They’ve been around for nearly a century, count 3.3 million members worldwide, and are considered a preeminent leadership development organization.
In case the only thing you know about the Girl Scouts is their unwavering dedication to supplying America with Thin Mints, it’s time to learn more.
With the help of four Wilhelmina Curve models (the agency’s division of women size 10 and up), Girl Scouts of the USA created The Changing Face of Fashion, a series of videos that explore self-esteem and personal empowerment.
Told from the perspectives of plus-size models Anansa Sims, Leona Palmer, Julie Henderson, and Lizzie Miller (remember her from the now-famous Glamour nude shot?), the videos are part of a new Girl Scouts initiative to address the image of girls in the media.
As if we needed any more proof that females are constantly bombarded with distorted messages, a survey from the Girl Scout Research Institute revealed some disturbing statistics. Though almost 90 percent of the 1,000 girls polled, ages 13 to 17, said the fashion industry and/or media place a lot of pressure on them to be thin, 3 out of 4 girls still consider fashion “really important.”
Furthermore, nearly one-third said they have used drastic methods such as starving themselves to lose weight, and more than one-third know someone their age who has been diagnosed with an eating disorder.
Rather than sit back and stare at the startling statistics, the Girl Scouts are doing something major. They’re partnering with the Dove Self-Esteem fund to offer programming for girls nationwide and will focus their core leadership program to address issues of body image in the media and its relation to self-esteem.
And according to a press release, the Girls Scouts have also “been instrumental in the introduction of The Healthy Media for Youth Act (H.R. 4925) to Congress…this bill will work to promote healthy images of women in the media through a grant program that will support youth empowerment groups, media literacy programs, and further research into the effects of the media on women and girls.”
We can’t wait to see where their leadership takes us.
For more information on The Changing Face of Fashion, visit http://www.girlscouts.org/itsyourstory/ and check out the video below:
— Michelle Konstantinovsky is a student at UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism and an avid admirer of shiny objects and preteen entertainment. It would be nice if you visited her website: www.michellekmedia.com. Also, she may learn to use Twitter more effectively if you follow her @michelley415.