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From me to you, highlighting challenges faced by girls

Dear Daughters, A Short Video Demonstrating How Media Fails Women

Jean Kilbourne, who popularized the study of gender representation in the media has produced award winning films called Killing Me Softly. The video you are about to watch is a preview for Killing Me Softly 4. In this preview she delivers some very powerful messages that will get you thinking.

She says that people ask her all the time if things have gotten better since she has been talking about this for 40 years. Sadly she says, “really they’ve gotten worse”.

She explains that “Ads sell more than products. They sell values, they sell images, they sell concepts of love and sexuality, of success and perhaps most important – of normalcy. To a great extent they tell us who we are and who we should be”.

And what it continues to tell girls and women is that what is most important is how we look.

Ideal beauty is impossible because it is based on absolute flawlessness and therefore “failure to look this way is inevitable. She [female model]never has any lines or wrinkles. She certainly has no scars or blemishes. Indeed, she has no pores”. No one looks like this, including the model. In fact supermodel Cindy Crawford was once quoted as saying, “I wish I looked like Cindy Crawford”. And remember your observations, middle dear daughter, of the Hunger Games actors featured on the Subway beverage cups. (Read Dear Daughters, A 9 Year Old is Introduced to Photoshop)

“I wish I looked like Cindy Crawford” – Cindy Crawford

Academy-award winning actress, Kate Winslet has been outspoken about her refusal to let Hollywood dictate her weight. When British GQ magazine featured her on its cover, they altered her image to make her dramatically thinner. In fact Winslet said they had reduced the size of her legs by a third and had made these alterations without her consent. She also said, “I don’t look like that and I don’t desire to look like that”.

Kilbourne explains, “We all grow up in a culture in which women’s bodies are constantly turned into things. This creates a widespread violence against women. Turning a human being into a thing is almost always the first step toward justifying violence against that person. It is almost always the same process (in racism, homophobia and terrorism) – the person is dehumanized and violence then becomes inevitable. And that step is already and constantly taken with women”.

See for yourself in the preview of Killing Me Softly 4 as posted by ChallengingMedia on YouTube.

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