The media can be an extremely sexist and biased industry and this needs to change. The new Girlguiding Scotland Media Mindful campaign has been created to give girls and young women with the skills to challenge harmful gender stereotypes they might see online, in a magazine or on TV. Find out more about our mission and how you can get involved!
Media Mindful is an overarching term for being critical and questioning the media you’re consuming. This includes everything from social media adverts right through to music concepts and radio.
More often than not, there are toxic and cryptic undertones in the mainstream media and unfortunately this helps feed into a system that treats women and girls as unequal. It gives the impression that the media industry that doesn’t respect us as an audience despite representing 50% of the consumers.
As we progress further into the digital age, it’s now more important than ever that as many of us as possible become ‘media mindful’. Girlguiding Scotland is made up mostly of girls and young women, and their well-being is of the utmost importance. That’s why myself and the rest of the Speak Out Champions came together to produce this new campaign and challenge pack to challenge these unacceptable norms. Our Girls in Scotland 2020 research found that 68% of girls aged 11-21 feel newspapers, magazines and influencers on social media need to do more to stop reinforcing gender stereotypes. It’s clear that the modern media (and especially social media) is continually leaving young impressionable girls feeling worthless and this needs to change.
Therefore we’re calling on newspapers, magazines, businesses and influencers to do their bit to stop body shaming and promoting unhealthy comparisons. We want to see an end to these outlets focusing on women’s appearance and more on their abilities, achievements and skills, as well as commit to taking a gender sensitive approach to creating content. They should also strive to make their content more intersectional, making sure a more diverse range of women are represented, particularly in reality TV and in the beauty and fashion industry.
The Media Mindful challenge pack is accessible to all units in Scotland and aims to teach girls how to challenge ingrained stereotypes through a series of fun and interactive tasks tailored to each section. It can be completed in an online meeting setting too. In order to earn an amazing badge girls will need to explore representation, intersectionality and how different forms of media use gender stereotypes, and the impact this has. The activities range from re-writing sexist news articles to analysing adverts, films and magazines for their use of gender stereotypes. So, whether you’re a Rainbow or a Ranger there’s something for you!
Finally, it’s not just our members than can get involved in the new Media Mindful campaign and help us create a more equal future for girls. Here are just some of the ways people from all walks of life can take part and show their support during our #MediaMindful week of action from 23-29 November:
• Download our supporter sign and pose for a Media Mindful selfie! Don’t forget to share this with us on social media by tagging @GirlguidingScot using #MediaMindful
• Do you want to help change a sexist news headline? Take part in our #ChangeTheHeadline challenge and share what you come up with on social media!
Keep your eyes peeled for more fun #MediaMindful campaign updates during our week of action by following us @GirlguidingScot on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.