Miss Representation, Reviewed

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by Lori Lewis

If you’ve been paying attention since our January 2012 launch of See Magazine, you won’t be surprised by this positive review of the film I credit for instilling in me the mission to start and run See. That’s a given.

In watching the film with a more critical and objective eye in preparation for writing this review, its strengths became even more apparent to me, and the depth and breadth of injustice that it takes on seems to become more expansive the more times I watch it.

Beginning with some alarming stats around just how much media our female youth consumes and now a seemingly singular message of worth = appearance, value = what you have to offer to men, the film then lays out the background (and future, as she’s expecting a daughter at the time) of the film’s director, Jennifer Siebel Newsom.  Learning about Newsom illuminates her motivations for exploring these issues and asserts that even a thin, beautiful blonde with a privileged upbringing isn’t immune to destructive media messages – and the myriad limitations they place upon women in American society.

The film then goes on to explore – through copious imagery, commentary from a multitude of notable females from entertainment, politics, women’s rights activism, media literacy and more and a narrative that’s packed with truly disturbing statistics – the profoundly negative effects of the one dimensional, negative portrayal of women by media.   By marketing an idealized and impossible to achieve standard of beauty which essentially distracts women from claiming their rightful place in power structures of politics, business and media, the media robs us of our efficacy in all of those areas and more – including our own emotional and physical health.

All of these are bad enough on their own in terms of impact to individuals.  However, as the film illustrates, there is a collective price to pay: depression among girls and women has more than doubled over the past ten years.  And the negative effects are not limited to just women – they damage the United States as a country, as well.  Despite being a world leader in many areas, the United States ranks 90th in the world in terms of representation of women in government.  Iraq, Cuba, Afghanistan and China have more women in government than does the U.S. In my mind, that is the single most alarming thing this film reveals – something that should outrage ALL citizens of this country, regardless of gender.

And even with respect to the women who ARE in positions of political influence, the media constantly sexualizes, belittles and genderizes their contributions and accomplishments by playing utmost importance on their appearance and negatively focusing on “weak” aspects of the feminine psyche.  This is not only disrespectful to our strong female role models (particularly as these things are never put upon powerful men by the media) but more significantly, it discourages young women from forming and pursuing political aspirations.

The film is vast in its critical finer points – I could write endlessly about it, but I don’t want to get into TOO much detail and scoop it! 😉  However, make no mistake about it:  this is an important which I feel strongly that every woman and girl should see and discuss.  Mother’s Day is around the corner – and Miss Representation would make a GREAT gift for any Mom – we definitely recommend this film, wholeheartedly.

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Viralize This: Inspired Ideas Worth Sharing Far and Wide – May 2012

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By Lori Lewis

One of the beautiful things about the Internet and social media is the way it empowers people to create a platform and become agents of positive change. To celebrate that, each month we’ll share videos, images and stories we feel should be seen by as many people as possible.  We hope you’ll use your own social circles to share and help others see anything that moves you.

Photoshop Girl (added 5/8/2012)

“Hold up
Cosmo has got it all wrong baby
you’re the most beautiful creation
God has blessed us to see…”

Fun song that carries a vitally important message for girls and women – that you’re all right, and media / advertising has got it all wrong.  Watch this, with your daughters.  Share it far and wide.  THIS is the type of message that needs to go viral.

 

The Life of Julia

We’re not trying to endorse one candidate over another but regardless of which way you lean politically, there are two things about “The Life of Julia” that cannot be denied:  this is a REALLY cool piece of social media marketing, and these are issues that every woman must fully explore in terms of her candidate’s of choice’s position & track record to make an educated decision & vote.  Just because it’s by one candidate, doesn’t mean it can’t be used as a starting point to research and make a decision about another.  Worth reading and sharing (with caveats, if necessary! 😉 for sure.

Some empowering statements about self esteem
from activist and comedian Margaret Cho.

“Beautiful Girl” by Sara Bareilles

Sara Bareilles is my very favorite musical artist. I am astounded by her talent and when I recently heard her perform her new song, “Beautiful Girl” at a charity show at Los Angeles’ legendary Troubadour, I knew I had to share it with See Magazine’s readers.

