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Girls and body image

joanlawsonjoanlawson Posts: 10,319
edited 29. Jul 2011, 20:03 in Community Chit-chat archive
It seems that girls are worrying about their body image at a younger and younger age. A recent BBC survey found that six out of ten eight to 12-year-olds thought they’d be happier thinner, and research by Girl Guiding UK found that girls under ten often link happiness with body image.

I find this very sad and it's a reflection of the pressure felt by young girls to conform with fashion dictates at an age when they shouldn't have to worry about such things. They are bombarded with advertisements, magazines, and television programmes etc. which all suggest that girls can only be happy and successful if they look like models or pop stars. Apparently, the number of teenagers demanding breast surgery has increased dramatically in recent years too.

As I have three young grand-daughters, it worries me that they are being given the wrong messages about body image. I try to show them that using their intelligence and growing up to be kind and friendly people is far more important than the way they look, but there is so much peer pressure on them these days.

What do you think?

Joan :grin:
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Comments

  • PamieAFC1903PamieAFC1903 Posts: 899
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I suffer from Body Dysmorphic Disorder, I basically hate my body mainly because of the Joint Hypermobility and being called a freak in school with it.

    Working on liking myself again but its a tough corner when there are so many people being shown glamorously :(
    I ♥ Runrig.

    I live, sleep, eat and breathe Runrig!!!!!.
  • barbara12barbara12 Posts: 20,943 ✭✭
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I couldnt agree more Joan, my granddaughters are !0 and 13....I really struggle with the 13 year old....she is very active, but very short for her age...like her mum, so any weight really shows....the poor thing will not be seen in shorts , and has now started to cover the tops of her arms.
    I do let her watch Gok look good naked...and it really help her to see that not many people are happy with there body...I just wish that they would stop these anorexic models and use proper people.
    Love
    Barbara
  • ichabod6ichabod6 Posts: 963
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    A survey, especially one commissioned by a cash strapped bbc
    is neither gospel nor written in stone.
  • tjt6768tjt6768 Posts: 12,170
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    there aren't many folks happy with what they have, but... It's what we've been given, surgery is no solution in my opinion... Learn to love thyself... Just make sure nobody is watching first :shock: :lol::wink:

    I know, it's a serious problem for some and I'm not making light of it before anyone complains.... Just having a laugh.. Good medicine if you've never tried it before, lol...
    :grin:
    e050.gifMe-Tony
    n035.gifRa-1996 -2013 RIP...
    k040.gif
    Cleo - 1996 to 2011. RIP
  • julie47julie47 Posts: 6,142
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Joan

    It is sad that these girls are feeling so insecure at such a young age about their bodies. I also blame magazines with their air brushing that makes everyone look wonderful, and to be slim is to be perfect.
    I think to be kind and have a great personality is more beautiful.
    juliepf x
  • NinaKKangNinaKKang Posts: 663
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Having 3 daughters myself the same age as Joan's granddaughters (12,9 and 7), I've thought about this issue most of their lives. I endeavour to make them see the benefits of eating healthily and loving exercise rather than striving to be a certain weight or size. I find that this brings it's own confidence to them. However, we have not fully reached the teen years (although we have come close) so we shall have to wait and see.

    I also make fun of my wobbly stomach and take every opportunity to point out that women with curves are very attractive. We should not try to look like pre-pubescent boys. I also make a point of never keeping a set of scales in the house.

    We all love our magazines (with 4 wimmin in the house, we're overrun by them) but we talk constantly about airbrushing and cosmetic surgery. I'm also keen to point out celebrities who are celebrated for their natural looks and figures.

    Nxx
  • joanlawsonjoanlawson Posts: 10,319
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thanks for your replies, Pamie, Barbara, Ichabod, Tony, Julie, and Nina.

    Pamie- I'm so sorry that you were bullied at school. Other kids can be so cruel and thoughtless. I hope that you will overcome your Body Dysmorphic Disorder. As you say, it doesn't help when so much emphasis is placed on glamorous women by the media. The thing is that often these women have had a great deal of surgery to achieve their shape/perfect facial features, so they present an unrealistic model for ordinary girls and women.

    Barbara- It's sad that a 13- year-old should feel that she has to cover herself in that way, although most teenagers go through a self-conscious phase. I'm not sure about Gok, but do agree about anorexic models.

    Ichabod- I take your point that such surveys are not always accurate, but it is probably an indication of a growing trend for young girls to be concerned about their body image.

    Tony- I agree that learning to accept what we have been given is the solution, but many young girls can't see that. Having a sense of humour helps too (that's what I tell myself when I look in the mirror anyway) :lol:

    Julie- All that airbrushing and cosmetic surgery gives young girls a totally unrealistic idea of how they should try to look. Often these models are shallow personalities on the inside despite their beauty.

    Nina- You are doing a great job in bringing up your girls to be confident, healthy young women. They also happen to be extremely beautiful too :grin: BTW, I haven't noticed your wobbly stomach :lol:

    Joan :grin:
    c1b3ebebbad638aa28ad5ab6d40cfe9c.gif
  • rugbygirlrugbygirl Posts: 691
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I have two daughters who are 18 and 16. They have taken after me in most ways and until recently they were both very slim (size 6 and size 8) but they have now started putting on weight. The 18 year old was virtually anorexic at the age of 9 and I found some images on the internet of anorexic girls saying that if she didnt start eating she would be like them. It was a bit of a shock tactic but it worked.

    Both of the girls were as I say very slim but even so they were bullied because they were 'fat' at school. Now they are struggling with the fact that they have suddenly grown in to women and their shape has resulted in them having to wear size 18 tops and size 16/18 bottoms. They now really struggle with the way they look and the clothes that suit them.

