One of Aberdeen’s top young inspirational women Victoria Kinkaid recently represented the UK delegation of Girlguiding UK at the first ever Young Women’s Body Confidence Forum in New York City which was run by WAGGGS and Dove! HCAU were lucky enough to grab an interview with Victoria to find out exactly what she got up to in the big apple.
Hi Victoria, first off just tell us a little bit about yourself?
Hello! Okay so I’m a 5th-year medical student at the University of Aberdeen and I’m 23 years old. From Belfast!
Being a 5th-year medical student, it already sounds like you’re super busy, what do you do in your free time?
In my free time (not that I have much) I just like to read and go to the gym, very uninteresting! I’m also in the army reserves and I’m a mentor for a group of girls in Girl Guiding working on advocacy projects.
Wow, that seems like a lot, but reading and the gym still sounds good to me! So how did you find yourself involved in the Young Women’s Body Confidence Forum?
I got involved with the conference through WAGGGS which is the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts. I have been involved with Girl Guiding since I was 4 years old and it has given me national and international opportunities. I am currently Girl Guiding Scotland’s representative on the British Youth Council and it was through these opportunities that I heard about the conference, I applied but I didn’t think I had a chance of being accepted!
It appears you hugely underestimated yourself! You must have been so excited when you were accepted. What did attending the conference entail?
So to attend the conference you had to present the selection committee with an idea of how to promote body confidence amongst girls (because it was being run by Dove and WAGGGS) so I brought forward the concept of The Real People Project. After that, the conference was all about developing your idea into a campaign and creating an advocacy project around it!
Ahh, here at HCAU we love The Real People Project, we have actually previously written an article all about it, but for those who don’t know, what is The Real People Project?
The Real People Project is an Instagram based movement (@therealpeopleproject) that shares pictures of real people and their stories on Instagram to inspire body confidence and self-acceptance in all people!
Definitely sounds like the type of posts I’d love to see on my Instagram! So your idea was selected, you’re all the way in New York City, how did the conference help to develop your idea?
So the first few days we were in workshops learning how to turn our passion into a successful project. We were lucky enough to have talks from very inspiring women such as Mita Mallick, the Head of diversity for Unilever and Jess Weiner and Myriam Sidibe, the creator of World Handwashing Day. The 3rd day of the conference we attended the United Nations Side Event for Youth, following that we went to the Social Good Summit where various inspiring people showed us that we can do anything and be a change maker, just like the people on stage.
The last couple of days we were at the United Nations speaking with change makers and creating the change we wanted to see!
Okay so, New York City, United Nations, interacting with amazing inspiration people. I am very jealous.
Haha, it was SO COOL! We were actually sitting in the room underneath where Trump was giving his speech, we could even hear everyone laughing!
That sounds totally surreal, I bet you had to pinch yourself! Did you have a favourite experience?
Apart from going to the UN which was amazing, meeting amazing women who had achieved so many great things! We had talks from Dr. Nancy Etcoff who studies the psychology of body confidence, and the Princess of Lesotho who was tackling child marriage – it proved to me that girls can make a difference in the world!
Of course we can! So what’s next for the real people project?
Next up for the Real People Project, we are looking to increase our following and reach by getting more followers and more posts submitted – so feel free to all send us a post! Alongside this we are trying to organize a very exciting event, so keep your eyes on our Instagram page in the next few weeks!!
And finally, favourite part of NYC?
Aside from all the cool stuff we were doing with the UN and Dove, my favourite part of New York has to be the food! (Is that bad?!) It just has everything I love, bagels, coffee, hot dogs, donuts, the list goes on! So yeah the food!
Totally understandable, thanks Victoria! Good luck with everything I’m sure we’ll hear more from you and The Real People Project too!
Follow @therealpeopleproject on Instagram and help support body positivity on social media!
All Images are Victoria’s Own