I love watching this video, and I love the forgiving and loving things she says about her 13 year old self at the beginning of the song.  (Plus, I can hear myself laughing and cheering in the background!)  The vocals are a little fuzzy but I encourage you to check out the lyrics – they are beautiful and affirming – you should definitely play this for any girl you love.

I hope you love it as much as I do, and that it will help you love YOU as much as you should. ❤

Killing Us Softly 4 Trailer, Jean Kilbourne

Documentary filmmaker Jean Kilbourne talks about how advertising shapes our perception of what is beautiful.  My favorite quote: “The Supermodel Cindy Crawford once said, ‘I wish I looked like Cindy Crawford.’  She doesn’t, she couldn’t, because this is a look that’s been created for years through airbrushing and cosmetics but these days it’s done through the magic of computer retouching.”

Dove Ad Makeover Campaign

Dove does it again!  In their continued campaign to promote “Real Beauty” they present “The Dove Ad Makeover” they invite the public (in the U.K. – coming to the U.S. soon!) to replace Facebook ads which denigrate our bodies, age, etc. with ads featuring affirming messages instead.  Love this so, because it uses a medium that is so often a weapon as an instrument of healing instead.  Bravo!

Reality TV and Women’s Self Esteem

From Miss Representation, this short but impactful video features one of our favorite media literacy leaders, Jennifer Pozner,  and is a powerful glimpse into the harmful effects of reality TV on the collective self-esteem of women.

Happy In My Body

This one features self-proclaimed leader in radical self-acceptance, ex-anorexic Blake Ashley Fergus and it starts out a little slow, but then gets joyful.  It made us smile, so we think it’s definitely worth a watch and a share with anyone who’s struggling with their body image issues.

More next month but for now – go forth, watch, enjoy, smile and share!  
Want to suggest a video for Viralize This?  Email us at goodstuff@seemagazine.org. 

A+ Ads: Got Empowerment?

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By Lori Lewis

As a major part of media, advertising also plays a role in helping formulate public opinions around beauty and in doing so, body image and self-esteem among the general public – particularly young girls and women.  It’s vital to highlight and encourage those who choose to market their product in a responsible and uplifting way relative to the self-image of their audience.

This month we raise a glass to The California Milk Processors Board (a.k.a. the “Got Milk” people) for their hugely successful campaign which features many empowering images of women.

As is often the case in doing these analysis, it must be noted – this advertiser hasn’t always gotten it right.  Some of its ads seem to use overtly sexy images – and indeed, it’s campaign for milk as a PMS cure has been rightfully decried as sexist  in nature.  And let’s not even get into concerns about unethical treatment of cows by the dairy industry.  However, it’s important to give praise where it’s due even if it comes down to very specific creatives within a larger campaign that is otherwise problematic.  How else will advertisers know what resonates with us vs. what we find offensive?

We’ve selected a dozen ads to highlight from among the seeming hundresds that are part of this massive campaign.  As you’ll see below (click to enlarge), actresses, singers, athletes and other professionals representing a variety of ethnic and age groups grace these ads.   These women depicted in powerful ways which celebrate their craft or sport – with strong bodies, confident milk-mustache laden smiles and messages about how milk helps them strive for – and reach their potential.  Emphasis is on how milk helps create healthy bodies, which the subjects of the ads use in pursuit and achievement of their dreams.

We encourage the Got Milk creative team to continue to push ads which focus on empowered images of women, vs. some of the more sexualized images they’ve included in the past.  And drop the sexist depiction of pre-menstural women…if milk does indeed provide relief for this affliction, great!  Teach us about it in a way that doesn’t belittle and marginalize us (and, frankly which doesn’t do much for men, either).

Left to right:  Demi Lovato, Dara Torres, Diana Taurasi, Lindsey Vonn, Flora Stitcher, Miranda Small, Susan Sarandon, Glenn Close, Jennifer Hudson, Jordin Sparks, Michelle Kwan, Shawn Johnson

Have you seen any ads which you feel are positive in their portrayal of women, and deserve the be featured in this column?  Please email us at goodstuff@seemagazine.org.

