Sunday, September 22, 2013

Women (and Men?) of the Blogosphere, Let's Make a Difference

Hey there, everyone - long time no see! 

To say I've been busy with school and life would be the understatement of the century. That being said, I just want to tell you all a little something (please humor me and read my mini-rant). 

The young girls of today need to be empowered. They need to be taught that there is more to life than being sexy. They are not objects, dammit! They are smart, beautiful, curious, and strong. They have worth and EVERY SINGLE ONE of them is important and valuable. Where the hell do the media and corporations get off marketing sex to kids as young as 3 and 4 years old? HOW IS THAT OKAY?! 

Answer: it's NOT. It's not okay, and something needs to change. I don't know how to go about doing it, but I want to stand up and voice my opinions. I want to band together with other women across the country who feel the same way. I want to take those girls who don't have a positive role model in their lives and show them amazing they are. I want them to realize that they are more than a sexy outfit, more than an object, more than the size of their jeans or the color of their hair, and that any man worth their time would recognize that. Let's breed confidence and poise in the next generation of women!

So. I've thought about this list of things that I wanted to do before my 25th birthday. This is where #18 comes in. This cause is near and dear to my heart now that I have a daughter. I know that I can teach my daughter these things, by I want other girls to know how valuable they are, as well. There are plenty of young girls out there that don't have positive role models in their lives. They are shoved aside, left to wonder why. They turn to sex to feel wanted, desired, and important, and that's not okay. This is not some agenda to try and force young girls to dress modestly or remain sexually pure until marriage. That needs to be a personal choice. No, instead, this is my mission - to make young girls realize their worth. 

This is where I need your help. I don't know how or where to start. I don't know if this idea should grow into a non-profit organization, or become a sort of internet movement, with a youtube channel, short videos, an online store to raise money to eventually make professional videos, etc. etc. I need other women who care. Other women who want to make a difference. We need to band together and stand up for our beliefs. Any ideas or suggestions are welcome. 

Note: Although I am LDS, this will NOT be a faith-based organization. This is simply me, a mother of a daughter, trying to raise awareness of an issue about which I care very, very deeply. 

25 comments:

Deidre said...

I don't have any answers, I just see more and more young people in general feeling discouraged and trying so hard to be what they think they should be...as the media portrays young people should be, as teen role models are (Justin Bieber? Miley?). And I think this isn't new. I'm sure my mom was pretty horrified at the teen role models of Britney Spears or Eminem.
I feel like the Big Brother/Big Sister program is pretty amazing in connecting young people to better role models.

Laura Railing said...

How about love letters/you are beautiful letters? Make a project for anyone who signs up to send a letter (or tell someone face to face on a coffee date) how beautiful they are. Changing the world starts right where we are at. Maybe a free printable or something they could use? I could probably even make one ;-)

katella26 said...

Maybe a youtube channel or some FB page, with videos (not very long) each week with women all over sharing why they are strong, why they are beautiful, why they are smart, why they are of worth etc. and then end by making the point that you are all these things because YOU ARE YOU. Maybe? A good video can go viral pretty easy. Like this video about a man who helped out a poverty stricken boy who became a dr later on and helped the old man pay his medical bills when he had a stroke or something. Or that dove video about the ladies describing themselves to the artist and then the comparison of a picture drawn with someone else describing them. You can't stop at the videos or anything, but its a good place to start and get people's attention probably.

Chelsea Oliver said...

I love that you want to start something - that's amazing! I love your cause too because honesty, it's becoming too much with this garbage. I don't have any group-breaking ideas for you to use but I know that you should NOT focus on telling girls they are beautiful. I think organizations with that focus are part of the problem. I'm sure you'd agree that your daughter is so much more than her looks (even as young as she is). Girls (and women) need to know that they are smart, witty, funny, creative, worthy, etc. not just beautiful. Once girls know they are worth the space and time they take up for reasons other than their looks, they start to feel better about themselves and that begins to show outwardly, creating true beauty.

-Chelsea
chelsandthecity.blogspot.com

Sarah Shumate said...

I agree with Chelsea Oliver - the focus definitely shouldn't be on telling girls they are beautiful - I think that's part of the reason girls put so much of their self worth into how they look. Girls grow up being told they're beautiful or their dress is pretty. But we tell boys they are smart or particularly good at a certain skill. Why the divide?!

I am certainly guilty of meeting a friend's daughter for the first time and telling her how pretty she is or how much I like her outfit, but after reading a blog post somewhere - sadly can't remember where - instead of having that be the first thing she hears me say, I'll sit down next to her and ask her what she likes to do, what she's good at, etc. It is so much more important that even a four year old know that people are interested in HER, not what she looks like.

Sorry...this turned into a novel. Obviously as a mom of a 11 year old girl, this subject can get me fired up as well. :o)

Reanna Clark said...

