'The City Is Trying To Send A Message That Girls Are Valued For Who They Are'

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – New York City has unveiled a wave of ads aimed at improving the self-esteem of girls.

As WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond reported, there are no models in these ads, but rather young girls from across the city.

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“The city is trying to send a message that girls are valued for who they are,” said Samantha Levine, Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s deputy press secretary and director of the NYC Girls Project. “You see eating disorders, you see obesity, you see alcohol use, you see early sexual activity and teen pregnancy. All of these have been associated with poor body image and poor self-esteem.”

The ads are aimed at girls between the ages of 7 and 12, the city said.

“It includes a public education campaign which is posters on buses, subways, bus shelters and phone kiosks. We also have self-esteem programming that is going to be in about 75 after-school programs,” Levine told Diamond.

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The city is also offering physical fitness classes to girls as part of the effort.

The ads all feature the line “I’m beautiful the way I am.”

“I think that’s really nice actually, something like that’s encouraging because I know at that age, I felt under peer pressure – too skinny, didn’t have a big enough butt, big enough boobs, you weren’t pretty enough, you needed makeup. It’s really cute,” one woman told Diamond.

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