The Reality

As girls enter adolescence, from ages 9 to 13, their confidence declines sharply and they experience higher rates of depression. 1

In Grade Six, 36% of girls say they are self-confident, but by Grade Ten this has plummeted to only 14%. 2

Translation: A girl's confidence PEAKS between 9 and 13.

In Grade Six, boys and girls report the same levels of depression—about 26% say they feel depressed at least once a week. 3 However, by Grade Ten, rates of depression in girls have jumped— they are three times more likely than boys to be depressed.4 For girls, depression typically stems from “low self-esteem, negative body image, feelings of helplessness and hopelessness, and stress.”

"In another study, more than half of the girls said they wished they were someone else."


Girls desperately need better role models. In a recent study5 conducted by the Canadian Women’s Foundation, over 60% of people say celebrities are the primary role models for girls. In comparison, only 36% said girls look up to their parents the most, and almost no one said girls look up to professionals such as scientists or writers.

If your role model is a celebrity, you will most likely learn your primary value comes from how you look, rather than your intelligence, kindness, or creativity.

To reach their full potential, girls must have female role models who are respected for something other than looking sexy.

  1., p.2.
  2. Healthy Settings for Young People in Canada, William F. Boyce, Matthew A. King, and Jennifer Roche, Public Health Agency of Canada, 2008, p. 125. Available:
  3. Emotional Health Among Canadian Youth, Public Health Agency of Canada, 2006. Available:
  4. Girls in Canada Today: National Opinion Poll & Report on the Status of Girls, Girls Action Foundation, March 8, 2011, p. 2. Available:
  5. Angus Reid Omnibus Survey, Canadian Women’s Foundation, November 2014