Girls 4 Girls: Singing the body eclectic

Young women’s appraisals of their bodies have been under assault at least since the invention of the corset. Since then, things have gotten markedly worse. Tugged between the beauty standard of the knock-kneed model and the realities of the modern-American lifestyle—i.e. TV, empty calories and inactivity—many girls today don’t know how they should be shaped, but they’re certain that they’re shaped the wrong way.

A local organization hopes to play a part in reversing this scourge of self-loathing. Established three years ago in Asheville, T.H.E. Center for Disordered Eating attained official nonprofit status in 2006. (T.H.E. stands for “Treatment, Healing and Education.) This Saturday, May 12, the center will host a program called “Girls 4 Girls,” which, by way of fun and camaraderie, may play a small role in putting young women on the path to a better self-image.

“We’re advancing the idea of ‘girl power,’” says Jane Lawson, CDE’s director. Families are encouraged to attend (right down to those annoying little brothers), but Lawson says the Saturday event is aimed primarily at girls, namely middle-school-aged ones.

“At this point in girls’ development, they’re really susceptible to feeling bad about their bodies,” Lawson explains. “But rather than going at the problem from a pathological angle, we’re going at it from a prevention angle.” Expect horses (courtesy of the equestrian-therapy center Horse Sense) as well as games, healthy food, free prizes and an all-around pleasant time.

“Girls 4 Girls” will take place at Carolina Day School (1345 Hendersonville Road in Asheville) from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. The event is free and open to families; minors must be accompanied by an adult. Call 713-3384 for more information.

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