Learning to love their own bodies

The carnival, on International Love Your Body Day, at the Broadbeach PCYC targets all young women at school and aims to enhance their self-es- teem and dispel negative feelings about their body.

Gold Coast Sexual Assault Support Service co-ordinator Di Macleod said the inaugural carnival was held last year.

"It's designed for female high school students to celebrate a positive body im- age and encourage them to accept their bodies," she said.

"And it's for young women to under- stand that there are all different body shapes and it's more important to be active and healthy.

"We will have activities like boxer- cise, aerobics, skipping, dance and selfdefence workshops, entertainment, fash- ion parades with normal body shape young women, tennis and loads of stalls, giveaways and samples.

"TAFE will be doing skin analysis, massage and temporary tattoos so at the end of the day they can go away with a fun, healthy experience with a lot of in- formation they can read at their leisure - to have a message beyond the day."

Ms Macleod said young women need positive body image messages.

"Research shows most women get their information firstly from their peers and secondly from magazines," she said.

"So we also want to put out a maga- zine annually that is in the same vein as Dolly magazine but with a positive slant on the stories."

Ms Macleod said the Love Your Body initiative focussed on promoting health and self-esteem and valued diverse and realistic body images.

"We aim to assist young women to be positive and self-confident and to challenge attitudes, values and behav- iour in relation to dieting and unrealis- tic media images," she said.

Attendance is open to all school groups.

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