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Girl Scouts launches self-esteem videos featuring plus-size models


The Girl Scouts wants girls to have their Samoa cookies and eat them too.

The iconic organization is tackling low self-esteem and poor body image through a series of viral videos, "The Changing Face of Fashion," which espouse the importance of cultivating inner beauty and personal empowerment, no matter your dress size.

The short videos features four fresh-faced plus-size models from the Wilhelmina Curve agency (none of whom, unfortunately, look larger than a size 10) telling short stories about their lives. One model shares her experiences in the military, while another talks about getting signed as a model. "It was the first time someone said I was perfect," she says, looking delighted.

The series was directed and shot by lifestyle and beauty photographer Cathrine Westergaard as a part of a new initiative to "address the image of girls in the media."

"The Changing Face of Fashion" was supported by findings from the Girl Scout Research Institute, which, in a nationwide survey that included more than 1,000 girls ages 13 to 17, discovered that many girls consider the body image ideals held forth by the fashion industry unrealistic.

Still, though 89% of those surveyed said the fashion industry places pressure on them to be thin, three out of four of the girls surveyed said fashion is "really important" to them. (Ah, the ubiquitous Catch-22 even us grown-up gals struggle with).

“The fashion industry remains a powerful influence on girls and the way they view themselves and their bodies,” said Kimberlee Salmond, senior researcher at the Girl Scout Research Institute. “Teenage girls take cues about how they should look from models they see in fashion magazines and on TV. It is something they struggle to reconcile with when they look at themselves in the mirror.”

-- Emili Vesilind

Photo: Screen shot from "The Changing Face of Fashion." Credit: Girl Scouts of the USA

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Girl Scouts also supports the Healthy Media for Youth Act, HR 4925, a bill in the US House of Representatives that encourages healthier media images of girls and women for the benefit of all youth. The bill creates a competitive grant program for media literacy programs, facilitates research on the health effects of negative media images on youth, and establishes a taskforce to create voluntary standards for more girl-positive media.

To send a letter of support for the Healthy Media for Youth Act to your Member of Congress, visit Be a voice for girls today!

I am a former girl scout and a plus size model.( i am a size 10)

First of all, I hate to be called a Plus Size....

the problem that i am having with this article is NOT that Girl Scouts are doing this project ( it is pretty great!).
the problem is the fact that Emili Vesilind says about the models non ' unfortunately, look larger than a size 10)'

-fashion industry marked plus size models as a woman size 10 and up.-which in US is a regular size of a woman.
fashion industry has not created anything for the regular woman market yet.
Lane Bryant, Evans, Torrid... they need to stop making models look bigger then they usually are. why can't they just be healthy, beautiful, young woman?
I don't think Girl Scouts would allowed any body alterations through photoshop on them.
- have you thought about the fact that the girl are shot from a different angle?
actually an angle that looks more flattering on screen? ( look at the photos that are attached to the campaign) do they NEED to look obese to make you listen?

it seems to me that our society got lost somewhere and can't figure out what they want.
Ralph Lauren gets 'free press' when they make their models extremely skinny.
Crystal Renn gets ' free press' when supposedly her body gets photoshoped and after that scores a campaign for jean paul gaultier

1. anyone can have un- flattering picture of themselves.
plus size models are size 10 and up which in US is a regular size of a woman.

So a plus size model is someone who is a size 10??? So, now normal weight is fat!

Size 10???

I'm a size 14 - and I'm far from fat.

Get A Clue.

This is awful! Why are we teaching young women that being fat and lazy is acceptable? We should be shaming fatty's not enabling them.

What's up with this fat agenda? Is it sponsored by McDonald's & KFC? Why not promote healthy eating so these girls CAN be thin?

And to those here who think a size 10 is normal, put down that greasy drum stick.

Even plus sized models are judged on their outer beauty, not inner smarts. Why not have women scientists and other scholars make the videos?

Looks like Beyonce been eating too much of them Samoa cookies? Hell, she might look Samoan after pun intended ;)

If those are plus-size models, I am going to fly to the moon with the wings that just shot out of my back. They look completely normal weight to me--so are we saying that someone who is a size 10 is a plus size? That is so screwed up I dont know where to start.

This is sooooooo desperately needed. The media outlets already photoshop and trim women who are already a size 0-2 and we as society begin to believe that that is the norm and what women should strive for, bringing women to a vicious cycle negative self-body image. Not even the models look that good!!!

I really wish however that the video showed the women in full length so that these impressionable girls can see women of different shapes and sizes are beautiful women.

There is a big difference in sizes people and SMALLNESS DOES NOT EQUAL HEALTHY. This is NOT promoting fatness. Its promoting health, body acceptance, and fighting main stream media's idea of what is beautiful. How awful is it to grow up, see these images and if you don't fit the ideal you're not worthy of believing you are someone beautiful and worth of love? Im a size 12 and can out run, out yoga, out bicycle, and out perform athletically most of my smaller friends who average size 4-10 (except basketball, I suck at that).


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