Brands and broadcasters are always talking about “authentic engagement” and they’re about to get some.
It all starts today, with New Moon Girls’ launch of Girl-Caught—an action, a site, and a sticker campaign that lets GIRLS literally adhere and stick to THEIR idea of what their image should be in media messaging…
As we unite for girls everywhere to sound off ‘yay or nay’ on ad and retail campaigns and media and marketing messages, you’ll be able to participate in this respectful rebel yell using fun virtual and printable stickers you can upload to the Girl-Caught Gallery here. (see sidebar to download or embed the stickers on your own site!). We’re notably proud to partner with New Moon Girls leading the way, along with Mind on the Media, Pigtail Pals, Powered By Girl, School Girls Unite, Day of the Girl…and hopefully…YOU.
Launching today, Sept 22, appropriately the Day of the Girl, the Girl-Caught campaign gives girls a media megaphone (and a bit of subversive guerrilla marketing) to talk back to sexist media and take back the ‘brand positioning’ of their own personas.
As I wrote in this post, New Moon Girls Slams Sexualization of Kids with Girl-Caught it’s time to invite any and all ages to join in the free fun of self-expression…Make it a class media literacy project. A digital tech lesson. A community challenge. A college dorm activism alert. Bring in boys and men to use their own lens too.
All you do is upload images you find particularly positive or negative then ‘show and tell’ your story using the red ‘stop it’ sticker or the green ‘thank you’ sticker—After you share them on the NMG/Girl-Caught site then share ‘em with your own communities…Widely. (Blog, share on Facebook, Tweet using #GirlCaught, you know the drill.)
“Oh, c’mon, Amy…do you seriously think a simple sticker of self-expression can turn into an avalanche of change?”
Well…Substitute the word ‘sexualization’ for ‘snow’ in avalanche, and there’s a strong corollary…
Avalanche: “…A sudden rapid flow down a slope, occurring when either natural triggers or human activity causes a critical escalating transition from the slow equilibrium evolution…”
Get my drift? Girls are getting buried and crushed by the icy barrage of media messages trivializing and slandering their self-worth and skill sets in ‘bods over brains’ time and again.
So envision the positives of sharing these Girl-Caught stories not just with the brands themselves, but collectively to Congressional offices nationwide as we deliver thousands of ‘girl-caught’ examples in support of the Healthy Media for Youth Act.
I truly DO believe we’re watching an avalanche in slow motion.
We’re reaching a tipping point of toxicity that signals a ‘market correction’…and YOU can be a part of the solutions-based pushback toward positivity…
Girl-Caught is one of the ways you can HELP instead of being stuck in the quagmire feeling like it’s all ‘too big and voluminous’ to make a dent.
Yes, we all know when it comes to depiction of girls and women through products and programming the results have been abysmal lately (see links list of SY stories on sexualization below). BUT…
Girl-Caught is a catalyst to push forward some of that rumbling massive media mindshift already well underway, gaining momentum through events like SparkSummit.com and partner orgs like Powered By Girl who is launching a new SPARK IT action (culture jamming ad revising) today too—
How Will YOU Celebrate Sept 22 Day of the Girl?
- SPARK launches a new SPARKit with partner Powered By Girl
- Stand Up for Girls virtual rally sponsored by LitWorld, 12:00 p.m. in your time zone
- Rally for Girls’ Sport: A Guide to Title IX, webinar hosted by the National Women’s Law Center, 3:00 p.m. ET
- Day of the Girl program at Oakland Mills Middle School featuring Howard County Councilman Dr. Calvin Ball, 3:30 p.m. ET
- Kickoff online via simultaneous Facebook chat and #DayoftheGirl Twitter chat, 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. ET
More movement brewing? Exactly one month from now on October 22, Hardy Girls Healthy Women will be launching a pushback parade on the sexualization of Halloween, with their 3rd annual ‘Freaky Fun Run’ to bring back ‘scary.’
And as I recently wrote here about Beauty Redefined.net/Take Back Beauty’s billboard campaign declaring a movement underway to launch pushback to lousy media portrayals there’s a whole lot of shakin’ goin on…(plus the Illusionists film, and Miss Representation.org film, the list goes on and on…I hope they’ll all partner with NMG’s Girl-Caught!)
