Friday, November 16, 2007

Media Literacy

Dr. Susan Linn of Harvard Medical School states," Marketing executives are insinuating their brands into the fabric of [teenagers'] lives. They want--to use industry terms--'cradle to grave' brand loyalty and to 'own' children."

There are several media literacy programs online for girls. The APA 's Task Force of the Sexualization of Girls lists:
About-Face, ACT--Alliance for Children and Television, Advocates for Youth, Beacon Street Girls, Center for Media Literacy, Dads and Daughters, Girl Scouts of America, Girls Inc
Girls Inc. Media Literacy, Girls, Women, and Media Project, Hardy Girls Healthy Women, Mainely Girls, Media Awareness Network, Media Literacy Clearinghouse,
Mediawise, New Moon Magazine, See Jane/Improving Gender Portrayalsin Children’s Media,
Teen Voices/Women’s Express, Third Wave Foundation, uniquely Me!, The Girl Scouts/Dove Self-Esteem Program, Words Can Work

Most of these programs can be found online with ample links for our girls to educate themselves, but do our daughters even know they need the information? Does "girl talk" include any reference to the problem, or have we "bought into the cultural myth brought to us through the wonders of advertising, that women must be young, ingenuous, gorgeous, and innocuous?" Selling Addiction to Women

Beginning in middle school, girls become quiet aware that brands are used to determine peer status and group participation. On the first day of 7th grade, my daughter's friend did not open a book after school diving in to explore the upcoming year's exciting studies. Instead she wanted to go to the mall to get a new outfit for the next day of school.

Are we even having feelings of brand domination or are we so addicted to external values that we cannot hear the whispers in our minds?

1 comment:

Melissa Trevathan and Sissy Goff said...

I just found your blog from a google search for girls dumbing down. I was actually looking for statistics on teen girls media usage vs.intelligence/acadmia levels.
Is media advertising (especially fashion magazines)controlling America's daughters' evaluation and implementation of the beautiful young heroine role to the point they are excluding their academic excellence? Are the girl's minds so cluttered with media images of the perfectly polished princesses, that they spend an obsessive amount of girlhood on fashion, friendship, and fun rather than academic pursuits? How are advertisers domination of our girls' image causing them to dumb down?
Hey Tracy! Thanks for your comment. I hope you had a great Thanksgiving! And, yes, I would say that media and culture have a profound influence on what girls believe is beautiful--such as a size 0. I counsel so many girls whose goal in their adolescence is more of an 8 year-old body than an 18. I believe that, if we could turn the focus of the media, it would help girls tremendously. But, I believe that the predominant focus for girls is always relationship. So, their attempts at this beauty, which is really perfection, is really simply an attempt to be loved. I believe they would focus on relationships regardless of what the media was throwing at them...their just might not be the same level of pressure. And I believe, as well, that all girls desire to be beautiful--our standard as a culture has just fouled up what beauty really is.
Hope that helps! Thanks for your blog and all you do!
Sissy Goff