Archive for Politics

My New Site & Life Coaching Offerings

Hello Smart Girls!

I’m so excited to show you what I’ve been up to for the past few months! Some of you know that a year ago, I began training with the fabulous Martha Beck to become a life coach so I could take my work with teen girls and young women to a whole new level. Today, almost one year to the day from when my training began, I’m happy to announce that I’m a certified Martha Beck Life Coach and I’ve just launched a new website and a bunch of special life coaching packages just for teens!

I’ve also written a brand new ebook, What Smart Girls Know: 10 Truths to Discovering You, which I’m offering for FREE to people who sign up for my new newsletter over at This book is a passion project I’ve had in my mind for years, but never published with a traditional publisher. I’m thrilled to be able to make it available to you now…gotta love technology!

Oh, and if you’re interested in life coaching, here some of the one-on-one coaching offerings I’ve put together specifically for teens and 20-somethings. You can get all the details on my new Coaching Page:


In a world where teens are bombarded with mixed, and often harmful, media messages, face ongoing pressure to be a “perfect good girl,” and are stuck somewhere between their big dreams and their current reality, it can be challenging to figure out what sparks their passion, let alone where they want it to take them in their lives. This eight-session one-on-one coaching program is aimed helping girls tune into what makes them uniquely them, identify their values and passions, understand the limiting beliefs that get in their way, and build a personal toolbox for moving forward in life in an authentic, purposeful, and powerful way. For motivated teen girls ages 13 – 19.


Today’s overscheduled, overprogrammed teens are dealing with unprecedented stress levels in their quest to be and do it all. This six-week one-on-one coaching program offers motivated teen girls ages 13-19 simple strategies for juggling it all, managing their stress, and creating more balance in their lives.


Today’s teens are big dreamers, and as a collective, they’ve been told their whole life that they can do and be anything they can imagine. But many are missing the concrete strategies and skills they need to shift from imagine to action. This six-week one-on-one coaching program helps motivated teen girls ages 13-19 working toward a specific goal or goals imagine the possibilities, tackle fear and procrastination, create a foolproof plan of action, and set achievable goals.


For the busy teen juggling schoolwork, extracurriculars, and other obligations, a little organization can go a long way. This six-week one-on-one coaching program helps teens ages 13-19 understand the benefits of organizing all different aspects of their lives and give them solid organizational strategies and tools that will help them prioritize, save time, reduce the chaos in their life, and ultimately create a less-stressed life!


Senior year of high school is an exciting, interesting, and often challenging time as big transitions are looming and teens find themselves at the intersection of their familiar high school existence and the unknown of what comes next. This six-week one-on-one coaching program helps motivated, college-bound high school senior girls hone in on their personal values, discover their voice, learn how to tackle fear, and create a strong foundation for personal self-care.


Project You is a twelve-week coaching program for 20-somethings who are feeling stuck, trapped, and limited by their current reality. This intensive program helps 20-somethings hone in on their limiting beliefs, rewrite their personal story, reconnect with their purpose, imagine their ideal outcome, and gain the strategies and tools they need to make it happen.

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With the start of my new site, I’ve also launched a new blog which will feature less newsy news and more insight and reflections for young women. Therefore, I won’t be updating Smart Girls Know any longer. I will, however, keep this site up so you’ll continue to have access to the past 4 years worth of content, interviews, book reviews, affirmations, and more. Thanks so much for being a part of the Smart Girls Know community, and I hope you’ll join me over at!

XOXO Debbie

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Geena Davis Introduces New Media Literacy Bill

Geena Davis is no stranger to the world of girl and woman advocacy.  She’s the founder of the Geena Davis Institute for Gender in Media, and runs its producing arm, See Jane, which works with entertainment creators to encourage them to include positive portrayals of females and male characters into movies, TV, and other media aimed at children 11 and under.

Now Geena has another thing to add to her resume. She has just joined forces with Senator Kay Hagan and Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin on Capitol Hill on Wednesday to introduce a bill that would support efforts to improve the image of girls and women in the media.

Here’s what she had to say about the bill they’re hoping to get passed: “What children see affects their attitudes toward male and female roles and impacts the value they place on girls and women in society. The Healthy Media for Youth Act will help ensure we are creating a positive media environment for all our children.”

