Eight-year-old girls have big dreams about becoming leaders in the world; indeed, 44% of girls plan to lead. By the time they are adults, women hold only 18% of leadership positions in the US. Why? Mostly because the media messages they get tell them they should focus on other things, like being thin, wearing the right clothes and makeup, and generally doing anything except become capable of running anything other than a dash to a retail sale.
In one week American teenagers spend 31 hours watching TV, 17
hours listening to music, 3 hours watching movies, 4 hours reading
magazines, 10 hours online. That’s 10 hours and 45 minutes of media
consumption a day. — missrepresentation.org
Parents can help by limiting their young girls’ consumption of mainstream magazines and television. They can direct them toward media with healthy, pro-achievement messages. And they can compliment girls on their achievements in school, in sports, in creativity, in leadership, and in assertiveness far more than they compliment them or guide them on appearance. Reward girls for taking chances! Reward them for going against the grain of what their peers expect! Help them continue to build skills in decision making, problem solving, and thoughtful risk taking.
Take a look at this video, to learn more about how media affects girls’ choices and chances in life: Cause & Effect: How the Media You Consume Can Change Your Life by LoveSocial + MissRepresentation.org earn more: bit.ly/tellingherstory
Sources: Catalyst, The White House Project, Girl Scouts of America,
Center for American Women in Politics, Dove Campaign for Real Beauty,
Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, National Survey on Drug Use
and Health, National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated
Links to sources can be found at bit.ly/tellingherstory
Music courtesy of Metric: ilovemetric.com/