I received this email today from Josie Duckett-Boyd & I want to pass it on to all former Girl Scouts for your assistance.
Children are consuming more media than ever. Most 8- to 18-year-olds spend about 10 hours a day using recreational media (i.e. television, computers, video games). Unfortunately, current media images of girls and women can encourage unrealistic standards that distract girls from what is important and make it harder for girls to believe in themselves.
The need for more positive images of girls in the media is clear. A recent survey by Girl Scouts Research Institute, Girls and Body Image (2010), found that nearly 90 percent of girls say the media places a lot of pressure on teenage girls to be thin. When they do not measure up to these unrealistic beauty standards, their self-esteem, body image, and physical health can be significantly damaged. Moreover girls and women of color are disproportionately absent from mainstream media. Only 32 percent of African American girls agree that fashion models represent girls of color. Overall, girls say they just want to see more “natural” and “real” images in the media.
To improve girls’ lives, Girl Scouts is raising awareness about the importance of promoting healthy media messages about girls and women. Over the past few months, the GSUSA Public Policy and Advocacy Office worked closely with Congresswomen Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Shelley Moore Capitol (R-WV) to introduce the Healthy Media for Youth Act: H.R.4925.
The bill is a critical step towards ensuring girls, and all youth, benefit from seeing healthier and more positive messages about girls and women. This bipartisan legislation supports media literacy programs, promotes research on the effects of media images, and encourages the adoption of voluntary guidelines to promote healthier media images for young people.
What YOU can do:
Join the Girl Scouts Advocacy Network to encourage your U.S. Representative to be a voice for girls and support H.R. 4925! Please sign up today!
Spread the word: visit us on the Healthy Media for Youth Act Facebook page.