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SPECIAL REPORT: Girls and Body Image
DAYTON -- We live in a world today that tells us what perfect is and hat concept is influencing young minds here in the Miami Valley.
Research from the National Eating Disorders shows 81% of 10 year old's have a fear of being fat.
ABC 22 and FOX 45 sat down with four girls ages nine to 12 to see what influences them to make them self-conscious of their body image.
We also wanted to find out how they see themselves.
With their parents' permission we gave the girls half an hour to go through magazines to find girls they think illustrate pretty, skinny and large. .
According to the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders says 47% of girls in 5th grade through their senior want to lose weight because of magazine pictures.
"In the magazines they always make the girls look perfect," said 11-year-old Savannah Stucky.
The four girls all say they realize the pictures are unrealistic that they see in the media, but still want to be 'pretty,' 'fit,' and 'skinny.'
One of the girls, only 12-years-old pointed out herself that she thinks her stomach is pudgy.
"My stomach sometimes hangs over my pants and stuff," said 12-year-old Bethany See.
The four girls all had different levels of confidence and reasons.
We talked with 11-year-old Kylie Ustorf, and asked her what gives her self-confidence as a sixth grader.
Ustorf said she volunteered a lot in the community, "when you learn how to help other people, it gives you confidence in yourself."
We sat down with the mother of one of the girls, Terri Stucky, she said it's unrealistic what these girls are shown, "I try to explain to Savannah that your body is perfect the way it is. It's the body you've been given and we just have to treat it properly."
Experts say talking to your son or daughter about realistic images is ideal.
They say you should be concerned if your daughter begins obsessing over their weight, exercising dramatically and trying to diet by just eating fruits and vegetables.
All the girls pointed out that while flipping through more than a dozen magazines, it was rare to find women with larger complexions.
Dayton Children's Hospital psychologist Julie Stucke says kids become aware of their body image at a very early age, "kids are aware of how they look, they have specific feelings of what they look like. They're comparing themselves already at a young age."
To see the full story, click on watch the video.
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