The moment after Christmas dinners and lunches were fully consumed, my Facebook page got littered with images like the following:

1514277_10151828881423244_1129663820_nIMG_7301

…from women.

No men indulged me with feelings of having to diet or comment on the weight they had gained over Christmas. Just women.
Then there was the plethora of women friends commenting on said images, also participating in the merry-go-round of the standard, “Oh, I KNOW! I’m exactly the same.” rigmarole – like it’s the secret password for entering an exclusive club.

And it is exclusive – only women seem to want to wholeheartedly enter.
Just listen,  especially around the ‘festive’ season (particularly when they’re around other women) and see how long it takes before kilos / stomach size etc. is mentioned – even for a moment.

It consumes females’ lives. C’mon…we’re smarter than that, aren’t we?
What does one gain from having the ‘perfect’ figure?
My real question is:

Is it all just for a compliment? 

Don’t get me wrong, I like to look unique to me and do my best with what I have and if that receives a compliment – that’s nice! – but it’s not the reason why I dress and groom myself.

There have been moments in my life when my weight has blown out a bit (74 kg being my heaviest) but as I am tall, I have always looked pretty good. This is because I have thin legs and any weight gain went on from my stomach and up – the legs and thighs never changed. To the outsider, my legs camouflaged what was going on up top to a degree. Funnily enough, all I could see was my rounded face when I was at my heaviest – which ironically is what I really notice about people; their faces, not bodies.

How do I know I looked good? Because I was complimented as such – even as so far as being called lucky; lucky for having thin legs.
On an intellectual level – isn’t that ridiculous?
I just want to state for the record that the only luck my legs have given me is their ability to take me from place to place – just like every other able-bodied person on the planet.
That’s it.

Furthermore, ever since being at peace with all my bits – which has been quite a few years now – I’ve noticed that if I ever mention anything about my body (not complaining), I am quickly interjected and shot down with phrases such as, “You have nothing to worry about” or “I WISH I had your figure.”
I have to say that it’s bloody frustrating not really being able to simply discuss changes one notices (and we know that it’s always happening with our complicated but wondrous bodies, ladies) without the obligatory “You’re fine” commentary.
There are parts of me that sag, bulge and roll; I have wrinkles and skin pigmentation on my face; I have dark leg hair which is the bane of my existence to remove (see? not so perfect legs) and I have no butt. Side on, my stomach is about the same size as my bottom – very ‘attractive’…
Etcetera and so on.

We’re women.
We all know our flaws (we’re good at believing what we’re told – that it’s how we think of ourselves) – and we all (yes, ALL) have them, because it’s personal and it’s entrenched.
But this is where I want to say that it is exactly our ‘flaws’ that make us unique and beautiful.

My body has not given me a free pass to anything – I have a mortgage (a 70s house in the western suburbs that I got aged 39; you’d think my body would have let me own a house sooner than that); I have a full-time job, two daughters to raise – who can both be very demanding; and the usual ups and downs of life. I can emphatically claim that my body afforded me no special privilege. Nothing.

The things I have gained in life have come from the person within (who is also flawed, by the way).

So if we are just looking for some verbal validation (from as many people as possible):

Question #196: Is it truly worth all this anxiety and self-hate?

Why not try something different when thinking of New Year’s Resolutions?
Please don’t let it have to do with altering yourself. So you over-indulged over Christmas and New Year; you know what to do to balance it out.

Walk tall, don’t negatively talk about your body and see the beauty in every female body you see – especially yours. Imagine the change, if our daughters saw the beauty on all sorts of shapes and sizes the way YOU do. Don’t judge other women or compare yourself, just cultivate your own temple.
How about we women, collectively, make the New Year’s Resolution to blow these soul-destroying and self-hating beauty standards out the window.

1476404_533425256754481_1751318754_n

I have been using a new word to compliment women and it’s not beautiful – it’s radiant.

Happy New Year, radiant ones!
Go forth and SHINE! x

Deep Breath.

PS I’ll leave you with a clip of Aussie ‘plus-sized’ model (which is ridiculous – she’s a goddess), Robyn Lawley. Forget what she looks like and just listen to her words. Soak them in.

