most recently BCC is advocating to have the second week of October designated Body Confidence

Awareness Week throughout Canadian School Districts and Divisions. Contact us to learn how you can bring BCAW to your
school board or organization.

TDSB Celebrates the Inaugural Body Confidence Awareness Week


On April 19, 2017 Toronto District School Board, Canada’s largest school board, became the first to 

pass this motion created by Trustee Tiffany Ford and seconded by Trustee Jennifer Story

On May 15th, 2017 Winnipeg School Board, the largest school division in Winnipeg, Manitoba passed this motion 

created by Trustee Lisa Naylor.


CTV News Trustee Lisa Naylor proposes Body Confidence Awareness Week

Canadian Women's Foundations October  2017 Back to School Newsletter Features Tips for #BCAWeek 

Body Confidence Awareness Week

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