Myself and the other Girlguiding Scotland Speak Out Champions came together to create the Media Mindful campaign and we couldn’t be more proud! With this new campaign our main aim is to empower girls and young women to break down the gender barriers that the media has always, and continues to put in place.
Throughout history, women have consistently been objectified and seen as materialistic beings who exist solely to serve men, in literature, music, in TV and film. It begins early on in life – a lot of the films considered ‘”children’s classics” follow a painfully similar storyline where the white girl, with the “perfect” figure, is saved by the handsome prince. This starts to paint an image in the head of young girls that we need to fit into this one particular box and anything outside of that box is not as desirable. Women come in all different shapes, sizes and colours and we should all be represented fairly in the media. It also pushes the idea that woman are more often than not just damsels in distress that must be rescued and that the man must always be the “manly” hero. This is harmful to all genders.
Media Mindful is calling for a future where there is equal representation of genders in the media, for body shaming to stop and for media outlets to commit to taking a gender sensitive approach to creating content. We want to encourage young women, and the general public, to call out sexism in the media when they see it and this campaign gives girls and young women the tools necessary to do this.
We’ve created a challenge pack that helps members explore important topics like gender representation issues, stereotypes and intersectionality, in a way that’s interesting, interactive and appeals to girls of all ages. Activities include re-writing sexist headlines, reflecting on how social media really makes us feel, critically analysing the media and the message it puts out, and writing to MPs, MSPs and various media outlets to let them know what needs to change. We hope that the pack helps girls and young women across Scotland realise that their voice matters and that they can make a difference in the world.
Show your support for our campaign by printing off our Media Mindful supporter sign, take a selfie holding it up and post it on social media – don’t forget to tag us @GirlguidingScot using #MediaMindful. If your girls have had enough with the way women are represented in the media then why not use our letter template to contact decision makers and people in positions of power and convince them to take action too. Let’s all be Media Mindful together.