On Friday, the last day of term, my colleague and I ran a workshop with our Yr 10 and 11 girl students (aged 15-17 yrs old). We looked at the objectification of girls and women through the media and ran lots of workshops to help them navigate through the tripe they’re being fed, looked at what is beautiful (them – exactly as they are) and how to be a voice in this saturating, hyper-sexualised society.

The boys, of the same year groups, were in a separate location,  journeying through the harms of pornography and participating in workshops to help them with all the issues they face as young men. They are also being fed false ideals about what it’s like to be a ‘real man’ and are also in strife. The wonderful feedback I got from this workshop is that the boys drew up a contract, their words, as to how they were going to treat women and they all signed it.

Fantastic.

The dynamic psychologist and teacher, Collett Smart of FamilySmart (and who was one of the original board members of Collective Shout) came to talk to both the boys and the girls together. She reinforced a lot of what we had covered up until lunch…and more.

It was such an inspiring day, that I’m still a little giddy from how good it felt to run a part of it.

I was up first and for an hour or so I covered what the girls are being sold by the media – more importantly, how they’re being represented and whether they were happy with it. My aim was to incite discussion and reinforce some Media Literacy with them.

To start off with, I asked them what characteristics we had that made us women. Two interesting things came out of this.
1. The first few characteristics were physical – boobs, curvy, vagina.
2. When I steered them towards non-physical, they came up with some beautiful ones, like compassionate and strong – but I was the one who wrote up intelligent (with lots of arrows pointing towards it).

From this point I launched in to a visual smorgasbord of examples of how women are represented in the media today. Basically one way – hyper-sexualised and objectified.

But it’s not just about ads, shows, movies etc – it’s also important to discuss the effect and consequences of a saturated paradigm, like our current one.

Objectification is the issue. What the girls needed to understand is that once you are seen as an object, anything can be done to you without remorse.
It’s a complete disconnect and is why the argument, “That could have been your sister” (for example) doesn’t work. Their sister is their sister, whom they love. An object is an object.

As Collett later told them (and the boys) – the Porn Industry now has to compete with the Porn Culture of our media. The images looked at in the dirty magazines of yesteryear, are now on billboards selling sunglasses/jeans etc.
So in order to keep their addicted masses, mainstream porn has to be bigger and far more violent. Women’s bodies are the commodity; bodies which only last between three to six months, before they’re tossed aside. Broken.

I showed the girls the following clip from Canada which covers a lot of what I wanted to discuss:

Notice how ludicrous it is to have the men portrayed that way?
We can’t do anything else but laugh about it because it’s not a reality for them – although they do have their own fair share of issues.

We watched the following Lynx ad by Unilever, being discussed in the States. The reason I showed this clip is because there is one female panelist in a studio full of men. Watch their reactions (nothing surprising).

What’s interesting here is mainly the woman’s take on it. It seems like everyone agrees – if it makes money it’s OK.
And the men’s reactions? Well, nothing out of the ordinary. Does that mean that we are also desensitised – seeing ‘boys just being boys’?

This led me to discuss the  Porn Culture which surrounds us and how that’s become the ‘fashion’ now. I showed them more clips and what it means to them. I discussed this concept in my penultimate post: The fine line. A chat with teens.

I could have talked about this FOREVER, but time was short. I finished with the trailer for Missrepresentation – the wonderful documentary I hosted a screening of last year – which perfectly encapsulates the serious issue of our gender’s representation in the media.

My colleague then tackled, What is Beautiful?
We looked at photoshopped images and got the girls to do an activity, where they put stickers on each others’ backs with positive phrases about their characteristics.
They loved it.

We talked in groups about some possible party scenarios, looked at sexuality and relationships and finally encouraged them to be a voice – to call out injustices and be a sisterhood to each other.

After lunch the boys and girls came together to listen to Collett Smart.

She discussed issues such as the truly damaging effects of child pageants on young girls (affirming from a very tender age that the only validation a girl can have is through her looks) through to hearing the tragic story of a teen girl who survived a rape.

She reaffirmed many of the issues we had discussed with the girls earlier in the day, which gave those messages more strength – Yay!
But there was one important point that Collett made, that stayed with me – it resonated:

She said the path toward a better social existence between girls and boys; women and men – is mutual respect. There seems to be a huge portion of the responsibility laid on boys and men to respect women, but women and girls also need to respect men.

