Category Archives: Television

Squashing Stigma, Like a Girl

A great follow up from my “Losing Your Voice” post about how girls’ voices plummet along with their confidence as they age and discover the cultural and societal (and cruel) norms.

I’m loving that Always is combatting this idea by airing their #LikeaGirl commercial during Sunday’s Super Bowl. I’m also sad this is still a thing and curious about what happens to us females who overtime start to fall into the fold and believe in these ever-grained stigmas of girlhood as being silly and frivolous. I mean, do you remember running like you had two broken knee caps as portrayed in the commercial? No? Me neither. I just ran and ran as fast as I could for as long as I could.
It’s time to end the stigma of being a girl. It’s time to flip it on its head and show the world we are all strong. As for those societal “norms”—get gone, you have no room in this new generation of strong girls!

When a News Anchor Proves Sexism is Still Strong

You know that whole one step forward and three steps backward mentality? Yeah, our culture seems to do this with sexism and that’s just not here in the states, but globally.

By now, you may have heard the experiment an Australian news anchor for “Today” Karl Stefanovic sported the same blue suit for an entire year (a YEAR!) just to see if people would notice, since the comments from viewers have been relentless on his co-anchor, Lisa Wilkinson. The verdict? Not a soul noticed his repetitive ensemble for 365 days.

He comments:

No one has noticed; no one gives a $%*t. But women, they wear the wrong colour and they get pulled up. They say the wrong thing and there’s thousands of tweets written about them. Women are judged much more harshly and keenly for what they do, what they say and what they wear.

I’ve worn the same suit on air for a year –- except for a couple of times because of circumstance –- to make a point. I’m judged on my interviews, my appalling sense of humour – on how I do my job, basically. Whereas women are quite often judged on what they’re wearing or how their hair is … that’s [what I wanted to test].


I admire Stefanovic for conducting such an experiment, it was necessary in bringing, once again, the scrutiny women face daily and how their “legitimacy” of their thoughts and genius are often pushed aside based on how they look.

President of Barnard College and author of “Wonder Women: Sex, Power, and the Quest for Perfection,” Debra Spar told The Huffington Post last year, “We are sadly still living in an era in which women’s looks are just much more subject to constant appraisal than is the case for men, Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin and nearly every woman who has run for office wind up having their clothing and their hairstyles receive way more attention than they really should.”

I couldn’t agree more! A lot of this type of evidence is in the documentary, Miss Representation. If you haven’t yet seen it, it’s worth a viewing!

Here’s the clip from the Australian news cast where they reported on the anchor’s experiment.

Any one notice how uncomfortable they are with defining what sexism is?! *cringe*
Help the news anchors out! How would you define sexism? Let me know in the comments!
Me?  I tend to agree with sex education activist, Laci Green, on the topic of sexism. Sexism is the “exclusion and unequal power in society,” it effects both men and women.

Moral Panic Mode: Parents

Kid culture is a relatively new(ish) phenomena defined by adults, (yup, guilty) who often have a clouded perspective of today’s youth. Adults view kids through the lens of moral panic. A moral panic occurs “when the official or press reaction to a deviant social or cultural phenomenon is ‘out of all proportion’ to the actual threat offered” (Mazzarella, 2007, 48). In addition, it is when a group is defined as a threat to the values of society and interests (Mazzarella, 2007). The purpose of the next 4 blog posts is to define how…

1) parents, 2) marketers, 3) journalists/documentarians, and 4) researchers aid in the development of the moral panic between adult culture and kid culture.