The legislation would provide grants to encourage and support media literacy programs and youth empowerment groups, facilitate research on how depictions of women and girls in the media affect youth, and establish a National Taskforce on Women and Girls in the Media, intended to develop voluntary standards that promote healthy, balanced, and positive images of girls and women in the media.

We’ll keep you posted on the fate of this bill…we hope it gets passed!

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Again Abercrombie…REALLY?

What will it take for Abercrombie & Fitch to stop its obnoxious and offensive practice of oversexualizing young girls and women and generally encouraging low self-esteem and body image everywhere? First we had the t-shirts that said things like “Do I Make You Look Fat?” and for men, “Female Students Wanted for Sexual Research.” There are the Abercrombie & Fitch Quarterly catalogs that were full of so many nude bodies one would be hard-pressed to actually identify any clothes they might want to purchase. Remember the catalog cover in 2002 that had the words “Group Sex” splashed across the cover? Classy! (Not!). Or how about the time they decided it was a good idea to produce thongs for young girls. Oh, and then there was the employee who was banished to the stock room where she wouldn’t interact with customers, as it seems her prosthetic arm didn’t fit the “look” of the store’s brand.

So I guess I shouldn’t be surprised with Abercrombie’s latest, and perhaps most offensive, turn. Padded push-up bikini tops for tweens. That’s right. Now second graders can wear bikini tops that will make them look “sexier.” SERIOUSLY?

There are so many things wrong with this that it’s hard to know where to start. But here are just a few obvious problems. ONE: Girls, no matter how old they are, should not be treated like sex objects. TWO: Sexualizing young girls encourages boys and men to see these young girls as sexual objects. THREE: Padding bikini tops for young girls sends the message that they should grow up faster. FOUR: Padding bikini tops for girls sends the message that their bodies aren’t perfect and beautiful just the way they are.

Here’s what child psychologist Dr. Michael Bradley had to say on ABC News when asked about the impact of Abercrombie’s latest fail:

“We’re actually teaching them that this is their primary value in this culture, that’s what they’re all about. We’re shaping their behavior. We find that kids that get into this stuff do get into high risk early-onset sexual behavior. We whack their body image. We tell them “You’re not okay as you are. You have to use this kinda stuff”. Finally, we’re taking their childhoods away from them. At age eight we throw them into this pressurized, high anxiety world they’re not ready to handle and we think it’s part of why we see so much depression and anxiety in kids.”

So, I ask again…what will it take for Abercrombie & Fitch to stop this harmful practice of pushing the envelope at the expense of young girls and women? Hard to say, especially when the company’s profits jumped 95% in the fourth quarter of 2010.

We can boycott the store, for starters. And then we can tell everyone we know to boycott the store. And then we can sign petitions like this one over at that tells Abercrombie to stop selling padded bikini tops now.

What do you think? Do these padded bikini tops send the wrong message? What do you think is the most effective way to get Abercrombie to change their tune?

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Good or Bad, Our Words and Actions Have An Impact

Gabrielle GiffordsHello Smart Girls,

Along with the rest of the country, I’ve been reading, listening, and watching coverage of this past Saturday’s tragedy in which a 22-year-old opened fire on Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and her staff and supporters – an event which left 6 people dead and 14 wounded – with horror and sadness. That such terrible acts of violence happen at all is incredibly disturbing…it’s the kind of thing that shakes you up to your very soul.

In the days since the shooting, the media and certain politicians have been dissecting the event, trying to make sense of what happened, looking to place blame, to answer unanswerable questions. If you’ve been paying any attention to the media coverage, you’ve probably heard about the hot-button issues currently being debated: the “crosshairs” on a certain map, the hostile and threatening language used by both politicians and some in the media, and whether or not the shooter was politically motivated or just plain crazy.

I think it’s important to examine these different issues, so we can look at them through a different lens. So here goes.

Let’s start with the “crosshairs.” The crosshairs refer to symbols displayed on a map of the United States on a website operated by former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin. The site, which was taken down within minutes of the shooting, was called Take Back the 20, with 20 referring to the 20 House Democrats who voted for Obama’s healthcare bill in districts that Republicans won in the 2008 election. At the top of the map it said, “We’ve diagnosed the problem. Help prescribe the solution.”

Since the shooting, pundits have been going back and forth discussing these crosshairs, saying they weren’t representative of a gun. Rather, they were “surveyor symbols” or symbols sometimes used on maps. Others claim they were simply “bullseyes.”

