Entries from July 2008 ↓

Empowering Girls: Marketing Boundaries

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Marketers are intentionally exploiting the vulnerabilities of our children. It’s unacceptable. It’s 100% within our rights and lies within our responsibility as citizens, as parents and as consumers to set some boundaries on marketing to kids.

* Directly marketing unhealthy food is a direct cause of childhood obesity, according to the Federal Trade Commission.

* Directly marketing credit cards by allowing credit corporations to write the curriculum or put their logo on high school signage or playgrounds or put product placement in their play cash registers is directly effecting kid’s knowledge of money and credit negatively.

* Directly marketing to young girls in a beauty-obsessed way and using sexualized images of young girls in marketing and advertising sexualizes girls. It makes them believe it’s okay to be consumed.

The Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood is making this a bi-partisan election issue.

Our campaign to get Democratic and Republican platform planks to protect children from marketers is gathering momentum. Last week, we met with the Democratic Party’s National Platform Director and CCFC members around the country attended local platform meetings to advocate for a platform plank on the commercialization of childhood. This week, we need your help to demonstrate the broad support for these planks by signing petitions to the Democratic and Republican Platform Committees.

Sign the petition to the Republicans.

Sign the petition to the Democrats.

Sign both petitions and let whoever wins know they will be held accountable to you and your kids.

Forward this to your friends so they can take political action to protect our kids from direct marketing.

Why should you care?

Read more about exploitive credit tactics in, I Saw Satan on TV (and he’s a little dork)

APA Sexualization of Girls Devastating

Read more about Precocious Puberty, which many experts say is food related both in the way of pesticides, hormones and obesity.

Watch a short film about how we’re both allowing marketers to consume our kids and teaching them to be insatiable hyper-consumers at Consuming Kids.

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Keira Knightly Stands Up For Her Girls & Yours

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Keira Knightly is taking a stand against digitally enhancing her breasts for her upcoming movie, “The Dutchess.”

When she stands up and declares herself “good enough” as she is, she stands up and declares our daughters “good enough” as they are.

Every actress who resists media pressure to conform to the beauty ideal does all girls and women a favor.

“She has insisted that her figure stay in its natural state,” an insider said. “She is proud of her body and doesn’t want it altered.”This according to the Daily Mail via The Huffington Post.

Bravo Keira! You are good enough!

Photo Source: The Huffington Post, photos of before and after digital alteration for “King Arthur.”

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Empowering Girls: Tanning

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Mom can I tan?

Wait, what? What do you mean by tan?

Tan. Lay out in the sun to make my skin darker.

You’re 6!

So? Stephanie and her sisters do it.

(Damn, older cheerleader sisters,) I think to myself.

Look. At. My. Face. Right. Now. Do you see those brown spots on my forehead and those speckles on my cheeks? That is sun damage. Laying out will ruin your beautiful skin, which is the perfect color as it is. Laying out also causes cancer. You can die from cancer.

So, no?

So, yes. You can lay out in the sun to relax by the pool, but you better have broad spectrum SPF 50 sunscreen on when you do it.

Tanning is one of my biggest regrets as I have spent far too much time and money trying to correct and hide the melasma, brown spots, on my face that resulted.

Is there a parenting phenomenon where our deepest and biggest regrets surface again in our children? Would that be Parenting Karma or God presenting an opportunity to us to resolve our past or correct our mistakes? And is this phenomenon on fast forward?

Anyone else notice this type of phenomenon?

Read more about melasma and sun damage here: Can a Leapord Change Her Spots?

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Empowering Girls: Costuming

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Mom, can we wear our matching Chinese outfits to the Chinese Restaurant?

Yes.

On a very basic and fundamental level childhood should be F-U-N.

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Empowering Girls: Ho’oponopono for Girl Fights

Vacation Rerun

by Tracee Sioux

The only resolution (that I’ve come up with) for girl-fighting is to teach them Ho’oponopono, the theory that anything can be resolved by practicing I’m sorry, I forgive you, I love you.

Girls are . . . .

Well, if you’ve got one – then you know how they are together. Complicated and hyper-sensitive.

I think someone hit the fast-forward button on their development and now the mean-girl behavior starts even earlier and escalates faster than before.

I hate to glamorize the ’70s and ’80s but running wild in the neighborhood totally rocked and was the epitome of childhood bliss.

Our previous neighborhood was quite simply depressing – the only reason I knew other children lived there was because the school bus stopped in front of other houses. Otherwise I didn’t see a child in the 3 years we lived on that block.

When we moved to a new neighborhood I prayed we’d go to one where the children still play outside with each other and that Ainsley would have lots of friends her age to to play with.

Be careful what you wish for – she got 4 or 5 girls about her age and one has sisters a few years older. Which seemed fabulous until the girl-fighting began. This took about a week.

Mom, Olivia isn’t allowed to play with Makinzie because she called her a fat B!

I’m thinking, What happened to dummy or big stupid head?

We’ve skipped right over normal name calling and moved to fat bitch awfully quickly.

It’s simple to identify mean-girl behavior. It’s quite another thing to resolve it and prevent it from happening again and again.

Without being critical of the other parents, after both mothers sought me out and I listened to their crazy stories in which the mothers and fathers resorted to mean-girl behavior themselves. Both took “your not allowed to play with her anymore” stances and at one point the fathers even nearly came to blows. Their crucial mistake was believing their own daughters were more innocent than the other girl.

Are you kidding me?

Girls are, like I said, complicated and hyper-sensitive. And the worst thing you can do, I’ve recently discovered, is try to figure out who is right and who is wrong in a girl-fight.

I’ve declared my own house neutral territory where all the girls can play. After listening to their stories for a few weeks and trying different methods I think I’ve hit on a pretty good reaction to girl-fighting in Ho’oponopono.

Assume everyone is wrong. Assume they all played a part in getting to the argument. This way, no one “gets away” with anything. Believe that the self-righteous smirk is as painful as the verbal slander. Believe your own daughter has a capacity for mean girl behavior. It’s really not all the other girls.

Make them both/all repeat these words every time they argue or hurt each other’s feelings:

I’m sorry. I’m sorry.

I forgive you. I forgive you.

I love you. I love you.

Now go play. And try to get along for 15 whole minutes this time.

What happens when parents and educators overlook this “girl culture” problem? It’s escalating into real physical violence in junior high and high schools at a rate outnumbering boys’ fist fights. Read more in Girl Fight.

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