Guest post by Maria Ross.
- USE YOUR VOICE: See what the Miss Representation movement is doing to combat negative portrayls of women and spread articles and blogs via social media that talk about this issue.
- START AT HOME: Explain to the young girls in your life (and I mean 5, 6, 7) that models in magazines are altered and what they means. Tallk with them about the images they see and what they think and start a conversation.
- MODEL BEHAVIOR: Don’t obsess about your weight or diet in front of young girls – show them healthy eating habits and a healthy appreciation for their bodies. Doesn’t mean you shouldn’t combat obesity, but do it from a place of health not “physical perfection.”
- FIND ROLE MODELS: Find role models of women doing amazing things and set up interviews for the young girls in your life. Tell them about extraordinary women you read about in the news. Let them play with Barbie, or watch Disney princesses if they like (this was a fond part of my childhood, too) but also expose them to women in all professions. If you have a female congresswoman or senator, draft a letter with your young gal to her. If they don’t see positive role models, they won’t know what is possible.
- PRAISE MIND AND BODY: Praise girls for their talent and intellect, not just their looks. And speaking of looks, help them accept their bodies for all their unique qualities and strengths as well. Tweet this tidbit!
- And if you have young boys in your life? You should actually try all of the above as well.
Katie Couric said, “The media can be an instrument of change: it can maintain the status quo and reflect the views of the society or it can, hopefully, awaken people and change minds. I think it depends on who’s piloting the plane.”