Sunday, 12 January 2014

How the media manipulates us

This video has been circulating on the internet to show how much the images in magazines and on TV are altered:

Friday, 10 January 2014

Barbie is fat

The images we share with girls are not only airbrushed pictures of celebrities but as this article in the Guardian by Laura Bates discusses today, toys are giving unrealistic portrayals of women and girls too.

Bates mentions one child who said that Barbie is fat compared to her Monsters High doll.

Therefore, is it surprising that the Girl Guides Association Attitudes survey (2013) found that 87% of women age 11-21 think women are judged more for their looks than ability.

Surely we can do better to give our children positive role models? I'm working on a post about historical women role models - there is currently a petition for Edith Cavell to be represented on the new £2 coin,  but following the abuse received by Caroline Criado-Perez following her campaign for Jane Austen to appear on £10 notes, will women be put off supporting such a proposal?

Miss Representation

This video by Jennifer Siebel Newsom was brought to US film festivals in 2011, looking at how women are represented in America. It is distressing viewing, but also good to know that prominent women are out there raising awareness.

Thursday, 9 January 2014

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

First thoughts

I am the mother of two girls.

They are very different characters and I adore both of them. They are funny, clever, quick, kind and beautiful. There are times I feel frustrated or impatient with them, but I love them unconditionally.

I'm aware that their future will be very different to the one I had as a child, and that being a girl in 2014 has many challenges as well as opportunities.

I started thinking about the songs they were listening to - the role models they see on TV and on music videos, their friendships, the media - everything that they are exposed to.

The singer, Sophie Ellis-Bexter, recently said she was glad she had boys due to the sexualisation of children.

I'm a nurse, and I have an interest in safeguarding children. As a mother, how can I protect my children? Am I a good role model for women? How can I prevent any issues I may have with my body image / relationships / self esteem from affecting them?

My mum told me that women could do anything, but her marriage to my father was very "traditional", and despite my partner having a strong belief in women's equality, often we slip into more "traditional" roles.

So, I have started a blog, thinking about some of these issues, and finding songs, books, films, toys that all have a strong and positive message for all children, but especially girls.

Please feel free to share your thoughts too.