Body Image

How tween and teen girls feel about their bodies is influenced by numerous factors, from friends and family to media online and offline to even their religious beliefs. Even though most girls are not negatively affected by these factors, on a typical day they do consider their looks (clothes, hair, body) from sometimes, to all the time. One piece of advice that girls believe could positively affect other girls is for them to accept and be proud of themselves.

Statistics

(Source: Girl Scout Research Institute, Girl Survey Panel, N=351, April 2008)

Seven out of ten girls in 6th to 12th grade are very happy or kind of happy with how their bodies look. A little more than one out of ten girls don’t pay much attention to how their bodies look.

Nearly three out of four girls (73%) compare how they look to girls in the media at least sometimes, with three out of ten girls (29%) comparing their looks either a lot or all the time.

Numerous factors influence how girls feel about their bodies with the prime factor being their friends. Seven out of ten girls said that friends influence how they feel about their bodies, followed largely by family, fashion and media. See the chart below for percentages.

research_chart_girls_body_image

When asked if they could say or do one thing to positively affect how girls today look at their bodies, girls said just to “be yourself,” “accept yourself” and “be happy with yourself.” Confidence and cleanliness were one of the top answers girls gave. They also advised girls to be healthy and not worry about what others think. Being healthy includes eating right, exercising and following the advice of a doctor.

Also see:

The New Normal
Beauty Redefined
Weighing In: Helping Girls Be Healthy