I wanted to share with you, amongst other things, an interesting new resource. You may recall me posting a Sun Herald article by Miranda Divine ( Paradise glossed: magazines driving girl poisoning culture) that labeled many magazines aimed at teen girls as “Girl Poisoners” – sexualizing them and reinforcing their negative body image.
Australian Women’s Forum, a group of professional women and academics, have just launched a magazine style alternative entitled “Faking It”; this reflects the body of academic research on magazines, mass media and the sexual objectification of women.
enlighten was at their Melbourne launch and we are particularly impressed with its combination of academic rigor and appealing visuals; it will certainly appeal to older teenage girls and provide a powerful stimulus for conversation ( please note, I would suggest it would be most appropriate for girls from 16 onwards as much of the content does focus on issues relating to sexuality and some articles are, whilst incredibly important, confronting e.g. “Girls : Too Sexy Too Soon” on the premature sexualisation of girls and the links between this and serious mental health problems).
Recent talks I have held with parent groups highlights the fact that this magazine will also feel a real need for parents to have access to information that is presented in a way in which allows an insight into their daughter’s increasingly complex world (flyer: wake-up-sleeping-beauty-program-for-parents.pdf – in case you think this new enlighten initiative may also prove beneficial.)
I have discussed how parents and schools may access this magazine with AWF Board Member Karen Robinson and she has indicated that individual copies (@ $15 plus postage) may be ordered directly from their web site. However, multiple copies of 20 or more can be ordered for $10 per copy with postage waved. It may be worth putting a note out to parents to see if there is interest and allowing them to get these through the school. As an ex-English KLA Coordinator, I think it would also prove highly useful as a resource in the Senior English and / or PDHPE classroom.
With permission, I have attached a sample article from the latest issue for you Hate Your Body – We Show You How– I am sure you will find it informative and valuable in its own right. I shall be meeting with AWF when I am in Perth next month working with 450 girls from St Brigid’s College WA; I am keen to offer the team a school perspective and would welcome any comments or suggestions you may have as I will forward these to the ladies on your behalf.
On another note, some general items of interest: we have recently been nominated as Small Business of the Year, Children’s Services! Finalists are announced in October so fingers crossed for us. Another exciting October event in our calendar: I have also been asked to give a presentation on gender and supporting teenage girls with body image issues at the Australian Council of Education Leaders (ACEL) annual conference in October – over 1,200 Principals and teachers will be in attendance and perhaps I may even see some of you there. Please say hello! Finally, we have added a new link to our web site – “enlighten and the community.” We thought it was important to publicly promote our corporate values; we believe that by building respect and inspiring love, business can move the world.
Do check it out and note the NSW launch of our mentoring program for young girls who are entrepreneurial will be happening soon. It is my aim to personally mentor one girl each year and support her in using her creative energy to add value to the wider community… many of you may know I have a strong background in both founding and managing mentoring programs and in developing curriculum aimed at enhancing enterprise skills so I will relish utilizing all these skills again!
So much happening – loving it all. I hope you are all feeling just as inspired by your work…