The strongest messages young girls hear are those that tell them they aren’t ‘enough’. They aren’t thin enough, tall enough, beautiful enough or good enough. Television, magazines, movies, etc. model unrealistic expectations and girls fall victim to them every day. Girls of color or various sizes do not often see women like them portrayed as beautiful. The results are painful and damaging. This type of pressure is so prevalent that psychologists consider all young girls to be ‘at risk’.
WIZO decided to counter this phenomenon and give girls a different, positive understanding of their bodies and themselves.
Girls who fall victim to this type of pressure seek approval and acceptance wherever they can find it. From online ‘likes,’ to in school attention and beyond, a girl who feels she must be beautiful or sexy can damage herself trying to fit an ideal or she may agree to do things she otherwise would not. Risks include eating disorders, addictions, physical and sexual exploitation.
WIZO Israel’s Teenage Girls Department in the Family Welfare Division, developed “About My Body”, a unique experiential program that allows girls to reclaim their self-image and promotes positive self-awareness. "About My Body", was created based on research which shows that preventative therapy is far more effective than corrective therapy. In other words, it is easier to prevent emotional and physical harm to girls than it is to treat and heal them.
The program consists of six, three-hour sessions held over a few months. Run by counselors and theater personnel who undergo specific training, the sessions are experiential and intense. Girls share their experiences and the challenges they face. They discuss and act out such concepts as objectification, exploitation, social pressure, women in the workplace, the role of media, clothing and weight.
Seeing the issues from another perspective and role-playing different types of responses and reactions allows the girls to create a real awareness and ownership of their options. In the final session, the girls share films they have created as a result of their experience in the program. The program has been tremendously successful and transformative. It is available to both mainstream girls as well as girls who are currently in psychological distress.
Why We Need You
“About My body” is an essential growing tool for our girls to become happy successful women.
WIZO has requests for this program all across the country. We would like to add additional groups in 2015.
Give Now to Give Girls a Positive Self Image.