The 365 Ways Blog

Michael Norton is author of "365 Ways to Change the World", which provides an issue for each day of the year, interesting facts, inspiring case studies of people doing things to address the issue and ideas for action. Originally published in the UK, versions with local content have been published in Australia, Canada, India, South Africa and the USA. To find out more visit our website:

12 May 2008

Body gossip

“Everyday I wake up and I tell myself, don’t eat anything today”

It’s not fair that this 12-year old girl thinks that she is so fat that she wants to starve herself. I’m Ruth Rogers. I think that the beauty battle has gone too far. Every day men, women and now children worry about how they look. So I’ve decided to do something about it. I want to give everyone in the UK the chance to shout louder than the media for once. I’m launching a national writing competition. I want stories about real bodies from real people. The twenty best will be performed by a cast of celebrities on a West End stage. It could be the most worthwhile theatre event this year. But organising it isn’t going to be easy!

Body Gossip is a call to arms for people in the UK to celebrate their realistic natural beauty.
Whether it's man boobs, muffin tops or cellulite. Growing old, grey or saggy. Media pressure, peer pressure, negative beauty icons or airbrushed magazine images. Size 0, size 20 and everything inbetween. Whether you're male or female, aged 10 or 110: if you have something to say about body image, Body Gossip wants to hear your stories.

Your personal story could inspire, encourage and reassure others. It could change their world – and your world too.

Your story can either be in the form of a theatrical monologue (a character speaking to the audience), or a duologue (two characters speaking to each other). The style of each piece is up to the writer. If you decide to submit a story, it should be no more than five minutes in length.

If your story is one of the 20 that is chosen to be performed, you will receive full writing credits, VIP tickets for the performance, return travel to and from London and 5 star accommodation and an invitation to a glitzy after-show party. Once at the event, you'll be treated like a star – you'll meet the celebrity performing your story and will take a bow with them onstage in recognition of your contribution to the evening.

Besides the competition, there is a Body Gossip Sofa. This is taken to events such as the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and London Alternative Fashion Week. People are invited to sit on the sofa and write a sentence about how they feel about their body. There are five sofas so far (actually, just one sofa with five sets of covers). The sofas will form part of the stage set when the Body Gossip performance is staged. After everything has ended, the sofas will be auctioned with proceeds going to an eating disorder charity.

Submit your own entry to the competition. Find out where the sofa is going next, go there and write your own message on the cover.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

V R AWAITING 2 WELCUM 2 JOIN IN A call which has been given by Sir Michael Norton, on page 1 in his ‘365 Ways to Change the World’ for all ‘citizens of the global village to unite, we have nothing to lose but our universe!’
For Details see The Image of Heritage: Changing Perception, Permanent Responsibilities
March, 5 - 9, 2009 Promoted by:
Romualdo Del Bianco Foundation
Palazzo Coppini Via del Giglio, 10
50123 – Florence (Italy)

3:19 p.m.  

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