Last week I was invited by Beyonce's new fitness brand Ivy Park to join an incredibly inspiring panel of women including Jess Cartner-Morley, the Guardian's Fashion Editor, Hayley Jarvis from Mind Charity and Lauren Cuthbertson, Principal of The Royal Ballet for a discussion at Selfridges exploring the role sport plays in uniting women's physical and mental health, chaired by the brilliant Editor In Chief of Elle Magazine, Lorraine Candy.
The panel was set against the backdrop of the industry-shaking new body-positivity campaign from Selfridges, EveryBody, which celebrates women in all their forms and fights against female objectification. A veritable celebration of female strength, the genius campaign seeks to redefine how the female body is portrayed in retail and advertising, injecting a healthy dose of realism and raw beauty. Perfectly paired with this new campaign from Selfridges is Ivy Park, Beyonce and Philip Green's new venture, a fitness brand with an ethos which sees Beyonce the businesswoman craft an inclusive and powerful new fitness brand for women. Take a look at the Kathryn Ferguson directed short, "Incredible Machines" released in support of the Selfridges campaign, well worth a view it is honestly brilliant.
I was quite obviously honoured to have been seated next to those brilliant women, and to discuss a subject to close to my heart, following hot on my recent blog post, which discussed the mental as well as physical benefits of fitness, and why exactly I do it. Following on from our discussion we resolved that physical activity is greatly linked for our mental health, that the benefits are far reaching and as much as they are physical, they are cerebral, the benefit being mental and physical strength.
We explored how exactly we can get more young women participating in sport, as statistics shockingly revealed that 80% of young girls give up sport at the age of 13. Hayley from MIND explained that we need to look to real role models to help encourage girls, backed up by Lauren who is already deeply committed to fostering body positivity in the next generation of ballerinas. My opinion on how to encourage more women to participate in sport was to just keep it simple, and if you have dropped sport for a long time, to think about a physical activity you might have loved when you were younger, that made you sweat, made you smile, to pick it up again, and to pursue activities that quite simply make you feel good whilst getting your heart pumping.
Elle Magazine have a great recap of the of the discussion on their website, which I have listed on the Press section of my blog.
With thanks to Ivy Park, Elle Magazine and Selfridges