Girls and body image

Half of secondary school girls considering cosmetic surgery, Guides study finds.

This new study for Girl Guides found that 46 per cent of girls aged 11 to 16, and 50 per cent of girls aged 16 to 21 would consider cosmetic surgery to make themselves thinner or prettier. And 42 per cent of girls aged 11 to 16 were controlling to excess what they eat to stay slim.

What was particularly concerning was that the impact of negative body image seemed to be happening even before puberty. While 60 per cent of 7 to 9-year-old girls said that they were very happy with their appearance, the figure dropped to 27 per cent for 10 and 11-year-old girls. Which suggests that by the time we first meet them in secondary school at Year 7, about three quarters of girls are already uncomfortable about the way they look.

Just to explain the apparent mild fixation with body image on this blog, we're working on a new project for schools that addresses this area. More news soon.

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One Response to Girls and body image

  1. Hi Tim, did you see The Wall Street Journal article that ran in September by journalist Jeffrey Zaslow, as a follow-up to a story he did over 20 years ago on the dieting pressures and body ideals facing 9 year-old elementary school students. When he followed up with the students, who are now in their 30’s, he found they and their peers have never escaped society’s obsession with body image. Some told stories of dangerous dieting habits and continued self-esteem issues. As parents of young children it is important to be reminded that the issue of body image and weight is not one of vanity or something to be ignored.
    If you’re interested in reading more about the article and study, you can find it on our blog. The entry is titled “Dieting Pressures Start Early & Last a Lifetime”

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