Tag Archives: Girl Scouts of the USA

Nationwide Study Finds That Teenage Girls Have Mixed Feelings about the Fashion Industry

Nationwide Study Finds That Teenage Girls Have Mixed Feelings about the Fashion Industry

NEW YORK, N.Y.—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 Beauty Redefined, 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, three out of four 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.

In addition to celebrities and fashion models, the study also showed that peers (82 percent), friends (81 percent), and parents (65%), are strong influences in how teenage girls feel about their bodies. Girl Scouts of the USA, who partner with the Dove® Self-Esteem Fund to offer self-esteem programming for girls nationwide, will be focusing their core leadership program to address the issue through its uniquely ME!, program.

“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. “There is little question that 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 Girl Scout survey comes amid continuing controversy over super thin models, so-called “size zeros.” Critics say the models are dangerously underweight and have charged that the fashion industry’s preference for waif-like women has led to models engaging in obsessive dieting and extreme weight loss, as well as set a poor example for teenage girls. Fashion shows in Madrid, Milan and elsewhere now ban models below a certain body-mass index.

This topic, along with the survey results, will be the focal point of a media event held at Bryant Park Hotel on February 10, 2010, one day before New York City’s legendary Fashion Week begins. With celebrity panelists and expert guests, Girl Scouts of the USA hopes to address the impact of fashion on girls.

The health implications of the preoccupation with super thinness are serious. Nearly one in three girls say they have starved themselves or refused to eat in an effort to lose weight. In addition, 42 percent report knowing someone their age who has forced themselves to throw up after eating, while more than a third (37 percent) say they know someone their age who has been diagnosed with an eating disorder.

The survey, conducted by the youth research firm Tru, also found most teenagers consider weight loss measures—even some of the more extreme— acceptable. Twenty-five percent say it’s acceptable for girls their age to take appetite suppressants and/or weight-loss pills, and nearly one in five consider plastic surgery and/or weight-loss surgery acceptable.

CONTACTS:
Girl Scouts of the USA
Josh Ackley 212.852.8038
[email protected]

Girl Scouts and U.S. Green Building Council Working Together to Green Our Nation’s Communities

Girl Scouts and U.S. Green Building Council Working Together to Green Our Nation's Communities

New York, N.Y. —Two leading nonprofit organizations have joined forces to help girls take action to improve the environment and their communities by promoting green schools. Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) will team with the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) to leverage local Girl Scouts Forever Green projects as part of USGBC’s National Green Schools Campaign. Girls will team with USGBC volunteers throughout its extensive chapter network to develop and use their leadership skills to significantly impact the environment by working in schools and throughout their communities to save energy, conserve water, increase green space, improve air quality and reduce waste.

The announcement of the GSUSA/USGBC partnership coincides with the mass market release of the Girl Scouts’ new series, It’s Your Planet–Love It! The environmentally-themed books help girls tackle issues of conservation, pollution and renewable and reusable resources and challenge them to take the lead in protecting the planet. The series, developed for girls in grades K-12, uses lessons and exercises that focus on leadership development.

“The environment—protecting it, preserving it, and understanding it—is a tremendously important issue to today’s girls. This new partnership is a great opportunity to combine their passion and energy with USGBC’s knowhow and organization to make a significant difference in the future environmental footprint of America’s schools,” said Kathy Cloninger, CEO, GSUSA.

Green schools cost less to operate, freeing up resources to truly improve students’ education. Across the country, school districts large and small are realizing the benefits of green schools. Students, parents, teachers and community members are making the difference, by letting decision makers know they want their schools built, operated, and maintained green. The Green Schools Campaign provides a natural way for Girl Scouts to apply their environmental lessons in their own educational community.

USGBC is committed to a prosperous and sustainable future through cost-efficient and energy-saving green buildings. USGBC launched the National Green Schools Campaign in 2007, with the ambitious goal to provide a green school for every child in America within a generation. Through this campaign, USGBC supports federal, state and local initiatives that advance the green schools movement.

“Through our partnership with the Girl Scouts of the USA, we have the potential to reach and inspire millions of girls – America’s future leaders – to impact the way school buildings are designed, built and operated, enabling a healthier and environmentally responsible built environment for future students and teachers,” said Rick Fedrizzi, President, CEO & Founding Chair, USGBC.

Tens of thousands of Girl Scouts throughout the country are engaged in environmentally friendly projects in their communities as part of the Forever Green initiative. Forever Green projects are part of a range of activities leading up the 100th anniversary of Girl Scouts in 2012.

CONTACTS:
Girl Scouts of the USA
Josh Ackley 212.852.8038
[email protected]

U.S. Green Building Council
Ashley Katz 202.742.3738
[email protected]

Girl Scout YouTube Ad Violates Policy

Girl Scout YouTube Ad Violates Policy

Just when you thought it was safe to embrace social media!

Girl Scout Cookie Entrepreneur Stymied by Internet Sales Ban

Earlier this year, Wild Freeborn (yes, that’s her real name) posted a YouTube video, with the help of her dad, with an enthusiastic pitch: “Buy cookies! And they’re yummy!” They set up an online order system where customers in their area could purchase Tagalongs, Thin Mints and Samoas. Within two weeks, 700 orders came in.

But Wild Freeborn’s e-commerce plan hit a major snag. The Girl Scout Cookie Program, which according to Newsweek “bills itself as the largest program to teach entrepreneurship to young girls,” says it prohibits all online sales of its cookies — primarily because of safety reasons. Its guidelines state that Internet use should only be for advertising.

I understand the drive for a parent to do what he can to help his daughter sell more boxes.  But the rules are there for a reason, and you should adhere to those rules.  This father knowingly broke a rule.  Some people have criticized the Girl Scouts for not allowing cookie sales online, but I don’t think those people understand that the policy is there to keep it fair and safe for the girls participating.  People may not realize that Girl Scouts don’t make a ton of money on the cookie sales.  The primary goal of the cookie sale, along with the fall nut & calendar sale, is to teach the girls entrepreneurial skills along with the life lessons of honesty and fairness.  The lessons learned from selling cookies is the main point of the exercise, not to harass you outside your local super market to buy some Thin Mints to line their pockets.

[Bryan Freeborn] told Matt Lauer of the “Today Show” last week, “We knew there was a policy that it wasn’t OK, but we thought we were taking orders and promoting the cookies and we seemed to think that was within the spirit of the rules. The whole intent was to help my daughter meet her goals, utilizing up-to-date marketing principles.”

He knew there was a rule against this, and yet let his daughter break those rules to meet her goal to go to camp.  To me, the lesson that it’s okay to break the rules when you want something bad enough is not as important as fairness and honesty.  Had this just been a YouTube video, I don’t think the GSUSA would have taken issue.  The online ordering system the father set up is where the line was crossed, essentially allowing his daughter and her troop to “steal” sales from other girls.  Bear in mind that I work in online marketing myself, and while I’m usually the first person to advocate brick and mortar organizations to leverage social media and online marketing to their benefit, I still stand behind the Girl Scouts in their decision in this case.

None of the articles I read commented on whether or not the girl had to forfeit those sales;  my best guess is that they let those orders stand at the time the website was taken down.  I’d love to see her embrace social media in other ways with working on different badges or other troop-run fundraisers to help them go to camp.   That would allow her father to teach her what he really thinks he’s teaching her, about updated marketing tactics and technology, without the underlying questionable rule-breaking message.