Give Yourself A Chance - 3rd March 2011


For immediate release 3rd March 2011

Girlguiding urges teenage girls to think twice about cosmetic surgery

  • Tips launched in response to shocking Girls Attitudes Survey findings around cosmetic surgery desires
  • Young women unite with experts to encourage their peers to think twice about cosmetic surgery

Today Girlguiding is responding to the shocking numbers of teenage girls considering cosmetic surgery by launching ‘Give yourself a chance’, an interactive digital resource offering tips to girls and young women urging them to consider alternative ways to boost self esteem other than cosmetic surgery.

Girlguiding has created ‘Give yourself a chance’ to tackle an issue highlighted in their groundbreaking surveys of attitudes amongst girls and young women which found that:

·         47% of girls think that the pressure to look attractive is the most negative part of being female

·         Half of young women aged 16-21 would consider cosmetic surgery and;

·         Over 1 in 10 girls aged 11-16 would consider cosmetic surgery to change the way they look.

‘Give yourself a chance’ has already received the backing of the Girlguiding youth panel Advocate!, Campaign for Body Confidence, Mumsnet and BAPRAS, the British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons. Girlguiding are calling on teens to openly discuss the issue and to consider a range of alternatives to cosmetic surgery to help boost self-esteem. 

‘Give yourself a chance’ is aimed at girls aged 12-16, who may not be members of the guiding movement. It is the latest initiative  in Girlguiding’s ongoing commitment to promote body confidence in today’s girls and young women and is a useful tool for all adults to share with the girls and young women that they support.

Cathy Fraser Girlguiding spokesperson and head of Girlguiding’s youth panel Advocate said;

 “Our research has shown the shocking extent to which girls would consider drastic action to change the way they look. Working closely with girls and young women, we are all too aware of the pressures they face to conform to a certain body image. ‘Give yourself a chance’ encourages girls to boost their self-confidence without cosmetic surgery and to give themselves the opportunity to develop fully. Guiding can give young women the opportunity to build strong friendships, be challenged by new experiences and adventures, from geo-caching to international travel, and above all to accept themselves as they are”.

Lynne Featherstone, Minister for Equalities said: “The constant pressure to look impossibly perfect, be like skinny celebrities and conform to imposed stereotypes is creating a rising tide of low self-esteem, depression and anxiety amongst young girls and increasingly boys. I want young girls to feel valued not because of what they look like but for what they can contribute and achieve. But this is not a job for Government alone. Everyone has a role to play which is why I am delighted to lend my support to the ‘Give Yourself a Chance’ campaign which I think is an excellent and innovative way to reach young girls and tackle this modern day virus which is undermining so many.”

Simon Kay, consultant plastic surgeon and member of the British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic surgeons said; “BAPRAS is pleased to support the Give yourself a chance campaign and fully endorses a policy of careful, considered and measured decision-making when it comes to cosmetic surgery. We encourage girls to take their time, discuss the issue with their parents or a responsible friend and to ensure a cooling off period before making any decision”.

To encourage teen girls to give themselves a chance, Girlguiding has worked with its young members and expert partners to develop a series of tips. Expert commentary has been provided by members of the Campaign for Body Confidence, BAPRAS and TV presenter Jayne Middlemiss. Aimed at teens, it also includes the experiences and testimonies of young people themselves in a bid to show other young women how to celebrate their bodies and enhance their self-esteem.  

Try out lots of new things until you find something that you really enjoy whether it is running, cooking, climbing or writing. When you are feeling a bit down, do that activity and you will feel so much more confident about yourself. Liz, aged 21

To find out more or to view the online tips please visit www.girlguiding.org.uk/giveyourselfachance.


For more information, high-res images or interviews with young women from Girlguiding, please contact Jessica Peters on jessica.peters@girlguiding.org.uk or 020 7592 1733/07990 553 940.  Further supportive quotes from Mumsnet and B-eat are available.



·         The statistics are results from the 2009 and 2010 Girls Attitudes Survey conducted by Childwise on behalf of Girlguiding. For more information and further results visit www.girlguiding.org.uk/girlsattitudes

·         For more information about ‘Give yourself a chance’ please visit www.girlguiding.org.uk/giveyourselfachance or join us on twitter at #giveyourselfachance

Girlguiding is the UK’s largest voluntary organisation for girls and young women, with more than half a million members and recognised volunteers. Over a third of girls and young women (aged 7-21) are involved in guiding, or have been in the past and almost half of all the women in the UK have been involved in guiding at some stage in their lives.  We run Rainbows, Brownies, Guides and Senior Section, enabling girls and young women to develop their potential whatever their ability or background. We are striving to offer new opportunities to a broad diversity of communities through our expanding network of 60,000 trained volunteer Leaders.

At Girlguiding we seek to give girls a voice and provide a unique, girl-only space where members feel comfortable just being themselves. Our members, challenged by a girl-led programme that extends beyond badges, enjoy a spectrum of activities from outdoor adventure to pop-concerts to community action.

Girlguiding, part of a worldwide Movement of approximately 10 million girls and young women in 145 countries, launched its Centenary celebrations in September 2009.  Registered Charity No: 306016, file:///C:/Users/for-lucy/AppData/Local/Microsoft/Windows/Temporary%20Internet%20Files/Content.Outlook/38YVDN3J/www.girlguiding.org.uk

·         BAPRAS, the British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons, is the voice of plastic surgery in the UK. It aims to increase the understanding of the professional specialty and scope of plastic surgery, promoting innovation in teaching, learning and research.

·         Founded in 1946 (originally as the British Association of Plastic Surgeons), today BAPRAS has nearly 800 members and is the official professional representative body for reconstructive and  aesthetic plastic surgeons providing services to patients on the NHS and privately in the UK.


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