Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

Girl Guides launch body confidence badge to combat low self-esteem

girl-guide.jpg
rexfeatures-3236901ap.jpg

Girlguiding UK launched a new body confidence badge today to combat an image crisis and low self-esteem among teenage girls.

The badge, which reads "free being me", will be awarded to girls who undertake a training course and help spread the word on unhealthy body talk, the dangers of becoming too thin, cosmetic surgery and fashion industry tricks such as airbrushing.

It's part of a wider BRAVE scheme Girl Guides are undertaking with the Dove Self-Esteem Project (promoting real women's bodies), whereby girls aged 10 to 14 will learn about the "body image myth".

The initiative will also be extended to Brownies aged seven to 10, who will explore the unrealistic premise of girls being portrayed as princesses.

The body confidence Girlguiding pledge

The campaign comes in response to the 2013 Girlguiding’s Girls’ Attitudes Survey, which found - depressingly - that one in three girls are unhappy with how they look and one in five girls aged 7-11 have been on a diet.

"Young people today are under constant pressure to conform to impossible and unattainable standards of beauty is a society obsessed with image and appearance," said Laura Ede, chair of Girlguiding’s peer educators, a young adults group who will lead the discussions and help promote the message.

"'Free Being Me' shows young people just how ridiculous this ‘image myth’ really is – teaching them to value their bodies and celebrate diversity – so they are never put-off doing something because of the way they look," she told the Telegraph.

She added that with younger girls in Brownies, "We’ll get them to think about princesses and what they look like and can you get someone to look like that?"

One in five girls of primary school age has been on a diet, the survey found

Girlguiding’s Girls’ Attitudes Survey 2013 found:

  • One in five girls of primary school age has been on a diet
  • 38 per cent of girls aged 11-to-21 say they have sometimes skipped meals to help lose weight
  • One in four girls aged between 11-to-21 would consider cosmetic surgery
  • 87 per cent think they are judged more on looks than ability

Jenna Nicholls, one of the peer educators taking part in the campaign, told the Guardian that it was time to tackle "scary statistics" on body confidence.

"I have seen friends go through eating disorders, really suffer from self-confidence issues. It's always there, there's always that constant expectation to look a certain way," she said.

Jenny Willott, Lib Dem MP for Cardiff, is also backing the Girlguiding BRAVE campaign.

"Low body confidence is a serious issue which has been linked to depression, obesity, low aspirations and eating disorders," she said.

"It’s really important that we all work together to challenge our culture of unrealistic imagery and the pressure to be perfect. We need to raise girls’ aspirations and inspire them to achieve their goals because of who they are and the talent that they have."

We couldn't agree more. See more about the BRAVE project on the Girlguiding's website here.

Words: Anna Brech, Photos: Rex and Girlguiding UK

Related

hero3.jpg

Rejection letters sent to famous people

hero.jpg

Kylie Minogue chats to Stylist about ambition and insecurities

ariel-make-up.jpg

Can you guess who's set to play Ariel in The Little Mermaid remake?

disney-hero.jpg

Re-imagined Disney movie posters

rexfeatures-2289995a.jpg

Campaign to end gender bias in children's books gains pace

hero.jpg

Bad day illustrations are cute but sad

Comments

More

How it feels to be a woman in America right now

"There is a sense of impending doom"

02 Dec 2016

Viewers slam Eamonn Holmes for ‘sexist’ treatment of GBBO's Candice

“He’s making me so uncomfortable – poor Candice”

by Kayleigh Dray
02 Dec 2016

The 12 surprising health benefits of mulled wine

Mulled wine, how do we love thee? Let us count the ways…

by Kayleigh Dray
02 Dec 2016

Pensioner, 89, offered bar job after "stop me dying from boredom" ad

We love a story with a happy ending

by Kayleigh Dray
02 Dec 2016

Bake Off fans, you can now apply to be on Channel 4’s GBBO

On your marks, get set, baaaaake…

by Kayleigh Dray
02 Dec 2016

Inventor of new £5 note brands vegans “stupid” over animal fat debate

"It's stupid. It's absolutely stupid."

by Sarah Biddlecombe
02 Dec 2016

Baby it’s Cold Outside has been given a feminist makeover

The troubling Christmas song has been transformed into an epic consent anthem

by Kayleigh Dray
02 Dec 2016

You’d be more productive if you could work from a café, study finds

Tell your boss.

by Moya Crockett
02 Dec 2016

The best low-alcohol swaps for your favourite beers, wines and spirits

Time for a booze-not-booze?

by Amy Swales
01 Dec 2016

Dorchester issues “disgusting” list of beauty demands to female staff

Women have been told to shave their legs and wear full make-up

by Sarah Biddlecombe
01 Dec 2016