Body image campaign harnessing creative media to boost self-esteem
Young women are being inspired to build their self-esteem and promote positive body image messages through a creative digital media campaign launched today.
Minister for the Status of Women Gail Gago said today's launch, coinciding with International No Diet Day, is part of the campaign to educate girls and young women that their value comes from their character, skills and attributes and not their weight or shape.
"Body image is consistently identified as one of the top three concerns for young Australians aged between 11 and 24, and a recent Mission Australia Youth Survey found almost half of South Australia's female youth found body image a major concern," Ms Gago said.
"This is a fantastic initiative linking volunteers such as bloggers, digital experts and role models with young women, who took part in creative workshops to explore ways to boost self-esteem and develop positive body image.
"The young women developed a range of creative digital content, with assistance from mentors, to influence positive body image for their younger peers aged between 7 and 12 years.
"Messages a girl receives when she is between 7 and 12 are key to the development of positive body image as she becomes a teenager.
"The young women, aged 13 to 18, created pieces reflecting messages that they wish they had received when they were younger.
"Creative content to be showcased online over the next six weeks includes online videos, posters, and songs.
"Research suggests that body image is directly related to levels of self-confidence, and the more time girls and women spend comparing themselves with other people's photos and pictures on social media, the more negative they feel about their own bodies.
"To celebrate positive body image, South Australian girls and women are invited to take an "innerselfie" – a creative photo of a range of objects from around your home that tells a story about you and the things you love."
Ms Gago said the emergence of digital and social media had created new issues for young women regarding the pressures of stereotypes and conformity, but it could also be harnessed to tell positive and realistic stories that challenge negative stereotypes.
"All of the Government's women's policies focus on respect for women – respect in private and public, at work and home.
"This program focuses on the personal world of self-esteem and self-respect. Young women need to know that their true value lies in their character, skills and qualities, not their shape or weight.
"Digital media enables young women to use modern technology to creatively express their positive thoughts, which can be a powerful experience for themselves and their peers."
Today's launch featured digital presentations from some of the young program participants and a panel discussion featuring Ms Gago, Dignity for Disability MLC Kelly Vincent, young film maker and content creator Lucy Fenwick Elliot and Community Projects Officer Sasha Yantewo.
"I encourage girls and women to take their own "innerselfie" and share them on social media using the hashtags #BodyImageSA and #Innerselfie.
"The Office for Women is leading South Australia's Body Image Campaign and will showcase the creative digital content on the Women's Information Service website, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest sites," Ms Gago said.