I understand why some people are denying these were crosshairs. I get it. But even that the symbol is unclear means many will and did interpret it as a crosshair in a weapon. After all – a commonly accepted definition of a crosshair is: “A set of two perpendicular lines in the sight of a firearm, used to align the gun with the target,” not to mention the fact that Sarah Palin is a life-member of the National Rifle Association (NRA), a gun-rights advocate, and has famously said in one of her speeches, “Don’t retreat….reload.” Do I think that Sarah Palin was advocating the shooting of politicians who voted for Obama’s healthcare plan? Of course not. Do I think that it’s okay to use symbols of violence or imply that weapons should be used as tools to advocate for change? Absolutely not.

Let’s move on to the hostile language used by some politicians and media pundits. Name calling, put downs, and threats are so commonly heard on the news that it doesn’t even make many people blink. Whether it’s Sarah Palin encouraging her supporters to “stop cars with Obama stickers” and confront the passengers or Glenn Beck saying he wishes he could kill liberal filmmaker Michael Moore (“I’m wondering if I could kill him myself, or if I would need to hire somebody to do it?”) or Keith Olbermann calling the Republican party “the leading terrorist group in this country.” At what point did it become okay for adults, grown people with high-powered jobs and matching salaries, to use hate speech? How in the world does this contribute to society in any way, shape or form?

Lastly, we look at the shooter himself, 22-year-old Jared Loughner. As details about the young man emerge, it’s becoming clearer and clearer that this is someone who is mentally unstable, someone who had a personal vendetta with the Congresswomen Gabrielle Giffords. Therefore, many say, he was a ticking time bomb, and no hate speech or symbols on a map are responsible for pushing him over the edge. While I agree that there is no way to know what triggered Loughner to snap and take his horrible action, it would be naive to assume that the current political climate didn’t play any role in contributing to this young man’s state of mind.

Okay. Let’s shift gears for a minute. Think about your high school or a school in your community and ask yourself these questions:

  • What would happen if a student posted yearbook photos of kids or teachers from his or her school with crosshairs strategically placed over some of the faces? Should school administrators look the other way and act as if this isn’t a threat of violence?
  • Should a student running for student government be allowed to call his or her opponents hateful names or give campaign speeches encouraging supporters to take violent action to ensure the outcome they want?
  • Should a student be able to say anything he or she wants about another student, even if it makes that person feel depressed, sad, threatened, or ostracized, and claim they have the right to do because of freedom of speech?

Of course not. That’s because to use language or symbolism that is meant to make another person feel threatened, insecure, or negative in any way is called BULLYING. We don’t stand for bullying in our schools and communities among children and young people. So why should we stand for it among our elected officials and the media that we go to as trusted sources of information? What kind of behavior do such high profile pundits and politicians think they’re modeling for the rest of us? Don’t they know that by behaving in such an irresponsible way they are sending the message to young people everywhere that this is the way the world works? That while bullying may not be okay in school, it’s the way to get ahead in real life?

With regards to the Giffords tragedy, the finger pointing and blaming and justifications and back-peddling continues. I’d like to encourage those in positions of power, whether in politics or the media, commit to doing their part to change the climate we live in. To own their role in the discourse. To realize the tremendous responsibility they have to be thoughtful with what they say and how they act.

Last year, Marianne Williamson wrote a piece on the Huffington Post called a Plea to Sarah Palin: Words Have Power. Here’s some of what Marianne wrote in April 2010:

I have defended you since reading the book, particularly when others would make fun of your comments about looking to God’s Will to guide you. But something is happening now that is so critical to this country, with such genuinely significant repercussions, that I implore you to hear me — not just as a fellow American, but as a sister who I know prays to the same God that I do: Words have power. Please modify your words.

To echo what Marianne says, words DO have power. Every word we use has an impact. The way we act has an impact. Our impact can be positive or negative, depending on where we stand, but it will contribute to what’s happening in the world in some way. Please join me in committing to using our words and actions to creative positive change.

Courtney Macavinta, my trusted friend, fellow-author, and founder of The Respect Institute (an institute providing youth, parents, educators, policymakers and organizations with the vision, tools and research they need to build self-respect and spread respect for all), says it beautifully:

“Disrespect is truly contagious. It’s easy to insight each other to be disrespectful – and even hateful towards others – because it momentarily makes us feel bigger, stronger, better than others. Pay attention to how the feeling quickly fades. It does so because it’s false power. The power of respect is so much stronger and sustainable. It creates bridges, solutions, and healthy relationships where they didn’t exist before. But true respect starts on the inside. When you take accountability for how you think about yourself, how you treat yourself, and how you treat others, you can change the world for real.”

