What is the #BraveGirlsWant campaign about?
It’s about having more empowered and healthy media characters for girls. Parents of girls today grew up with Wonder Woman and The Paper Bag Princess. Passive princesses don’t mesh with today’s girls who are being raised by their families on the girl power ideas their mothers grew up with. Families are looking for multi-layered, diverse, intelligent, and strong media characters to enrich their girls imaginations. If our girls can see it, they can be it.
We ask media creators to expand their version of what it means to be a girl, and recognize our girls as whole, complex people and not as gender stereotypes. Stop profiting from selling girls short.
We believe that girls deserve better, because we know that the consequences to girls’ well-being are serious.
We ask media creators to rethink products in development and ensure they teach girls to be strong, intelligent, and adventurous.
We ask media creators to rethink branding that pigeon-holes girls into the lowest common denominator (glitter, sexuality, hetero-normative femininity).
We ask media creators to elevate the elements that make the characters and narratives unique, instead of homogenizing the images and the merchandise.
We ask media creators to practice corporate social responsibility now– take the sexy out of childhood. Reducing female characters’ value to being about physical appearance and nothing more damages girls.
Why I support the #BraveGirlsWant campaign.
I grew up with the idea that I should have long flowing hair, a tiny waist and a chest and hips that mirrored the famous “hour glass” figure. After all, my Barbie had these attributes and those attributes seemed to get her Ken, the dream house, and the oh-so fantastic life (well until people started to pay attention to the body image issue as well)! What further exacerbated this concept was all the models I’d see in magazines, and actresses in both movies and television, projected the message that smaller was better. My family always seemed to have not-so-positive comments about people’s weight, which definitely added to my hypersensitivity about the matter. Consequently, I’ve spent most of my adult life trying to look like those models and actresses…and failing miserably.
I have tried every fad diet imaginable and have had some measured success for a period of time, only to gain those few measly pounds back. Truth be told, I’ve lost and gained the same 50 pounds over a span of 20 years and it’s been an emotional roller coaster the entire time. I actually had a male friend tell me years ago that I’d been brainwashed by the images in the media. And guess what…he was right! Honestly, I have often wondered if there were something wrong with me that I just couldn’t fit into that mold. I’d lose some weight and then get stressed about keeping it off which eventually led to weight gain. I’m finally in a place where I don’t look at my body and only see its flaws.
I see the beauty in how I’m made and what my body can do. It’s why I launched the #beautifullyflawed t-shirt campaign. Don’t get me wrong, I eat healthy at least 5 days of the week and allow myself a couple of days where I eat without guilt, and I workout because I now know it’s a lifestyle. I mean, it’s taken me 40 years to get to this place mentally and emotionally and physically. However, I cannot help but think the images that girls are bombarded with nowadays are….perplexing at best. Most, if not all, of the images we see in magazines are airbrushed to ‘perfection’ and plastic surgery is no longer just for the wealthy. Everything we see in magazines, television, and movies sends the message that beauty and perfection are synonymous. I support this campaign because I grew up with flawed impression that if you look a certain way than life will be easy. I now know that’s not true at all. I also know that I can use my voice to make a change. Won’t you join me?