As for the Girl-Caught sticker storm? I think it’s a fabulously accessible media literacy activity for kids to ‘show and tell’ with hands-on fun.
Imagine being an 8 year old and able to sound off with an opinion to be heard in the media at the same decibel level as an adult? The Girl-Caught gallery enables that self-expression.
And what about girls who want to give a high five and a ‘yeah, that’s more like it’ to brands that empower instead of consume them?
When you see a pack of ‘tweens’ 8-12 voting to uplift the good stuff and have the drek sink to the bottom, or teens incensed that their little sisters are having their self-worth skewered and sold off recklessly as commodified ‘opportunity’ trading in corporate pedophilia of shock schlock…it makes a powerful case for why we need to create a little bit of static in order to put media and marketing on a different frequency altogether.
Join us all, won’t you? It’s great to have a place where youth, teens, and the adults who love them can turn power-whines and mounting murmurs of frustration into productive pursuits backed by research, policy, and social media clout to move the needle on the Richter magnitude scale…
Again, easy peasy:
1. Go to the Girl-Caught site.
2. Download or print out your own Girl-Caught stickers.
3. Paste them to the negative or positive Girl-Catches you find.
4. Upload them to Girl-Caught!
Sound off. Stick ’em on.
Let’s get this party started…
A free copy of Packaging Girlhood to the first person who leaves a comment here with their ‘personal pick’ and directs me to it on the site so I can see what they’ve uploaded, pro or con.
Another free copy of Packaging Girlhood to the first new partner org that comes aboard and ‘wants in’ to show their support for our friends at New Moon Girls.
Be PART of the momentum, part of the solution…and stick it to ‘em with Girl-Caught stickers. It’s free, fun and easy to make a strong statement with a few clicks that will carry far and wide.
Can’t wait to see what you post! I’ll be adding some fresh ones very soon, meanwhile, here are more POSITIVE PICKS to remind people to support those who ARE ‘caught being great’ …enjoy!
Shaping Youth’s Positive Picks: All Things Girl
Why We Need Girl-Caught Stickers
Sexualization Needs Shifted To R-E-S-P-E-C-T
|Shaping Youth Is In the L.A. Times (Miley Mess
Race, Gender, Sexism: Pop Culture Cues & Kids (3-part series)
(Besides Shaping Youth, Dr.Robyn Silverman, AdProofing, PigtailPals.com, So Sexy So Soon, Respect Rx, Rachel Simmons.com, Rosalind Wiseman.com, The Girl Revolution, TrueChild, & other youth advocate blogs, see the list of resources on our sidebar e.g. aligned orgs like: About-Face, Daughters.com, Packaging Girlhood, Hardy Girls, Healthy Women etc.
Amy Jussel, Shaping Youth: Recos & Must Reads
So Sexy So Soon: The New Sexualized Childhood and What Parents Can Do to Protect Their Kids Diane E. Levin and Jean Kilbourne
Packaging Girlhood: Rescuing Our Daughters from Marketers’ Schemes (Packaging Boyhood, Oct 2009; S.Y. Board Advisors)
Sharon Lamb and Lyn Mikel Brown
Sexual Teens, Sexual Media: Investigating Media’s Influence on Adolescent Sexuality Jane Brown et al (Eds)
APA Task Force on the Early Sexualization of Children (full 72pp pdf)
Girls Shape the Future: Study/Girls Inc: Early Predictors of Girls’ Adolescent Sexual Activity (summary: 8 pp pdf)
Review: What IS Sexualization? APA Explains…
“There are several components to sexualization, and these set it apart from healthy sexuality. Sexualization occurs when
- a person’s value comes only from his or her sexual appeal or behavior, to the exclusion of other characteristics;
- a person is held to a standard that equates physical attractiveness (narrowly defined) with being sexy;
- a person is sexually objectified—that is, made into a thing for others’ sexual use, rather than seen as a person with the capacity for independent action and decision making; and/or
- sexuality is inappropriately imposed upon a person.
All four conditions need not be present; any one is an indication of sexualization. The fourth condition (the inappropriate imposition of sexuality) is especially relevant to children. Anyone (girls, boys, men, women) can be sexualized. But when children are imbued with adult sexuality, it is often imposed upon them rather than chosen by them. Self-motivated sexual exploration, on the other hand, is not sexualization by our definition, nor is age-appropriate exposure to information about sexuality.”