media messages

What Moms Can Do About Kids Who Want to Be Sexy


As I started reading this article, “Why 6-Year Old Girls Want to Be Sexy,” I could hear my mind saying “UGH!” and thinking about the conversations I have been having…and will need to continue to have…with my two young daughters.

As I got to this section, however, I breathed a bit of a reassured sigh–validated that despite the challenges from the media, there is indeed much that Moms (and Dads and other caregivers!) can do about sexualized media messages:

“Mothers feel so overwhelmed by the sexualizing messages their daughters are receiving from the media that they feel they can do nothing to help,” she said. “Our study’s findings indicate otherwise — we found that in actuality, mothers are key players in whether or not their daughters sexualize themselves. Moms can help their daughters navigate a sexualizing world by instructing their daughters about their values and by not demonstrating objectified and sexualized behaviors themselves.”

Check out the whole article here:

If you are interested in hearing more about what parents can do to help their kids become critical thinkers and consumers of media, I have a few other recommendations:

  • First…check out Friendship & Other Weapons, of course, and the featured sections on helping young girls examine music lyrics, advertising, social media, and technology.  My article “Thinner, Sexier, Hotter” talks about sexualization in media and gives adults practical ideas for helping kids think critically about these messages.
  • Next, check out Pigtail Pals and Ballcap Buddies, led by the tireless Melissa Wardy who always has something bold, brave, and inspiring to say about the impact of media sexualization on kids.  Mattel and Monster High–watch out!
  • Third, check out the innovative work of Ines Almeida and her new online marketplace that celebrates childhood without limits and gender stereotypes.
  • And fourth, New Moon Girls is a great publication and option for young girls who want to be inspired by their peers and celebrate all the things that girls can do without the limits of having to be “sexy” at a young age.



Yes, We Are Talking About Bullying More! That’s the Good News.


In both my scheduled workshops and my casual conversations on the topic of bullying, professionals and parents often ask me, Is bullying really worse today than it was when we were kids?”

My answer to that question is an emphatic, “Yes.”

The 24/7 availability of cell phones, instant messaging, e-mails and social networking sites have intensified the impact of bullying, giving young people private ways to humiliate each other under-the-radar of adults and public ways to spread rumors and gossip to large-scale audiences.

To read the rest of this story, please visit the HuffingtonPost or click the link below.

Real Girls Aren’t Perfect; Perfect Girls Aren’t Real


I am printing one of these for each of my daughters’ bedroom mirrors and posting this one to share with you!

“Models are Made:” A Must See Video for Young Girls


In my book, Friendship & Other Weapons, I dedicate a session to media literacy and empowerment–specifically, helping young girls look “behind the scenes” of today’s advertising industry, to understand some of the smoke & mirrors tricks that go into creating cover-girl looks.  I suggest the Dove Evolution video as a great discussion piece that adults can use to educate and inform kids.

Here is a newer video that spells things out for kids (and adults) in a clear and compassionate way–I love the way this photographer explains all of the work that goes into creating a camera ready image…and that he cared enough about young girls’ self-esteem to create the video in the first place.  Cheers to him!

Moms, watch this one with your daughters!  I know I will be showing this in my Mother-Daughter workshops based on Friendship & Other Weapons when we talk about the media’s impact on young girls.  This is the perfect clip for creating awareness about healthy body images, photoshopping, and self-esteem.


“The Secret Life of Girls” A Drama about Girl Bullying at the Dallas Children’s Theatre


I wish I were able to get the whole news clip for you here…but believe me when I say it’s worth a visit to this CBS local news affiliate website to check out what the Dallas Children’s Theater’s resident playwright, Linda Daugherty, has to say about “The Secret Life of Girls.”

I’m headed to Dallas this weekend to see the play on Friday and then present a 75min. workshop based on Friendship & Other Weapons to a group of Moms and Daughters before Saturday’s performance of The Secret Life of Girls.  Really looking forward to the trip!

Girls Rule! Check out “The Best in Me” PSA Video from the Girl Scouts


I adore little girls who are confident in the knowledge that they can do anything and be anyone!  Check out this empowering new PSA from the Girl Scouts and share it with a little girl you love.

What Have You Done to Make a Child Feel Valued Today?


They will not remember what we said.
They will not even remember what we did.
But they will never forget how we made them feel.
                                –Maya Angelou

Great Video to Teach Kids about the Permanency of Online Posts


In Friendship & Other Weapons, girls are given the opportunity to learn and talk about the role of social media in their lives and relationships.  This YouTube video is a great entre for teaching girls–and boys–about the permancy of what they post online–via Facebook, MySpace, YouTube, or even text.  “Once you post it, you lose control.”

Showing and discussing this video with kids is 99 seconds well-spent.

What to Say When Your Daughter Says, “Mom, I’m Fat.”


What do you say when your daughter says, “Mom, I’d fat?”  This Mom couldn’t have said it any better:

Fotoshop is the PERFECT Teacher for Young Girls Facing Media Pressures


If you’re familiar with the phrase “sad, but true,” this must-watch video is hilarious because it’s so sad that it’s so true. 

Moms, watch this one with your daughters!  I know I will be showing this in my Mother-Daughter workshops based on Friendship & Other Weapons when we talk about the media’s impact on young girls.  This is the perfect clip for creating awareness about healthy body images, photoshopping, and self-esteem. 

Fotoshop by Adobé from Jesse Rosten on Vimeo.


“Maybe she’s born with it.  No…I’m pretty sure it’s Fotoshop!”

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