Monday, May 16, 2005

Turn Beauty Inside Out Conference

On April 18, 2005 I had the privilege to participate in the 2nd annual “Turn Beauty Inside Out” Conference held at the Universal Hilton in Los Angeles.  The purpose of “Turn Beauty Inside Out” (  is to “Promote healthy body image and expand the definition of what makes people beautiful!"


“Turn Beauty Inside Out” is sponsored by “Mind on the Media: inspiring independent thinking and fostering critical analysis of media messages.” (For more information visit or email


Actionist Manifesto


Before the panel I was to be part of started*, I sat in on one of the sessions between entertainment and advertising professionals and the young women, mostly adolescents, who were present. At the end they came up with an Actionist Manifesto: a list of what they would like entertainment and advertising executives to do to make better media and what they can do regarding how entertainment media represents girls and young women. Here are the lists, from my notes.


                           The TBIO 2005 Actionist Manifesto


What girls want to see from entertainment and advertising executives:


      -         Women with clothes on

-         Girls wearing age-appropriate clothing

-         More ethnic diversity on television and in movies; we want to see ourselves, not only in black and white but with diverse hair types and bodies with different shapes, sizes

-         More athletic women, toned and strong; we are tired of flimsy, stick-figured women and girls

-         Women who are not so perfect, like when they wake up from bed; show sweat running from their faces; more realistic images of women and girls

-         We are sick of stereotypes; the way it is, if you are black you have to act in a certain way; we don’t want to see black women cursing or acting goofy for no reason

-         Different cultures

-         Real life

-         Women in politics

-         Girls doing age-appropriate things; real 15 year-olds for example

-         More independent women; non-girly and girls who are courageous, honest and bold, confident and intelligent

-         More complex girls who live in real families and respect their parents

-         Female characters with personalities we can relate to – with character flaws

-         Smart girls who are empowered and can say what they think

-         Listen more to your audiences

-         Take responsibility for your shows, movies and ads

-    Find stories that are not being told


What girls can do regarding entertainment media and advertising:


-         Write to actresses and express likes and dislikes

-         Write letters to studios expressing likes and dislikes and why

-         Girl-cott a show or a product; find ways to raise our voices and be heard

-         Support the shows we like; tell our friends, write letters to actresses, studios, networks

-         Log-on and tell executives why we like or don’t like their shows

-         Don’t support movies with negative images and messages

-         Write or call when we like a movie or show

-         Teach others how to respond to entertainment and advertising media

-     Identtify and follow your passion

-     Patronize movies about girls, like Because of Winn-Dixie and Raise Your Voice; shows like Joan of Arcadia that have characters like Grace; a movie like Bend It Like Beckham that shows girls who break the rules, take risks and respect their family.


My remarks for the panel discussion on Media and Social Change can be found at

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