Monday 8 March – Free Being Me!

This week we started the Free Being Me challenge badge. This badge was written especially for 7 to 10 year olds to show Brownies that there isn’t just one way to be beautiful, and that what’s inside them matters the most.

We set up a Free Being Me wall – a place to collect positive statements, inspiring pictures and great ideas to help complete the activities. Daffodil made 4 caring friend necklaces for each leader with five beads on it; one for each of the words “I am loving and caring.”. Each week, the Leaders will wear the necklaces and when they see a Brownie doing something thoughtful and considerate for another Brownie, they will quietly take off the necklace and put it round their neck. The Brownie then looks out for a chance to pass the necklace on to someone else who has been loving and caring.

Our first activity was the “Taking part pledge” – all the Brownies agreed out loud (the louder the better!) to actively take part and have fun in the sessions. We will be completing this challenge over the next 3 weeks and hope to squeeze in lots of fun, positive and affirming activities.

Our second activity was The Princess List. The aim of this activity was to understand that there is a narrow definition of beauty presented in our society. In small groups, the Brownies choose and drew a popular fairy-tale princess character they all knew. The girls discussed the character’s specific appearance features (e.g. long hair, blue eyes) and as they created their picture they focused on what the character looks like, rather than what she was wearing. As a Unit, we then discussed how similar the drawing where and make a list of all those attributes the Brownies had included to make “the perfect princess”.  Of course, we finished by agreeing that this is not true at all, and the stereotype that to be a beautiful fairy tale princess you need to have long blonde hair, big blue eyes, a skinny waist is absolute rubbish!

Out last activity for this week was “Beauty Around the World”. The aim of this activity was to encounter different ideas about beauty from around the world and over history and recognise that there’s more than one way to look beautiful. We had lots of examples such as foot binding was very popular in China until the early 20th century as very tiny feet were considered desirable and beautiful; in Tajikistan, women feel very lucky if their eyebrows grow across their foreheads;  and, until the 1900s Japanese women dyed their teeth. This was played as a “true” or “false” game with the surprise being that all the facts were true!

We finished with a parachute game called Pelele from Spain which encouraged everyone to shout out their name and say what they are good art. For example, “My name is Olivia and I’m good at ballet”.

This week’s awards saw Bobbin receiving her “Baking” badge – well-earned and the brownies she brought in a few weeks ago were delicious! Florence received her 5th anniversary badge too. No Best Brownie this week – they were all amazing!

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