National Tween Convention Focuses on Positive Body Image

Filed under: In The News, Extreme Childhood

Tween Summit

More than 200 tween girls, ages 9-14, gathered for the first National Tween Girl Summit in Washington. Credit: Jenna von Elling, AOL

Girls as young as 10 years old have negative thoughts and feelings about their body, and organizers of the first-ever National Tween Girls Summit hope to combat the problem.

More than 200 girls between the ages of 9 and 14 gathered in Washington, D.C. this past weekend for the convention, where they attended panels about self-esteem and positive body image. One of the speakers was Jess Weiner, body-image expert and columnist for Seventeen magazine.

"Every single person here wonders whether they've got the right body or the right look," Weiner told the crowd, according to USA Today.

Images of ultra-thin women abound in fashion magazines, on TV and in the movies -- and some, like designer Karl Lagerfeld, feel that should be the norm. But tween girls like Chloe Harris, 12, are rejecting that ideal of beauty. The seventh-grader told the newspaper that when she sees an image of a skinny model in the media, she "feels sick" because the model looks abnormal.

Check out an interview with Debby Ryan at the conference from our sister site, JSYK.com >>>

Harris may be an exception, however. According to USA Today, researchers who measured the height and weight of 4,254 schoolchildren from Nova Scotia and asked them how much they agreed with the statement "I like the way I look" found that girls as young as 10 had negative feelings about their bodies. The study was published in August in the journal BMC Public Health.

The National Tween Girl Summit aims to instill girls with positive feelings about themselves and their bodies. Attendee Sophia Cucci, 11, of Harrington Park, N.J., came to the summit with her mother, Michele. She told the newspaper that she learned valuable lessons about comparing herself to others, and to "not to base your life on people in magazines or TV shows, because that's not really how they look."

Does your tween daughter have a positive body image?

Related: Chanel Designer Doesn't Like Fat Moms

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