“Girl Scouts Enlist Plus-Size Models to Promote Better Body Image”
For nearly 100 years, the Girl Scouts organization has been helping build girls of courage, confidence, character and community-mindedness. Now they want the girls to feel good about their bodies, too. In a bold move, the Girl Scouts organization has gotten four gorgeous Wihelmina Curve plus-size models to contribute to a campaign promoting a healthy body image for girls. Available for viewing on the Girl Scouts website and on YouTube, the individual clips feature Anansa Sims, Leona Palmer, Julie Henderson and Lizzie Miller, who share their views about body acceptance.
The plan was hatched after a survey of girl scouts by the Girl Scout Research Institute found that 37 percent of the 1,000 13- to 16-year old girls polled know someone with an eating disorder and almost 90 percent thought the fashion industry placed too much emphasis on being thin. Even more disturbing, nearly one third had used drastic measures such as starving themselves to lose weight.
It’s all part of the Girl Scout’s focus on addressing self-esteem in girls. The Girl Scouts and Dove Self-Esteem Fund (the Dove brand is known for their realistic-sized models used in ads) have teamed up, for example, to create the Uniquely ME! self-esteem programming that addresses body issues prompted by the media’s glamorization of ultra-thin bodies. The Girl Scouts have also been actively trying to get passage of the Healthy Media for Youth Act, a bill which promotes healthier images of women in the media.
“The fashion industry remains a powerful influence on girls and the way they view themselves and their bodies,” says Kimberlee Salmond, a senior researcher at the Girl Scout Research Institute. “Teenage girls take cues about how they should look from models they see in fashion magazines and on TV and it is something that they struggle to reconcile with when they look at themselves in the mirror.”