Ciao, Bella – May 2012

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Back in the late 90’s, I launched an online magazine called Bella, promoting self and size acceptance.  The project lasted a year and was incredibly gratifying and healing for me, and, to my delight, for others.   From time to time, we’ll reprint one of our old favorites from Bella’s pages.

Put It On The Shelf by Laurie Toupin

So many of us have felt pain from the past.  We see the scars all over our body of the things done in youth.  The scars within and without.  We wonder why these things were done.  How could they have been done to us?  All supposedly in the name of love.

Many of these things were done by our parents.  The yelling, the blaming.  Always being told of what we have done that is wrong.  How could we ever be anything good, when we were always told how bad we were?

So as we grew, we said we would never do what our parents did to us.  We would never yell at our children.  We would never spank them.  Yeah, right.

So there we were, wanting that kid to just shut up!  Be quiet!  As we started to yell.

How many times did we have to tell them to stop hitting their brother.  But no, they just kept right on, kept right on until we had to give them a spanking.  No, not like our parents.

Then they were there never doing anything right.  Not doing the dishes, not cleaning their room.  Bringing down the whole world with their terrible deeds.

When did it happen?  When did we become our parents?  We didn’t feel it inside.  We looked the same in the mirror.  But maybe if we just could listen to ourselves on a recorder.  Listen to the words we have to say.  My God, is that our voices, I could have sworn that was my mother’s voice.

This is a time when you need to think.  When was the last time we told our child they had done something right?  When had we sat down and said what a blessing they were?  When had we last held them close and told them how much we loved them?  I bet a lot of you can’t even remember.

So now do you look at your parents a little differently.  Take a moment to look at some old pictures and realize how young your mother looked.  Not much older than a child herself.  Wondering what were her thoughts as that picture was taken.

So where the heck is that book?  Where is that book that tells us how to raise our children?  Where is the book that gives us the bright answer to the questions left unasked?  Where is that book?

Oh yes, we have so many thousands of books out there.  Every different way of raising a child.  Every different way to blame and the excuses.  So many books.  Again, give me a break.

Things were done in the past.  They cannot be changed.  Your mother cannot take back that slap across the face.  She cannot fix the scar you have deep inside you.  Only you can.

Only you can try to understand her fear when she lashed out at you.  Only you can decide to let it go, or put it on your special shelf.  What she did was not right.

So let’s look at ourselves.  Let’s look at what we might be doing to our children.  Do we want them to remember us this way?  Maybe in understanding our past, we can find the way of freedom for theirs.

Think again of how you felt for the first time you held them.  Think of the happiness of their first words.  Remember that, when you hear some of their new language that you do not approve of.

When was the last time you said that you were proud even though they did not come in first place?  When was the last time you listened to how they feel about their life?  When was the last time when you took the time to remember that they were more important then any job, or date, or inconvenience to take to the show, or game?

Take time to realize that your parents had no guidance book in how to raise you.  Realize that they had their dreams for you.  Realize their fear that they didn’t do right by you.

Only you can decide of how to forgive.  Only you can decide if the anger you feel inside is doing you more harm then good.

Find that shelf where you can put your demons, your fears, your pain.  Find that shelf so that you can take them down when you need to and hold them the way you needed to be held.  Acknowledge them the way that you wished someone would have listened to you.  Feel them so that you can rub away the tension to bring about the healing needed for you inside.

Take a moment to look at your parents differently.  Take a moment to look at your children differently.  Take the most important moment for yourself to know how to forgive and start a brand new tomorrow.

The Goods – May 2012

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by Lori Lewis

Our favorite feel-good treasures from the bounty of the world wide web

LISTEN

This month’s Powerplay Mix features a selection of songs designed to boost your spirits when you’re feeling down.   Bob Marley, Natalie Merchant, Andy Grammer, Foo Fighters, and more.

READ

30 Things To Stop Doing To Yourself
Great and empowering list of things that we all do at one time or another, that do us just no good.  Read and bookmark this one to keep yourself on track for a happier spirit and life.

