Have you noticed an ever-increasing awareness of advocates for positive body images, size acceptance, and fat activism?Â If not, then let me introduce you to advocates like Jessica Weiner, Ben Barry, NAAFA, Every Body is Beautiful. The newest organization to join the campaign for a positive body image is the Girl Scouts.
Why are these advocates so important?
Beauty Redefined: Girls and Body Image Survey (2010), a nationwide survey that included more than 1,000 girls ages 13 to 17, shows many girls consider the body image sold by the fashion industry unrealistic, creating an unattainable model of beauty. Â Nearly 90 percent of those surveyed say the fashion industry (89 percent) and/or the media (88 percent) place a lot of pressure on them to be thin. Â However, despite the criticism of this industry, 3 out of 4 girls say that fashion is “really important” to them.
Take a closer look at these numbers!
According to the Girl Scout Research Institute:
Girls attribute media and fashion to the pressure to be thin.
- Nine in ten girls say the fashion industry (89%) and/or the media (88%) place a lot of pressure on teenage girls to be thin.
Girls say they would prefer to see more â€œnaturalâ€/â€œrealâ€ images in the media.
- Eighty-one percent of girls would rather see â€œrealâ€ or â€œnaturalâ€ photos of models than touched-up, airbrushed versions.
- Seventy-five percent would be more likely to buy clothes they see on â€œreal-size modelsâ€ than on super-skinny ones.
Girls have a love/hate relationship with the fashion industry.
- Three in four girls (75%) say that fashion is really important to them.
- Forty-eight percent wish they were as skinny as the models in fashion magazines.
- Forty-seven percent say fashion magazines give them a body image to strive for.
- Forty-one percent say they prefer to see the latest fashions on skinny models rather than on fuller-sized women.
- Sixty-five percent of girls think that the body image represented by the fashion industry is too skinny; 63% think it is unrealistic; and 47% think it is unhealthy. More than a quarter (28%) say the fashion industry body image looks sick.
- Sixty percent say that they compare their bodies to fashion models.
- Only 46% think the fashion industry does a good job of representing people of all races and ethnicities, with Caucasian girls the most likely to say this (52%, compared to only 42% of Hispanics and 32% of African Americans).
- Thirty-one percent of girls admit to starving themselves or refusing to eat as a strategy to lose weight.
In an effort to continue to make change, the Girls Scout launched â€œThe Changing Face of Fashion,â€ an initiative addressing the image of girls in the media.Â Girl Scouts of the USA enlisted four models from Wilhelmina Curve creating a collective of videos, through Itâ€™s Your Story, exploring self-esteem and personal empowerment from the perspectives of plus size models Lizzie Miller,Â Anansa Sims, Leona Palmer and Julie Henderson, directed and shot by lifestyle and beauty photographer Cathrine Westergaard.