Eating Disorder Awareness Week – Girlguiding Scotland helps girls bust beauty myth

Girlguiding Scotland is calling for more action to help girls and young women develop body confidence, ahead of Eating Disorder Awareness Week (Monday 23 February – Sunday 1 March 2015).

The charity encourages its Brownies and Guides to challenge the beauty myth by taking part in the Free Being Me badge programme, developed by the Dove Self Esteem project in partnership with the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts. It uses fun activities to encourage girls to celebrate their individuality and boost their confidence.

Recent research by Girlguiding showed 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. The research also shows that six out of ten girls would stop doing something they love because of the way they look.

Rebecca MacLennan, 22, a Girlguiding Peer Educator and Leader with 6th Carse of Gowrie Guide Unit and Riverside Senior Section Unit in Dundee, said: “I was shocked to learn that six out of 10 girls are telling us they would stop doing something they love because of the way they look – this shows the huge pressure girls and young women are under.

“We need to help girls learn that beauty comes from within and empower them to develop their body confidence and self-esteem.”

Sue Walker, Girlguiding Scotland’s Chief Commissioner, said: “As Scotland’s leading charity for girls and young women we have a key role to play in helping them grow their self-esteem so they can realise their full potential in life.

“I’m very proud of Rebecca and other Girlguiding Scotland peer educators – the work they do is hugely inspiring and vital in helping young women fight back against the damage caused by unrealistic beauty myths.”

ENDS

Notes to editors:

    1. For more information about ‘Free Being Me’, please visit:http://www.girlguiding.org.uk/get_involved/peer_education/free_being_me.aspx.
    2. For further information on Girlguiding’s research, please visit: www.girlguiding.org.uk/girlsattitudes.

Girlguiding Scotland is Scotland’s leading charity for girls and young women with more than 60,000 members. We are part of a worldwide movement which enables girls and young women to fulfil their potential and take an active and responsible role in society. Girlguiding opens up a world of exciting opportunities for girls and young women across Scotland. Girls can take part in a wide range of activities from adventure sports to camps, international trips, science projects and community action. Find out more @GirlguidingScot, www.facebook.com/GirlguidingScot or www.girlguidingscotland.org.uk.

Girlguiding is the leading charity for girls and young women in the UK, with 553,633 members. Thanks to the dedication and support of 100,000 amazing volunteers, we are active in every part of the UK, giving girls and young women a space where they can be themselves, have fun, build brilliant friendships, gain valuable life skills and make a positive difference to their lives and their communities. We build girls’ confidence and raise their aspirations. We give them the chance to discover their full potential and encourage them to be a powerful force for good. We give them a space to have fun. We run Rainbows (5–7 years), Brownies (7–10 years), Guides (10–14 years) and The Senior Section (14–25 years). Registered Charity No 306016. www.girlguiding.org.uk.