Do you ever wonder how and what the male run media is selling to us? Do you ever wonder exactly how the images and stories that are sold to us affect our thoughts and actions? As a woman do you ever stop and think if media has played a role in your own personal story?
Well, I do. And I wonder how my young boys are being affected and what ideas they may be forming about women in their society. I want them to grow up with a healthy respect for women. I want them to be leaders in the feminist movement. By the time they are grown I would like to see more females in power without those women being referred to as bitches. I would like to see a female president. I would like to see a news station selling us legitimate news! I would like to see zero women portrayed as nothing more than an object, an object to sell, an object to demean and criticize, an object to sexualize. And I want them to recognize that capitalism is the real bitch…every image we see has a purpose of selling us an idea or product so that someone else can make a lot of money on our desires and/or insecurities. So it’s important to always ask, what? and why?.
I believe men and women both play an important part in the need for change. Men need to accept women as equals. Men need to start seeing past our breasts and asses. Women need to continue to break the stereotypes and women need to start uniting rather than being our own worst enemy.
Take two hours and sit down to watch this enlightening film, Miss Representation
. If you have teenagers (boys or girls) watch it with them. Talk about it. Talk about how media has influenced their thought processes and yours. Then go out and make some positive changes!
Here are the changes I am making (I would LOVE for you to share the way(s) you plan to shed light on this problem as well)!!!!
1. I’ve canceled my subscription to InStyle magazine.
And I vow to not renew my subscription to Women’s Health ( a magazine that sounds rather innocent but is chocked full of stereotypes and nothing short of a kazillion standards the average woman cannot live up to). I will also stop purchasing Smut like People, US, etc.
2. I will stop watching the Kardashians!
(this one is really difficult for me!) And I should probably give up ANTM too 😦
And I will write letters to the media when an outcry is needed.
4. I will continue to educate my boys to think beyond what is being sold to them.
When we see a racy billboard or advertisement I ask them, “What do you think that woman is trying to sell you? Why would she go braless to sell that? What other ways could they have sold us that product without using a sexy woman?”
Talk. Talk. Talk. Too many people are afraid to talk to their children. We never stop talking and there are zero topics off limits! You’d be surprised what your kids are questioning and processing.
5. I will introduce my boys to powerful, positive female role models.
We know women business owners, teachers, doctors, therapists, athletes, scientists, authors, moms etc. I’m going to show them that women can do as much as men.
6. Break stereotypes.
Mark and I will continue to educate our boys that there are no gender roles. A woman is not required to stay-at-home with her children (that is a choice we made as a family because of x, y, z). A woman can be his boss, can be president, can be anything she chooses to be. A man is not above a woman. And a woman is not above a man. All things are possible for BOTH genders. Crying, empathy, kindness, sensitivity, sadness, are all acceptable forms of emotion for males and should be accepted as well as expressed.
7. We turned off our cable television and we stopped watching the news.
We discovered quite awhile ago that television has very little positive impact on a society. And any real news will not be found on the morning shows or even the 24 hour networks. If you have cable please invest in a DVR so you and your family are not constantly exposed to advertising.
8. I will be an example of change.
I’ve removed my false lashes (my lashes are beautiful enough on their own). I rarely wear makeup (only for special nights out), and I’ll stop obsessing about my weight. As long as I’m eating healthy and exercising it shouldn’t be about the number on the scale or the size of my pants. I’ll be more thankful for the sustenance my body provides for me.
I do think it’s fine to dress up, put on makeup, wear jewelry…I just don’t want to be obsessive about any of it or hide behind any of those superficial things.
9. I’ll constantly challenge myself to ask myself, why?
Why do I want those clothes? Why do I feel the need to alter myself? Why do I feel I need to be sexy? Why do I feel like I don’t measure up? And what message am I sending if I do x, y, or z and is xy or z worth that message?
10. I will volunteer.
When all boys are in school and my time frees up I will look in to mentoring young girls through
Girls on the Run
…this organization encourages young girls to love themselves and their bodies through training for and eventually running a 5k.