Raising Confident Girls

In 2018, Brisbane Girls Grammar School and Victoria University completed joint research into positive body image for adolescent girls through the Raising Confident Girls project. The project produced positive results, with participants indicating they felt the sessions were valuable.

In 2019, the School is delighted to offer the seminars again this year for Year 8 Mothers. A similar seminar will be offered for fathers in Term 3.

About the seminars
All parents wish their daughters to be happy, healthy and confident as they traverse adolescence and develop into young adults. Yet, adolescence can be a difficult time, as bodies are changing, identities are emerging and self-consciousness is prevalent. Our girls are navigating the transition from child to adult in a media-saturated world, which places an unrealistic focus on appearance. As low self-confidence can inhibit a girl from reaching her potential, Girls Grammar recognies the importance of nourishing both character and spirit, as much as the mind.

Research indicates that mothers play a pivotal role in developing daughters’ self-confidence and body image. Thus, Raising Confident Girls has been created to accompany the Year 8 Ethics program, Confident Me—a classroom-based series, delivered by Heads of House during Term 2. Confident Me is an evidence-based program targeting the risk factors for body dissatisfaction. It provides tools to sustain and enhance positive body image. Raising Confident Girls aims to extend the classroom-based program to include parents. The seminar will provide information and tools for mothers to empower their daughters and support them to establish a strong sense of self. The seminars are experiential and mothers will have an opportunity to focus on both their own, and their daughter’s, self confidence. The seminar has been designed by Director of Student Counselling, Mrs Jody Forbes, and has been evaluated for efficacy and replication.

The seminar series will commence with a viewing of the Embrace documentary and will include presentations, discussions, small group work, information and activities. A booklet will be provided at each session and participants will be asked to complete a homework exercise. Set in a relaxed, engaging and fun environment, the seminars will provide pertinent information and strategies valuable for nurturing confident girls. Attendance at all three sessions is recommended:

6.30 pm to 8.30 pm, Tuesday 14 May—Embrace
6.30 pm to 8.30 pm, Tuesday 28 May—Educate
6.30 pm to 8.30 pm, Tuesday 11 June—Empower

Session 1


Power of mothers embracing positive body image for themselves

  • Body image: the landscape for girls and women
  • Viewing of the Embrace Documentary
  • Embrace follows body image activist Taryn Brumfitt’s crusade as she explores the global issue of body loathing, inspiring us to change the way we feel about ourselves and think about our bodies.
  • Homework: Mirror exercise

Session 2


Power of mothers educating their daughters for positive body image and self-esteem

  • Overview of student program—Confident Me
  • Understanding the risk factors and exploring strategies in relation to:
    • appearance ideals
    • media messages
    • confronting comparisons
    • banishing body talk
  • Understanding and assisting your daughter through the major development tasks:
    • social
    • emotional
    • physical
    • cognitive
  • Homework: Letter to my daughter

Session 3


Power of mothers empowering confidence

• Encouraging a healthy lifestyle
• Staying connected
• Positive relationships
• Modelling well
• Self-care
• Activities: homework feedback and putting knowledge into action.

Refreshments will be provided at each seminar.

Feedback from previous participants:
  • In 2018, participants rated the enjoyment, helpfulness, comfortableness, importance and delivery of the seminar as ‘high’ or ‘very high’.
  • Many participants described the seminar as thought provoking, enjoyable, positive and engaging:
    • I enjoyed the seminars and the opportunity they afforded to discuss experiences with other mothers. I feel a little more prepared to deal with what may arise for my daughter during the next few teenage years.
    • The seminars were fantastic and I have had multiple opportunities to enlist some of the advice since the sessions started. I found the sessions very helpful and I welcome any opportunity offered by the school to learn from professionals and other parents. I have realised I have a lot to work on regarding my own body image and if I can help my daughter to never face such issues later in life then I will do all I can now.