Media Myths affecting young girls
- Filed under "education"
- Published Friday, February 28, 2014
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In 1981, Rachel Giordano was a red-headed 4-year-old child model with pigtails and baggy jeans, starring in a LEGO ad. This was a time when toys didn't need to be "just for boys" or "just for girls" - Hard to imagine that, 33 years later, we see this as an example of what toy advertising should be. Educational psychologist Lori Day shared her opinion of how advertising had changed over the past 30 years, and here is what she said: "In 1981, LEGOs were simple and gender-neutral, and the creativity of the child produced the message," she said. "In 2014, it's the reverse: the toy delivers a message to the child, and this message is weirdly about gender."You can see more examples of the changes for the worse. We will hear more about this at our next Chrysalis Conversations event on March 18, when Dr. Gigi Durham, author of THE LOLITA EFFECT, exposes what she calls 5 "media myths" affecting young girls:
- that children - especially little girls - are sexy,
- that violence against women is sexy,
- girls must learn what boys want, but not vice versa,
- by flaunting her body, a little girl is acting powerfully, and
- that Barbie has the ideal body.
Dr. Durham is a journalism professor at the University of Iowa, and offers practical suggestions for overcoming these myths, including types of questions that parents can use with children.