Teaching Girls How To Counter Media!
When it comes to girls and women portrayed in the media, the overwhelming majority of messages and images out there are focused on physical appearance. Not nearly enough is presented highlighting the accomplishments of women beyond their perceived beauty or sex appeal. We share a short video featured at the Sundance Film Festival which makes one think and perhaps considers how far a WeHaKee experience could go in countering the demeaning, sometimes oppressive messages that are bombarding girls constantly. We also follow-up with a fun clip of girls and women takin’ it to the streets!
Each summer during our staff training prior to the arrival of the campers, we witness a wonderful transformation in the team of young women assembled to care for and guide our campers. Many arrive wearing the latest fashion sporting designer labels and featuring faces with artfully applied make-up. But as the training days pass by and they become more comfortable with each other, they begin to embrace the welcoming & freeing culture of WeHaKee. This transformation can be seen superficially as their designer apparel gives way to more comfortable things like shorts, t-shirts, and flip-flops as well as the disappearance of foundation. blush and eye shadow. But something much deeper is going on here!
When one simply uses appearance to view others, one tends to do it in a judgemental way. But if one takes that perspective beyond just looks, the judgemental tone melts away and one can be much more appreciative & supportive of the gifts, talents & skills that others bring to the relationship. It’s a remarkably freeing perspective and it is so much fun seeing our staff members discovering this freedom. And even more, gratifying seeing them help our campers experience this as well!
The brutal truths of what our girls and young women are facing are well documented in a recent short film featured at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival. It is clear that the content & images in the media are sending a constant and convincing message to our girls and young women that they are less capable. This is not new by any means and has been going on for generations. But with the addition of the internet and specifically social media, this convincing message is circulating faster, wider, and more frequently than ever before.
Take moment to view this short film (under 9 min.) and see what you think: Morals & the Media’s Manipulative Influence. As a parent of two teenage girls, it can be overwhelming at times. But each summer, we see hope as girls discover and re-discover the importance of accepting themselves beyond their appearances. And parents of our campers repeatedly tell us how their daughters’ newly enhanced confidence and independence help carry them above the negative cultural influences.
We thought we’d close this week’s Sunday Snippet with a fun clip of a spirited group of girls and women expressing themselves in Bet Shemesh, Isreal: Bet Shemesh Women Flashmob
Have a great week everybody!