ParentsDistribution of media like CDs and DVDs has led to parents forming groups against these dispersal tactics. Parents’ Music Resource Center (PMRC) came on the scene in 1985, started by high profiled wives such as Tipper Gore, (ex)wife of then-senator Al Gore. Tipper Gore was shocked when she first heard the Prince song “Darling Nikki,” because the song references masturbation (Mazzarella, 2007). Though at the time the PMRC aimed to require all music, though predominately focused on heavy metal rock, to have a warning label if it contained explicit content inappropriate for children. Their passion spread to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). In 1990 the RIAA adopted the “Parental Advisory/Explicit Lyrics” label that we now see when visiting record stores (Mazzarella, 2007). Though the high profiled wives and mothers were able to have their voices heard around the country, most parents don’t have the luxury. And with the popularity of online music sales through iTunes, Spotify, etc. the world of music (TV, movies, etc) is WIDE open for kids with a computer or smartphone and a wifi connection, see: EVERY kid, has access to any and all music.  

Parents are forced to create their own rules for use in their household from music and television to the Internet. “One approach is through ‘restrictive mediation,’ a practice in which parents make rules about amount or time of viewing allowed, define forbidden content, and use media as part of a reward or punishment system” (Bachen, 2007, 242). The younger the child the more rules are placed on when, where and for how long use can take place. Parents of adolescents may lower their guard when it comes to displaying their favorite media characters, simply because they have more control over it in the home. By letting their children take part in “adolescent room culture,” the bedroom becomes a place where he or she “engage in identity work and investigate their future possibilities through media,” (Fisherkeller, 2007, 229). However, as parents become more familiar with the medium, particularly the Internet, rules may evolve (Bachen, 2007).

“Parents are deeply fearful about the World Wide Web’s influence on their children, according to the Annenberg Public Policy Center’s national survey of parents in computer households in the United States” (Aikat, 2005, 3). The Internet is a main concern because of the wide-range of freedom it gives children (Stern and Willis, 2007). Yet another reason why Facebook should have never left their college niche. “Teens have more autonomy to do, say and go where they wish than they have had historically” (Stern and Willis, 2007, 217). The three ways teenagers use the Internet is for communication, information seeking, and content creation. They communicate with their friends through Instant Messaging, (awww RIP, AIM) Facebook Messaging and Text Messaging with the phones they now have and the ripe age of eight. Damn you societal norms. They also use the Internet to seek information for school assignments and often complete those assignments now completely online. Now, more popular than ever kids are posting photos via Instagram, tweeting tweets they shouldn’t be during school hours and maybe writing the occasional blog post. Despite these uses parents are still concerned with access to “inappropriate” content.

Having the world’s information at the thumbs of your kids is scary sure with websites that have content about “eating disorders, bomb making, alcohol, smoking, and most of all, pornography,” parents are concerned teens who are seeking information about these topics will find an overload of information easily and those teens not seeking this type of information may accidently stumble upon it (Stern and Willis, 2007, 218; Aikat, 2005). For example, is the official website of the government establishment, but an unknowing teen may accidently type in the dot com (.com) address only to find explicit content. Note: It’s no longer an explicit site like it was when I was in sixth grade, but for the sake of argument…that example will do. Right? thanks.

But I have also found in recent talks with parents (disclaimer: I’m not a parent) that the “everybody’s-doing-it syndrome” is taking over. And as a parent it’s getting more difficult to just say “no” to requests like “everyone has a cellphone, mom” which can quickly elaborate to “everyone has a Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, insert all the social networking tools here.”
So as a parent…what do you do? Do you give in? What age is an appropriate age to allow your son or daughter to handle the responsibility of a cellphone and online communications. Parents, I want to hear from you! Leave a comment!

It’s So Cliche [a guest post]

Today’s guest post [very first one ya’ll!!!!] is from Janna Hall of My Beautiful Catharsis and serves as reminder to all girls and women: stop being someone you’re not despite what the media is handing you daily and start being you! Because there’s no one else in this world that is better at being well…You! I couldn’t agree more! Around here at SGS we are constantly dissecting and beating those too present stereotypes to a pulp! Thanks to Janna for sharing her thoughts, inspiration and honesty! 

