Be Real launch code to make media companies more responsible in portraying body image

17 November 2016

Girlguiding welcomes the Be Real Body Image Pledge which promotes body positivity and diversity

The pledge sets out how organisations and individuals can bring about change - so that less people, including young girls, are plagued by worries about how they look. 

Advocate Emma Brodey explains why it's an important campaign

'As a young woman it’s so encouraging to see a campaign which aims to see all body shapes and sizes, races, abilities, genders, ages, ethnicities, and those with disfigurements represented in the media. Combined with reduced retouching, seeing images showing real people will make a real difference to girls. 

'Girlguiding is dedicated to bettering the world for girls and young women. In this year’s Girls' Attitude Survey, Girlguiding discovered that 47% of girls aged 11 to 21 feel that their looks hold them back most of the time. One girl aged 17 to 21 said: 

The media has a massive role to play because when girls look at it, they see what they’re supposed to look like.

'Scrutiny of women’s appearances is crushing girls’ self-confidence. Believing you're unattractive increases the risk of mental health problems, low aspirations and fear in girls, preventing them from feeling empowered. Be Real’s pledge is a fantastic starting point for ending unrealistic body expectations and teaching girls that their looks cannot hold them back from achieving their dreams.'

- Emma Brodey, 18, is part of Girlguiding's Advocate panel. With 17 other 14 to 25 year olds from across the UK she helps shape Girlguiding's campaigning and research. The Advocates were part of creating the Girls' Attitudes Survey and our campaign to end sexual harassment in schools

What Girlguiding is doing to encourage girls

Our amazing Peer Educators have got girls challenging the beauty myth and spreading the word through our Free Being Me badge. 

With the launch of the 2016 Girls' Attitudes Survey in October, which showed just how much girls worried about their appearances, we encouraged people to compliment girls on something other than how they look. It was great to see what people said with #YouAreAmazing. 

All we do in Girlguiding is about showing girls they can do all sorts of things if they try. When there is so much adventure to be had and exciting skills to learn - why would appearances matter? 

Read the pledge

Visit the Be Real website to see their pledge - we think it's fantastic!