Where Our Worth Comes From
Founder of “Girls On The Run”, an empowerment initiative for girls, ponders how to preserve that indelible sense of self that all of us have when we’re very little girls.

Upside To The “War on Women”?
This article features powerful women’s thoughts on how the recent threats of women’s rights resulting from the presidential campaign may actually end up helping women in the end.

Five Ways To Spot a B.S. Political Story In Under 10 Seconds

Photo: Cracked.com

Speaking of politics, this amusing (and pretty accurate/useful!) article from comedy site Cracked.com offers some great media literacy tips for sniffing out the less than factual/useful editorial around politics and politicians.

Empowering Girls Through Music
Montreal adopts the Rock Camp For Girls model which originated in in Portland, Oregon, detailing how teaching girls to rock out can lead to an increased sense of empowerment.

TrueCar Announces Women’s Racing Initiative
Exciting news from a male-dominated sport in which the preeminent female has (sadly) chosen to parade around in a bikini to sell….internet hosting services.
TrueCar, which publishes new car data aimed at empowering consumers is extending that mission toward empowering women race car drivers.  Not only will they throw sponsorship dollars and marketing efforts behind female races; the company will also spearhead a grassroots effort to develop a young racing drive program aimed at women.

Going Door To Door Never Felt So Beautiful
While we’re not fans of pushing makeup as a means to feel more beautiful, the benefits of this mobile program from JAFRA to provide self-esteem boosts for chronically ill women through makeovers cannot be ignored.  Happy to see the beauty industry involved in such noble work.

Secretary of State Clinton Discusses LGBT Rights
In a somewhat disheartening summary of conversations with world leaders about new policies in some countries with marginalize LGBT people to the point of making their sexual orientation punishable by death, Hillary Clinton fights to foster basic human rights the world over.

Thirteen And Thriving
Really inspirational article how a Jackson Hole, WY school is working hard to instill self-esteem in girls in athletics – and why it’s so critical that they do so.

LOVE YOUR BODY

Ashley Judd Slaps Media In The Face For Speculation Over “Puffy” Appearance

The big news in body image this past month was Ashley Judd’s impassioned essay decrying the media’s morbid fascination with why her face was “puffy” during recent media appearances.  This got lots of attention and generated a lot of conversation in the media, which is fantastic – but more celebrities need to join this conversation.

Vogue “Health Initiative” Focuses Body Image Conversation on Magazines
Iconic fashion magazine Vogue makes an (arguably halfhearted) pledge to limit use of underweight and underage models on the pages of all 19 of their international editions.  While somewhat heartening, critics argue that the language is loose and rife with possibilities of “accidental” inclusion of limiting images of feminine aesthetic beauty.

14 Year Old Girl Leads Protest Against Seventeen, Demands Unaltered Photos

Photo: Change.org

I love this girl.  She’s achieved her signature goal on a petition demanding that Seventeen Magazine print one unaltered spread per month.  I think it’s a brilliant start to what should ultimately be federal law:  any publication targeted to people under the age of 18 should be prohibited from featuring ANY content (including ads) which are heavily altered.

Researcher Unveils Body Image App

This is pretty exciting and promising!  A free mobile app designed to foster communication around body image issues, the media, and how to correct media portrayals of physical beauty and the negative impact to self esteem that it causes to the app’s target audience, college-aged women.  Can’t wait until this app releases!

Body Image: What Can I Do To Keep My Daughter From Hating Herself
We’ve featured articles on this topic before but it’s such a critical one, it bears repeating.  Tips for discussing and modeling positive body image for young girls.

Body Image Booster: Uplifting & Inspiring Quotes
More from one of our favorite body image advocates, PsychCentral’s Margarita Tartakovsky – a look at the importance of keeping our mindspace well stocked with inspirational quotes, and a good selection, to boot!

Anorexia Linked To Brain Problem, Offering New Hope For Treatment

News from the UK about treatable brain abnormalities thought to be responsible for anorexia. 

