A major survey by Girlguiding has revealed how young girls in the UK feel pressured by gender stereotypes which are severely damaging their body confidence.
The 2016 Girls’ Attitudes Survey, which collected data from over 1,600 young women across the UK, found that 47% of girls aged 11–21 say the way they look holds them back. Over 30% of girls as young as seven-years-old said they do not feel pretty enough most of the time.
There has also been a significant decline in how happy girls feel about their appearance overall. In 2011, 73% of girls aged seven to 21 were content with how they looked, compared to 61% this year. In addition, 61% of girls aged 11–21 said they had experienced people criticizing their bodies.
Advocates for Girlguiding said the were concerned by the results.
“Some of this year’s findings shocked us,” they wrote in the forward to the survey. “Despite our hope that we’ll see things continually improving for girls and young women, it’s clear that in many areas of their lives, they’re not.”
The survey also addressed everyday sexism as well as emotional wellbeing and the impact of social media.
69% of girls aged seven–21 admitted they feel like they are not good enough, while 49% of girls aged 11–21 said their fear of abuse online made them feel less free to share their views.
The majority of girls who took part in the survey agreed that more should be done to address sexism and cyber bullying while many would like to see more support with their mental health.
“Too many young people are suffering in silence because they think nothing can be done to help them and no one will take them seriously if they tell their problems,” one girl said.
Despite the barriers and pressures raised by the research, the authors of the report said the survey showed that ‘girls have a clear vision for a better world.
”Overwhelmingly, girls want to live in a world without gender stereotypes, where women and girls aren’t judged on how they look, where they are safe and where people are not discriminated against,” the report stated in its summary.
“By listening to girls we can address the barriers they face to achieving their aspirations and support them to flourish.”
From: Goodhousekeeping UK
Editor’s Note: Every girl is beautiful in their own way. Your size doesn’t define who you are but what’s inside you.Build a strong character with good values and you’ll shine like the morning star.Makeup and weaves do make us pretty on the outside but its actually what is inside that counts. Don’t let peer pressure change who you are.You’re good enough, one of a kind…You’re Gorgeous !