Bang.

Question #155: Are women truly respecting men in this hyper-sexualised, porn culture?

It’s a tough question, but we need to step back and look at this through a balanced perspective.
Both genders play a role in perpetuating a state of existence.
Both men and women. Boys and girls.

Something to ponder.

At the end of this day, I hoped our girls left feeling a little more empowered about their whole selves – not just what they look like – and will become more united as women to cultivate that word – RESPECT – in themselves and those around them.

So it was no surprise that I actually cried a little when I saw the following messages from some of the girls, on my Questions for Women Facebook Page:

“Hey Miss,
I just want to thank you and Miss Fitzgerald for your talk today. I honestly feel so empowered to change the society we live in. I feel so much better about myself and I really want to make a difference in the world. Thank you for opening up my eyes to the world we live in. Hearing what people had to say about me in the sticker activity made me feel so good about myself. To know that people like me for something more than my looks is amazing. You are an inspiration to me and so many others. xx”

“Thanks so much ms. You really are an inspiration xxx”

“MISS ! thank you so much for today ! It really made me think twice about what i do now and the way i see my self. you are a true inspiration and we’re all so lucky and grateful to have you at our school.”

“Thanks so much for today miss! It gave us such a great message in a very fun way. It was really eye opening to many of the girls and it was really good to realise we all empowered each other as women. We love you miss!”

“We’re so lucky to be surrounded by such empowering women!”

My message to these girls was:
“May your love, intelligence, strength and compassion be what shines through and gives you true validation. That’s what makes you beautiful.
You’re all necessary and needed just the way you are. xxx”

I wish I could do this every day. My soul feels full and alive.

Deep Breath

x

sisterhood

In my Drama class recently – boys and girls aged approx. 16 – we were discussing Absurd Theatre.

This type of theatre looks at the existentialist view that we are born from nothing; live a fairly meaningless life, in the big scheme of things; attach importance to pockets of our lives (as we are ‘educated’ to do, by our surroundings) and then die – back to nothingness.

The world keeps turning. You made no real difference. It’s all quite absurd.

This is not to say that it is a life devoid of faith because with the existentialist perspective, there is also a sense of hope.

My students and I began to contemplate the issues and topics that encompass our current paradigm. I asked them to metaphorically take a giant step out of our existence and then look through the eyes of, let’s say, aliens studying human behaviour.

What would they see?
I wanted them to think rationally and not emotionally.

The issue of female representation came up – especially in terms of the fashion – and as the discussion unfolded, one girl asked what was so wrong with girls wanting to feel good through the attention they receive.

I replied, “Nothing…but…”

This is the point where it always gets tricky for me because my current opinion on what I’m seeing tears me in two opposing directions – and if it pulls me, a 43 year old woman, in this way – how in hell are these young, developing minds supposed to make heads or tails of it?

1. I believe women should wear what they want.

I was raised to believe that it’s good to show off your best assets. I have pretty good legs, for example, and I used to wear shortish skirts. I still wear skinny-type pants because they work best for my body shape. Of course, I wear pants of varying widths too – as well as skirts of different lengths.

The point is that we always dedicated a certain amount of time to creating a look that suited us and made us feel good about ourselves. Maybe it made a statement or it was simply following the fashion; no different to today, I suppose…

2. BUT when what is fashionable, emulates porn culture – we have a completely different kettle of fish.

Don’t we?

Growing up in the 80s meant there were various fads throughout the decade. I remember there was a pastel stage; a flouro one; we wore studded belts (as well as ones that wrapped around the waist twice over – flashy!); hair of different lengths and cuts; tube skirts; shoulder pads; goths; mods; punks…and the list goes on. Even in the 90s, there was grunge to add to the mix.

This is me at the dance – with boys! – aged 14. When your stunned expression lapses as to how much of a dag I was (yes, that’s a white ribbon in my hair), check out the background – pinafore dresses and a boy straight off the set of Miami Vice.

Truth is, we may have been dagga, but we thought we were SO cool. How could we not be, with such a variety of looks in one decade? 

