A SELF-esteem and body confidence event due to take place in Glasgow next month has met with mixed reactions.

Campaigners have both praised and criticised the conference, saying it helps to raise awareness but also claiming it is cashing in.

Created by 38-year-old Glaswegian Lindsay Reid, Body Confidence Live proved a hit with attendees across the country after its launch in Glasgow in March last year.

The conference has been praised by body-positivity campaigners including Mandy Rose Jones - creator of The Empowered Woman Project - who commended the event and organisers for openly speaking about self-esteem issues.

Mandy said: “Events like this which are becoming more frequent and accessible are massively important because they give a platform to diverse bodies and voices.

“We still have a long way to go but the conversations are happening and events like these can only be beneficial to everyone.

Mandy also stressed the need for more open-mindedness when it came to accepting different types of bodies in society.

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“It’s so important to provide representation to “normal” bodies and create new spaces for traditionally marginalised bodies.”

Despite the increase in awareness of the body positivity movement, Mandy, like many other campaigners, still feel that there is much more to do for bodies of all shapes and sizes to be accepted.

“I’m always hopeful when I see more diversity on the catwalk as that’s traditionally where the body types were pigeon-holed but unfortunately there are still designers who refuse to indulge a positive body image.

“I think it’s toxic and damaging to the body positivity community to disregard or exclude anyone. The whole point in the movement is so everyone is included. I have held events myself and I’m 10/12 which some of the BoPo activists claim is “thin” but it’s all relative to the individual... I’ve had eating disorders in the past and so keeping my weight UP is the challenge for me. It’s all relative and no one’s journey is the same.”

The event and similar campaigns have also come under fire from some body positivity campaigners who have branded it a cash-grab.

Glasgow-based Ly H Kerr – a plus-sized blogger and body positivity campaigner - runs her own blog Something In The Way She Moves.

She describes the conference as “money making”, claiming that many of the women involved with the conference prey on the insecurities of women by selling them workout videos, diet plans and self-help books through a series of “buzzwords”.

“It appears to be an event that isn’t body positive, trying to cash in on the raised awareness of the BoPo [body positive] movement.

“As a fat woman and activist, I find it cynical and exploitative. There are lots of genuine BoPo writers and bloggers trying to teach and inspire other woman without selling them anything.

“Diet culture is not body positivity.”

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Lindsay Reid responded to her comment, saying: "The reality is that I have spent thousands of pounds of my own money running these events as I believe they are needed and we know from the feedback that people really benefit from them. And I have run them in my spare time alongside my day job. We have also donated hundreds of pounds to various charities from our previous events, as well as providing free tickets for charities. 

"Our contributors talk about their own body confidence and mental health journeys and promote health, confidence, positivity and wellbeing....I think before people pass comment on our events, they should find out more about them or better still, come along and enjoy the feel-good atmosphere we create like so many other people have done."

Body Confidence Live has proved a success with audiences, with previous events having seen the likes of TOWIE alumni Ferne McCann speaking candidly about her struggles with body image in the spotlight.

The events also focus on career confidence and overall wellbeing.

Body Confidence Live takes place on Saturday October 26 at Tron Theatre in Trongate.