Girlguiding shows the true face of four-year-old girls

Girlguiding collaborates with award-winning photographer Emily Stein to create photography series, entitled What Girls Are Made Of...

Girlguiding – the leading charity for girls and young women in the UK, today announces, on International Day of The Girl, that they are officially opening the doors to four-year old girls nationwide.

Rainbows, the charity’s youngest section, will now welcome girls from the age of four up to seven years old, providing more opportunities for more girls to experience the fun, friendship and adventure of Girlguiding. Rainbows has been running for

35 years and to celebrate this achievement, Girlguiding has collaborated with award-winning portrait photographer Emily Stein on a photo series entitled ‘Girls Are Made Of…’, celebrating the true face of four-year-old girls, challenging the dated stereotype that little girls should be ‘sugar and spice and all things nice’.

International Day of The Girl

Launched to coincide with the annual International Day of the Girl, selected images from the series will on display at Girlguiding’s London headquarters on Buckingham Palace Road, both in the windows and a gallery open to the public. The bold images perfectly capture what girls are made of, from strength and joy, to mischief, courage and curiosity.

Free to be four

For the photo series, Girlguiding invited existing Rainbows and girls keen to start their own Girlguiding journey to a photoshoot, designed to showcase their individuality — representing the many faces, qualities and quirks embraced by the organisation.

Photographer Emily Stein is known for her bold aesthetic and documentary approach to shooting children and young people; capturing authentic emotions and real ‘moments’ that bring a sense of intimacy and honesty to her subjects.

Emma Guthrie, Assistant Chief Guide, said: “Four year old girls have spent a huge portion of their lives in a pandemic, missing out on essential play, exploration, confidence building and friendships, and parents are keen for them to make up for lost time.

“Too often girls are still expected to be sugar and spice and all things nice, but working with girls and young women for over 100 years, we know they are made of so much more. We’re extremely happy to warmly welcome four-year-olds to the organisation and start them on their Girlguiding journey – opening up a community where girls can always be free to be themselves. Free to be four.”

Rainbows focuses on developing self-confidence, building friendships, learning new things and having fun through games and activities. When asked what they enjoyed about Rainbows, four-year-old Mia-Belle, said, “We get to play, play, play!” - a sentiment echoed by Neylah, also four, who added that she “loves going to Rainbows” because we play fun games”. Adah-Rose added that she “can’t wait” to be a Rainbow and is “really excited” that she can now join her local unit.

Girls can work towards badges throughout their Girlguiding journey, with Rainbows and the other sections following a diverse and engaging programme built around six themes1 offering girls a broad range of experiences. In Rainbows girls are encouraged to gain skills in areas such as exploration, story-telling, construction and nature, and even explore at a young age what it means to have a healthy mind.

Rainbows is all about developing self-confidence, building friendships, learning new things, and having fun. Members get their hands dirty with arts and crafts, get in touch with nature and play games. It's all about learning by doing.

Emily Stein, Photographer, states: “For this special collection of images, I really wanted to capture all the behaviours, contradictions, energy, purity, beauty and emotions of being four. It’s a really significant time in a girl’s life; sitting between the ‘toddler’ years and just before the structure of school begins, with the world opening up a little more every day, in all of its exciting glory. It’s a magical year in time, that was truly a joy to document.”


Girlguiding is encouraging its community and members of the public to join the charity and celebrate all the incredible things that they were made of at age four, by sharing their own ‘face of four’ photos on Instagram and Facebook, using the hashtag #GirlsAreMadeOf… and adding their own word to best describe their image.

The ‘Girls Are Made Of...’ exhibition will run for two weeks from Tuesday 11th October, with free admission to the general public.

You can follow the #GirlsAreMadeOf… campaign, view the online gallery or share a picture of yourself at four by visiting Girlguiding on, and at