Girls finding self-esteem

Published 12:12 pm Tuesday, June 1, 2010

It’s unfortunate that nearly 9 in 10 American teenage girls say that the fashion industry is at least partially responsible for girls’ obsession with being skinny according to Beauty Redefined, a national survey recently released by the Girl Scouts.

The survey, which included more than 1,000 girls ages 13 to 17, finds many girls consider the body image sold by the fashion industry unrealistic, creating an unattainable model of beauty.

In addition to celebrities and fashion models, the study also showed that peers, friends and parents are strong influences in how teenage girls feel about their bodies.

Girl Scouts of North-Central Alabama uses the uniquely Me! program to reach out to the Hispanic population in Shelby County. This program combats many of the issues facing Hispanic pre-adolescent and adolescent aged girls.

The overall goal of uniquely Me! is to foster the growth of self-esteem within the realms of the participant’s intellectual, physical, psychological, social and mental development.

Troop 188 from Oak Mountain recently earned their Fun and Fit badge, which educates girls about proper warm-ups and stretches before exercising, proper hygienic, stress and the dangers of substance abuse so they can lead healthy lives.

Health implications of the preoccupation with super thinness are serious. Nearly one in three girls say they’ve starved themselves in an effort to lose weight. In addition, 42 percent report knowing someone their age who has forced themselves to throw up after eating, while 37 percent say they know someone their age who has been diagnosed with an eating disorder.

The survey also found most teenagers consider weight loss measures-even the more extreme- acceptable. Twenty-five percent say it’s acceptable for girls their age to take weight-loss pills, and nearly one in five consider weight-loss surgery acceptable. Girl Scout programs empower girls to be comfortable with who they are, but also encourage a healthy lifestyle that encompasses emotional and physical well-being.

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