WHAT ACTION CAN WE TAKE?

Picture of Rebecca

I work with 6-8 year old girls and I truly care about them and want the world to be different for them... including advertising, especially advertising... but what can one do? I was putting on lipstick in front of a 6 year old the other day and I felt funny... am I reinforcing what she's seen in commercials, that I need something else to make me look/be beautiful?   Rebecca



Picture of KairaWhat is really needed is a channel that is community owned, where people from the community can produce a show and youth can learn skills on how to produce a show that addresses crucial topics. I used to volunteer at Pacifica and they had a really cool youth talk show called The Green Room. I got to take workshops on how to make a videoclip and i even got to produce a show. also, it is important for us to discuss this issue with as many people as we can. I work in public high school classrooms and one of the things we do is talk a lot about the issues facing us. Unlearning oppression takes a long time, effort, and much reflection. But slowly, as we learn more, it becomes easier not to feel like we have to put on lipstick. I try my best to challenge guys' stereotypes of girls when i hear them talking that nonsense. for example, i like cars and i want a Ford Bronco someday and my boyfriend said, "that car is too big for you to drive." ha, we'll see about that!   Kaira


Picture of Maureen
What I can think of doing is to keep the discussion going. Talk to groups of young girls about body image and selling products. Write articles. Bring it up at every opportunity and in every available avenue. At some point people's attitudes do change. If people stop buying into the perfect body myth, the marketers will have to follow.   Maureen


Picture of Evelyn
I think we need to think about more positive images, but we also need to question the ubiquity of the media. That we consume too much of it. I know this is an unpopular position but I strongly believe it. We need to look at the people near us much more and the people on the screen much less.   Evelyn


Picture of RegenaAnother comment I agreed with was that Maureen said that this comes down to communication and letting young girls know that they don't have to look like a model to feel like one, Just to teach them that there is no perfect woman or man for that matter!. The society in which we live is really screwed up, the way we are socialized plays a big part in the choices and beliefs that we consider. But again it's up to the strong women of today to set examples for the younger generations and let them see the non-perfect achievers in the real world!   Regena


I've been struck again and again about my own personal struggle of what I and others can do about these media images. It seems so vast and so unconquerable to me - large advertising firms with tons of money. . . And then, I read the most recent postings. And that is the starting point. Knowing the oppression for yourself, grappling with it every day, talking about it, writing on the River about it, and then joining others in projects that combat it. Like NOW's special committee that is being set up to address it, like the search engines that are being developed to help weed through the images, like the "We'll Show You Beauty Day" sponsored by New Moon. Maybe - just maybe - we'll even have a large non-profit created someday that does nothing except research, educate about, and create a political forum for battling the use of negative images of women to sell.   Rebecca


I think we should do a documentary on Women of the Millennium. We should document the many struggles, contributions, and accomplishments that young women of today are making. This should be something that is screened at a Women's Foundation event or we could organize some girl empowerment festival where we could have workshops, films, and community building about/by/ and for women!!! There are sooooooooooooo many women in the wide bay area that are doing so much that i feel we need to videotape the movement in the making and make a powerful documentary!!!   Kaira


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