Tuesday, April 28, 2009

GG: 100 Years of Keeping It Real

So it seems that this is a mighty big year for girls.

First, we have Barbie's 50th Birthday. (Still looking fresh, might I add).

Now, we've got Girl Guides bringing in a new badge. (Stick with me, here). Badges are a mighty big deal in the world of Brownies, Girl Guides and even Scouts. You earn a badge every time you've demonstrated that you did something or learned something new. You can get badges for a whole whack pile of things, like learning to start a fire outdoors, sewing a button, learning to paint, etc.

Girl Guides have now announced that in a move to stay "relevant" and "progressive", they are releasing a new badge. Sounds less than newsworthy but hear me out.

"Girls aged five to 17 can earn the Love Yourself Challenge badge by completing three tasks that promote self-esteem, healthy eating and a positive body image." The badge features a super skinny stick person, a bigger one, a typical stick person and a heart.

I was never into Brownies, Guides or Pathfinders as a kid because I had to choose between dance class or Guides and the former won every time. It never really struck me as something I would be into, though. But lots of my friends were and they loved it. And the same time that a lot of my friends were getting into Brownies and Guides, my junior high had an entire day dedicated to anorexia and bulimia. A whole day. The reason being that for a small school in a small town, there were a handful of severe cases of anorexia. There were possibly more but living all up in people's business like you do in a small town, everyone knew about 2 in particular.

I mention this story because I never forgot both my classmate's love for Guides and that day of learning about body image. Both of them really stick out in my mind as events of my youth. And so to see that Girl Guides are picking up on this and being relevant to the lives of girls, is great.

I'm left to wonder however: Are body image issues this "new" that talking about them equates "progress"? In the 100 years of Girl Guides, have girls never struggled with their weight? Or is it a matter of it now being kosher to talk about these things in general, and at Guides in particular?

I don't know.

But I do know that this latest move will surely help girls.

So Three Finger Salute and job well done! Unless, of course, this new health kick at the Girl Guides headquarters means that they're canning Girl Guide cookies. If that's the case, there will be a revolt!

Oh and by cookies, I'm not talking about those Mint Patties. Those can go. I want the real shit.

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