Friday 5: More on Media Awareness
In fact, according to Girls Inc., girls between the ages of 8 to 18 typically have eight hours of media exposure every day. “The media that girls are consuming contain strong messages that girls’ worth is tied to their appearance,” according to the Girls Inc. Website. “Girls also receive powerful messages from the media about sexual behavior, substance use, and violence.”
Want to fight back against negative images — and promote the stuff you love? Here’s how:
ONE: Get informed: The documentary Miss Representation is currently screening across the nation, and it shows how the media plays a powerful role in making women feel powerless. It features big names like Condoleezza Rice, Katie Couric, and Gloria Steinem and “accumulates startling facts and statistics that will leave the audience shaken and armed with a new perspective.” Watching the movie — or hosting your own screening — is a good way to bump up your media awareness.
TWO: Celebrate good role models: Right now, you can make a nomination of a movie that shows “girls as smart, brave, adventuring, creative, and wonderful people” in New Moon Magazine’s first annual Girls’ Choice Movie awards. Voting ends on May 1, and the magazine will announce the favorites in their July/August 2012 issue and online. (Parents can also take their own survey–so encourage yours to participate.)
THREE: Use your voice: You can use Girls Inc.’s media guide to find and contact media in your area. Tell your local newspapers and magazines about the media representations you love and hate. You might want to check out Heart of Gold’s tips for writing an editorial first.
FOUR: Build a network. Another New Moon idea we love is the magazine’s Girl Caught campaign. On the New Moon website, you can print out stickers – or use virtual ones – to share your opinions about media you’ve found that either gets it right or fails in a major way. Then, you can upload your own Girl-Caught images, and look at what other girls have singled out for yays and nays. We love that this idea gets girls talking — and building community — with one another. It’s easier to speak up when you know you’re not alone.
FIVE: Don’t fall for it. According to the Dove Real Beauty Campaign, 75 percent of teenage girls felt “depressed, guilty and shameful” after spending just three minutes leafing through a fashion magazine — and only 2 percent of women describe themselves as “beautiful.” Fight against these statistics by reminding yourself about all the ways that you are wonderful — and be sure to tell your friends about what makes them great, too. The Respect Institute has create a list of The Respect Basics that we love — and can help you and your friends stay strong!
What media representation of strong, smart, adventurous girls and women do you love most?