Alarming Advertising Images and their Real-life Impact on Girls

Recently we had the opportunity to hear the legendary Dr. Jean Kilbourne speak and it was an eye opener.  Dr. Kilbourne has been researching how women are portrayed in the media and advertising since the 1970’s. Her documentary, Killing Us Softly and first book Can’t Buy My Love detail her troubling findings. Her powerful presentation, sponsored by HGNA (Helping Girls Navigate Adolescence) and delivered to a room full of parents and high school students, featured the shockingly obscene images that are portrayed in mainstream media.  These images are the topic detailed in her latest book,So Sexy So Soon, which confirms the…

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Where’s the Controversy?

“She’s a Sports Illustrated swimsuit model.” Just hearing those words conjures up an image. Thin. Pretty. Busty. Perfect. So it came as no surprise when Mattel (via paid advertising) and the editors of Sports Illustrated opted to feature the classic doll, Barbie, in this year’s 50th anniversary edition. So where’s the controversy? When Barbie first appeared in 1959, she became an instant rock star. You’d be hard pressed to find a young woman today who didn’t own at least one. She had the best clothes, accessories, car, house and, of course, perfect boyfriend, Ken. I recall happy, carefree memories of…

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Most Connected or Disconnected?

Recently I had the opportunity and honor to hear Dr. Catherine Steiner-Adair speak about her new book “The Big Disconnect.”  Dr. Steiner-Adair, who is on-staff at Harvard Medical School, researched the impact of technology and “screens” on youth.  Her conclusions are troubling. According to her book summary, “families are in crisis around this issue, and even more so than they realize. Not only do chronic tech distractions have deep and lasting effects, but children desperately need parents to provide what tech cannot: close, significant interactions with the adults in their lives.” Here’s a brief summary of my take-aways: Texting is…

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Announcing ELEMENTS for Girls!

Flashback to when you were in school.  You have walked into the cafeteria  and are looking for a place to sit.  You spot a space open next to two girls who are in your class and are also in your dance class.  You heave a sigh of relief and hurry over to plop down next to them.  As you go to sit, an arm goes out, covers the seat and declares, “This seat is saved.”  You are now standing there embarrassed and rejected and are looking around the room to find somewhere, anywhere else to sit. These are not the…

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