HCAU Profile: The Real People Project

Recently, Her Campus Aberdeen had the chance to talk to Victoria and Sophie, the co-founders of ‘The Real People Project’. Read on to find out more about the amazing work they’re doing and what they aim to achieve.


HC: Hey girls! Can you tell us a little about what you do at Aberdeen uni?


Victoria: Sophie and I are both medical students, she is 3rd year and I’m 5th, but intercalating this year in a masters of global health management.


HC: We would love to know more about The Real People Project, so first of all, what is it and why did you decide to start it?


Sophie: The Real People Project is a campaign to inspire self-love and body confidence in everybody, whoever they are and whatever they look like. We started the project as we had seen blogs of people sharing their own journeys about body confidence and self-image, but we hadn’t come across one that put lots of stories together in one place.


Victoria: The Real People Project is a new movement on social media which aims to promote body confidence and self-love on Instagram, by posting real people – raw and unfiltered – along with a little bit about them and what they love about their bodies.

The idea came to Sophie and I around Christmas time, when we were sick of looking at our Instagram, full of filtered photos, angled perfectly to exaggerate features, and full of body hate. So one night, with a few glasses of red wine, after ranting to each other for so long about the problem, we created a plan to change it, and The Real People Project was born.


HC: Ahh, we absolutely love the whole idea behind the project! It’s such a great idea to inspire body confidence in a way that’s so accessible to young people. Overall, what do you want to achieve through your work?


Sophie: Personally, I’d love to provoke thought and conversation surrounding the issue. As body confidence is only part of a person’s self-image, it would be fantastic to include wider social issues that are relevant too, such as race, gender identity, and so on. 


Victoria: We started the movement to make Instagram a little bit better, especially for the future generations. We’d like the Instagram account to benefit all people from all over the world, and feature as many people on it as we can!


HC: Sounds great! Us HCAU girls would definitely love to get involved at some point. So, what’s the response been to the project?


Sophie: Incredible! We’ve been astounded by the huge variety of answers to the simple question of “what does body confidence mean to you?”. Despite the fact that the project is still in its early stages, so many people have contacted us saying how much they like it, which makes us so happy and drives us to grow the project even more.


Victoria: So far it’s been so, so positive. We were anticipating lots of negativity, and not anticipating the incredible response we have received so far! We both have had people come up to us in university and tell us how much they love the project. Recently we attended the Students for Global Health conference, at the Suttie Centre in Aberdeen, and had a stall at it where people could get a picture with our whiteboard saying: “One of the things I love about myself…”, which got an overwhelmingly great response!


HC: Wow, clearly it’s attracting a lot of attention! It’s so nice to hear about the positive response to such a great movement.

What advice would you give your 16 year old self about body confidence?


Sophie: Listen to Whitney Houston when she sings that the greatest love of all is to love yourself!


Victoria: As a teenager I, like most others, really struggled to love my body, as it didn’t fit the mould of “airbrushed model”. If I could go back and speak to my 16 year old self I’d say love your body not for what it looks like, because that changes by day, but love your body for what it can do, its functionality and resilience. If you do that, you’ll have body confidence!


HC: Love that advice! We love the idea of promoting body confidence and as an all-female society feel it’s so important to support each other. Do you have and tips on how to empower yourself and others?


Sophie: For me, the most empowering thing has been to learn to not judge anybody on their appearance and as a result I feel as though I judge myself less. Also, listening to others when they talk about their issues, no matter how insignificant they seem, is a simple yet effective way of supporting each other.


Victoria: We, as women, need to be nicer to ourselves and each other. Our gender has such a culture of putting ourselves and each other down. Be kind to yourself, if someone pays you a compliment, take it and don’t brush it off. Likewise, compliment your fellow women, even if it’s the smallest thing, it’ll make their day!

HC: Thank you so much for talking to us! You ladies are an inspiration. What you are both doing is SO important and we look forward to seeing the project grow!

Follow The Real People Project on Instagram to keep updated with what they’re up to: https://www.instagram.com/therealpeopleproject/

Images: Sophie and Victoria’s, taken at the Global Health Conference and https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=the+real+people+project&safe=active&rl...