It’s So Cliché…but “Be yourself; everyone else is taken” is a mantra that we need to carry on throughout our life. As kids, we grow up wanting to be like the girls on TV. My best friend and I couldn’t sit through a show or a movie without shouting, “I’M HER!” every time the prettiest girl came on the screen. For us, it was Clueless.  From the moment Stacey Dash hops into Cher’s Jeep, we thought of every reason to ditch who we were and immediately wanted to look like, sound like, and be Dionne. Or the pink Power Ranger. Or Beyonce. Or in my best friend’s case, Britney. From a young age, we’re almost programmed to want to be everyone else, whether it’s a Disney princess, a pop icon, or the popular girl in school. It’s so wonderful to pretend, but what happens when we’re adults and realize that we’re actually not those women, nor will we ever be them? In the midst of our fantasies, we’ve grown to hate ourselves, not because of who we are, but because of who we aren’t. We aren’t those princesses. We aren’t those girls who, with one quick, flirty glance fall in love and live happily ever after with our Prince Charming. We aren’t those celebrities who have picture perfect bodies. We aren’t them. We are who we are. I am Janna. You are you. Somewhere down the path of pretending, we’ve placed more focus on the body we don’t have than our own reality. Somewhere down that path, we’ve snapped from fantasy land and traveled down the path of self-loathing. We’re obsessed with someone else’s beauty so much so that everything we see when we look in the mirror is repulsive. We’re so obsessed with someone else’s life that our own reality, no matter how fabulous it may be, seems worthless. We wander through life wanting to be someone else, while letting the person we were created to be wither away.

It saddens me to see people hate who they are. What’s the point? You will never be anyone but who you are, and to want anything but that is setting yourself up for disappointment. Society, nor a man, nor a celebrity, can or should make you feel like the person you are isn’t effing amazing. Because you are. And there’s no one quite like you.“Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than you.”

Janna Hall

Janna Hall

Graduating in 2010 from James Madison University with a degree in English, Janna left her hometown of Richmond, Virginia and headed to New York City in search of something greater than herself. That “something,” she discovered, was the position of Editor for EvolutionaryPress Publishing, helping young writers fulfill their dreams of becoming a published author. A now 7-time published editor, Janna enjoys the thrill of making dreams come true, and continually seeks ways to reach others and make a lasting impact on lives—both young and old. After spending a summer volunteering with New York Cares helping young girls prepare for the upcoming school year, Janna realized how passionate she was about seeing young girls gain confidence in their ability to succeed in the classroom and decided to use her passion to help girls succeed in all aspects of their lives. Now, she works for Girl Scouts of the USA, running the social media channels and pushing the message of building girls of courage, confidence, and character.

It’s Chime for Change!



For every girl.
For every woman.

If you know me, you know that I love me some televised musical entertainment in the form of awards shows, music videos, reality TV and benefit concerts from time to time.

And on Sunday night live from the Twickenham Stadium in London the sold out benefit concert Chime for Change aired on NBC featuring the musical stylings of J.Lo, Ellie Goulding, Beyonce, Florence and the Machine, Mary J. Blige, John Legend and many more. Wish I was there! There were also celeb spokespeople: Selma Hayek, Frida Giannini, Blake Lively, Ryan Reynolds, Madonna, Jada Pinkett Smith and others who spoke about specific causes close to their hearts. The concert was televised in 150 countries in 6 continents. Talk about a movement! Heyyo!

Why were they coming together? To raise their (high profile) voices to make a change for every girl and woman all over the world. It’s Chime for Change (I love a good play on words!)

Chime for Change founded by Gucci (yup, you read that right…more on that later), co-founded by Beyonce Knowles, Selma Hayak and Frida Giannini (Gucci designer), is a new global campaign to raise funds and awareness for girls’ and women’s empowerment. The campaign focuses on three key areas: Education, Health and Justice.

Through the crowd-funding organization Catapult, nonprofit organizations post their campaigns, people can then search, find and fund the project that means the most to them. Simple, easy, to the point—I like it.