Year 9 dance

Today, however, is quite a different story – there is only one fad: Hot ‘n Sexy and no age seems out of reach. The monumental difference today is the hypersexualised pre-teen that’s starting to flood the ‘market’.
(Sadly, one of the most used search engine terms that gets certain unsavoury and predatory people to my blog, is ‘12 year old sluts.’
Young and fresh out of Primary School – these girls are in high demand.)

I discussed the conundrum of this current fashion with the students to see if they could discern the fine line – that it’s virtually a ‘Catch-22′ situation. If, on one hand, girls wear hypersexualised outfits and allude to also behave in said manner as well, they are participating in the spread of porn culture – a culture created, predominantly, for male satisfaction. BUT at the same time, if we go around preaching to women about what they should and shouldn’t wear, it reeks of control and takes away a female’s agency to do as she pleases – the same way a man is permitted.

In other words, inequality.

This is crippling. Women – and now, very young girls – are being driven crazy with this and I can see that this paradigm, one that is so obsessed with sex and selling the female body (only) to make billions of dollars, is winning.

To wear, or not to wear – that is the question.

Question #153: Isn’t that absurd?

Deep Breath

 

Mila Kunis on Ellen

February 17, 2013

While I was sitting in an empty hospital room, waiting for my husband’s return from his surgery – I turned on the TV and I stumbled upon Ellen.

I have to say, that although I don’t really watch the show (don’t watch much TV at all), I do really like Ellen and what she does – yes, very similar to Oprah.
What I like about these women is that they spread a message of happy and that’s not a bad thing. We need more of it.

What makes Ellen different, of course, is that she is who she is and dresses comfortably – leaning towards a more masculine look – which I love.

Her female guests, however, are different. In the past, I’ve seen many (not all) come out wearing the ‘uniform’ – cascading locks of hair, over made-up faces, skimpy, barely-there outfits, very high platform shoes etc etc.

On this particular day, Mila Kunis was the announced guest and I watched with interest.

1. Mila came out looking stylish – pants and a white top. Nice.

2. Ellen’s first words to her are: “You look fantastic” and launches straight into the fact she must feel pressure now that Esquire has named her the ‘Sexiest Woman Alive’ – pulling out the magazine which dons the following cover image of Mila:

Esquire-Cover-edited

After a bit of banter, Ellen says that there must have been a lot of pressure to pose for the cover of the sexiest woman alive.

Mila’s response was gobsmacking: She said,

“The only reason I did it, was so that when I’m 80, sitting in my little chair, I can say – SEE, Grandma was really hot one day!”

Ellen responded with, “That’s why you did it?”

A pocket of women in the audience started to yahoo and cheer – of course – and with that validation Mila continued, saying that she was sure her grandmother was a “sexy little thing, but there was no photographic proof.” (???)

She holds up her cover and says, “Look grandkids – PROOF!”

Dear me.

Ellen then guides the talk towards her outfits in everyday life saying she appears to be down to earth and doesn’t seem to ‘worry about what she looks like when she goes out’ (?????) and a whole minute dedicated to her use of cargo pants.

After tediously trying to get Mila to admit she’s dating Ashton Kutcher – the topic FINALLY turned towards her craft – the movie she’s in.
However, in the 8 minute interview – the discussion of her movie lasted 30 seconds.

I have to say, it was disappointing – again – to see how this interview fixated on and perpetuated society’s (women’s) obsession with the physicality of women such as Mila, and how we applaud and revere them.

More disturbing, however, is how Mila herself – a young and beautiful girl – needs to find validation through men voting her the sexiest woman alive, hyper-sexualising herself and slapping it on a cover for all to see…

…including her future grandchildren, no less – topless and with a provocative finger over her lips.

What hope do our daughters have with self-esteem and empowerment, when women’s looks are the only topic of interest?

Question #144: How can what girls do with their minds be in the forefront of discovering who they are, when noone cares enough to represent it?

 Remember: “You can’t be what you can’t see”

We’re certainly seeing a lot of young, hyper-sexualised women like Mila, which does nothing for the sisterhood and the true empowerment of our girls.

Deep Breath.

x

PS Hubby’s operation lasted four hours and had five surgeons. It seems to have gone well.

