What do Google and low confidence have in common?
We all know that we can turn to Google to answer just about everything. That last minute activity for Rainbows, check! That difficult question from the inquisitive Brownie, check!
But amongst this years most searched for topics released by Google, was the concerning question “how to accept myself for who I am”.
Girlguiding’s Girls’ Attitudes Survey 2016 reveals a steep five year decline in girls’ body confidence, with 61% aged 7 to 21 feeling happy with how they look today, down from 73% in 2011- so is it any wonder that search engines reflect this?
We’ve picked 5 tips to help build confidence and resilience:
Change the conversation
In Girlguiding’s Girls Attitude Survey, 46% of 11-16 year olds feel they need to look perfect, with this number rising to 61% for 17-21 year olds.
So why not set yourself a challenge and the next time you hear someone being critical of themselves, change the conversation! Respond with a compliment about their strengths, skills, or something else you admire and the positivity will be contagious!
Learn what’s real
65% of girls say they often or sometimes compare themselves to celebrities. It’s no surprise then that 69% of girls aged 7 – 21 feel like they are not good enough.
Next time you read a magazine, go on social media, or compare yourself to a model it’s important to remember that the majority of these ‘perfect’ images are not achievable. Most go through hours of makeup and have a whole team to help, their pictures are altered afterwards on a computer to make them look ‘even more perfect’.
Be nice to yourself
We all have good and bad days. Sometimes your confidence is sky high and the next day you need more of a boost.
When you have a spare 5 minutes grab some post-its and write down everything you’re great at. Stick them around a mirror or on your bedroom wall. Make sure you keep adding to it with more things you love about yourself.
Regularly re-read your post-its and remember the confidence you felt when you created this list of strengths.
If you have experienced body shaming or feel that more needs to be done to stop girls and young women feeling pressured to look ‘perfect’, then use your voice to demand change.
Is your favourite magazine publishing heavily edited photos? Stop buying the publication and write a letter to the editor explaining why. If there is an advert promoting unrealistic body standards? Take to social media and voice your opinion. Want to see more being done to combat sexual harassment in schools? Write to your MSP.
Download our WOWwoman resource as part of our campaign to celebrate positive female role models and help the girls in your unit to feel empowered.
Or book a brilliant Peer Educator to run the Free Being Me programme in your unit. This unique programme uses fun activities to empower girls and young people to be more body confident and stand up to social pressures.