Resources to support your mental and physical wellbeing
‘Aesthetic labour’ is the time, money, and energy spent making oneself appear suitable for work. This expense falls disproportionately on women, and impacts women of colour and disabled women with particular force.
If the impact of aesthetic labour is impacting your finances or mental health, or if an employer is requiring aesthetic labour from you in a way that is disproportionate or inappropriate [contact us here].
You can read more about aesthetic labour, and its impact on arts workers in the Making An Appearance report, conducted by the Women’s Committee and Royal Holloway University.
Increasingly, performers are sharing concerns about the pressures they face in relation to their appearance and the policing of their bodies. This can often lead to conflicts around body image.
For more information on Mental Health Support see here.
If you’ve suffered from discrimination or harassment due to your appearance, you can speak to Equity - all conversations are confidential and no action will be taken without your permission.
In the meantime, check out the following resources:
Be Real - The Be Real Campaign is determined to change attitudes to body image, help all of us put health above appearance, and be confident in our bodies.
Body Neutrality Movement - Some information on the Body Neutrality Movement
Mental Health Foundation - on the intersection between body image and mental health
LGBT Hero - and information on queer body image, eating disorders, and dysmorphia
Young Minds — advice for young people on body image
Eating disorders and unhealthy attitudes to food and eating can have a huge impact on the lives of people in our industry. Help and advice for all types of eating disorders can be found on the NHS' website here.
LGBT Hero - offers information on queer body image, eating disorders, and dysmorphia
SEED - Eating disorder support service
For mental health support related to eating disorders, see the Mental Health Support page.
The lack of workplace attention to hormonal health — which includes periods, the menopause, and many other hormonal experiences and conditions — can greatly impact one’s experience at work.
If your hormonal health is impacting your work, or you feel you’ve been discriminated against because of it, contact Equity.
Or get support via the following links.
BAPAM - The British Association of Performing Arts Medicine provides specialist health (and mental health) support for people in the entertainment industry
Equity membership entitles you to discounts on many useful services, including some health and wellness related resources. Have a look here.
Experiencing menopausal symptoms at work can be hard, especially in the performing arts industry. While menopause and perimenopause are not specifically protected under the Equality Act, if you are treated unfairly at work because of menopause or perimenopause, this could amount to discrimination.
Read more about your rights when it comes to menopause here
If the menopause is impacting your work life, or you feel you have been discriminated against on account of the menopause, contact Equity
British Association of Performing Arts Medicine (BAPAM) provide specialist health and mental health support for people in the industry. As an Equity member, you can access our mental health support scheme, led by a BAPAM psychotherapist experienced in working with creative practitioners. The Scheme combines some limited one to one counselling for members who have developed a significant mental health problem as a direct result of their work, with broader access to a weekly psychological support group. See the Mental Health Support page for more information.
Check out the following links for health information and support for trans, non-binary, and other gender marginalised members
ARTS MINDS - ArtsMinds offer resources for immediate mental health support
EQUITY CHARITABLE TRUST - A charity offering support to those in financial crisis
THE MIX - Resources for young people across a variety of issues, particularly mental health.
OUTLIFE -Support and health resources for LGBT+ members
SHAPE ARTS - Mental health tips for arts workers
Inclusive, body-positive campaign getting women active and feeling good in their bodies
Charities supporting those who have experienced pregnancy loss, baby loss and bereavement:
Baby Loss Awareness Alliance - Database of useful organisations in the event of miscarriage or baby loss
Maternity Action - Information on your rights to time off and pay when dealing with miscarriage, stillbirth and neonatal death
Miscarriage Association - Information and resources for those affected by miscarriage, molar pregnancy or ectopic pregnancy
Sands - Sands is the leading stillbirth and neonatal death charity in the UK. Sands exists to ensure that anyone affected by the death of a baby receives the best possible care and support for as long as they need it.