Dr Caroline Heldman (who appeared in Missrepresentation) spoke at the TEDx Youth Conference, for twelve or so minutes – without pause. Amazing.

It’s a bloody brilliant presentation that encapsulates everything that is wrong with our current paradigm – delivered with clear-cut explanations, facts, research and solutions.

She looks at what sexual objectification is and whether it’s empowering.

An absolutely fantastic and succinct discourse.

Question #140: So, ladies – are we going to put an end to this self-destructive behaviour, once and for all?

Deep Breath.

x

27

Well, it definitely feels like there is starting to be more and more debate on gender behaviour. The following articles have different perspectives and experiences that I thought you might like. I did. There are many, many more articles out there, but I feel like I can’t keep up sometimes.- which is good, I suppose. Voices are being heard.

This first article written by Laurie Penny looks at the sexist bullying women can (and do) face on the Internet:

“Perhaps it should be comforting when calling a woman fat and ugly is the best response to her arguments, but it’s a chill comfort, especially when one realises, as I have come to realise over the past year, just how much time and effort some vicious people are prepared to expend trying to punish and silence a woman who dares to be ambitious, outspoken, or merely present in a public space.”

From the article: A woman’s opinion is the mini-skirt of the internet

The next article is written by Yashar Ali:

“You’re so sensitive. You’re so emotional. You’re defensive. You’re overreacting. Calm down. Relax. Stop freaking out! You’re crazy! I was just joking, don’t you have a sense of humor? You’re so dramatic. Just get over it already!

Sound familiar?

If you’re a woman, it probably does. Do you ever hear any of these comments from your spouse, partner, boss, friends, colleagues, or relatives after you have expressed frustration, sadness, or anger about something they have done or said?”

From article: A Message to Women from a Man – You Are Not ‘Crazy’

This final article has restored Germaine Greer in my good books again. The following article appeared in The Canberra Times this last Saturday, and it’s great. Germaine voices an opinion on an experience in Amsterdam, which ruffled her feathers – and rightly so!

“At an event in Amsterdam recently, I was ordered by a woman on the stage to take the hand of the woman next to me, who happened to be 76-year-old Hedy d’Ancona, and tell her she was beautiful. This would be more conducive to her self-esteem, apparently, than reminding her that, having served as a minister under two Dutch governments, as a member of the European Parliament, and as chairman of Dutch Oxfam, she was immensely distinguished and I was honoured to be sitting next to her.”

From Greer’s article: Hands up if you’re feeling any less revolting?

It’s something I’ve been writing about for a while – The beauty we aspire to, does not come naturally…or cheaply.

I concur with you on this one, Germaine.

Don’t forget that Dove’s parent company, Unilever (which I’ve also written about), also did the sexist Lynx campaigns.

Dove’s message to women – “Love yourself for who you are, whatever shape. You’re beautiful!”

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Lynx’s message to women: “You’re not beautiful and no man will want you, if you don’t look – and act – like this.” (PS Buy Dove or any other Unilever product – that MAY help).

Lucy-Pinder1-570x309

Conflict of messages, much?

A Lynx’s poster campaign, for shower gel, featuring a woman standing underneath an outdoor shower on a beach wearing bikini bottoms while clasping an undone top against her boobs. The poster ran with the strapline “The cleaner you are the dirtier you get”.

Nice.

Anyway, I’ll leave you read.

It’s time to step outside of ‘the emotion’ of life and start becoming a rational observer of it.

Question #123: What do you see?

Deep Breath.

x

A nice one for the girls.

November 10, 2012

Just a quick post – as I’m watching the movie In Her Shoes on the telly.

What a delight. I’ve been enjoying it so much.

It has it’s touches of ‘Hollywood’ – yes – but the main protagonists are all women and we see all their flaws – their different shapes and looks – as well as their gifts.

It looks at the sisterhood…the good, the bad and the ugly.

And there’s beauty in their flaws.

Toni Collette is always her amazing self – a.mazing – and Cameron Diaz is fantastic; she was great in this role.  There’s also Shirley Maclaine…and last, but not least, a divine collection of gorgeous shoes!

It’s like you can kind of relate to every female character, in some tiny way (or in many)  – whether as a part of you or as a part of the women around you.

Complex women. Like us.

