In response to alarming statistics relating to body image amongst Australia’s young women, the Equality Rights Alliance is running a campaign to fight negative body image. The Alliance is intent on promoting positive body images in the media that show the diversity of natural, real beauty.
Guides Australia put out a report today showing that body image is a major concern for young girls. Australian Guides Say 2010 is a report on the findings of a comprehensive survey of more than 4,239 girls aged 5 to 30 years.
The report found, among other things, that 63 per cent of girls aged 10-14 and 75 per cent f those aged 18-30, believe that the media think being ‘pretty and thin’ is the most important thing for girls. The pressure to look good is also one of the top 10 worst things about being a girl.
Emma Davidson, Project Coordinator of the Equality Rights Alliance, is particularly impassioned about changing the media’s portrayal of positive body image.
“As a mother of two little girls, it is devastating for me to think that even after all we Gen X women have done to make the world better for our daughters, they’re still – as young as five years old – going to feel pressure to conform to body image stereotypes,” said Davidson.
And it’s not just little girls who feel it. According to Mission Australia’s National Survey of Young Australians 2010, Body Image is the top personal concern among 11-24 year old young Australians. This highly regarded survey had 50,240 participants, with 53.9 per cent of the respondents being female.
The extremes of unhealthy eating – anorexia nervosa and bulimia – are not just 1980s teen girl hot topics. They’re a growing problem in modern Australian society. Approximately one in 100 adolescent girls develop anorexia nervosa, making it the third most common chronic illness in girls, after obesity and asthma. Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any psychiatric illness, with a death rate higher than that of major depression.
“As part of this vital campaign, we are asking Minister Peter Garrett (as Minister for Youth) to commit to promoting 100 fashion industry organisations who comply with the Voluntary Industry Code of Conduct on Body Image launched in June 2010,” said Davidson.
If you feel as strongly about helping our girls reclaim their natural, unairbrushed beauty, and develop a realistic and healthy view of their own bodies, head to AvantCard now to download a copy of the positive body image postcard – iwd.equalityrightsalliance.org.au/vision – print it out, fill it in and join the Alliance’s aim to flood Garrett’s office with a demand for action.
Let’s do it for the girls.