Girl Scouts Unveils 'The Changing Face of Fashion'


July 27, 2010

Girl Scouts of the USA
Joshua Ackley
(212) 852-8038

Girl Scouts of the USA enlisted four models from Wilhelmina Curve to celebrate The Changing Face of Fashion. A set of videos exploring self esteem and personal empowerment from the perspectives of plus size models Lizzie Miller, Anansa Sims, Leona Palmer and Julie Henderson, The Changing Face of Fashion was directed and shot by lifestyle and beauty photographer Cathrine Westergaard. As a part of a new initiative at Girl Scouts to address the image of girls in the media, The Changing Face of Fashion is supported by findings from The Girl Scout Research Institute.

Beauty Redefined: Girls and Body Image Survey (2010), a nationwide survey which included more than 1,000 girls ages 13 to 17, shows many girls consider the body image sold by the fashion industry unrealistic, creating an unattainable model of beauty. Nearly 90 percent of those surveyed say the fashion industry (89 percent) and/or the media (88 percent) place a lot of pressure on them to be thin. However, despite the criticism of this industry, 3 out of 4 girls say that fashion is "really important" to them.

"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 and it is something that they struggle to reconcile with when they look at themselves in the mirror."

The health implications of the preoccupation with unrealistic images are serious. Nearly one in three girls say they have starved themselves or refused to eat in an effort to lose weight. In addition, more than a third (37 percent) say they know someone their age who has been diagnosed with an eating disorder.

Girl Scouts of the USA and the Dove Self-Esteem Fund have partnered to offer self-esteem programming for girls nationwide and will be focusing their core leadership program to address the issues of body image in the media in relation to self-esteem. In addition to program initiatives, Girl Scouts of the USA has been instrumental in the introduction of The Healthy Media for Youth Act (H.R. 4925) to Congress, by two congresswomen, Representatives Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV). 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.

For more information on The Changing Face of Fashion, go to: www.girlscouts.org/program/journeys/your_story/

About Girl Scouts
Founded in 1912, Girl Scouts of the USA is the preeminent leadership development organization for girls with 3.3 million girl and adult members worldwide. Girl Scouts is the leading authority on girls' healthy development, and builds girls of courage, confidence and character, who make the world a better place. The organization serves girls from every corner of the United States and its territories. Girl Scouts of the USA also serves American girls living overseas in 90 countries. For more information on how to join, volunteer, reconnect or donate to Girl Scouts, call (800) GSUSA 4 U (800-478-7248) or visit www.girlscouts.org.

About Wilhelmina Models
A leader in the fashion industry since its conception, Wilhelmina Models utilizes its unique perspective and knowledge of all angles of the business, while continuing to redefine the industry through innovative strategic partnerships, national model searches and representation of leading talent and celebrities. Forty years after Wilhelmina Models was founded, this fashion-forward, diverse and internationally known company continues to thrive. For more information on Wilhelmina Models, please visit www.wilhelmia.com or contact Kate Mann or David Ninh at PMK-BNC - 212.582.1111 - Kate.Mann@pmkbnc.com / David.Ninh@pmkbnc.com.