Wearside reality TV star Katie Bulmer-Cooke is spearheading a drive to help teenage girls be happy with themselves.
Apprentice star Katie is the new patron of North East-based The Friendly Development Charity’s ‘Beautiful is ___’ campaign.
The project aims to help people – especially teenage girls – realise that being fit and healthy is more important than worrying about how they look compared to other people.
“The aim is to work particularly with young girls, but also with boys and adults, to inspire them to be body confident,” said Katie.
“Their big focus at the moment is going into schools, working with girls aged seven to 11, talking about body confidence and how they can improve it.”
Katie called in at Castle View Enterprise Academy yesterday for her first official function in her new role.
Body confidence is something I have been working on for a long time with my clients, so it was fantastic to have the opportunity to work on a much bigger scale and to help more people.Katie Bulmer-Cooke
“I did a fitness class and talked to the girls about what it means to be fit and healthy and how important it is to focus on the positive things about yourself rather than the things you don’t like,” she said.
“People are different shapes and sizes – it’s about being the best version of yourself that you can be rather than comparing yourself all the time to other people.”
Katie said she had been honoured to be approached to front the campaign.
“I bit their hand off when they asked me,” she said.
“I was over the moon. Body confidence is something I have been working on for a long time with my clients, so it was fantastic to have the opportunity to work on a much bigger scale and to help more people.
“The scheme is doing great things in the region from helping develop body confidence in young people to promoting health and wellness in a really positive way.
“I’m looking forward to using my health and fitness background to help boost self-confidence and improve health and physical activity levels in a current, down-to -earth way.”
Friendly Development Charity CEO Emma Oliver said youngsters were increasingly bombarded with unachieveable body images.
“Never before has there been so much pressure on our children and young people to look a certain way and for appearance to matter so much,” she said.
“With the amount of images and marketing we see every day increasing significantly, there is no wonder this pressure is having a devastating impact on the way children and young people think about their own bodies and other people’s.
“If we don’t do anything about it, these pressures can go on to affect their self-esteem, health, aspirations and education.
“We launched our positive body image campaign almost two years ago and within that time we have pioneered a body confidence roadshow, begun a small ethical fashion enterprise, run online campaigns including #nomakeupmonday and we have many more plans up our sleeve.”