With peace & love,


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Vogue Paris Magazine Gets It Wrong. VERY Wrong.

A photo shoot featured in the December issue of Vogue Paris has many girls rights advocates, including yours truly, up in arms. The photos feature extremely young girls dressed up in women’s clothes, covered in makeup and jewelry, and displayed in oversexualized poses. For the record, “sexualization” was defined by the American Psychological Association (APA) as occurring “when a person’s value comes only from her/his sexual appeal or behavior, to the exclusion of other characteristics, and when a person is sexually objectified, e.g., made into a thing for another’s sexual use.”

I’d say this editorial qualifies: Throughout the 13-photo spread, in which girls are “modeling” women’s clothing, shoes, jewelry, makeup, and other “gifts” (the spread is called “Cadeux” which is French for “gift), the young girls are shown laying down in provocative positions on a bed, on the floor, on a tiger fur (see pic above) and more, all while looking seductively at the camera. You can see all the images here.

I find these images so disturbing, so wrong, that I have to wonder: What is the point of this photo editorial spread? What was Vogue Paris thinking? Seriously…I don’t get it. Do the editors actually believe that women, the ultimate consumers of the products being modeled, are more likely to purchase these items if they’re modeled on pre-pubescent girls? Do they not realize how these images aren’t only in poor taste, but they actually perpetuate the harmful notion that girls should be objectified and that their real value is in their beauty and sexuality?

I can only assume that Vogue Paris hasn’t read the APA’s recent report on the oversexualization of adolescent girls, which found that the proliferation of sexualized images of girls and young women in advertising, merchandising, and media is undoubtedly harmful to girls’ self-image and healthy development. Here are just a few of the negative outcomes for girls:

  • When girls repeatedly receive a strong message that a girl’s worth is primarily determined by how beautiful, thin, hot, and sexy she is, over time many girls view their bodies and their appearance as objects to be evaluated by others. (Instead of evaluating themselves from a first person perspective – “How do I think I look or feel?”, they focus on themselves from a third person perspective—as they believe others will be judging them -“How are others judging my body and appearance?”)
  • Girls as young as age 11 who are preoccupied with self-monitoring and fear of not meeting others’ expectations are more likely to experience negative psychological outcomes including shame, anxiety, poor self-esteem, depression, and eating disorders.
  • When middle school girls spend their mental resources on body monitoring, self-evaluation, and concerns about others’ negative judgments, they have a decreased capacity to fully engage in challenging activities, including academic tasks. As a result, girls often emerge from middle school with a lowered sense of self-esteem, a discouragement with school, and a school performance that does not match earlier achievements.
  • As girls are objectified, they are more likely to be treated in sexually degrading ways, resulting in sexual harassment or even sexual assault. Girls who are sexually harassed at school experience significant negative outcomes including difficulties in concentration, avoidance of specific individuals, changes in school attendance, and lower self-esteem.
  • There are far more female role models in popular media who are in sexualized roles such as beauty pageant contestants, plastic surgery patients, video vixens, or reality television stars. In efforts to please others and to gain male attention, many girls make educational and career decisions that could negatively impact their futures.
  • Girls who judge themselves on cultural standards of sexiness may have lower esteem and self-worth if they feel they do not meet those standards.
  • As girls internalize media messages which portray sexual images that are “devoid of emotions, attachment, or consequences” messages, they increasingly present themselves socially in overly sexualized ways. Due to these sexualized Internet and media influences, many girls today may not know what a healthy sexual relationship is and how to garner respect in a caring relationship.

I’m sure that if Vogue Paris knew these findings, they wouldn’t have published their offensive photo essay in the first place, right? Well, maybe we should fill them in. If you want to take a stand against this oversexualization of girls in the media, let Conde Nast, the publisher of Vogue Paris, know that they’ve gone too far. Join me in signing this petition created by!

And to read more on this issue, please check out my friend and media guru Amy Jussell’s Shaping Youth blog post, “Children are Gifts: Not to Be Wrapped and Sold.”

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There is Life Beyond Eating Disorders

lifebeyond1 If you or someone you know struggles with an eating disorder, please check out my friend and fellow member of the Confidence Community (TM) Johanna Kandel’s new book, which just came out today.

