04 March 2011

Girlguiding UK, the official website for The Guide Association, has launched a digital campaign encouraging girls aged between 12 and 16 to think very carefully before setting their hearts on cosmetic surgery. The campaign, called Give Yourself A Chance, focuses on giving girls in this age group tips on how they can boost self-confidence without going under the knife. The interactive website also offers girls the chance to read real-life stories from peers who have battled with everything from eating disorders to body dysmorphia a psychological disorder in which a person is excessively concerned with their body image. Give Yourself A Chance was set up in response to the results of a recent national survey, which revealed that half of young women aged between 16 and 21, and one in ten girls aged between 11 and 16 would consider having cosmetic surgery to change their appearance. More than 1,000 girls and women took part in the survey, which found that 12 per cent of 11 to 16-year-olds would consider having gastric band surgery, or other cosmetic procedures, and five per cent would think about Botox. Cathy Fraser, a spokeswoman for Girlguiding UK, said: Working closely with girls and young women, we are all too aware of the pressures they face to conform to a certain body image. Give Yourself A Chance encourages girls to boost their self-confidence without cosmetic surgery and to give themselves the opportunity to develop fully."