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Miss Representation

Last night I attended a showing of this movie with an appearance of its writer, director, and producer, Jennifer Siebel Newsom. It made me think back to my recent blog post of my dream for Ella. Jennifer’s inspiration for this film came from having a baby girl enter her life–and all of the concerns that arose on how to foster self-worth in a child who is bombarded with constant media messages that a female’s power is derived from beauty, youth, and sexuality. These are similar to my concerns for Ella–and most mothers’ concerns for their daughters. I’m sure many fathers also worry about this!

If you haven’t seen this movie, there are showings of this film throughout the country–you could even organize a showing or find educational resources on their website. The showing I attended was sold-out! With hundreds of women, men, and children seeing such a powerful message, I am hopeful that they are all as inspired as I am to create change.

I’ve often thought about how nice it would be if I could keep Ella in a safe bubble–with no one able to harm her. But, that’s not realistic, or much of a life for her I suppose. Since I can’t do that, I can do this:

1. Teach her to measure herself and others by her accomplishments and not looks.
2. Teach her to live conscientiously, understanding that every dollar she spends is a choice in how she uses this form of power.
3. Raise questions about the underrepresentation of women in the media, as well as positions of power within our communities, corporations, and political system. I can open up dialogue with her as she develops, helping her seek out role models.
4. Limit media influence, and only watch, rent, and buy movies that portray women as strong, smart contributors. We will do the same for books that she reads, as well as music that she listens to.
5. Encourage her to take on positions of leadership as she grows.
6. Get her involved with volunteerism, and great organizations like the Girl Scouts.
7. Speak up when women are being sexualized or trivialized. Teach her to do the same.
8. Teach her to respect men, women, and minorities for their individual strengths. She must see the worth in each individual.
9. I must lead by example. I will be her most important role model.
10. I can be the change. rosieMADE is one avenue, but there are so many other avenues that I can support and promote in order to drive change.

What other things can we do today to have an impact for our children? How do we make sure that each individual has self-esteem, self-worth, and a place in this world? I’d love to hear your comments.

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1 Comment

  1. Kathy Carlson - May 15, 2013, 4:09 pm Reply

    Everytime I read an article on the Rosie Maid sight, I am encourage that our future is looking much brighter for our
    children when you hear about the dedication of women in business throughout the USA. I’m very proud of women who have the courage to step up and show others they are special and worthy of admiration for starting their own businesses, while taking care of their children, spouses, home and family obligations. As I was growing up, I had excellent examples in my parents, who taught me that I was truly special in God’s eyes and could do whatever I wanted to do with my life as long as I treated everyone with respect and was honest in everything I did. God Bless the women who make Rosie Made such an inspiration to so many.

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