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

August 4, 2010 | 11:38 am

Girlscouts

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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