Aanya, age 12, YAB Lead
She says: I have observed that the media, from Hollywood to TikTok, presents unrealistic beauty standards for women. Also, girls from diverse backgrounds are either not represented or misrepresented in the media. By observing how girls in my community have struggled with these issues, it has come to my attention that we need to make a change, which is why I want to join MEDIAGIRLS.
Clara, age 12, YAB Lead
She says: I have seen up-close the negative effects that the media’s messages can have on girls today and I wish to shift the conversation to a more empowering and inclusive one. In my free time, I educate myself on the issues facing women today, read books and watch films by feminist writers such as Gloria Steinem and Angela Davis, and encourage my peers to do the same.
Hayden, age 15, YAB Lead
She says: I have always felt strongly about how women and girls are portrayed in the media. I have definitely been influenced by the media more than I would like to admit. When girls are bombarded by unattainable images day after day, it is understandable how lines between reality and media, appearances, etc. can be blurred.
Eden, age 15
She says: As a participant of the YMCA’s Youth in Government program last Spring, I learned that I am passionate about political, social, and economic issues in our society. I love to debate and express my opinion on things as frivolous as fashion and as important as COVID-19.
Ria, age 15
She says: On the one hand, social media platforms can be used to spread information about issues such as abortion, rape culture, the stories of survivors of sexual assault, as well as a resource to find female role models to look up to. But social media is also a pit of shame, body dysmorphia, fake news, and people patronizing and pushing down girls. I want to change these social media platforms so there is much more of the good than the bad.
Hailey, age 16
She says: I’ve been in a girl’s position where I feel that I must comply with social media’s expectations of me. I felt like I had to look like what they wanted me to look like and act like they wanted me to act like. I don’t think any other girl should ever feel that way about who they truly are, who they were born to be.
Zoe, age 14
She says: I want to make a change and empower women and others around me. I have always been a feminist from a young age, my mom raised me that way. Nowadays with everything going on I have started to use my social media’s, specifically my Instagram story, to promote the Black Lives Matter movement. I have always posted on my story about other topics such as sexual harassment/assault, lgbtq+ rights, abortion rights, gun control, etc.
Princess, age 17
She says: I work on education equity for students with the American Civil Liberties Union at the Southern California office and I do similar work with the community organization Community Coalition. With that experience in social justice and advocacy work, I want to join the Board to promote my causes that affect women and explore advocacy through artistic expressions. It is important to me to build a network of influential women in media and film so that as a college student next year in the fall I can be equipped with the knowledge and experience to be a successful student and woman in the workforce as a film major.
Charlotte, age 12
She says:It’s not okay for us to just stand back and live by the rules of ideal image, by the rules of these systems that only exist to make us feel like we’re less than the person next to us. We, young and old, white and black, tall and short, and altogether strong women must make a change and that change has to start now.
Nina, age 15
She says: My view is that social media can be positive and negative. I would like to help, however I can, to make the impact positive. Social media has no rules and limited consequences so people behind screens can post basically whatever they want – whether it’s hate or drama, etc. Social media can also affect the self-esteem of many people, especially girls. Girls have the allusion of “I have to look perfect or “I can’t post this” or “Why don’t I look like this girl” or “I have to have a perfect body” or I’m not good enough”. Then their self-confidence gets lower and lower. I want to help be part of the solution and make girls proud of who they are. I believe and want every girl to know that you are perfect the way you are.
Ella, age 16
She says:I think that social media is an amazing way to reach people, especially people in my generation. I think that it is important to use social media to speak out for things that you believe in. Additionally, I am extremely passionate about working to changing the world in any way that I can (no matter how small my change is) and I think this would be an awesome opportunity to help me do that.
Amaiya, age 15
She says:I’m a very passionate young woman and I have very strong beliefs regarding the rights and respect that women should be granted. I’m all for females doing big amazing things! I’m also a published author via the website of GrlzRadio and besides that I’ve always been complimented on my writing skills by teachers and adults alike.
She says: Having this opportunity to support and empower through an online platform in a positive way is so thrilling.
Priscilla, age 14
She says: I am a feminist, and really care about the issues that teen girls face in the media. Although I have social media, I know how toxic it can be. I want to spread awareness about this issue and make an impact.
Addison, age 13
She says: Your friends will always be there for you, and the ones that aren’t there for you, aren’t your friends. When Instagram was making me feel bad on a daily basis, I deleted it temporarily. If I could help just one girl, that would make me super happy.
Caroline, age 16
She says: I am a high school girl looking to make a difference in the world. I started my own nonprofit organization called Choose To Be You which is about inspiring all people to be their authentic selves and use their voice to make a difference in the world. Through this campaign I hope to make a difference in everyone’s lives and by using social media, I hope that people, especially girls, learn to embrace their individuality and feel confident in who they are.
Rhea, age 16
She says: I want to be an advocate for positive and kind use of social media to prevent girls from being caught in the middle of situations like the ones I have faced. I have been off social media for a while now to distance myself from the constant reliance on refreshing my feed or sending “snaps” every five seconds. I have found, as a result, that my interpersonal connections have deepened much more without my phone being attached to my hip. I have also learned from observing others that, if social media is used in a productive and friendly way, it can actually help girls realize that many other girls also possess the same insecurities they do. I want to help fellow females realize that a lot of them are in the same boat as one another and there are ways to life each other up and avoid being at the epicenter of other people’s negativity.
She says: I like social media a lot and I like being apart of things that I believe are going to change people’s lives for the better. I have a passion for social issues and empowerment for young girls.