Archive for July 2011

Airbrushed Make-Up Ads Featuring Julia Roberts are Banned in Britain

Julia RobertsMost people are so used to airbrushed advertisements that they don’t even give them a second thought. But Britain has decided to take a stand against such ads – last week the country’s Advertising Standards Agency banned Maybelline and Lancome ads featuring Julia Roberts and Christy Turlington.

The ASA found that the magazine ads (see pics at left) were misleading, and exaggerated the ability of the products they were promoting to cover lines, wrinkles and blemishes. “On the basis of the evidence we had received we could not conclude that the ad image accurately illustrated what effect the product could achieve, and that the image had not been exaggerated by digital post production techniques,” the ASA said.

Even though L’Oreal admitted the photographs it used had been digitally manipulated and retouched, they claim the pics “accurately illustrated” the effects their make-up — Maybelline‘s The Eraser anti-ageing foundation and Lancôme‘s Teint Miracle –could achieve. They described the picture of Julia Roberts as an “aspirational picture.”

The ban was sparked by Jo Swinson, an activist who campaigns against the use of unrealistic images in fashion and advertising.

Kudos to the ASA for sending such a strong message to advertisers and marketers. Such extensive airbrushing on ads is not only essentially selling a lie – there is no product on earth (other than Photoshop software) that can achieve the kind of flawless skin shown in these ads – but it’s also selling girls and women short, by reminding them that they’re not beautiful just the way they are. These “aspirational pictures” send the message that we should “aspire” to look like these beautiful women, even though the look they’re selling isn’t actual real. Where’s the beauty in that?

What do you think about the practice of airbrushing images?

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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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One Day On Earth

I just saw a trailer for a soon-to-be-released film called One Day on Earth and had to share. On October 10, 2010 (10.10.10), across the planet, documentary filmmakers, students, and inspired citizens recorded the human experience over a 24-hour period and contributed their voice to the largest participatory media event in history. The result is this film, and it looks absolutely amazing. Here’s the trailer…see for yourself:

Here’s how the filmmakers describe their vision behind the film:

One Day on Earth creates a picture of humanity by recording a 24-hour period throughout every country in the world. We explore a greater diversity of perspectives than ever seen before on screen. We follow characters and events that evolve throughout the day, interspersed with expansive global montages that explore the progression of life from birth, to death, to birth again. In the end, despite unprecedented challenges and tragedies throughout the world, we are reminded that every day we are alive there is hope and a choice to see a better future together.

Can’t wait to see this!

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Google Science Fair Winners? That’s Right…They’re All Girls!

Remember this past January when I ran a post about Google’s inaugural Science Fair for teens? They were looking for the brightest, best young scientists from around the world to submit interesting, creative projects that are relevant to the world today, and accepted entries in sciences like environmental science, physics, biology, chemistry and more.

Well, this week 15 finalists were invited to Google HQ to present their projects to fair’s judges, and yesterday the top three winners in each age category were announced. And what do you know? They’re all GIRLS.

  • Lauren Hodge in the 13-14 age group. Lauren studied the effect of different marinades on the level of potentially harmful carcinogens in grilled chicken.
  • Naomi Shah in the 15-16 age group. Naomi endeavored to prove that making changes to indoor environments that improve indoor air quality can reduce people’s reliance on asthma medications.
  • Shree Bose in the 17-18 age group. Shree discovered a way to improve ovarian cancer treatment for patients when they have built up a resistance to certain chemotherapy drugs.

Shree was the Grand Prize winner, who wins an amazing 10 day trip to the Galapagos Islands with National Geographic Expeditions where she’ll visit Darwin’s living laboratory and experience up-close encounters with unique species such as flightless cormorants, marine iguanas, and domed giant tortoises. Shree will also receive a $50,000 scholarship, her first choice of an experience at CERN, Google, the LEGO Group, or Scientific American, a personal LEGO color mosaic, and digital access to Scientific American Archives for her school.

Congratulations to Lauren, Naomi, and Shree for seriously representing girl power in science, technology, engineering, and math!!

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Puma & Team Up to Promote Girls’ Soccer

You all know that I’m a big believer in the power of sports and exercise in the life of girls and women. Beyond all the research that shows that participating in sports can improve grades, boost moods, improve self-esteem, and basically help one be more successful, there’s also the fact that I just happen to think sports and exercise is good for the soul.

So I had to share this new web series created by athletic wear designer Puma and called My Day My Life. This series follows four professional soccer players – Marta, Karina, Amy, and Alex – who have  worked hard and beaten the odds to make it to the top of their game, inspiring rising young soccer stars all over the world with their athletic prowess and skill. And now they’re on their way to the biggest game of their lives. The series hopes to give teen girls a chance to look inside these awesome athletes’ worlds and find out what it’s like to literally be at the top of your game.

What I love about this series is it embraces the beauty in being strong, powerful, and athletic, which in my mind opinion is an image we see all too little of in the media. So click play below for a sneak peak and get inspired to move your own body! (Be warned: there is a ton of Puma product placement in the video…):

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