Johanna struggled with her eating disorder for ten years before finally getting help. She founded the Alliance for Eating Disorders Awareness in 2000 to do community outreach, education, awareness, and prevention of various eating disorders, to share the message that recovery from these disorders is possible, and make sure that those suffering from eating disorders don’t have to recover alone.

In her powerful new book, Johanna offers tools and insight for those with eating disorders so they can:

  • Stop self-sabotage and sidestep triggers
  • Quiet the eating-disordered voice
  • Strengthen the healthy, positive voice
  • Let go of all-or-nothing thinking
  • Overcome fear and embrace change
  • Stay motivated and keep moving forward

Complete with inspiring true stories from others who have won their personal battles with eating disorders, this book provides the help you need to break free from your eating disorder and discover how wonderful life really can be.

Congratulations to Johanna on bringing this very important book into the world!

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2 Young Women Make History at West Point

Elizabeth BetterbedI was thrilled to hear the news last week that for the first time in the history of West Point, the top two honors in the graduating class went to women! Elizabeth Betterbed and Alexandra Rosenberg were named the overall cadet and class valedictorian of the prestigious U.S. Military Academy, respectively.

President Obama was on-hand to congratulate the women as he gave the graduation address last Saturday:

“This underscores a fact that I’ve seen in the faces of our troops from Baghdad to Bagram – in the 21st century, our women in uniform play an indispensable role in our national defense. And time and again, they have proven themselves to be role models for our daughters and our sons – as students and as soldiers and as leaders in the United States armed forces.”

Though the Academy was first open to students in 1802, women were only admitted for the first time in 1976, when 119 females started as freshman. Today, women make up about 15% of cadets starting the four-year program.

Congratulations to Elizabeth and Alexandra on their incredible achievement!

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Are you interested in learning more about a career in the military? Check out my interview with Coast Guard Lt. Leanne Lusk in my book In Their Shoes. Leanne talks about what she loves about the job, describes her personal career journey, and walks readers through a “typical” day in her world (there’s actually nothing typical about it).

When I interviewed Leanne for the book, I asked her what it was like being a woman in the military since so many perceive it as a male-dominated career path. Here’s what she had to say:

“Out of all the armed services, the Coast Guard has the highest percentage of women. And I love busting stereotypes about what women can and can’t do. I’m not someone that people would look at and think I’m a federal law enforcement officer…I really like breaking out of that mold. I know that I can get dropped in a country anywhere in the world and survive…I know how to take care of myself.”

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Happy Earth Day

Inconvenient YouthOn this 40th anniversary of Earth Day, I wanted to share with you the new website, Inconvenient Youth, which stems from The Climate Project, Al Gore’s climate change leadership program.

This new venture is aimed at teens with a goal of creating a “a community of teenagers taking action to address the climate crisis.” On the website, you can create your own profile, and then join in the discussion sharing your ideas for addressing global warming, as well as post specific actions you’ve already taken to do your part.

Also – be sure to visit the official Earth Day website, where you can share what you plan to do in the coming year to lighten your carbon footprint on the earth. Thousands of people have already posted their pledges to do things like:

  • shop at a local farmer’s market and buy local / organic food
  • use reusable bags and bins when grocery shopping
  • start composting
  • unplug chargers when not using them
  • take the stairs instead of the elevator
  • shut down computer when not using them
  • use environmentally-friendly cleaning products

For me, I’m going to try to walk even more than I already do, shut down my computer every night, and plan more opportunities for our family, including my 5-year-old son, to take part in environmental clean-up volunteerism.

What are YOU going to do differently?

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Banned Books Week & Ellen Hopkins Book Giveaway Contest

Tricks Ellen Hopkins

Tomorrow is the first day of Banned Books Week, an annual event started in 1982 where hundreds of libraries and bookstores around the country draw attention to the problem of censorship by mounting displays of challenged books and hosting a variety of events.

Books might be banned by libraries, schools, and bookstores for any number of reasons – sexual or violent content, the use of profanity or slang…even positive portrayals of homosexuals. Over the years, books ranging from The Gossip Girls series, and TTFN to The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and Judy Blume’s Forever have been targeted.

One of my favorite authors, Ellen Hopkins, has faced censorship issues with nearly all of her hard-hitting books. Her latest book, , about teen prostitution, is no different.

