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Survey reveals the pressure girls feel about their appearance

By Megan Rose

A recent study from Girlguiding UK has given a worrying insight into the importance girls place on their appearance.

The Girls’ Attitude Survey 2016, which was conducted by the children and young people’s research agency Childwise, was carried out between March and May this year.

The survey involved over 1,600 girls aged between 7 and 21, and highlights the damaging effects focusing on a girl’s appearance can have on her confidence.

The survey found that only 61 per cent of girls said they were happy with how they looked, which was down from 73 per cent in 2011. A quarter of girls aged between 7 and 10 said they'd been criticised because of their body, with 36 per cent saying they believed their appearance is the most important thing about them.

Almost half (47 per cent) of 11-to-21-year-olds reported that they felt the way they look holds them back most of the time. Half of 17-to-21-year-olds said they feel embarrassed or ashamed about how they look, while 75 per cent of 11-to-21-year-olds agreed that women are judged more on their appearance than their abilities.

Becky Hewitt, director of Girlguiding UK, labelled the research as ‘shocking’ and said ‘we are calling on everyone to show girls that they are valued for who they are - not what they look like.’

In 2014, Girlguiding UK introduced their Free Being Me badge, aimed at supporting girls with body confidence issues as well as teaching them that the way they look does not define their capabilities.

To read the story in full, click here.

Or, to read the report, click here.

Image: Public Domain