I am actually just studying the issue of childhood sexualisation this week in a criminology class at uni! I've researched it before at high school, and I admit even I still feel affected by the phenomenon at time. Sometimes - if I'm having a bad day - I can still feel like I am not up to society's expectations of what a young women should be like. I feel like my appearance is all too important. But as I'm getting older, I'm starting to gain more independence in my thinking, and moving myself away from all the negative sexualisation in the media.
Since social media is such a huge part of our lives these days - even young kids have access to it now! - I think that it can be a powerful tool. Perhaps create groups online where girls can discuss how they feel about the bombarding negativity in society? Discuss with your daughter that it's okay not to agree with what the media says, and encourage her to reach out to other girls who feel the same.
Good luck with it! It's a great cause :)

Sssadow said...

I would be on board with anything you come up with regarding this issue... do they have a Girls Inc location in Lincoln? Their whole thing is about empowering girls to be strong, smart, and bold, and I honestly check their website for jobs like every month.

So good for you wanting to make a difference! Elsie's so blessed to have a mom like you!

Breenah A said...

I'd love to help with this!

RadiantKristen said...

I simply adore your passion for this. The way that girls dress and act these days shocks the heck out of me! Granted, I grew up a pretty sheltered life, but hearing about girls starting to "experiment" with their sexuality at 12 really disturbs me. You are absolutely right that all girls need to understand their self-value, not just the ones who are raised in a loving, faith-based home environment. I'm totally with you though... it's a stumper on how to go about it successfully. However, if anyone can do it, I know it is you!

Illegally Blonde said...

I am in. I don't know what you should do, but I am here to support you in whatever you need.

Kaity said...

Count me in!

Ashley Wright said...

I love this! I actually wrote a blog post about it a couple days ago! I'm willing to help with whatever! You go girl!

Kaylee Gwyn said...

Whatever you end up doing with this, I want to be apart of this. PLEASE let me join you in helping get the word out there. This is so near and dear to my heart. I'm not only a victim of this (meaning my past was defined by this), but I have a sister who definitely has the wrong outlook on this because of this. You are an inspiration and I wholeheartedly back you up in this! YAYA!!

Eve Myers said...

I wish I knew how to help! I hate that girls hate themselves! It's horrible! If there's anything I can do, let me know!

Eve
Lovealwayseve.blogspot.com

Kim Matheson said...

This absolutely needs to change. It's deplorable. THIS is why I need feminism. (It's also one of the reasons I want to write Young Adult fiction.)

I think one of the most important things we can do is to stop telling the young women in our lives that they are intelligent and talented and beautiful in expectation of their growing up to believe it. We need to show them that we are intelligent, talented and beautiful and we know it. We need to step up and start showing the tiny people in our lives (boys included) that we love ourselves and that we are confident. (We can still tell them that they are intelligent, talented and beautiful. But we have to live the example, too. All of that is super hollow coming from someone with zero self-esteem. Plus it just proliferates the problem.)

If/when you get something off the ground and you want help, email me. If you need help getting things off the ground, email me. I'm all in, buddy. This is a huge deal for me.

Kylie said...

I left a comment on your IG post, but I think you would love this blog/FB page, Beauty Redefined. Their mission is to teach girls and women about body shaming and to counteract harmful ideals. One of their catchphrases is "You are capable of much more than looking hot," and I pulled this from their website: "Beauty Redefined aims to continuously promote the idea that all women are worthwhile AND beautiful while fighting against the harmful ideals we’re sold at every turn." I think you would love to check them out.

Good for you wanting to make a difference! I'm interested to see what you come up with.

Emily said...

What about a video series featuring women who are great role models? People can upload their own and just have to be approved...

Miki {Becoming What I Always Was} said...

Great idea Alyx! I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to join you in this movement. I love the idea of a youtube channel, it would be great to to an intro video of why it means so much and then have people enlist their kids to help us out (their daughters). I'm rambling here, but I just can't help but think how devastating it would be if my niece (also named Elsie) was a victim to low self esteem or how angry I'd be if a man only wanted her for sex. NO NO NO!

Andi of My Beautiful Adventures said...

I was JUST talking about this with my husband over the weekend!!! I am so sad with the direction of our gender. It literally breaks my heart. The skirts and the IQs seems to be getting smaller by the day. :( I'M IN!

Sue // As It Seems said...

LOVE this. Let me know how to help. xo

Courtney B said...

You know I'm game to help any way I can! My number one fear when I found out Mia was a girl was how do I teach her of her self worth?! I don't want her to fall victim to how the "world" views women!

Genna said...

It's so, SO easy for girls and young women today (myself included) to fall victim to this. I would love to help any way I can!

Sara Louise said...

I'm in!
Do you know Bonnie Rose? She's been doing a blogging series called; War on Girls, you should check it out:
http://www.bonnieroseblog.co.uk/search/label/war%20on%20girls

Alycia (Crowley Party) said...

I made a twenty five before twenty five too and I love that you made one! This is such an important issue and I applaud you for doing what you can to help it out. We live in a pretty messed up society sometimes and it is always comforting just to know there are some good and healthy minded people out there like yourself!

jlac4753 said...

I went to a screening of the movie and thought it would be something that you would be interested! I think the people said they had bought the rights to show the movie, so you could maybe watch it, too!

http://www.missrepresentation.org/

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