Last week, I wrote about the Body Boosts that feature in Body Brilliant. Now, I want to thank and acknowledge all the lovely people of all ages who kindly gave me something from their own experience to add to the book. They have all been quoted exactly as agreed personally with each one. Some people chose to use different names and some chose to use their own names. I asked all school students to choose a different name, as I didn’t want them to be identifiable. Many of the students were from Haggerston School, the Body Brilliant Team who worked with me in various ways on the book, organised and overseen by Dr Carrie Parris, the excellent and energetic librarian. I’m going to write a post about them to thank their school, separately, next week. Sadly, we’d planned to have a launch but something major happened (to do with me, not them) and I had to pull out before the invitations went out. Even though this was out of my hands, I’m pretty gutted and I’m still hoping to find a way to thank them (and give them their signed books, bags and other goodies!)
[EDITED TO ADD: I am (fingers crossed) planning to visit them on publication day, WITH CAKE, to hand over their signed books and other goodies!]
I’d also like to give a special thanks and shout out to lots of Lower 6th students at Epsom College and their inspirational Assistant Head (Wellbeing), Helen Keevil. Many of the comments described as being from someone aged 16 are from them (all with changed names). I visited the school some months ago and was hugely impressed by their efforts to build wellbeing and mental health.
Darcey Bussell DBE, ballerina and dance expert ~ Eva Musby, parent and eating disorders expert ~ Jen Campbell, author ~ Rachel, 14 ~ Sarah, adult ~ Julia, adult ~ Eleanor, adult ~ Maddie, 16 ~ Bella 15 ~ Siedd, 13 ~ Frances, adult ~ Hazel, adult ~ Harris, 14 ~ Maria, 15 ~ Kaid, 15 ~ Savannah, 17 ~ Ninnah, 14 ~ Daisy, 14 ~ Charlie, 13 ~ Sarah, 16 ~ Shaniqua, 12 ~ Sam, 16 ~ Harris, 14 ~ Daniel, 14 ~ Nana Kwame, 14 ~ Darrell, adult ~ Shaheen, adult ~ Paula, adult ~ Peggy, adult ~ Alan, 16 ~ Savita, adult ~ Catherine, adult ~ Selvi, adult ~ Ella, 15 ~ Ninnah, 14 ~ Maria, 15 ~ Aquilat, 14 ~ David, 14 ~ Anne, 13 ~ Jack, 16 ~ Jemma, 16 ~ Cally, 16 ~ Charlotte, adult ~ Iona, adult ~ Marcos, 14 ~ Sasha, 15 ~ Charlie, 13 ~ Sheila, adult ~ Rachael, adult ~ Marie, adult ~ Freya, adult ~ Luna, adult ~ Caroline, adult ~ Helen, parent ~ Jess, 16 ~ Dawn, adult ~ Tess, adult ~ Zan, adult ~ Louis, adult ~ Nicholas, adult ~ Rachel, 14 ~ Tom, adult ~ Claire, adult ~ Rose, adult ~ Luke, 16 ~ Sophie, 16 ~ Adam, 13 ~ Caroline, adult ~ Sasha, 14 ~ Charlie, 13 ~ Jo, adult ~ Rebecca, adult ~ Liz, adult ~ Barbara, adult ~ Jessica, 17 ~ Stella, 15
I’m delighted that it’s a very diverse list in every way: age, gender (including several who have transitioned from their assigned gender), ethnic background (more than is apparent as some of the names give no clue as to cultural or ethnic heritage), sexuality, ability and many personal experiences of eating disorders, body dysmorphia and visible difference. There are people with positive body image and people who have suffered or are still suffering from low self-esteem relating to how they feel – or how people have made them feel – about their looks. Jen Campbell, Eva Musby and Dame Darcey Bussell all have their full names because their quotes come from their professional lives, in which they’re all doing relevant work and advocacy.
I’m grateful to all of them for their time and honesty and many of them for their bravery in revealing painful memories. I hope they know they are helping other people by sharing their experiences.
Body Brilliant comes out on July 11th. You can pre-order your copy through any good bookshop, physical or virtual! Look out for giveaways on Twitter (@NicolaMorgan ~ @HachetteKids ~ @HAchetteSchools), Instagram (NicolaMorgansBrain ~ wattsandwayland_books) and this website. We have posters and postcards for schools, being handed out at all my events and the SLA/YLG conference on June 21st. And special edition mugs to be won! There’ll also be free teaching materials to download soon from my website and Hachette Schools website.