Fighting for positive body image for young women

Equality Rights Alliance are running a campaign to fight negative body image for young women. We want positive body images in the media that show the diversity of natural, real beauty. So we’ve got postcards distributed through AvantCard, and online (

We’re asking Minister Peter Garrett (as Minister for Youth) to commit to promoting 100 fashion industry organisations who comply with the Voluntary Industry Code of Conduct on Body Image launched in June 2010. We want positive body image to become the new standard for representing women in media. Healthy and attainable body image will only become the new media standard if we, the consumers of media, demand it. A voluntary code that asks the media to promote positive body image will not be enough to achieve real change.

Guides Australia put out a report today showing that body image is a major concern for young girls. Australian Guides Say 2010 is a report on the findings of a comprehensive survey of more than 4,239 girls aged 5 to 30 years. Interesting for the representation of women in media:
• 63% of girls aged 10-14, and 75% of those aged 18-30, believe that the media think being “pretty and thin” is the most important thing for girls.
• Pressure to look good was also one of the top 10 worst things about being a girl

It’s not just little girls who feel it. According to Mission Australia’s National Survey of Young Australians 2010, body image is the top personal concern among 11-24 year old young Australians. This highly regarded survey had 50,240 participants, with 53.9% of the respondents being female.

The extremes of unhealthy eating – anorexia nervosa and bulimia – are not just 1980’s teen girl hot topics. They’re a growing problem in modern Australian society. Approximately one in 100 adolescent girls develop anorexia nervosa, making it the third most common chronic illness in girls, after obesity and asthma. Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any psychiatric illness, with a death rate higher than that of major depression.

Equality Rights Alliance hope that a flood of postcards into the Minister's office will show that we want positive body image to become the new standard for women's representation in media, not something that only a few fashion magazines and advertising agencies do to win a symbolic award.



no one likes fat tarts

No one likes fat chics

I like slim women which is healthy over weight women are ugly and one likes a fat arse!!!!

This is so sad. These young girls are really blinded with what they believe "beautiful" is. I'm so thankful for this campaign in helping these girls. Keep up the good work!

Blame the movies, billboards and magazines...They always show girls that are slim.

I'm a man I find fat women ugly and so do all my mates you will never change that.being fat is a sign of no self control and it is unhealthy. If you put fat women in a Playboy magazine it would never sell.I hope you take my comments as me just being truthful we men can not change what we find attractive fat chicks just don't cut it

Largely, eating disorders do affect young women more than men and older people. This is true, I would also submit that in general, drug or alcohol addiction afflicts almost half of eating disorder sufferers. Often times, stimulant abuse makes it easier to not want to eat. Here is more information on the subject of eating disorders and addiction:

Hopefully, more women in the spotlight like Demi Lovato and Jennifer Hudson for being open about their battles with image and weight. More women like that are needed to break the stranglehold Hollywood has on then thin image.


Angela Weber