When I saw that The Children’s Society were running a campaign encouraging people in the UK to “stand up for girls” I was very interested. You may have seen before we’re doing our best to raise a confident and happy little girl who believes that girls are just as good as boys. So this campaign is right up my street!
The Good Child Report
There’s a lot of pressure facing young girls today, more than ever before. The recent Good Child Report had some findings that will frighten any parent.
More than a quarter of a million girls aged 10-15 across the country aren’t happy with their lives. A third of 10-15 year olds aren’t happy with their looks.
Little H is almost 6 – the thought that in just 4 more years she might be unhappy with her life or herself is really quite frightening. I can remember being self-conscious around that age but not desperately unhappy, so why are girls now feeling the pressure so much more?
Social Media and Mental Health
I assume social media plays a big part in this. Some days I feel a bit rubbish about myself after seeing all these perfect photoshopped women, so can only imagine how it must make teenage girls feel.
The difference is I understand these celebrities have been photoshopped, and I’ve heard all about the tricks people use to take the perfect selfie. But young girls won’t see it like that, they’ll just see these perfect (but totally unrealistic) girls with big boobs, tiny waists and ridiculous curves.
It’s no wonder research by the Office for National Statistics suggests extended periods on social media is linked to a higher risk of mental ill-health.
Stand Up For Girls
What can we do? You can’t ban teenagers from social media completely. Though I will definitely be trying to delay it for as long as possible!
Us parents need to continue trying to raise strong girls. Girls who understand there’s more to life than how they look – that their brains are far more important. We need to encourage our girls to work hard at school, and keep praising them when they do well.
Maybe getting our girls into sports will help them to learn that their bodies have much more to offer than just looking good for boys.
The Children’s Society is calling on the Government to take action to improve children’s happiness across the nation and make sure young people can access mental health support in all schools and colleges.
I’m all for this, we need to be doing everything we can to raise happy, healthy girls. Otherwise, we’re going to have a generation of very unhappy girls with mental health problems.
To get involved in this campaign, follow The Children’s Society on Twitter.
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