YWCA USA reports that young women and girls are spending more money and going to unhealthy extremes to achieve an unattainable body image. The costs of this obsession include physical hard, increased risks posed by smoking to maintain a low weight and taking part in cosmetic surgeries that might not be appropriate. Also, mental and emotional harm, including low self-esteem and interpersonal problems that create an unhealthy and competitive mean-girl culture."What's really new here is the sheer extent to which women and girls are now willing to go, literally causing physical harm, to be 'beautiful,' according to the standards perpetuated by a youth-obsessed media culture with literally thousands of messages, 24 hours a day," says Lorraine Cole, MD, YWCA USA CEO.
"The YWCA has been at the forefront of women's issues in this country for the past 150 years, and we are prepared to raise awareness and ignite a national dialog about this issue as the first steps to changing American culture and helping women reclaim wholesome and healthy beauty."