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Congress, Girl Scouts Support Positive Images for Girls in the Media

Posted: March 31, 2010
Girl wearing a green hat

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"Children are consuming more media than ever," said Representative Baldwin. "Unfortunately too many of the images they see often reinforce gender stereotypes, emphasize unrealistic body images or show women in passive roles. All young people would benefit from seeing healthier and more positive messages about girls and women. The Healthy Media for Youth Act is a critical step towards achieving this goal."

Representative Capito said: "The need for healthy, positive images of girls in the media is clear. We applaud the Girl Scouts' response to this need. The Healthy Media for Youth Act, which builds upon with their tireless efforts to build girls' self-esteem, will improve youth media literacy and create new opportunities for the media to positively impact the health, relationships and future of our young people."

The Healthy Media for Youth Act is a part of wider effort by Girl Scouts at the federal, state, and local level known as Live Healthy, Lead Healthy, which seeks to engage policymakers and community leaders around key health and well-being issues affecting girls. In February, Girl Scouts released a study that found that nearly 90% of American girls feel intense pressure from the media to have an ideal body type. The same study found that girls want to see healthier, more realistic images of women in media. Girl Scouts is moving to respond to this need through the release later this year of its newest program, It's Your Story—Tell It!, which focuses on helping improve girls' self-esteem and media literacy skills.

"Girls need an advocate who will stand up for them," said Laurie Westley, senior vice president of Public Policy, Advocacy and the Research Institute. "By promoting the Healthy Media for Youth Act, Girl Scouts is being a voice for girls on an issue that directly and disproportionately affects them. Girl Scouts recognizes the need to bring attention to this important issue, which affects girls' self-esteem, body image, eating habits, and social and emotional development."