Bluebella has launched a new campaign celebrating female empowerment through sport and featuring three female Team GB athletes going for gold in Rio this summer. The BeStrongBeBeautiful campaign is backed by windsurfer Bryony Shaw, skeet shooter Amber Hill and Paralympian long jumper Stefanie Reid, who teamed up with the lingerie brand to raise awareness of the fact that more than half of secondary school girls drop out of sport after the age of 13 due to body issues and negative experiences of PE lessons.
Stefanie, a five-time world record holder, said: “I hate the idea of girls not reaching their full potential in sport because they are afraid they won’t be accepted, or that it somehow makes them less feminine”. Bronze medallist at the Beijing Olympics in 2008 and current European champion, Bryony also shared her experience: “I would always keep my body concealed when I was growing up and especially at school because I was concerned other kids would say: ‘Oh look at her, she looks like a boy.'”
The photoshoot highlights how strong bodies are beautiful and is accompanied by a video as well as a prize draw, which will see one lucky winner experience a week at a health and fitness retreat in the beautiful Norfolk countryside.
Bluebella chief executive Emily Bendell said: “We have to change the perception that the strong female form is not beautifully feminine. It is very depressing that some girls are still giving up sport at school because they don’t want to be labelled a tomboy or a show off. Our female athletes have never been more successful, despite many of them obstacles on the way to success – think what we could achieve with a more positive attitude!”