What are your thoughts on these 2 magazine covers?
GIRL’s LIFE versus BOY’s LIFE
So, if you’re a GIRL I guess your goals are to:
- wake up pretty! (because mornings are rough!)
- have your first kiss!
- get your denim checklist
- get your “dream hair”
- have fun and make friends
If you’re a BOY, it seems that your goals are:
- EXPLORE your friggin’ future!
- Do you want to be an astronaut?
- Do you want to be a chef? Or firefighter?
- Figure out what you want in life.
Wha???? So, we’ll teach our girls to be pretty, fun and nice while we simultaneously teach our boys to be driven, focused and career-oriented. We want our girls to focus on their appearance, yet we tell our boys to have a vision for their lives and to dream big.
We objectify our girls then wonder why they struggle later on in life to break their obsession with being nice. Girls are socialized from such a young age to be people-pleasers, focusing on their body, their hair, how many friends they have, that by the time they finish school they’re more worried about being “perfect” then they are about self-promotion.
We inundate them with images to reinforce the beauty/body standard, yet no-one talks to them about the importance of effective communication and how critical it is to be able to articulate a point in a concise and confident manner.
Why aren’t women occupying more leadership roles in the world? It starts young, it starts with media images, it starts with how you communicate with your daughters, how you discuss these images with them….
We’re got to interrupt this cycle of perfectionism-obsession with being nice and start teaching our girls that they are capable of greatness. IF women don’t see other women in positions of power and authority, in real leadership roles, then it’s difficult to envision themselves as leaders.
The more often girls watch stereotyped portrayals in movies, on TV, in magazines, in billboards, the MORE then come to believe that women have very restricted option for employment. As a result, we will continue to live in a world dominated by male stories, male protagonists, male voices, male opinions and male success. Is there not enough room for our girls to achieve success in any leadership role they want? I think there is.
Reference: See the report “Occupational Aspirations: What are Films Teaching About the World of Work?” (2010). http://seejane.org/wp-content/uploads/gender-bias-without-borders-full-report.pdf