What I don’t like is the fact is Gucci is the founder of this campaign. They’re using their international brand recognition for the benefit of making change. I get that and I think it’s great. BUT they should probably practice what they preach, amiright? A great first step in this Chime for Change is to change how they objectify women in their print advertisements, to which they have received controversy over in the past. (Exhibit A & Exhibit B) I have to be honest when I say I was super pumped about this televised concert aimed to empower females around the world, but discovering that it was a project of Gucci I pulled back, I was disappointed, which is an understatement. Until…

Jada Pinkett Smith presented the project “Jessica’s Story.” Three years ago Jessica escaped sexual abuse and trafficking, a nightmare that she had lived since she was six years old. She is just one of the hundreds of thousands of children who are sex trafficked in the United States. For Jessica there were not a lot of resourced to turn to as she sought to escape, that’s why today, Jessica is helping other girls break the stigma, empower them and provide them with resources.
Click to watch her story below!

How P!nkly Put: “Reformed Slut”iness and The Talk

Driving to work today I heard on the radio, clearly my only sense of mobile news while my iPhone containing my Twitter feed is safely tucked away to resist temptation…. Any way, P!nk told Glamour Magazine that she is a “reformed slut.” It’s her “unsophisticated way of taking my power back.” P!nk has always, in my eyes been a woman of strength with a no-bullshit attitude who takes risks. All-in-all, I’m a fan.

Photo by Ellen Von Unwerth.

Photo by Ellen Von Unwerth.

First, let me say I understand what she was “Try”ing to do. She is aiming to give the “slut” stigma a good ‘ol drop kick and subside the double standard that exists when men and women do a casual sheet dance. Why is it that men are labeled as “the man,” “player” or even “stud” all of which have a positive definition while women are labeled as “slut,” “whore,” and any fill in the blank derogatory label here? Using the phrase she did is clearly garnering a lot of attention by being so P!nkly put.

What really got me fuming was while I was on lunch today we have the ladies of The Talk (CBS) coming through the wall-mounted TV. They were babbling on about their Emmy nominations, which proceeded to have the cue card holders’ arms fall off because of the straight 5 minutes of applause that was required in the opening segment. The ladies then with a lack of finesse moved into a discussion about P!nk’s statement.

Host Aisha Tyler mentioned that she actually uses the word to squash the societal stigma and “take it away” from men using it. Host Julie Chen agreed and tries to flip the script by using it to describe men’s sexual promiscuity as “slutty.” I’m sorry, but using the word in any size, shape, connotation, or WHATever makes it seem OK for others to continue using it. The way Julie and Aisha are using the word seems comfortable, comfortable enough to use it. Sorry ladies, not the right approach. Just.don’ Period.

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Drowning in Brands, Quick Toss The Kids LifeSavers!

In today’s society we are infiltrated with brands through advertisements that play Houdini mind tricks on us, which at some point (probably right away) form our opinions of what clothing we wear, food we eat, toys we buy, etc. But if you’re a kid/teenager, you are drowning in it and don’t have a chance to come up for air! Someone toss the kids Life Savers (see what I did there?)

drowninginbrandsOn average an American teenager spends 31 hours a week watching TV, 17 hours listening to music, and 10 hours online. (LoveSocial with And well marketers are no dummies, they hit those groups full-force straight in the ‘noggin.

In college I watched a documentary called Consuming Kids. You should watch it, highly fascinating and scary all at the same time! AH. 
My knowledge of this documentary resurfaced when Anna Lappe a concerned mother and food mythbuster honed in on the food industry in particular and the obsession that kids develop.

“The food industry says themselves that they spend $2 billion every year in marketing directly to children and teenagers,” said Lappe in her TEDxTalk. “When you think about it in the context that diet related illnesses among young people are on the rise, and we think about this omnipresent marketing I think it isn’t an exaggeration that is has become down right dangerous.”

