Case Study – Girlguiding Scotland

Free Being Me


Girlguiding Scotland is the leading charity for girls and young women in Scotland, with 45,000 young members. We build girls’ confidence and raise their aspirations. We give them the chance to discover their full potential and encourage them to be a powerful force for good.

As part of our unique programme we offer ‘Free Being Me’ sessions which help girls recognise beauty myths, grow in confidence and be happy in their own skin. This is open to girls aged 7-14 years old and is delivered by leaders or trained peer educators who each bring different delivery styles to the sessions.

Free Being Me aims to give girls and young women the opportunity to reflect on the world around them and the influence it has on the way they think about themselves and other people.

The sessions explore the often very narrow definitions of beauty that is so often portrayed in the media. Girls and young women discuss the impacts of trying to conform to different standards of beauty and reflect on the downsides of downsides of trying to look like this ‘Image Myth’. The sessions help girls to highlight when an image has been altered or airbrushed and aim to equip them with the tools to manage any appearance pressures they may face.

The programme focuses on the fact that there is no perfect way to look and empowers girls to challenge this narrative and boost their body confidence. They’re able to reflect upon who really benefits from the perpetuating beauty ideals and how to support their friends to resist the pressure to look a certain way.

Girls and young women are encouraged to develop their own Take Action project to share what they learned in the sessions. This helps to give them the space to reflect on the activities and how they can have a better body image.

Our ‘Girls in Scotland’ 2018 research found 40% of girls aged 7-25 feel pressure to look a certain way. This finding shows that there is still much work to do to help girls feel more confident in how they look and support them on how best to respond to the unrealistic pressures placed upon them.

Free Being Me is produced by the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) and the Dove Self-Esteem Project. It’s being used in 146 countries around the world giving 10 million girls and young women the chance to access this unique programme. In true guiding style there is a badge available for those who complete the activities and the Take Action project.

Kathryn Marshall, Scottish Peer Educator Co-ordinator:

“Free Being Me gives girls the power to dispel the image myth and build their own body confidence through the various activities. After each of the sessions I deliver the girls are empowered to tell others about the image myth which gives a positive impact outside of the sessions. I love delivering Free Being Me sessions as you can see the real difference it makes to the girls after the 2 sessions.”

Katie Young, Girlguiding Scotland member and Speak Out champion:

“Free Being Me has a lasting impact on girls and young women. It gives us the tools to break down toxic beauty myths and develop our body confidence in a way that is accessible and applicable to girls and young women in Scotland and beyond. With these resources, we are able to demystify the unattainable beauty standards that surround us in society and its negative impact on the happiness of girls and young women, and become able to promote their achievements beyond their looks.”

Do you think you could deliver a Free Being Me session? If you’re looking for a way to make a real impact on the lives of girls and young women in Scotland, then why not volunteer with us today? For more info please visit

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Twitter: @GirlguidingScot