A survey by Girlguides found that the media and celebrities influenced the way young women and girls felt about the way they looked. Alarmingly, a third of the girls surveyed were unhappy with the way they looked.
As girls get older the pressure they feel increases – over half of 14-16 years olds report being unhappy with their looks. Other key data from their survey includes:
•One in four girls aged between 11-to-21 would consider cosmetic surgery
•87 per cent think they are judged more on looks than ability
•43 per cent of girls say the way women are sometimes criticised for their looks on TV puts them off wanting to be on TV themselves
•38 per cent of girls aged 11-to-21 say they have sometimes skipped meals to help lose weight
•One in five girls of primary school age has been on a diet
These are issues that are being addressed by the All Party Parliamentary Group on Body Image, of which I am a member. As part of this, I was interviewed by a group of school girls who were on a BBC-run project to explore ways in which women are portrayed in the media. Watch the interview here.
This is an increasing problem – and not just for girls. So I hope you will take time to visit the website and sign up to the BRAVE pledge.
Visit the website and sign here