For those of you not near or passing a Selfridges this month, something amazing has happened. They have teamed up with body confidence championing cosmetic/soap brand Dove to launch the ‘Beauty Is’ campaign as part of the Dove Self Esteem Project. An innovative way of reminding us to all look after ourselves and each other but also and perhaps most importantly reminding us the there isn’t really a definition of beauty. In the quest to re-educate and champion body confidence, Dove has laid on (teamed with Selfridges) a series of debates and workshops in the Selfridges ‘Ultra Lounge’. I believe activities are happening at all Selfridges stores so get to your nearest one and check out what is going on!
SLiNK are big fans of Dove and luckily they like us too, so we’ve been tottering down to each session and tweeting live… check out the hashtag #beautyis for tweets from the event. But here is a little insight into session one… the Poetry session, entitled… Hollie McNish & Dove Mirror Mirror workshop
Yes that’s right, we wrote poems, not about ourselves but about the person next to us! Luckily I had cheated and dragged a friend along so writing about her was easier. The session however began and was ran by spoken word poet, Holly McNish. Now I don’t know about you but I’m fairly sceptical about poetry, thinking mainly of sonnets and soppy love stories, I didn’t think I could really enjoy poetry. But Holly has really altered my view of poetry and I’ll definitely be tracking where she is doing poetry gigs from now on. Make sure you check her out too. She does a lot of work with Dove and with kids in school on body image and her poetry will make you laugh and cry, and generally nod along going… yup, ME TOO! Holly talked about her inspiration and the way she felt about her body and how those feelings have changed over time. I’ve popped one of hers in here…
‘Big Smacking Kiss’ by Hollie McNish
This isn’t a fling,
This is every morning,
Half asleep and still yawning
Face to face with the mirror
Imagining my skin tighter, lips bigger, bits thinner
Shaking my head at how tired I look
And pushing at eye bags like those are the proof
And there’s no one else stood
It’s just me
Wasting my minutes
When I could grab a cup of tea or a book I could finish
When I could find a new tune or run a warm bath
Phone up a friend or laugh at the sight
Of my baby now stood at my side
Smacking the mirror with kisses shed so proud of herself
And she doesn’t waste time looking down on herself
But she learns and watched and copies me so well
And I fear for an age she’ll start wasting that time
dissecting her skin or her lines or her knees and I plead
with her please don’t grow up
Till I swap my cold morning stares
To welcome each day like my daughter greet hers
Press my lips to the glass for a big smacking kiss.
Holly explained to us how she liked to write poetry with feeling not just simple description because we spend too much time judging on first appearance and not going deeper, not taking in enough about a person and their lives but just their simple, basic, physicality. In order to challenge this we first had to draw each other (there were some shockers) before we were tasked with writing a poem about the person next to us. We had to work out how to describe a feature in a more in depth and less face value way as well as include random pieces of information about them, gathered by asking some unusual questions to each other. Once we had completed our poems we took it in turns to stand in front of everyone and read them out loud… it was a bit like being back in class but we loved it! Later we had to read the poems to ourselves in the mirror, changing the you’s to I’s.
It was a really great, heart warming, body championing, I love myself and women rock kind of evening, quite frankly, the best kind!
Here are our efforts:
Mine About Lena…
Your trade mark is never missing,
You’re always done and ready for action.
Red wellington socks the colour of Christmas, with Santa grey toes and heels keep you young as you slide across wooden floors.
You’re focussed, the war paint must go on, like a painter working a masterpiece, nothing must interrupt your finest work.
No Candy Crush for you, just candy colours or rose red lipstick.
Your signature pout, bold colour, matt or gloss.
Slicked on as if without even a simple breath would be impossible.
You’re almost ready for action.
£16.05 on your Oyster Card.
You’re almost ready for action.
But everything must wait, like an artist.
Orange with juicy bits, a touch up is needed.
Once done, order is restored.
The lid replaced, the pot vanishes, you continue with your journey.
Lena’s about me:
You have charcoal rimmed lids.
With a single alarm you rose.
Your almond shaped pools are full of a million unleashed ideas.
Sometimes you forget what has to be recycled and what doesn’t.
A gregarious ‘S’ of a curl, fighting free to stand out in all of it’s curvaceousness bucking the trend.
Your chestnutty curly-wurly excitement is unleashed to reek havoc on a canvas of your cream forehead.
A pink tangle tease is used on your hair every morning after your shower.
Donning shoes you refuse to polish.
If you feel you missed out (you did) you can watch us all in all our glory here! It is worth it too because Holly reads lots of poems and she is brilliant!