Monday, December 5, 2011

Solutions to Stop the Sexualization of Girls: Re-cap on #GirlsNow Twitter Chat

We had a very successful #GirlsNow Twitter chat about generating solutions and pooling our resources to stop the sexualization of girls.  Thanks to Amy Jussel at Shaping Youth for getting so many experts together to add their voices to our panel!

Even if you missed our chat, you can still reap the benefits!  I've compiled a list of solutions, resources and links, and a script of our chat for your benefit!  Here's what came up from the chat:

Solutions offered by the group:
  • Start on conference on the sexualization of girls, possibly including awards for businesses that promote positive and healthy representations of girlhood.
  • Don't buy from companies that sexualize girls.  There's talk of boycotting H&M for using fake bodies to model clothes (with real heads pasted on) and Abercrombie & Fitch for being a repeat offender.
  • Create a master list of products NOT to buy, using the Twitter hashtag #notbuyingit (Thanks Miss Representation and Girls for a Change).
  • Create a master list of products that are good for girls and that do not promote sexualization, using the Twitter hashtag #buyinstead.  If you have examples, please leave a comment!
  • Make wallet cards for parents that have examples of sexualizing and non-sexualizing products.
  • Remember that women need to support each other.  Eliminate demeaning labels, such as "skank", "whore", "prude", and "bitch" from our conversations.  Let's stick together!
  • Of course there was a lot of talk about the importance of media literacy for girls as well as boys.  Use your voice!  Teach your children and teach your friends.  The sexualization of girls is the next social issue of our time.
Resources and links tweeted by the group:

Script from the chat:

What solutions do you have to stop the sexualization of girls?  What resources should we be aware of?  What products will you buy or not buy?


  1. thanks for the excellent recap of our action-oriented chat last night about strengthening our daughters and sons against sexualization. New initiatives coming in 2012. Follow hashtag girlsnow on twitter for progress.

    Additions to hashtag buyinstead on twitter - just a start: - New Moon Girls memberships - order in Dec & get the special Girls' Choice Book Awards e-booklet as our gift to you. - some fun stuff with NMG & Girl-Caught logos - awesome clothes + for girls & boys - sports dolls - all kinds of great stuff

  2. Fabulous link roundup at rapidfire speed to get us all started, Amy! Thank you so much!

    I'm doing a post with a slew of prosocial/positive picks in the #buyinstead category but wanted to emphasize that purchasing power and what I call the 'switch pitch' in our media literacy games is only a small part of the equation when we're outgunned by corporate marketing en masse and need to strike from a policy/practices "do no harm" public health perspective.

    Strongly feel we need to cut off at the financial roots of the money machine: advertisers, fines/fees, profiteering w/zero regard for public health, media/PR buycotts, maybe even a "" model to whack corporate conduct in the wallet and get beyond the wrist slap---esp for repeat offenders like American Apparel!

    Int'l parental pushback via policy/practices is worthy of piggybacking on media campaigns too, especially in Australia & the UK.

    Example, the Sears "single, ready to jingle" undies in the juniors section I found over Thanksgiving in the US, have already been given the heave-ho off the shelves in Au/K-mart...And yet? Even tho Sears/Kmart are affiliated the US outlets don't self-rein, or even blink. The onus is on 'outcry' to have similar items removed here. Which stinks. (and shows you what I think of industry's ability to 'self-rein')

    The FTC, CARU and childrens' exploitation advocates need to jump in on int'l market reverb, and we as leaders need to create a template for doing that which is turnkey and easy. (1-800 line, website 'counter' to log complaints, use social media to auto-send to corp buyers, etc. using existing platforms supposedly in place to combat this crud)

    Indiv parents carping one by one or even signing petitions constantly (tho definitely an effective piece of the numbers strategy) is not a fast enough media megaphone. And teens' activism is often squelched by their own preference for anonymity and guerrilla tactics, so we need to make this a 'mobile app' to "yakbak" with literally a photo opp (instagram kind of thing) tied to an action/advocacy line...

    I'll plop some of these thoughts into a blog post for 'solutions building' as my tweet grid went haywire and I kept getting "oops, try it again" messages whenever I'd dump in a link for some knowledge dropping...So thank you again for the quick compilation, very valuable!

    p.s. Also think we need a convo uncorked about the SELF-objectification for profit by teens and kids' handlers and get PBG and other youth orgs in on the "stop-exploiting yourself short-term leaving impact on kids/fans long term" (e.g. Miley/Britney bit-with the most recent one being Dakota Fanning's perfume ad:

    Again, it's fouling up a HEALTHY sense of sexuality in developing teens when sexualization is served up on a platter daily sending 'piece of meat/object to be consumed' toxic messages doing damage to socioemotional health. (and yes, I DO think the APA needs in on this along w/the FTC and NCPCSE etc)

    Can you feel the heat? grrr) Sorry to blog hog, but thanks again for your stellar contribution and leadership!

  3. More additions to hashtag #buyinstead include: Tons of TOYS, BOOKS and prosocial picks in one hub (inc. hilarious 'girls are not chicks' coloring book) (TOYS, goods, entire catalog of healthier, kid-friendly options) (e.g. top 10 eco friendly toys, non-gendered play!

    Media literacy picks (books/films/stickers/take action style gifts)like:
    Teens/collegiate: (vids/resc section) (house party films-e.g. Killing Us Softly Jean Kilbourne series, The Purity Myth, Playing Unfair (great one for athletes) etc.

    Girl specific gift items/tees on sites listed w/links here in All Things Girl series

    Tons more coming...

  4. Thanks for all the additions! I love having all these resources in one place! Keep it coming....

  5. This is great - so sorry I missed it! When is your next twitter chat on this? Please also add our report to your list of resources: What Are We Doing to Girls? The Early Sexualization Phenomenon and How Communities Are Responding. Download at
    Thanks for all the great resources!


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