Why A Good Body Image is Vital For Great Sex
As if we needed another reason to love our bodies – but this IS a good one! Slideshow explores how changes to sex ed strategies and incorporating dance into workouts can help improve body image and thus, one’s sex life.

Got some good stuff you’d like to see us feature? Email us at goodstuff@seemagazine.org.


Social Media, don’t fail us now – fighting for Planned Parenthood

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I’m not into politics. I think it’s an ugly business (yes, I said BUSINESS) and that most politicians whose names we know had to sell their soul to the devil just to get to the point where we’d even know their names.

I hate the divisive nature of politics – the vitriol and hatred that’s casually – if not gleefully – flung back and forth across party lines.

A few years ago, after weeks of feeling increasingly stressed out, frightened and angry ALL THE TIME, I started examining the trigger for these feelings and discovered it was my careful following of political news. So, I did an experiment. I turned a blind eye to politics for a year and was instantly more happy, less stressed and no longer felt afraid, enraged, and helpless.

I never looked back.

But alas, it’s election year – so avoiding politics is a lot like trying to run between the raindrops during a storm.

Though I still try to minimize my exposure as much as possible, something caught my eye yesterday and instantly brought my blood to the boiling point:

Mitt Romney On Planned Parenthood: “We Will Get Rid of It”

Wait – what?!

Images of Margaret Atwood novels flashing through my head, I started a petition:

Tell Mitt Romney American Women Won’t Tolerate “Getting Rid Of” Planned Parenthood

I Facebooked it, Tweeted it several times with mentions of several large Planned Parenthood organizations on Twitter, as well as several Huffington Post handles, and waited to watch us rapidly rise up with an empowered collective voice of 1 million angry Americans.

And…..virtually nothing happened. Latinos for Planned Parented (@Latinos4PP) retweeted the tweet right away, which I found encouraging. But, then, crickets.

Almost 24 hours letter, the petition has just 39 signatures toward the goal of 1 million. This morning I tweeted to the author of the article which inspired the petition, and she immediately retweeted it to her 1,800 Followers, inspiring a glimmer of hope and faith in my fellow Tweeps).  We even got another signature – we’re at 40 now!  But then….crickets.

Wait — what?!

Just a couple of weeks ago, the company I work full time for was incorrectly targeted as an advertiser on the Rush Limbaugh show and we received THOUSANDS of fervent (and often hate-filled) tweets and Facebook posts demanding we stop running advertising we weren’t even running. Because he called a woman a slut.

And now access to contraception and vital health screenings for cancer and other illnesses for the underprivileged is in peril, yet no one can get behind THIS cause?

WTF, America?! Seriously – W. T. F.?!

A month or so ago when another non-profit, the Susan G. Komen Foundation, announced its plans to quit funding Planned Parenthood, the public sprung into action with a relentless social media campaign which resulted in a reversed decision and several SGK executives resigning or being fired.

But a man who very well could become our next president flippantly reveals plans to “get rid of” Planned Parenthood altogether (later revised to “eliminate public funding” – still a huge threat to reproductive rights for American women) and….nothing.  Zero, zip, zilch, nada.

Wow. Just, wow.

I mean – I get it – most of us can scarcely keep up with our newsfeeds and timelines and emails, etc.   But come on, people!  Do you need to be case IN the real-life remake of “The Handmaid’s Tale” before anything’s done to speak out about this issue?

So – screw Facebook and Twitter. I’m taking this fight to the fastest growing and most promising social network out there right now – Pinterest.

Let’s see if the 80% female audience on Pinterest can help pin Planned Parenthood safe from federal defunding.

PLEASE, pin/repin the below image and share and sign this petition!

It’ll be an interesting experiment, that’s for sure!

Introducing…See Magazine!

We’re thrilled to announce the premier issue of See Magazine! You can access it by clicking on this link.

We hope you love it and that you’ll share it via Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr or even good old-fashioned email.

We would also love to hear any feedback you have on the first issue, or questions, etc.   Please comment on this blog post.

Thanks for reading!

