28 July 2019 | by Marysia Szuster

Imagine living in the XXIst century in one of the most developed countries of the first world. You feel safe, freely express your religion and wear clothes that are part of your culture, but at the same time, you don’t harm anyone and expect the same respect. You have a right to that, unfortunately, it is broken way too often.

This is one of many reasons and stories why yesterday we started our day talking about allyship and proper behaviour in particular situations watching theatre scenes previously prepared by our facilitators.

Just after lunch (thing to emphasize here is definitely a fact, that proud majority of our group decided to undertake a challenge of being vegetarian/vegan for two weeks and we’re doing great!) was our time to rest and calm - meditation. Next workshops based on our relationships built through the past two weeks and perfectly made use out of our general trust to each other. In smaller groups, we shared our personal stories in three steps: challenge, choice and outcome. It was a completely different experience for me, and talking to others, I realised I’m not the only one. Many of us won an inner battle with themselves, stepped out of comfort zone and shared so many stories that it was really hard to keep your tears. This part of the Project&Empowerement day made me realise even more how different we are and from how many backgrounds we come. Stories were ranging from mental illnesses, through family problems, to war and migration.

Moreover, this task had its purpose. Later that day we started creating our own projects that we will hold after coming home. Projects based on our personal stories and challenges, motivation to change the world and injustices that caused our harm.

I may share this one created by me. Obviously, I’m aware it demands a lot of time and effort to put in, but, who if not we? The thing I’m more than willing to deal with is the harmful image of beauty. Ask yourself a question: how many times you wanted to buy something in a shop but realised it doesn’t look on you as good as on the mannequin? I’ll tell you a secret: even if you’re lucky enough to have all limbs and no health issues that cause weight change - so generally you’re healthy - you’re not gonna look as ‘good’ as mannequin does. So, why do we actually call the mannequin’s appearance good? According to BBC and study in the Journal of Eating Disorders: “if people were the same size as the mannequins they would be considered medically unhealthy.” “There is clear evidence showing that the ultra-thin ideal is contributing to the development of mental health problems and eating disorders," writes Dr Eric Robinson. So, summarizing and concluding, if I were you I would be rather happy with not looking as unhealthy and mannequin does.

My goal is to cooperate with international stores and companies to start using realistic mannequins instead of those we have in shops right now and to hire for photoshoots models different from our beloved image of Barbie, so a skinny white girl with two long legs and blonde hair.

" I’ll tell you a secret: even if you’re lucky enough to have all limbs and no health issues that cause weight change - so generally you’re healthy - you’re not gonna look as ‘good’ as mannequin does. "

Marysia Szuster, Participant from Poland

An exhausting and exciting day with a cherry on its top - movie night! And another cherry - well-deserved sleep, because we have to have enough energy to change the world also tomorrow!


Brazil's reality

26 July 2019 | by Nathalee Do Valle

Privilege is a variable concept, which can change from country to country and also from continent to continent. Brazil's reality is different of everything possible to imagine or think when you are in Europe.