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Girls, Girls, Girls

 

CAFS Girls Girls Girls LHThe aim of Girls, Girls, Girls is to provide a program that works with young girls and parents to develop positive beliefs about body image and self-esteem.

 

This is done by facilitating discussions about the role of media, focusing on inner qualities and forming new friendships through commonalities and trust. 

 

The program is based on an early preventative model adapted from the "Dove, Free to be€Ÿ resource kit. 

 

The program has been targeted specifically to be run for young girls within the 9 -13 year age group (Grade 5 & 6).

 

Girls, Girls, Girls consists of 6 sessions and is recommended to be run in groups of no more than 15 girls; however some elements could be utilised with individuals.

 

Why was this program developed?

 

The rate of young Australians concerned with their own body image has grown significantly over the years. The Mission Australia Youth Survey, which is the largest youth survey in the country, reported that in 2010 body image was one of the highest areas of personal concern for young people aged 12 to 24. A changing society and greater exposure to a range of media outlets, particularly the internet, is placing young girls under increasing pressure to conform to social norms which are portrayed in the media. It has been estimated that young girls are exposed to more images of  beautiful women in one day than their mothers would have seen through their entire adolescence.

 

Young people of today are constantly viewing and listening to the media's opinions on how people should look, and how to get that “ideal” body shape. They are looking to external sources such as the mass media for guidance in the way they should look and behave to be desirable. Of growing concern is the decreasing age of young people when they start to pick up on messages which are likely to lead to body dissatisfaction.

 

Children as young as five and six years are more likely to be aware of dieting and have concerns over their body shape if they watch music television shows and looked at appearance-focussed magazines, particularly magazines targeted at an adult audience. 

 

The concern about young people locally and their body image was identified following conversations and feedback from School Welfare Coordinators and teachers.  This was further supported by the responses provided by the students who participated in the two Girls, Girls, Girls pilots.

 

A number of body-image and self-esteem programs have been developed and run across Australia and internationally. Evidence suggests these are successful in changing attitudes and behaviours. The Girls, Girls, Girls program is different to pre-existing programs because it is developed and run locally and offers opportunities for long-term partnerships with local communities and schools to encourage sustainability. It also builds on knowledge of local services and provides the school community with awareness of a local child and family services agency and referral pathways.

 

Contact:

Child FIRST Seymour on 1800 663 107

Child FIRST Shepparton on 1300 854 944