Michelle Cove
August 27, 2020

MEDIAGIRLS Goes Live with Eight Virtual Workshops

“I don’t know what my daughter is doing all day on her phone but I need to get work done so I just hope it’s not too awful.”

“I saw my nieces scrolling through their Instagram last week, and the images of women were so fake and sexualized that I wanted to cry.”

“My girl has been spending so much during quarantine on TikTok and she wants to look like the skinny girls she sees but she’s not built like that. What do I even tell her?”

These are just a few of the sentiments we’ve been hearing from parents recently. Figuring out how to monitor media and/or talk about it was already hard before the pandemic and it is only getting worse due to the sheer quantity of time girls are consuming it. Pre-teen and teen girls were already on social media for an average of three hours a day before the pandemic started. It’s been estimated that the use of social media is up across all age groups by about 20%, and we’d guess it’s far more for girls.

MEDIAGIRLS has released eight empowering and positive virtual workshops!

We are excited to provide girls (plus help parents and educators) with healthy and fun content to consume in our eight 45-minutes virtual workshops that teach them to better understand how media impacts their well-being, how to use social media in more empowering ways, and how to challenge media messaging alerting them that they need to be sexier and thinner to matter. The workshops, created by MEDIAGIRLS founder Michelle Cove and Education Outreach Manager Amanda Mozea, are educational and also set up to be entertaining and feel good! Girls earn badges for their lesson work, take part in esteem-boosting activities, and are even provided with an empowering Spotify playlist to listen to while doing activities.

Each workshop focuses on a particular media topic and includes activities such as:

  • map out their best inner qualities to use as a basis of their self-worth rather than focusing on outer appearance
  • learn to deconstruct ads by understanding how advertisers feed on girls’ insecurities to sell products
  • name unwritten social media “rules” that contribute to the negative impacts of social media and take inspiration from teens using their social media for good
  • identify the traits that most inspire them in other girls and women and choose a girl or woman they admire to shine the spotlight on

Why these workshops matter so much

MEDIAGIRLS knows from teaching these workshops to over 600 girls that girls and young are spending ample hours comparing their bodies to the influencers they see on Instagram, music videos, and advertising. They are judging the quality of their lives (even during the pandemic) against the often fake images they see on their Instagram accounts, and wondering why they are not faring as well or looking as happy as others posing to look happy and successful. These workshops get girls to think critically about what they’re taking in, and really think about curating their media in ways that make them feel good.

Says Amanda Mozea, Education Outreach Manager, “I think what girls love about our workshops is that we recognize the positives of media too, especially social media, too. It’s not all bad. Girls are finding inspiration and creativity on TikTok, talking to their friends over SnapChat, staying in touch with family over Zoom and Facetime. They are finding ways to anti-racism activists and also ways to be silly on TikTok, while finding political role models in Instagram stories. We want to encourage more of this and teach girls how to be more intentional about what they absorb.”

Adds Michelle Cove, founder of MEDIAGIRLS, “While we were so disappointed to have to cancel our in-person programming last spring, the plus side is that we were finally able to focus on making these workshops virtual and are able to reach far more girls. We went from being local to Greater Boston to international and can be taken at any time, alone or with friends. This is something we were planning to do eventually but now we’ve completed it and are thrilled that we’re ready to roll.”

Ready to bring these workshops to your daughter, niece, mentee, or other girl in your life?

Reach out to Amanda Mozea at amanda@mediagirls.org with any questions.

 

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