The Kids Right to Read Project recently interviewed Ellen about the issue of book banning and censorship. Here’s some of what she had to say:

My books speak to real life. My latest book Tricks is about teen prostitution. To write it requires having sex in the book, and not pretty sex. It has to include sex. In Identical which is about sexual abuse by a parent and I take my readers right into the bedroom. Why not shut the door? Well, a lot of books do that and we need to really look at what is going on. What do perpetrators really look like? We expect them to be a certain way – and we need to explore our ideas of who sexual predators are to access the way to protect ourselves and our children. As adults we want to believe things like this, or drug use, are not happening anymore, or happening less and less, but that’s not the case and we need to acknowledge that in order to help the victims. We can’t make life prettier for youth, but we can arm them. In high schools today there are youth who cut, there are those who commit or think about suicide. We have to give our kids the tools.

I don’t back-pedal and I don’t sugar-coat things for my readers. Crank and Glass were both based on true stories- fictionalized of course to give space to my daughter and those that the stories are based upon. I don’t feel as an author I need to tip toe around addiction, sex or anything else. In my books my characters experience things as they are. Kristina for instance feels meth is like riding a roller coaster the first few times she does it. The point is obviously kids should just say no, but they should do so because they understand the consequences of saying yes on their lives. My books allow youth an honest look at important issues affecting them.

I couldn’t agree more. It’s no fluke that Ellen’s books have connected with teens in such a huge way – her writing is raw and and real and she has a willingness to talk about things that frankly aren’t so pretty. If anything, Ellen’s books are realistic portrayals of what could happen and can serve to deter someone from going down a dangerous path. They also have the potential to be important conversation starters. I mean, shouldn’t we be talking and getting real about difficult issues like sex and drug abuse and incest instead of sweeping them under the rug? Censorship is never the answer…discussions, frank conversations, and openness is the only way to go

Do you want to take a stand against book banning? Here are some ideas from the Kids Right to Read Project for getting involved and making a difference:

  • Send a letter to local newspapers and magazines, or write an “op-ed” article.
  • Write to any and all public officials involved in the situation, including the mayor, city council, and other city officials, superintendent of schools and school board members, members of the library board, and state education officials. Find your local representative on this website.
  • Attend school board, library board, and PTA meetings and raise the issue. Bring your friends to voice their support.
  • Start a petition or letter-writing campaign. Organize a local anti-censorship group, and publicize your activities on the Internet.
  • Spread the word online: start a Facebook group, a blog, a Twitter account to connect your friends to the issues you care about and to find other people who share your concerns.
  • Work with community groups, especially professional and civic organizations, and religious groups, to call attention to the problem.
  • If the censorship incident is in a school, get affected parents and students involved. If a teacher is targeted for criticism because s/he used “controversial” materials, it is particularly important to support the teacher—if you ever expect any other teachers to stick their necks out in the future. Circulate a petition in support of the teacher or the materials. Solicit help and support from other teachers and educators.

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Book Giveaway Contest

Where do you stand on the issue of book banning in schools? Leave a comment explaining the reasoning behind your position on the issue and you’ll be entered to win a copy of Ellen Hopkin’s brand new book, . A winner will be chosen at random on October 7, 2009. And to read Ellen’s recounting of the current censorship battle she’s fighting over a canceled school visit in Oklahoma and a local news anchor’s public call out for her books to be banned, read her blog here.

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About-Face Brings Attention to Harmful Media Messages

About-FaceI just learned about this website from someone I’m following at Twitter, and had to share it with you! It’s the website of About-Face, an organization that aims to equip women and girls with tools to understand and resist harmful media messages that affect their self-esteem and body image. Through their site, workshops, and action groups, About-Face hopes to “imbue girls and women with the power to free themselves from the burden of body-image problems so they will be capable of fulfilling their varied and wondrous potential.”

What I love about this site is it calls out the media messages – specifically advertisements – that are super offensive when it comes to portraying women and girls in a negative and harmful light. Their Gallery of Offenders features highlights of the top ten worst ads out there. Included in their current list of top ten offenders are ads from, Elizabeth Arden, Carls Jr., and American Apparel. But About-Face doesn’t just point out the offensive ads and explain why they are so harmful – it provides contact information for the companies behind the ads, and encourages readers to let these advertisers know just how offended we are by their portrayal of women.

It’s not all bad news. About-Face also celebrates media that is doing it right, and brings attention to their faves through the Gallery of Winners.

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