Project number: 2015-1-EE01-KA105-013254

“I am no beauty queen. I am just beautiful me!!” is a multicultural Youth Exchange in which 32 participants are involved Estonia (Tallin), Estonia ( Kohila), Germany ( Duisburg, Hagen)

Date: 29.05.2015 – 03.06.2015 (28.05.2015 – arrival day, 04.06.2015 – departure day)
Group per country: 7 and 1 leader.  (age of participants 15-17 years old, Leader 18+)
Venue: Tammispea Village, Estonia (70km from Tallinn – Suburban camp Vihasoo)

The neccesaritiy to make a project about this topic appeared in our girls Club in the youth Center ( youth club active). The Volunteer from Germany who is working in our organisation leads a “girls Club” every Thursday. She gives Yoga lessons for a better understanding of the body, moreover we are talking about issues which *affect* us as girls. It turned out that the topic “beauty”, and how important it is to be beautiful, raises the biggest interest among the girls. It seems to have a particular importance in different areas of our daily life.

Appallingly a lot of young girls see their *bodies* more *as* an enemy than a friend. No matter how beautiful or healthy the girls are, they *always* find something “ugly” on *themselves*, which makes them feel uncomfortable with *themselves* and limits them in different ways of their daily live. This *circumstance* makes me *incredibly* sad. Girls in the age between 15 and 18 years *of age are permanently* living with a *changing* of their body’s . *But at the same time*, nowadays the influence of the media is stronger *than* ever before. The media gives a wrong image of *what women* should look like. Advertising *and* marketing companies use Photoshop to give woman the “perfect” *appearance*, while the fashion *industry* promotes being *unhealthily* skinny. Switching on the TV or the computer, *the information which can be found there* creates a permanent influence of the wrong values a woman should care about – their outward appearance. Especially in this age *teenagers* are easily affected by that. A shockingly big amount of girls start to harm themselves psychologically or even *physically*. The number of girls who suffer from anorexia gets increasingly higher, *surgery* and body modification becomes more and more popular. Furthermore *it* is important to mention that young girls spend *almost* all their money *on* beauty products or *unnecessary* fashion. Unhealthy diets are promoted for reaching an unreachable ideal of beauty. *The time invested in this unreachable and destructive goal* should be used for *developing* the character *of oneself* to find out where their place in society is and what skills they want to reach *and cultivate* in *the* future. All *these* processes are disturbed by dealing with the feeling of being misplaced in the own body which is never “good enough”.

1. The project has the aim to talk about the beauty ideal in different *countries* and to developed ideas of how to deal with the pressure the girls suffer from.
2. We need to train *the girls on* how to watch media critically and understand what a realistic image of woman’s appearance *can be* and what, *on the other hand*, is fake.
3. We will create a free room for girls where we can open this topic *up for discussion* in a save environment, just between girls in the same age.
4. We encourage them to talk about their wishes, *experiences and* problems and to find a common solution. We show them that they are not alone in that *phase*.
5. Together we will find out that “a healthy body is a good body” in which we can feel comfortable and beautiful.
6. We will also provide tools for *facing such problems* in the future and *will try and teach* how to change the attitude *towards* ourselves in bad times – so we can become friends with ourselves instead of treating the body like an enemy. 7. We will encourage the girls in their gender roles for their future plans and success.

The girls feel save in their *bodies* and will *gain* more self confidence in their daily life and their role as a woman. It would *stabilize* their role in society and makes them less vulnerable. This self confidence can be used to become an active person in the local community. It leads to entrepreneurship because it develops leading- and team working skills. -Based on our partners we create a new network between rural and city communities. Rural communities shall be included and connected to the city center. The countryside should also be seen for its advantages. Especially in Estonia where the people even speak different languages within the same country, this exchange of cultures is very important.