LIFESTYLE

'Cheeky' Campaign Gives The Middle Finger (Quite Literally) To Negative Body Image

06/05/2015 17:05 BST | Updated 06/05/2015 17:59 BST

If negative body image was a person, we'd certainly flip them the bird.

Now, a new awareness campaign has launched which encourages people to get involved and quite literally stick their middle fingers up at a culture of appearance-based judgement and negative body image.

middle finger

The Don't DIS My Appearance campaign - "a cheeky campaign for a serious cause" - was launched by the Butterfly Foundation in Australia to coincide with International No Diet Day and encourages people to paint their middle fingers to stand against body shaming, bullying and general negativity surrounding the way we look.

“Painting your middle finger is a cheeky and symbolic way of saying: 'I am more than my appearance, and no-one has a right to judge me based on how I look',” said Christine Morgan, CEO of the Butterfly Foundation.

The organisation prides itself on representing "all people affected by eating disorders and negative body image".

It realises that the causes of eating disorders are complex, however it believes that negative body image and poor self-esteem play a key role.

Speaking to ABC News, Morgan revealed that there is a need for this kind of campaign because: "We live in a society where, whilst it's politically correct and most of us can say: 'Hey it's who we are and not what we look like that counts', scratch the surface and there is a great deal of emphasis put on what we look like."

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"We know that negative body image and low self-esteem can be a serious, high risk contributing factor to developing an eating disorder," says the campaign, "and that negative body image is often perpetuated by the experience of being judged or shamed about our looks by others as well as ourselves".

As a result, it hopes to raise awareness of appearance-based judgement and shaming by encouraging people to paint their middle fingers and donate money to fight against eating disorders.

Participants can also get involved by purchasing a special FABY nail polish - where 100% of May profits will be donated to the cause - while also engaging in fundraising activities, sharing the campaign message via social media with #DISnoBODY and entering the campaign competitions.

The campaign has since generated a positive response on social media.

One Twitter user, Amy Haughey, said: "It's great to see more awareness about the impact of negative body image and leading the way in a health first approach! #DISnoBODY".

Meanwhile a spokesperson for UK-based eating disorder charity B-eat said: "We wholly support the Butterfly Foundation’s campaign, drawing attention to the fact that it’s not ok for people to judge us by our appearance.

"Humour is a good conduit for serious messages and hopefully this campaign will be adopted and perpetuated by many in Australia and beyond."

Body Image Heroes