Michelle Cove
February 1, 2020

The MEDIAGIRLS Podcast is Live!

“Why does my daughter have six different Instagram accounts?”
“What do I tell my niece when she says she was asked to send a boy a ‘nude'”?
“I can’t tell if Lizzo’s music video is empowering or demeaning for girls. Which is it?”
These are just a few of the questions MEDIAGIRLS staff are asked by parents, educators, and mentors. Teen girls consume 8 to 10 hours of media a day (The Representation Project), on average, and most of that media tells them their self-worth is based on how thin and “hot” they are. Meanwhile, social media is said to be “fueling a mental health crisis for girls” (Royal Society of Public Health), often leaving girls feeling lonelier and more insecure after logging off. Parents and educators feel understandably helpless.That’s why we at MEDIAGIRLS (www.mediagirls.org), a nonprofit in Boston founded in 2014, decided to jump in. We developed our own curriculum that challenges girls to think critically about media messages they consume, and how to create empowering content. We’ve worked with thousands of pre-teen and teen girls, and are excited to share THE MEDIAGIRLS PODCAST, which includes best practices for having healthy and productive discussions with girls on complex media topics. Each episode, approximately 20 minutes, provides parents, educators, and mentors with the latest media trends, strategies, and concrete tips–along with plenty of empathy and encouragement.

 

LATEST EPISODE:

Episode 8: How Do We Talk to Our Girls about “Nudes”?
Last spring we published a blog post about how to discuss with girls what to say and do if someone asks them to send a “nude” (a picture of her naked or partially naked). Over 70% of girls are asked to send a nude by the time they reach high school; unfortunately, many girls do it because they don’t want to seem prudish or uncool. Instead of burying our heads in the sand, let’s arm girls with strategies to handle the situation. Listen to find out the best ones!

PREVIOUS EPISODES:
Cover Art by Karen Hildebrand

Episode 1: How to Talk to Teen Girls So They’ll Listen
Once girls hit their pre-teen and teen years, they often seek out more independence and begin forming their own opinions rather than blindly accepting that of their parents. While it’s entirely normal, it’s also far more challenging to have productive conversations (especially with all those eye rolls). In our first episode, MEDIAGIRLS staff members set up healthy ground rules for having positive discussions about media content with girls.

 

Episode 2: Today’s Music Videos: Empowering or demeaning?
We’re seeing more and more female artists release music videos with lyrics that are strong and empowering, but with visuals that are still hypersexualized. The mixed messages are downright confusing and even demoralizing. Today’s girls and young women are absorbing the message that they should be independent and confident, but they better look hot too. Find out how to talk to girls about this confusing mixed messaging.

 

Episode 3: How Do We Talk to Girls about Keeping New Year’s Resolutions?
It’s the end of January, and people are “falling off the wagon” with their New Year’s Resolutions, which are way too often around weight loss. You can look at graphs that show that gym attendance starts ticking down and fast food consumption starts ticking up before January is even over. Most of us clearly don’t make sustainable, or even healthy, goals. Find out how to talk with girls, and ourselves, when it comes to setting smart goals.

 

Episode 4: How Far Will Girls Go for “Likes”?
The pressure to get enough “likes’ on social media is real, and girls go to great pains to receive them: starting multiple accounts, using face filters, deleting posts within minutes if they don’t get enough “likes,” begging friends to “like” and “comment.” It can feel like one giant popularity content that never ends. In this episode, find out how we can help girls see that “likes” don’t equal happiness.

 

Episode 5: Are Pageant Wins for Black Women All Positive?
Today, we will be talking about Black women and beauty pageants. Miss USA, Miss Teen USA, Miss World, AND Miss Universe are all Black women. Before a new Miss America was crowned in December, Miss America, too, was a Black woman! What does this mean for more inclusive beauty standards, in particular beauty standards for women of color?

 

Episode 6: Why is Getting “Ghosted” So Scary for Girls?
One minute, girls think they’ve made a new friend or potential love interest, and the next minute, that new person just disappears on them—no more texts, no more direct messages on Instagram, nothing. What happened?! In this episode, we’ll talk about how to acknowledge the feelings that girls experience when they’re ghosted, what they can do about it, and how they can avoid being a ghost themselves.

 

Episode 7: Why Are Girls Obsessed with TikTok?
With more than one billion downloads and 500 million active users around the world, TikTok rivals Instagram and Facebook for relevance today. This video-sharing app allows one to post videos between 15 and 60 seconds in length, mainly featuring lip-syncing, comedy, ironic jokes, memes. What is that girls find so compelling about this platform, and is it harmful or sheer fun? Find out more, and how to talk with your girl(s) about it.

 

Thank you to Pebbles and Leroy Irvin of Hot 96.9 for recording our episodes, Mary Agnes for editing, Daniella Padilla for coordinating and promos, and Karen Hildebrand for the cover art!

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