What I’ve Learned About Bullying

In conjunction with our feature article on 10-year-old Breanna DeGrove, who turned her own bullying experience into positive change for her school by starting a “Bully Busters” Club, I wanted to learn more about bullying and to share a high-level look at the growing epidemic of bullying among school-aged youth. The goal of this blog is to provide a starting point for anyone wanting or needing to do more extensive research on this topic.

What causes someone to become a bully?
Less stable or attentive homes, feelings of inferiority, a desire for respect/popularity, and an intent to maintain or further the status quo within their own academic community (for example, picking on non-athletic kids in a school where sports are a priority) are just some of the reasons which have been cited by bullies in various research studies. However, there are myths about bullies which need be be debunked – they are not always loners, nor do they always have low self esteem, as had previously been thought.

What is common among bullies, regardless of why they engage in bullying others, are the potential negative effects to the bully themselves. Bullies are more likely to engage in other antisocial or otherwise damaging behaviors, including everything from vandalism to smoking/drinking to criminal activities.

What makes someone a potential target for bullying?
Researchers divide victims of bullying into two groups, passive victims and bully-victims.
Passive victims are typically less comfortable or assertive in social situations, sensitive, somewhat isolated/prone to feeling lonely and with few friends. These characteristics not only make them a potential target for bullying but also decreases the likelihood the will reach out for help if they’re being bullied.

Bully-victims, which are less common, will often display the characteristics of passive victims are more likely to fight back. This has the potential to make them appear less of a victim and more of a participant in mutual acts of conflict and aggression.

Aside from the obvious risk factors (physical injury from fighting, poor school performance, increased rates of depression, fear around attending school, increased risk for suicide), there is also the concern that the victim could become a perpetrator themselves. As the Columbine school shootings illustrated, many of those who unleash deadly violence in academic settings were themselves the victims of bullying. American Medical Association report linked below states that after Columbine, “a subsequent investigation by the U.S. Secret Service of 41 school shooters involved in 37 incidents (including Columbine) revealed that two-thirds of the perpetrators described feeling persecuted, bullied, or threatened by their peers.”

What are some warning signs that a child is being bullied?
This list is also from the American Medical Association report noted below (which was published in 2002). It’s been updated by me with the item in italics to include some signs which may have become prevalent with technological advances in the years since the study was published:
• Returns from school with torn, damaged, or missing articles of clothing, books or belongings;
• Has unexplained cuts, bruises, and/or scratches;
• Has few, if any, friends;
• Appears afraid of going to school;
• Has lost interest in school work;
• Complains of headaches, stomach aches;
• Has trouble sleeping and/or has frequent nightmares;
• Appears sad, depressed, or moody;
• Appears anxious and/or has poor self-esteem;
• Is quiet, sensitive, and passive.
• Has received harassing texts, emails, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, MySpace or any messages form other social media outlets

What can be done to stem the growing tide of bullying among our youth?
On an individual level, observe your child for the above warning signs, and take notice of anything unusual that might logically point to your child being either being bullied, or bullying other children. Talk with your child, take them to a counselor if necessary, and work with teachers and school officials to address any issues.

If bullying is a known problem at your school, encourage the school to adopt a comprehensive anti-bullying program – even if your own child isn’t among the bullies or victims. Doing so not only protects other children but helps to reduce the odds that your own child will be negatively impacted by bullying.

Final Thoughts on Bullying As A Growing Problem In Scope and Severity
Some parents don’t give bullying the attention it deserves, saying it’s “no big deal”, “just a part of growing up” and asserting that “kids will be kids”.

However, regardless of the form it takes (which could be anything from physical violence to exclusion from groups/friendships, to verbal and/or online harassment), bullying is anything but “no big deal”.

Take Ashlynn Conner, an Illinois elementary school student who was being called “slut”, “ugly” and “fat” by classmates, who tormented her not just in person but via email, cell phone and Twitter as well. The problem got so bad that Ashlynn begged to be homeschooled, a request that her single mother was regretfully unable to accommodate.

The next day, ten-year-old Ashlynn hanged herself in her bedroom closet.

As did ten-year-old North Carolina student Jasmine McClain several days later. After suffering long-time bullying – which was so bad that she was temporarily removed from the school for her own well-being – her suicide came just one month after her return to the school.

