I don't really have many regrets in my life- but one that I do have is that I was never a Girl Scout. Ok, that's kind of a joke- but I was a Campfire Girl :). Based on the name, you might have a good idea of what kind of group this was- an outdoorsy, camping group for young girls (similar to the Girl Scouts, just more focused on camping and outdoor activities). The funniest part about this is that I asked if I could be a Campfire Girl. For those of you who know me, this is pretty laughable. I love sunshine and being outside, but I'm not exactly the prototypical nature lover and I wasn't really what you would call an outdoorsy child. When the Campfire Girls used to have camping outings, I used to ask my parents to pick me up so I could go home and sleep in my own bed, and then drop me off back at the campsite in the morning so that I could sit around the bonfire in the morning with everyone else. How terrible is that?! Haha. Now that I look back, I'm thinking there was probably a better group for me. Perhaps the Girl Scouts? : )
The Girl Scouts have recently launched a new initiative to help boost girls' self-esteem. I have been so impressed with The Girl Scout organization- they have done SO much for young girls and have really invested a lot into nurturing the self-esteem and confidence of girls all across the US. Their mission: To build girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place. Their new campaign, 'The Changing Face of Fashion' is based upon research that they conducted. They found that in spite of girls knowing that the fashion industry's ideals of beauty are unattainable and unrealistic, 89% of them still wanted to adhere to those standards!! As a result, the Girl Scouts hired four plus-size models and had them share their stories in a series of online videos about self-esteem and body image.
I really, really applaud the Girl Scout organization for using research and targeting a specific need of young women. I wonder though if there is a way for them to address this issue without the use of models? I wonder what it would be like for these young women to hear real women share their struggles with body image and self-esteem, and the impact that the fashion industry has had on them and how they have dealt with it and are dealing with it. I watched some of these videos (check them out here) and I wonder if these plus-size models (who are likely size 10's) do anything to help dispel these beliefs held by young women. I don't know that I have a better suggestion, but what I do know is that using the flawed modeling/fashion industry as a way to combat the irrational beliefs often perpetuated by the industry just seems a little confusing and backwards. I think at this point though, it is great just to get young girls to consider that beauty comes in all different sizes and shapes and colors. And it seems like that is what the Girl Scouts are doing! To check out more about the Girl Scouts and what they are doing, follow this link.