Girlguiding Scotland calls for action to stop low body confidence hitting girls’ wellbeing – Eating Disorder Week 2016

Girlguiding Scotland is calling for action to stop low body confidence taking a toll on girls’ wellbeing, during Eating Disorders Awareness Week.

Girlguiding’s 2015 Girls’ Attitudes Survey showed that worries over low body confidence are amongst a maelstrom of pressures taking a toll on girls’ wellbeing. The survey found that eating disorders are one of the top health concerns for girls aged 11 – 21, and that two in three girls know someone with an eating disorder.

The 2015 findings also revealed wider pressures around body image. Two in five girls aged 11 – 21 reported that they had had a demeaning comment made to them about the way they look and a rising number of them say they think women are not portrayed fairly in the media – moving from 27 per cent in 2010 to 48 per cent in 2015.

Previous Girls’ Attitudes Surveys have revealed that a staggering one in four girls aged between 11 and 21 would consider cosmetic surgery and that 87 per cent think they are judged more on looks than on ability.

Katie Horsburgh, 15, a Girlguiding Scotland member from Edinburgh, said:

“As a teenage girl myself, I know how difficult it can be to be surrounded by images of women with unattainable ‘perfect’ bodies.

“We need to help girls learn that beauty comes from within and value them for their skills and personalities – not their looks.

“Girlguiding Scotland is for all girls and treats all girls equally – I can definitely say that guiding has helped me to see the ‘beauty myth’ for what it is and become more confident.”

Katie also spoke to Forth 1 as part of their feature on Eating Disorders Awareness week, where she helped highlight the survey findings.

Sue Walker, Girlguiding Scotland’s Chief Commissioner, said:

“As Scotland’s leading charity for girls and young women it’s our mission to help them build their confidence through fun, adventure and friendship.

“We’re here to help young women fight back against the damage caused by unrealistic beauty myths and realise their full potential in life.”