Jennifer Marconi DeGrove, Breeanna’s mother, was deeply saddened to learn about others her daughter’s age who made such heartbreaking choices in the face of bullying. “You just don’t ever want a child to feel like tomorrow’s not going to be better. I just feel so badly for these parents and these children, because this is happening all the time.”

She continues, “People really need to understand it’s not just your simple, average, everyday ‘kids being kids’ – it’s so much worse than it ever was when we were kids. What makes a 9 year old kid say ‘you should just go home and kill yourself?’ It’s not just your average ‘I don’t like you’, ‘you smell’, ‘you’ve got the cooties’ anymore. It’s getting younger and younger – and people don’t understand, it’s gotten to a ridiculous level.”

Now, with social networking an ever-present entity in the lives of younger and younger children, the bullying doesn’t stop when a child leaves school for the day and heads for the haven of home. It’s never further away than the cell phone in their pocket.

In conjunction with the potential omnipresence of bullying, another alarming trend is an escalation in the severity of both physical and verbal harassment. Particularly for young girls and gay and lesbian youth, their emerging sexuality is often targeted, with words like “slut”, “whore”, and “fag” hurled at children as young as eight or nine. This sort of abuse would clearly challenge these children’s ability to develop a healthy sense of their own sexuality. Along with the myriad other negative effects of being bullied, it’s no wonder that the news of younger and younger children taking their own lives are becoming an all too common occurance in news headlines.

It MUST stop.

If you learn of a bullying problem at your child’s school, whether or not it directly involves your own child – let the school know that you expect them to effectively resolve the issue – and follow up with them until they can demonstrate steps they’ve taken to do so.

One positive that has come about in terms of bulling with the proliferation of social media use among young people is that many have used it as a means to reach out and share their own story and offer support to others, particularly via YouTube. Here is just one poignant example of a recent video posted by youth who are experiencing or speaking out against bullying:

Article Sources & Further Reading:

 

The challenge of striking a balance between combatting the negatives and being a force of positivity

One of the things that’s challenging me as I begin to form the roots from which this magazine will grow is the desire to bring about a change to negative things without getting too hung up in negativity.

I want the magazine to be an entirely positive force. Cover to cover, I want every word and image to inspire positive feelings in the reader about themselves, other people and the world around them.

That, I feel is entirely doable.  Whether or not it’s a noble goal may be a question to some but in my heart, this is what I want to bring to the world through this project.

The trick is how to shed light on and work to correct the negatives out there – the way women are portrayed by the media, how during their early formative years, girls are discouraged from becoming leaders – and how females of every age are victimized and exploited all over the world – without squelching the uplifting spirit I deeply wish to create with this work.  Because as I see and have experienced it, learning about these issues directly and in detail can invoke feelings of helplessness, due to the magnitude and the gravity of these problems.  At least, it sometimes does for me.  And that’s fine if I have to process those feelings to learn and to do this work – but I don’t want my readers to feel anything like that as a result of what I present in the pages of the magazine.  If they do, why would they keep reading?  If they stop reading, they miss out on the inspiration future issues could bring them.  Which entirely defeats the purpose.

I’ve been puzzling over this for a number of days now.  Sometimes I wonder if I’m making something out of nothing, but my gut says no.  I have a vague idea about how to accomplish this critical balance by virtue of how I put together the “physical” structure of the magazine, but would love to hear any thoughts anyone has to share on this topic.  I thank you in advance for your insight and input.

xo
Lori

Seeking FABULOUS women and girls!

See Magazine will launch on January 1, 2012!

We’re looking for stories of brilliant, strong, confident women who are blazing their own paths in the areas of:

  • academia
  • philantrophy / advocacy
  • health & medicine
  • athletics (youth, local or national)
  • politics (youth, local or national)
  • the arts (visual arts, music, writing
  • education

and more.

If you are or know a girl or woman whose story would inspire others and who represents the true feminine ideal of using our talents and passion to make a positive impact in our communities and the world, we want to spotlight and celebrate that story!

Please email us at email.see.magazine@gmail.com and tell us all about them.