Friday, February 19, 2010

Tweens and Fashion Week, Part Three - Self Esteem, Tweens and Fashion Week

We wrote earlier about tween fashion blogger Tavi and about the head of the Wilhelmina Kids & Tweens modeling agency hosting a live radio broadcast from Fashion Week, but another very important event was supposed to kick-off New York Fashion Week: the Girl Scouts/Dove Self Esteem Fund Panel on Tweens, the Media and the Fashion Industry. This panel was unfortunately post-poned due to the blizzard, and there's no word as yet on when it will be re-scheduled.

The panel was supposed to discuss the results of a recent study of tween girls and their attitudes towards the fashion industry. Here's a summary:

The Girl Scouts along with the Dove Self Esteem program just released study results about tween girls' attitudes towards the fashion industry. Really, really good food for thought:
"The increased scrutiny of the fashion industry and its use of ultrathin models isn't without validation, as nearly 9 in 10 American teenage girls say that the fashion industry is at least partially responsible for "girls' obsession with being skinny," according to a national survey released today by the Girl Scouts of the USA.

The nationwide survey, which included more than 1,000 girls ages 13 to 17, finds 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.

A substantial majority of those surveyed say they would prefer that the fashion industry project more "real" images. Eighty-one percent of teen girls say they would prefer to see natural photos of models rather than digitally altered and enhanced images. Seventy-five percent say they would be more likely to buy clothes they see on real-size models than on women who are super skinny.

We reported more about the study results of the study here.

Self esteem and body image issues loom large at this age, but it's also the age at which many girls begin to form a real interest in and passion for fashion. We believe these results are a clarion call to the industry to use a wider variety of models if for no reason other than the fact that their own impressionable daughters are watching and learning. While we have our First Lady launching a campaign to fight the causes of childhood obesity, we must also be watchful of the very real dangers of too much focus on body image (eating disorders, self esteem issues and more) and strike the right balance for our daughters. We look forward to attending the panel when it is re-scheduled.


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