Heartbreaking study reveals half of girls in the UK have avoided participating in an activity because of their appearance

A new survey has revealed that more than half of girls in the UK have avoided participating in an activity because of their appearance.

The importance of self-esteem in girls is slowly entering the spotlight and being discussed more widely, but there’s still a long road ahead.

A new eye-opening study has confirmed just that, as it revealed 53% of girls in the UK ‘have avoided an activity because they felt badly about their appearance’.

The findings come from a study done by Dove for their Self-Esteem project, which they shared with HuffPost, and also showed that more than half of all girls (54%) surveyed ‘do not have high body esteem and are missing out on key opportunities in life’.

According to the study, girls’ lack of self esteem is likely to impact the opportunities they have later in life and as they enter adulthood because they are more likely to withdraw from ‘fundamental life-building activities such as socialising or joining clubs’.

More than half of girls in the UK have avoided an activity because of their appearance

Globally, the study found that five in 10 girls have avoided socialising with friends and family, taking part in activities outside the house, or try out for a team or club if they don’t like their appearance.

But unlike previous surveys that have linked social media to a negative impact on young people’s mental health, the Dove survey found that more than half of girls (51%) are using social media to ‘confidently express their individuality’.

Experts agree that social media could be having a positive impact on how girls feel about themselves, with Professor Jess Weiner from the University of Southern California (USC) saying of the study’s finding: ‘Girls worldwide are harnessing the power of social media to democratise the beauty narrative whether we are a part of it or not.’

‘They are forming their own online communities to talk about the issues that matter most to their physical and emotional health and flooding the space with their diverse stories and images. They are becoming the subject of their own stories and not the object of someone else’s’, she said in a statement about the study.

Dove’s global survey included 5,000 girls aged 10-17 from counties fourteen countries – India, the US, UK, Brazil, China, Japan, Turkey, Canada, Germany, Russia, Mexico, South Africa, Australia and Indonesia.