Today's Sunday edition of the San Francisco Chronicle featured this story on the front page of the Style section: Group Weighs in on Advertising Impact."You don't have to be a radically minded person to change the way that women and girls feel about themselves. You don't even have to consider yourself a feminist. You just have to know what bothers you and what doesn't and do something about it."
Purple WomenTM and their non-purple friends who are raising daughters will appreciate what this organization is trying to do. Have you ever been standing in line at the grocery store and tried not to look at all the demeaning women's magazines that are offered there? They focus on an ideal image of beauty that we cannot all possibly meet. Well, this organization aims to do something about it. We are consumers all, and we make choices every day that support the hidden messages that are embedded in these headlines, articles, and ads. We decide to shop at that store, to buy that magazine, etc.
Puleeeeeease, don't buy these magazines! Make a donation to About Face (www.about-face.org) instead, and write a letter to the publisher, or better yet to the manager of the store. About Face is going into schools to educate future consumers, all in the name of building self-esteem for young women. Bravo!
Ladies, it's time we re-write that nursery rhyme,
First comes love, then come marriage...
...and then comes whatever the hell you want. (Pardon my French.) And, if you don't believe that, then somewhere along the way, the system has failed you -- your family unit, your schools, your community, publishers of women's magazines, and TV magnates -- society at large perhaps.
The official website associated with this blog (www.PurpleWomen.org) will evolve in this advocacy direction, and we can take a lesson or two from the advocacy pages on the About Face website. There are lots of examples of letters that have been sent and a few responses from the producers of the offensive advertisments. I have always believed in the power of a well-directed letter. As we continue to examine how childfree women are portrayed in the media, we can blog about it here, and we can also write letters.
They say one well-written letter is worth 100 people behind it who feel the same way. Every politician knows this. So, where do we begin? In the U.S. we are coming up on an election year. Let's keep an eye out for our first collaborative effort. Purple WomenTM, let's weigh in -- remember, you don't have to be a radical feminist to do it!