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Society needs a makeover

Society needs a makeover

It's time to #ListenToGirls about body image

Girls shouldn’t be held back because society says they should look a certain way. But around the world, including here in the UK, girls are missing out on achieving their dreams, because they’re worried about their body image.

From the images they see in the media to harmful comments at school, girls experience huge pressure around their appearance. The result? They’re missing out on going to school, going to job interviews and getting their voices heard.

Girls are telling us it’s society that needs a makeover. That's why we are asking you to #ListenToGirls about body image and send them a message – so they know they can reach their goals and fulfil their potential.

message

Let girls know they have the power to achieve their dreams. Add your message below and we’ll share it with the girls we work with in the UK:

What are girls telling us?

because of worries about their appearance

1 in 6 UK girlshave missed school or work

1 in 4 UK girls have not left the house (to do things like go to the shop or out for a walk)

1 in 5 UK girlshave avoided public speaking

Unlocking girls' dreams

“I will still feel self-conscious when I get to college. But it won’t stop me from achieving my dream.”

Emma, Cwmbran

We are thrilled to announce we’re teaming up with The Body Shop to help girls in the UK to dream big and achieve their potential. They’ll be supporting our new Girls Shout Out programme, providing a much-needed safe space online where girls can discuss the issues that matter most to them and broaden their understanding of girls’ rights.

Kadie from Birmingham talks about body image

'There was a lot of pressure'

“For me growing up there was a lot of pressure to be this perfect person body wise, to have the perfect eyes – the perfect everything, and you see that through media."

"It dictates what activities you’re willing to take part in. Some people won’t do certain things because they don’t look like the girl on Instagram and it’s a shame, because if you want to do something, the way you look shouldn’t really be a barrier. Just because society tells you to look a certain way it doesn't mean you have to listen.” 

Kadie, Birmingham

This is a global issue

Girls around the world are feeling the pressure to fit an ‘ideal’ face and body type and it’s holding them back from fully participating in society

Yara from Brazil talks about body image
Yara, 19, is part of Champions of Change in Brazil. Supported by DAZN and Stats Perform, the project supports girls and boys to challenge harmful stereotypes and expectations of beauty.

'Girls are told to be thin and beautiful'

“Girls are told to be thin and beautiful, they must behave and if they feel good about wearing shorts or a revealing top, society gets biased, judging girls by the clothes they wear."

"My hair has always been curly. I was very ashamed, I did everything to try and change it. But today I know this is my way, that I'm happy for what I am. We live in a world where everything must be perfect. Despite that, I think we have to find a way to be happy.”

Yara, Brazil

'You should be yourself'

“In Vietnam a slim, petite figure with a v-line face, big dolly eyes and glass skin is still praised by most people."

"I was very fortunate to be surrounded by kind-hearted, very grounded friends and family that have allowed me to stay comfortable while slowly figuring out my own version of the ‘ideal body’. I feel like I have been able to find my style, how I can present myself confidently, and how I can show my inner self. I believe you should be yourself.”

Thu Linh, Vietnam

Tell girls they have the power to achieve their dreams

*our survey was carried out by Opinium Research amongst a representative sample of 1,0004 14-21 year-old girls in the UK from 13th to 22nd August 2019.

If you've been affected by issues related to body image and need to talk to someone, you can call Childline on 0800 1111 or visit their website.