Anyway, I just wanted to share this movie with you – one that (I thought) portrayed a more truthful representation of a cross-section of women. This seems to be a lacking element of the movies nowadays.

Watch it one day – and please be sure to visit me again and tell me what you thought of it.

We need more movies like this.

Nigh Night.

Ad I’ve noticed – #1

October 21, 2012

Before I start waging my war on the ads we’re seeing, I’d like to do a bit of research – with you. I’m going to quickly discuss ads I’m seeing now – airing across the country, into family homes – and then (hopefully) gain some insight from you – see if there’s a reoccurring pattern in what our media outlets are unveiling to us and what messages they’re circulating.

I’d like to use you as a gauge. I – like everyone else – am not immune to seeing things a little less-of-centre at times and willingly admit this. It is all about perspective, after all, and I am deeply curious to learn whether we’re on the same page about this issue,  that is deeply concerning to me.

Before I start, I want to explain that I don’t have cable TV, just free-to-air. I don’t turn on the telly until the evening, but really (especially in this ‘down season’) – I don’t watch much. This isn’t to say that the TV is switched off. It’s generally left on, in case we stumble upon something engaging to watch.

This means that as I’m cooking or writing, I do, on occasion, notice the ads. Obviously, when we think about ads, we automatically think of product selling, but there are also the ads for the TV shows themselves…and it’s the content in these ads that are also of great concern.

I’ve written previously about how TV is dumbing us down and how – as a capitalist, obsessed society – we’re possibly heading down a path towards The Seven Deadly Sins.

Well…isn’t it possible? If the answer is, “Yes” then what do we need to do?

I think the ads we’re being exposed to (children and teens especially) – together with a WHOLE smorgasbord of other factors and contributors – are changing the neural pathways of our brains. Conditioning us. More urgently, conditioning the way our youth perceive reality.

Ad #1. TV show – Glee.

Now, I’m not a fan of this show – ever since it started to drip in the hyper-sexualised behaviour of the girls; on top of knowing that their main fan base are young girls. I wrote a post about another ad for Glee a while back (with the clip attached). They are not promoting healthy messages, which is a shame considering the reach they have.

The new season is apparently about to start and we are, of course, getting bombarded by the promotional tsunami that seems to come with the start of new television show seasons.

I wasn’t able to find the clip of the ad that’s being aired in Australia, so I’ll just describe the simple, yet dangerous, messages I think the ad is delivering to young girls and women.

Two things.

One: Kate Hudson plays a new character in the series as a dance instructor at what appears to be a high end place in New York (NY Ballet?), that the main girl Rachel now attends. Kate’s character appears fearless, bellowing how the majority of them are going to fail etc. etc.

She walks up to one of the new students and says:

“Hi. What’s your name? Muffin Top?” (when some fat sits over the top of your pants)

“No, my name is-”

“No. You’re name is Muffin Top. From now on it’s rice crackers and ipecac (a drink that makes you vomit). Cut off a butt-cheek. You have to lose a few pounds.”

And the girl is slim. Plus it really bothers me that it’s a fellow woman being so callous.

Message: If you look at that girl and they’re saying she’s fat (which she’s not) – what am I?

Subliminal message received. Neural pathways are now shifting, due to negative self thoughts about weight and self esteem. Check.

Many will argue that that’s the way it is in these sorts of high pressure dancing institutions and the show is representing realism. Oh, now they’re calling the realism card? That’s a tiny morsel of ‘realism’ compared the heightened misrepresentation that oozes from other issues within shows such as this.

Two: In the grand old tradition of building a female star (whether it be an actress or a singer) as an innocent, wide-eyed virginal type of girl – there comes the time when she must toss all that aside, along with its innocent followers and admirers, and become ‘nasty’.

Rachel now has to be taken ‘seriously’ and must shed her chaste appearance and prove she’s someone to be reckoned with. So we hear Rachel singing, not once but twice during the ad, the following line of the song she will perform on the show (once with a visual showing a tough and sexy Rachel):

“I’m not that innocent”

A line from a Britney Spears song. How apt – a fellow innocent-turned-nasty girl…along with Christina Aquilera, Miley Cyrus…and the list goes on.

Message: Noone will take me seriously unless I sexualise myself to gain attention.

