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Girl Guides & Girl Scouts Tackle Body Image

Posted Aug 06 2010 2:53am
When I think back to my childhood, some of the most wonderful memories I have are of being a Brownie, Girl Guide and Junior Leader.  I loved it so much I went on to become a Guide Leader myself for many years.  The World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts has been incredibly good to me, opening up opportunities for me to travel overseas, not once, but twice.  I had my first trip overseas to California in the USA when I was just 17, and at 21 was blessed to stay at the World Guiding Centre Sangam in India where I did volunteer work in the local community for a month.  I met some amazing women during my time in the Guiding movement from all over the world and saw many girls grow up to be amazing young women when I was a part of their life.  I still think of many of them often and wonder what they are up to now.

I've been thrilled to see that Girl Guides and Girl Scouts from around the world have recently started to show a vested interest in the issue of body image.  The Girl Scouts of the USA have engaged some high profile plus size models to make the below viral video called the 'Changing Face of Fashion.'  The findings mentioned are certainly compelling, with further findings including that 81% of the Girl Scouts would rather see natural images in the media rather than ones that are photoshopped.   Why wouldn't they?  To see more of the great work the Girl Scouts are doing in this area check out their website "It's Your Story."



The Girl Guides of the UK have gone one step further and become political about the issue, calling for the British Prime Minister to "introduce labelling to distinguish between airbrushed and natural images of women in glossy magazines and advertisements."   The call has received the support of the UK's largest eating disorder charity  BEAT  with Chief Executive Susan Ringwood stating - "We know the difference it would make to all young people's self esteem and body confidence if they could be sure which of the images they see are natural and true to life."

The Girl Guides of Australia are also taking up the issue of body image for their members and I am thrilled to have supported them create some of the activity based body image, self esteem and lifestyle content they are rolling out to their girls throughout 2010. 

Congratulations Girl Guides and Girl Scouts for adressing this incredibly important issue for all the girls and young women you are working with and trying to inspire to grow up and become confident and self esteemed women.  Thank you also for all that you have given and continue to give to me in so many ways.  I'll always be proud to say I was a member of your organisation.

Image: WAGGGS
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