For my project, I created a tutorial video, geared towards parents on how they should raise their daughters, and encourage individuality in a time where there is an extreme lack of positive role models for young girls. Living in an era where the media has so much prevalence and influence over the lives of children and young adults, especially girls, role models are especially important to help inspire the youth of our current and future generations. Although boys are also affected greatly by the images seen in the media, I feel as though girls have an even tougher time growing up in our patriarchal society without any positive images of what to aspire to do or be. Children are growing up too fast, being aware of non age-appropriate things, such as sex, and drugs, without actually knowing what they are, and the responsibilities/consequences of them. Girls are growing up with extremely low self esteem, and seemingly no outlets to turn to in order to receive proper guidance.
In the video, I address topics such as body image, pop culture, and ways to approach and discuss certain topic with children. I will be calling upon my experiences working with children as well to help with my arguments and ideas. I also incorporate scholarly research that relates to this topic of creating a generation of stronger, more empowered girls. Due to my work with within the childcare field, I have experienced first-hand the way that young girls are affected by the media, and being that I am Sociology major, looking into a career in youth counseling and advising, I think that this can be a beneficial tool in raising girls. Women are barely represented in the media, and when they are, they are not displayed in a favorable light. They are either sex symbols for men to desire, or homely homemakers who seem to live to clean. Neither image helps instill a good depiction of womanhood for girls to aspire to. Furthermore, dolls, which are simple plastic toys, aid in the destruction of girls proper development. Barbie, and other brands of dolls, with strangely proportioned bodies brainwash girls into believing that a manufactured toy is the ideal standard for beauty. Barbie’s have been proven to cause a negative emotional effect on girls, causing them to grow up with poor body image and low self esteem. Girls need to be raised knowing that they have other options, and that it is acceptable to not fit into the molds that are created by the media.
Girls are forced to grow up too fast, and although many can blame the parents for not being more in charge of what is viewed by their children, it is becoming increasingly more difficult for parents to effectively monitor everything that a child sees. It is hard to walk down the block without being confronted by an image that aids the corruption. Hopefully this project will be helpful in changing all the harm that has already been done to our youth.
Allen, Marjorie N. What are little girls made of? : guide to female role models in children’s books / by Marjorie N. Allen. New York: Facts on File, 1999.
Durham, Meenakshi Gigi. The Lolita effect : the media sexualization of young girls and what we can do about it / M. Gigi Durham. Woodstock, NY: Overlook Press, 2008.
Project Link: https://plus.google.com/u/0/117245296414972980946/posts