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.