“I’m not a woman whose self-worth comes from her dress size,” said Frozen‘s Kristen Bell.
What a powerful message to send when media usually celebrates thin, fit, and yet busty women not to mention large, muscular men. These body ideals have profound effects on our self perception. In fact, three out of four teenage girls feel depressed, guilty, and shameful after only three minutes with a fashion magazine. And boys as young as five already report feeling unsatisfied with how their body looks.
That’s why it’s critical we develop media literacy from a young age. Check out and share our conversation starters (for teens, youth leaders, families, and caregivers), made in conjunction with Common Sense Media, to get started. These guides will help you and your family or peer group examine how media shapes beliefs and behavior, informs self-concepts, and perpetuates limiting stereotypes for all of us.
Together we can challenge and overcome limiting gender stereotypes in our media and our larger culture.