Shameless - The Shona Project

We have some brilliantly inspiring young girls on this Island of ours and recently, a group of TY girls from the Sacred Heart School in Tullamore reached out to us. As a part of their Transition Year course, they have to work on a programme where they are challenged to take on a social issue and make a difference. How cool is that?!  Anyways, these are some pretty cool ladies and we will let Claire tell you all about their project “Shameless”. 

Hi there! I’m a member of the YSI Shameless group from the Sacred Heart School in Tullamore.

YSI stands for Young Social Innovators, which is an Irish program set up to encourage young people to challenge social issues and make a difference. YSI is a voluntary module for Transition Year students in our school, which means that everyone in the group is passionate about this topic and the work that we aim to succeed in during the year. This year, our group has chosen the pressing issue of body positivity to shine a light on. Throughout the year, we aim to make everybody SHAMELESS.

When brainstorming how we could make a difference, the first thing that came to our minds was social media. We feel that social media can be viewed in an extremely negative light regarding body shaming, so we aim to show how social media can also share positivity and spread kindness.

So far, we have created active Instagram and TikTok accounts, which we intend to use throughout the year to share positivity and uplifting content. Every week, we share a ‘Meaningful Monday’ post on our Instagram. Photographs of students with curly hair, freckles, and braces have been shared so far. We post these photos with a positive caption, in the hope that people will learn to see the beauty in their insecurities. By getting students involved in this body positivity initiative, we hope to make our work memorable and show that it’s relevant to everyone despite our different appearances.

Meaningful Mondays

Our Ideas For Shameless

One of the many things we have decided to do to spread awareness and kindness in our school is a festive idea called Candy Cane Kindness. Our group will organise a station in our school where students and teachers can buy a candy cane for someone in the school, with an anonymous message attached to brighten their day. The message can range from a compliment to an inside joke, anything as long as it’s wholesome and will put a smile on someone’s face. Throughout a week in December, our YSI students will deliver the candy canes to classes and spread the positive spirit. We think this will be a simple yet effective way to spread positivity before everyone goes off for Christmas break. This will be our first fundraiser of the year, and the money raised will be used to fund our future body positivity initiatives.

Another idea we have organised for December in our school is planning a Body Positivity Workshop that will be delivered to each SPHE class. We have designed a PowerPoint for students and teachers to start a conversation about this pressing topic. In the PowerPoint we have included activities such as sharing insecurities (anonymously), videos that represent the negative effects of social media, addressing unrealistic body standards, eye-opening statistics, and much more. As students, we have never experienced memorable talks or presentations about these topics, and we aim to give other students the opportunity to explore this idea. We are planning to arrange a second workshop to take place after Christmas so that we can avoid the ‘helicopter effect’ of talking to the students once and then being forgotten.

Finally, the last project that our group is working on is a documentary/short film. We want to reflect on the seriousness that surrounds this topic, and we think this is a great way to spread our thoughts on body positivity. We’re planning to have very raw, unfiltered footage of different students and teachers (male and female) to get different people’s perspectives on the topic. We want everyone to be vulnerable and open about to topic to show that there shouldn’t be any shame in being happy with the way you look or talking about body shaming. Through this documentary, we want everyone to feel like they can relate to our project and feel comfortable in our school and community.


Why Did We Choose Body Positivity?

We chose to promote body positivity for a number of reasons. We feel that this is an extremely important topic that isn’t talked about nearly enough – especially in schools, where the most impressionable people can be. By choosing this topic, we aim to shine a light on an issue that so many people deal with in their daily lives, and yet may feel that they can’t talk about it to someone. Body-shaming statistics indicate that 94% of teenage girls and 65% of teenage boys have been body shamed. This is an alarming statistic that shows us that this topic needs attention urgently.

On behalf of our group, I would like to thank The Shona Project for allowing us the opportunity to spread awareness about our project.

See we told you they were amazing girls! To keep up with their progress with Shameless, check out their Instagram below and TikTok Account HERE 😁


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