Representation Matters

In this workshop we explore the importance for girls to see images of beauty, intelligence and talent that fits with their own identity. The workshop will address how low body confidence and anxieties over appearances stops young girls from being confident in their self.

Background: It’s disheartening that girl’s overall happiness is based on body confidence and that girls are made to feel that their looks are the most important thing. According to the Dove Project, a shocking 47% of girls aged 11-21 believe the way they look holds them back (Girls’ Attitudes Survey, 2016). From as young as 7, girls feel the impact of daily sexist images of women and girls in the media, online and all around them (Girls’ Attitudes Survey, 2016). Girls are constantly forced to confront intense and unobtainable appearance pressures to be perfect while simultaneously feeling they are not good enough (Girls’ Attitudes Survey, 2016). From a young age­ girls experience intense appearance pressures and fears that their bodies and looks keep them from doing everything things. According to figure 1 below, girls aged 11-21 are ashamed of the way they look most of the time (Girls’ Attitudes Survey, 2016). Most girls compare themselves to celebrity figures and find that they do not feel pretty enough (Girls’ Attitudes Survey, 2016). In fact, 31% of those girls are constantly comparing themselves to other people (Girls’ Attitudes Survey, 2016) prepared by: Miriam

Objectives: deconstruct social media and cultural representation of beauty, explore body image and body shaming, develop strategies to build self-image and self-love, and explore the importance of, “representation” for Black, Indigenous and racialized girls.

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