    Gok has helped through his programmes and they are starting to accept who they are.

    Hopefully your granddaughters wont have the same problems. All you need is to be there and reassure them that they are beautiful. I found it goes a long way.
    Jakib0644.gif
  • PamieAFC1903PamieAFC1903 Posts: 899
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Have you read they are banning L'oreal ads that ave been airbrushed.
    I ♥ Runrig.

    I live, sleep, eat and breathe Runrig!!!!!.
  • constableconstable Posts: 2,115
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I have two girls, one 15 in oct, and one 12 13 jan. The 14 year old is a goth, and really goes through bullying from basically everyone. She has a stomach but is still growing, wants to try and diet. I told her she doesn't need to diet(when I was her age I started dieting and ended up using laxatives to keep the weight down and making myself sick) there's no way she's going throught that.

    My 12 years old is A.D.H.D, so she is very very small with a bone structure well below her years. She is trying to get in with the in croud, but the dressing up and wearing make up is to much for her to be bothered with (I'm glad to say) So she says they will have to accept her for who she is) but I know that will change.

    Even when I was young, there was a lot of pier pressure ut it has got worse and worse for our children now.


    Karen xx
    Karen xx
  • constableconstable Posts: 2,115
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Pamie

    Yes I've seen that and I think strongly that they should be banned.

    Karen xx
    Karen xx
  • joanlawsonjoanlawson Posts: 10,319
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Jaki- My daughter was borderline anorexic when she was a teenager but luckily she began eating properly when she met her husband to be. He is a very good cook and he encouraged her to eat more healthily, which she has done ever since. I always said that it was the power of love :grin:

    I hope that your daughters will come to accept their bodies and not worry too much about their figures. At 16 and 18 they should be enjoying life to the full, as I'm sure you are helping them to do.

    Karen- Your experience of dieting should be a warning to your daughters. I think you are right that there is more peer pressure at a younger age these days.
    c1b3ebebbad638aa28ad5ab6d40cfe9c.gif
  • PamieAFC1903PamieAFC1903 Posts: 899
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    constable wrote:
    Hi Pamie

    Yes I've seen that and I think strongly that they should be banned.

    Karen xx

    Yeh

    I have ADHD aswell, its not perfect thing to have in the world.

    I was Anemic in 2005, my mum literally made sure my mate checked on my eating at college and made him sign a note to say what I had to eat.
    I ♥ Runrig.

    I live, sleep, eat and breathe Runrig!!!!!.
  • joanlawsonjoanlawson Posts: 10,319
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I've just read an article by Susie Orbach ( author of Fat is a Feminist Issue ) which I think is relevant to this thread.

    Quote: Body anxiety and body hatred – and it is that – let's not prettify it, are eating into the confidence of girls and women. Every morning, millions of women in the west wake up, check their stomachs and wonder if it is going to be a good day or a bad day in relation to food. They go to the mirror and are critical. They plan to go to the gym, run or do something to keep their body in check. Their bodies are not something that they embrace, but something to tussle with and over. They have grown up in an atmosphere where evaluating, fretting and transforming one's body is now the norm.

    The body has become commercialised. Every surface of it is scrutinised. From toes to neck, from bottoms to elbows, there are treatments to change the normal processes of ageing – whether one is young and is trying to look older or old and trying to look younger.

    There is a great deal of money to be made through this discomfort. And if the discomfort can be marketed to younger and younger children, with makeup lines for six-year-olds, then the sense of bodies always needing to be paid attention to via products creates budding consumers for the beauty companies.

    But of course it isn't just the beauty industry. The style, diet, cosmetic surgery, fashion, and fitness industry – and yes these are all industries bent on selling the maximum number of goods – are getting fat on girls and women feeling bad about their appearance.


    I think there is a lot of truth in that

    Joan :grin:
    c1b3ebebbad638aa28ad5ab6d40cfe9c.gif
  • rugbygirlrugbygirl Posts: 691
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Wow that is amazing and so so true.

    Thank you for posting that Joan
    Jakib0644.gif
  • PamieAFC1903PamieAFC1903 Posts: 899
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    joanlawson wrote:
    I've just read an article by Susie Orbach ( author of Fat is a Feminist Issue ) which I think is relevant to this thread.

    Quote: Body anxiety and body hatred – and it is that – let's not prettify it, are eating into the confidence of girls and women. Every morning, millions of women in the west wake up, check their stomachs and wonder if it is going to be a good day or a bad day in relation to food. They go to the mirror and are critical. They plan to go to the gym, run or do something to keep their body in check. Their bodies are not something that they embrace, but something to tussle with and over. They have grown up in an atmosphere where evaluating, fretting and transforming one's body is now the norm.

    The body has become commercialised. Every surface of it is scrutinised. From toes to neck, from bottoms to elbows, there are treatments to change the normal processes of ageing – whether one is young and is trying to look older or old and trying to look younger.

    There is a great deal of money to be made through this discomfort. And if the discomfort can be marketed to younger and younger children, with makeup lines for six-year-olds, then the sense of bodies always needing to be paid attention to via products creates budding consumers for the beauty companies.

    But of course it isn't just the beauty industry. The style, diet, cosmetic surgery, fashion, and fitness industry – and yes these are all industries bent on selling the maximum number of goods – are getting fat on girls and women feeling bad about their appearance.


    I think there is a lot of truth in that

    Joan :grin:


    100% truth. My cousin was brought up without all of that kiddie make up n the clothes for young kinds aswell and I can say she has turned out better than I did when I was 11 :-/
    I ♥ Runrig.

    I live, sleep, eat and breathe Runrig!!!!!.
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