CHANGE.ORG – Women’s Rights review:
A new documentary called “Cover Girl Culture” aims to “awaken the media generation,” showing the degenerative effect that the fashion and media industries have on young women’s self-esteem and body image.
The documentary, by former Elite International model NIcole Clark, shows how professionals in the fashion and media industries negate blame for the immense pressure on girls to be thin, sexual (and not just sexual, but hyper-sexed), and beautiful, and how younger and younger women are internalizing this pressure. Girls as young as six identify models as idols and say they want to be thin and beautiful in order to become successful.
The editor of Teen Vogue claims that the shift towards skinnier and skinner models is simply a “societal evolution” which should be addressed by women’s studies classes, not the fashion media.
After all, what could the fashion media have to do with that evolution? I can’t possibly imagine. Leave it to those raging feminists to go on their rants — we’re going to put that 80-pound fourteen year-old on our cover splayed on her bed in fishnets, thank you very much.
The film contains interviews with body image experts, teachers, psychologists, parents, models, and girls who are finding their way through cover girl culture. I admire its mission to show how all of this advertising, and all of these powerful and ubiquitous messages about sexuality and thinness and beauty, have deep and lasting effects on young women.
Best yet, it gives these young women voices instead of speaking down to them about not conforming to the media’s messages. It’s about waking up women’s consciousness about what we’re being sold, not telling us how to behave. This is what we need — more and more discussion, and more collective challenges to the ads that constantly remind us to be thinner and prettier and more neatly made up. – by Sarah Menkedick March 06th, 2010