Yep, Lappe knows what’s up. When I (hopefully) become a parent I can only shield my children so much because, like the Lappe and Consuming Kids noted, commercialization is burying children under a pile of consumer messages. It’s inevitable they will receive that commercial stimulus in schools, day care, or at slumber parties, EV.ERY.WHERE. It’s not ideal to guard children from social situations because that doesn’t help children develop either. It’s clear that parenting in the 21st Century is more difficult than ever!

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The Feminine Feminist: Strong, Successful and Stylish with Sparkle

We can’t be feminine and be feminist and be successful?

Zooey Deschanel begs to differ:
“I want to be a f‑-king feminist and wear a f–king Peter Pan collar. So f–king what?”

Zooey Deschanel cover of Glamour Magazine.

Does any one else see the irony of telling a magazine like Glamour that you’re a feminist when you’re surround by these other topics?

My thoughts exactly. In an interview with Glamour magazine she not only told them that she was a feminist but an effing feminist. Does any one else see the irony of telling a magazine like Glamour that you’re a feminist? But thatttt’s a whole different blog post.
In today’s culture women are supposed to be sweet, coy and passive. PROBLEM. Especially for me. I am an independent, strong, successful woman but also stylish. I love fashion. Truth. Does that make me any less of a feminist? No. I know there are different degrees of feminism but one thing I think they all have in common is shattering the limits that society has set for women.  And by limits I mean stereotypes. And by society I mean the media. As Salon’s Mary Elizabeth Williams wrote in referring to Zooey’s statement, “This is exactly what feminism looks like. It’s not frightened or demure; it’s unconditional. And it wears a tiara if is wants to.” Hell yes it does.
Why is it that culture slaps a strong woman in the face, figuratively for the most part, for being “slutty,” “bitchy,” or “mannish.”
A perfect example of media abuse is Hillary Rodham Clinton. In case you’ve been living Continue reading

Happy Galentine’s Day!

Happy Galentine’s Day: A Day for “Ladies Celebrating Ladies.”

It’s only the best day of the year and totally worthy of the TV-turned-reality holiday. See Chrismukkah. So my friend told me about a Parks and Recreation episode where Amy Poehler’s character, Leslie, gets all of her lady friends together on Feb 13 to have a girls-only brunch. Lemme say. Best.Idea.Ever. Who doesn’t love brunch and spending time with friends? I’m always looking for excuses to gather my gal pals for a day away from their significant others. How are you celebrating this galentine’s day?

Perhaps one of these printable cards for each of your gals!? 

So cheers to you ladies for being awesome and standing strong in a world that is trying to make us all crazy mixed up! I appreciate you!

The End.

Put a Ring on Her!

Photo from

Photo from

Someone please give Beyonce a Super Bowl ring after her touchdown of a halftime performance last night! After a snooze-worthy first half and me spending most of the time near the snack table it was time for the halftime show!  Thank goodness. Beyonce brought out her made-for-stage alter ego appropriately named “Sasha Fierce” out to play. And girl was it an electrifying performance! So electrifying that it blew a fuse in the Super Dome. Whoopsie.
Honestly, I never have high hopes for a halftime show because most of the time I’m disappointed…wardrobe malfunctions, special effects errors, and poor vocals/audio. “Aint nobody got time for that,” especially me. But this halftime performance ladies and gents, was top notch. I thought the vocals were on point (which was live, I’m told), the special effects impressive yet not over the top, and the dancing was taken to a whole ‘nother level! The true perfectionist in Beyonce as boss woman of her own performances was very apparent. I haven’t seen hair-ography that together since well since forever.  As a trained dancer and now instructor, I can appreciate (though clearly type-casted) that Beyonce hires dancers with some shape, curvy women whose body types are identical to her own. Refreshing! Also something that many may not know is that Beyonce has an all female band. I love this. I also love that the guitarist had fire shooting out of her guitar from both ends giving Beyonce’s often strong/sultry sounds a rock flare.

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