I stumbled across the Pretty Foundation recently and, as a mum to a 4 year old girl, I really wanted to get on board and help them share their message.
The campaign runs for the month of August and is a great way to make small changes in your language to help improve your kids body image.
PRETTY FOUNDATION OVERVIEW
To change the world so that women and girls feel confident about their bodies.
To empower women and girls with the perspective, skills and support to develop and nurture a positive body image for themselves and others.
The far reaching impact of negative body image is well documented – and its only getting worse as peer pressure, traditional and social media influence has an increasing effect on the next generation of girls.
· Over 50% of preschool aged girls are dissatisfied with their bodies (Tatangelo, McCabe, Mellor, & Mealey, 2016)
· An American study found that 14% of 5 year olds reported dieting behaviours (Holub et al., 2005)
· In Australia, clinical eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa have been found in children as young as five (Madden, Morris, Zurynski, Kohn & Elliot, 2009)
· 37% of three-year-old children would like to have a different body size (Damiano et al 2015)
· 90% of 12 to 17-year-old girls are on a diet of some type (Mission Australia, 2015).
· By 3 some girls already have internalised the idea that thin is good and bigger is bad (Harriger, J. A., Calogero, R. M., Witherington, D. C., & Smith, J. E. (2010). Body size stereotyping and internalisation of the thin ideal in preschool girls. Sex Roles, 63,609–620.
· Body dissatisfaction has been linked to the development of a range of poor health outcomes, including higher depressive symptoms, lower self-esteem, lower physical activity, and greater risk of disordered eating and clinical eating disorders, in adolescence (Neumark-Sztainer, Paxton, Hannan, Haines, & Story, 2006: Paxton, Neumark-Sztainer, Hannan & Eisenberg, 2006: Stice & Shaw, 2002)
Research shows that the foundations for building a positive body image are laid in early childhood. That’s why it made perfect sense for us to take the body image conversation back to the start – and focus our efforts on young girls aged two to six years old.
To do this we are launching initiatives that directly build resilience in young girls. In addition to this, as parents play a significant role, we are developing initiatives that seek to educate and equip parents with the language, tools and confidence to build resilience in their daughters.
During the month of August, we are going to be focusing on 4 key ‘I AM’ phrases, one per week that we are encouraging parents to share with their little girls. Each phrase will seek to teach them the truth about their bodies and how they are valued.
It’s simple to join in. All you have to do is:
1. Explain - Explain to your little girl about the key phrase for the week and get them to say it out loud every day for that week.
2. Demonstrate - Do an activity that shows your girl how she can live out the phrase. We’d love you to share this with us on Facebook www.facebook.com/prettyfoundation/ or on Instagram www.instagram.com/pretty_foundation/ and use the hashtag #prettypowerful
3. Dig Deeper - If you’ve got time, take part in the supporting girls' activities for that week. You can download the activity sheets from our website at www.prettyfoundation.org
Keen to raise a confident and strong girl?
Check out this resource guide for parents to get started.
If you have any questions, get in touch with the foundation via email here.