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Published by Salal Books at Smashwords

ebook ISBN# 978-0-9698883-9-0

© 2000, 2003, 2010 Salal Communications Ltd.

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First ebook edition: November 2010

Chapter: INTRODUCTION

A group of girls saunters down a hallway. They jostle each other and giggle as girls are apt to do. The lilt and cadence of their adolescent voices drift through the air punctuated by shrieks of ‘awesome,’ ‘totally,’ and ‘cool.’ The girls are excited because they are all participants in a JUST FOR GIRLS group—an eating disorder prevention program where they can engage in girl talk and share their issues, fears, laughter and concerns.

It is impossible to grow up female today without ever worrying about weight, without sometimes apologizing for eating or restricting what you eat or without ‘feeling fat.’ Six and seven year old girls express concern with how they look. Nine year old girls talk about wanting to be thinner even before their bodies have begun to change. At ten and eleven girls who have begun to go through puberty will tell you they ‘feel fat.’ No matter how many times we tell girls that people come in a range of sizes and the shape of their bodies is really determined by their genes, it’s hard for them to take us seriously. Girls are seduced by relentless messages from the culture that everyone wants to be thin, that being thin automatically endows you with perfection and eternal confidence and that they can change their bodies if they try hard enough.

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