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DON’T DIS MY APPEARANCE Flipping The Bird

don't dis my appearance

Don’t DIS My Appearance will have everyone including your Nan sticking a glittery finger up at those that body shame and bully. PENNY LANE chats to Butterfly Foundation CEO Christine Morgan about the cause.

What is Don’t Dis My Appearance all about?
Don’t DIS My Appearance is a national awareness and fundraising campaign for the Butterfly Foundation, calling on all Australians to take a stand against a culture of appearance based judgement and negative body image.

The campaign encourages Australians to paint their middle fingernails as a statement against the harmful culture of body shaming. All funds raised will go towards better prevention, education, treatment and support services to fight eating disorders and the devastating impact they have on sufferers, families and our community.

The Butterfly Foundation has been around for ages, but when did you start Don’t DIS My Appearance?
This is the inaugural year of the Don’t DIS My Appearance campaign, and we believe this initiative could not have come at a better time.

With the rise in online and social media environments increasingly being used as a negative space for trolling and judgement, this campaign aims to encourage positive conversation.

Why did you come up with this campaign?
Body image is one of the top three concerns of young people under the age of 25 in Australia, with negative body image being one of the root causes of low self-esteem. We know that negative body image can be a serious, high-risk contributing factor to developing an eating disorder.

The Butterfly Foundation has deliberately chosen to launch a campaign that is bold and perceivably controversial in its nature.

This campaign seeks to bring attention to the disrespectfulness of judging someone according to their appearance, and to start a conversation about how wrong and harmful such judgments are, and to empower people to take a stand and say ‘no’.

How did you come up with the idea to get people to paint their middle fingers?
The creative concept for the campaign was created in collaboration with social commentator, Jane Caro. The Don’t DIS My Appearance campaign asks people to paint their middle fingernail for May as a subtle, yet cheeky gesture, to take a stand against appearance based judgment.

People do not have to make a gesture with their middle finger to participate in the campaign. The culture of appearance based shaming, and resultant perpetuation of negative body image is significantly more damaging than a commonly understood hand gesture, yet is more widely accepted and tolerated. As a society we should be challenging and changing this.

What has the response been like so far?
The response for the campaign has been overwhelmingly positive. High profile supporters of the Don’t DIS My Appearance campaign represent a wide range of people from all different industries and who are all passionate about ending appearance-based judgement.

The campaign is backed by television personality Andrew O’Keefe, actress Brooke Satchwell, journalist Tracey Spicer, and 2015 Queensland Young Australian Of The Year Yassmin Adbel-Magied. Other supporters include Peter FitzSimons, Nick Farr Jones, Joe Hildebrand, Justine Clarke, Jay Laga’aia and Ken Done. People battling eating disorders have also supported the campaign.

How can people get involved?
The best way to get involved in the campaign is to take a picture of your painted middle fingernail, share it on social media using the hashtag #DISnoBODY, and make a donation to The Butterfly Foundation. You can also purchase the campaign nail polish from FABY nails, who will donate all proceeds to The Butterfly Foundation. Additionally, head to our website and check out our downloadable fundraising kits, which are full of creative and fun ways to get involved, such as installing a ‘DIS jar’ and fining people a gold coin for making a negative statement about their own, or someone else’s appearance.

For more info, go to dontdismyappearance.org.au/getinvolved.

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