Subliminal message received. Neural pathways are now shifting, due to negative thoughts about not looking sexy and hot enough to gain attention and recognition – the only way to get it. Check.

Why do they do this to one famous, female young star after another? To add to the fan base.

In the documentary, Missrepresentation, we were informed that the main people who watch TV are women…so it doesn’t matter what you show them, as it seems they lap up everything that’s presented to them – especially the younger ones.

However, the ones who watch the least TV, are males between the ages of 18-mid/late twenties? Something like that. So shows are predominantly motivated to getting their full attention – and how else can you get a young, hormone ridden boy/teen/male to watch your show?

Sexualise the girls.

So the bottom line is that they don’t care who watches, just as long as they are.

Anything for a buck, right?

Question #104: Do these examples set off alarm bells, no matter how small, as to what’s being subliminally taught?

Here is a lovely image of the actress who plays Rachel (Michele Lea), contributing her efforts to collecting that new fan base for the network and share holders, by posing for GQ magazine.

We have a long way to go, ladies. Can’t have a picture like this without the woman’s consent.

And consent they do.

Deep Breath.

x

Why it’s worse now.

September 2, 2012

I was cooking and my 9 year old daughter was keeping me company, chatting. It was great.

Yesterday, when I let her play on the computer, which is normally some sort of simple game, I went in to find her doing a ‘make-over’ on some cartoon girl. I told her to get off it. She didn’t make a fuss. Bless her.

So we were chatting about that tonight. I said that, in a way, that game was training her to become a girl who grooms herself in a particular way. I said that there was nothing wrong with wearing makeup when she’s older, but that girls and women nowadays were spending A LOT of money to look a particular way.

I said to her that when I was younger, I loved going through women’s magazines but that ‘back then’ the images were of the women as they were. Don’t get me wrong, we were being sold a particular image – thin, glamorous, in the latest looks…thin – BUT they were fairly real. No airbrushing…lots of make-up – but no airbrushing.

Throughout these modern times – since mid-last century – women have always been sold a look; in line with the fashion of the time. And we have always jumped on that wagon, hoping to mirror that look and belong. That’s cool. We are the fairer sex and we like to groom ourselves.

But it’s worse now.

Why? Because the looks and bodies we’re trying to mirror – are altered and unattainable ones.

Simple, isn’t it?

The logic of it is striking and obvious – and yet…

…here we are ladies – watching women on our screens, posters, ads – depicting the shangri-las of looks – that we can’t have because they are simply. not. real.

Question #85: Why is the unaltered image above, not considered beautiful?

Because there are some rolls…like the ones we all have? Because she has a tummy…like most women?

God forbid we represent the general female population in our media!

Now look at the women around you – your friends – your family.

Do you think they’re all ugly?

They must be if they’re not thin, ‘hot’ and sexy…with no wrinkles etc. etc. etc.

But the majority of women DO NOT fit that tiny mould and I’m also pretty sure that you don’t think any such thing about the women in your life. So, if we think the ordinary and remarkable women around us are beautiful:

Question #86: Why are we being passive and tolerate what the media is doing to the representation of women?

And we are being passive.

Just look at what’s been done to the images of the women below – for magazines that women buy:

Even Barbie – or any doll for that matter (Bratz, anyone?) – sells a look to girls from a young age.

It’s up to us to change this. Noone else can do it – certainly not men. That would be as futile as women changing men’s perspectives.

It’s up to us.

Deep Breath.

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I know that there are possibly only a small number of you who actually live in Sydney or thereabouts, but I’ve secured the license to screen the documentary:

Miss Representation

Click here for preview

It’s on Monday 3rd September at 6.30pm and it will only cost $20 pp. This covers the cost of the license and the wonderful venue, Dendy Cinema Opera Quays – near the Opera House!

A pretty amazing deal, I think!

This is a great opportunity for parents to see the effects popular culture is having on both our girls AND boys. It also explores the under-representation of women in positions of power and influence in America, and challenges the media’s limited portrayal of what it means to be a powerful woman.

Spread the word!

If you, or any people you know, are interested in coming along, just look at the comments to this post, as it tells you how to pay to secure a seat.

I hope to see you there!

Paula

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