NYC Girls Are Beautiful the Way They Are

I'magirlThe statistics about self-esteem in girls are grim:

  • 80 percent of 10-year-old girls are afraid of becoming fat.
  • By middle school, 40 to 70 percent of girls will be unhappy with two or more parts of their bodies.
  • 31 percent of girls admit to starving themselves to lose weight, and 48 percent wish they were as skinny as the fashion models they see in the media.

The city of New York is trying to do something about it by launching the NYC Girls Project. The goal: To combat the self-image problems that plague so many young girls. The campaign features inspirational photographs of girls between the ages of 7 and 12 looking happy, healthy, and confident. Each image proclaims, “I’m a girl. I’m beautiful the way I am.” The striking images have already started appearing on buses and subways around the city.

Girls are bombarded daily by unrealistic and often unhealthy representations of women. NYC Girls Project hopes to broaden their definition of beauty. Girls will, for once, see themselves in the big glossy photo on the side of the bus. And apparently it’s already working. One New York Times commenter wrote that she heard a girl on the subway turn to her mother and exclaim, “That’s me!” when she saw a photo from the campaign.

The project targets girls as young as 7 because research has shown self-image problems start early. But it’s never too late to build confidence.  Why not print out downloadable posters from the campaign to put around your home or classroom? Or make your own—if you do, email us a pic and we’ll feature the most inspiring ones right here on teenbeing.