Some of My Most Favourite People in the LGBTQ community is Jill Andrew. I got to know Jill on social media first as someone who is passionate about promoting positive body image. I love seeing her posts, and her drive to get people to love themselves. I have always been an advocate of everyone being beautiful, and that we need to have more affection for ourselves and our bodies.

Then I got to meet Aisha Fairclough through Jill, when we all chatted about this wonderful event that they are putting together at The 519, the Body Love Ball. Isn’t that a wonderful name for an event?

I am excited to chat with Aisha to find out more about this ball.

Hi Aisha, the event is getting close, so you must be at fever pitch with the planning and everything?

I am. The Body Love Ball is six weeks away and we’re buzzing with excitement! We’re excited to kickstart the holiday season by having the Body Love Ball a fundraiser in support of the 519 Newcomer Settlement Services, Rainbow Camp supporting LGBT youth, families and allies and Body Confidence Canada Awards which acknowledge Canada-based body equity champions and trailblazers. Body Love Ball dance fundraiser promises to ignite our senses as we dance the night away celebrating our bodies.

How did the idea for this come about, have you and Jill ever collaborated on something like this before?

Well every year for the past four years Jill and I have produced the Body Confidence Canada Awards, this year instead of the awards we’re having a fundraiser. The Awards will return in 2018.
Our journey towards this work was largely inspired by our own personal experiences of body-based harassment and body-shaming. Jill and I have collaborated on many events ,we’re partners in business and partners in life . Founders of Body Confidence Canada (BCC), which produces the Body Confidence Canada Awards (BCCAs). BCC is also home to the national campaign #SizeismSUCKS which is advocating to end size and appearance-based discrimination across Canada and has partners in several provinces and territories across Canada (for more on our movement you can visit Ontario; ). BCC has also created Body Confidence Awareness Week (#BCAWeek), which is now being recognized by two of the largest school boards across Canada: Toronto District School Board and the Winnipeg School Division. The goal is to have all school boards recognizing the importance of addressing body-based harassment, violence and discrimination based on size and appearance differences across the spectrum. For more on #BCAWeek visit:; We also have a blog Fat in The City and two amazing cats Josephine Baker and Dorothy Dandridge.

Why do we need “Body Love”?

We need body love because we are constantly bombarded with messages that tell us that were not good enough. We need to ensure that people with all types of different bodies can walk into any space (doctor’s office, classroom, fashion boutique you name it) and be able to see themselves represented – not through tokenism but sincerely part of the fabric of our humanity! Those at the margin need to be centered

What can we expect at the event? Vibe? Entertainment?

Well you can begin your evening in the ballroom on our electric dance floor or take a moment to indulge in body positive art installations curated by the Feminist Art Conference (FAC), the candy room, live performances, live painting by Frizz Kid, DJ’s, inspirational speakers, a silent auction and more. We’ve got a stellar line up of DJ”s including DJ Craig Dominic and DJ Maren Hancock will keep you dancing all night long! We’ve got performances by Tasheka LaVann and Vanessa Lu. The dance will be hosted by the fabulous Daniel Pillai, Kat Leonard and inspirational speaker and host Tali Osbourne.
So once the ball is done, how can we all keep spreading the message and loving our bodies more?
We can keep spreading the message by reminding ourselves that we are good enough exactly the way that we are! We must remind ourselves that we are all works in progress and to speak to yourself kindly and surround your self with people that can uplift you. We must remind ourselves never let anyone dim your light. You can also spread the message by signing our petition our goal is to make sizeism and appearance-based discrimination a prohibited ground of discrimination in our Ontario and Canada Human Rights legislation. This is key.

To find our more and how to buy tickets please visit Body Confidence Website HERE


About the Author

Antoine has on numerous occasions said that everything he does is "a love letter to the LGBTQ community". and he truly loves this community. A 29 years' media and marketing leader, Antoine is the publisher of theBUZZ, The Pink Pages Directory, PinkPlayMags, and a magazine for Durham Region families The Local Biz Magazine, and is the host of talk show "On the Couch". On his off time he is usually involved in community organizations and causes.