NYC Unveils Campaign to Improve Girls' Self-Esteem

New York City has launched a public health campaign aimed at improving girls' self-esteem as a counter to the unattainable images of beauty presented to them in the media.

The campaign, which is believed to be the first of its kind carried out by a major city, will target girls aged from about 7 to 12, who are at risk of negative body images that can lead to eating disorders, drinking, sexual acting out, suicide and bullying. City officials cite evidence that more than 80 percent of 10-year-old are afraid of being fat, that girls' self-esteem drops at age 12 and doesn't improve until 20, and that that is tied to negative body image.

The ads, which will mostly appear on buses and subways, show girls of different races and sizes, and each one ends with the slogan: "I'm beautiful the way I am." The campaign will also offer physical fitness classes for girls, a pilot program addressing self-esteem issues at after-school programs, and a Twitter campaign, #ImAGirl.