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Girl - MEdia
| 2013-08-28 00:00:13
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    It’s Your Story—Tell it! A Leadership Journey

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    What’s not to love about media? You can enjoy it anytime, anywhere, for hours and hours—movies, TV, music, txts, virtual worlds, blogs, tweets! But have you ever wondered how much of your life you’re spending in someone else’s reality? When you glance at a billboard, open a magazine, settle in for a movie, or surf the Web, you’re really reading someone else’s story. 4

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    Who’s telling these stories anyway? Who thinks up all those clever plots and catchy phrases? Who builds the cool Web sites? Who chooses the clothes for the fashion spreads? All those ads, too—that aim to make you buy, buy, buy! Who creates those? And what about you? In how many ways is your life—your story!— influenced by all this stuff, instead of by what’s really inside you? Media is an amazing source of stories, some informative, some pure amusement. But go behind the scenes to see how those stories get made, and you’re bound to find some you’ll want to change— to capture the real ME in media! 5

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    Community Counts! If you could take action in your community just by hitting a key on a computer keyboard, what issue would you choose to tackle? What cause touches your heart the most, and why? If you surveyed your community to find out what bothers people about media—and what they’d like to change—what did they say? How can you work together to make these changes take root? Now’s your chance to create the MEdia reality —the story—you want for yourself and other girls. So . . . first things first. In what way do you most want to inspire others? That will help determine what you want to remake and why. Look all around and decide on a media issue you want to tackle. Maybe it’s something that turned up when you surveyed your community. Maybe it’s something you’ve noticed that others have ignored. Only you know what’s bugging you about the media all around you. So think hard, and think smart! 74

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    Maybe you want to… …ban stereotypes in a popular prime-time TV show. You could storyboard or script your own episode and you could share it with students in a media studies class at your school or a local college. And you could also try sending it to the original producers. …change an ad or ad campaign to debunk unhealthy body-image myths, expose false claims and useless products, or address a harmful advertising-related issue you’ve found in your community. You could create a PSA to counteract any of the above and get it aired on your local TV station. …stop fashion spreads of unrealistic models. You could create your own real-life spread using real-life models, and share it with a group of younger girls so they can gain a better view of what “beautiful” really means. And then you could send it to the magazine’s fashion editors, too. …rewrite a popular song that's loaded with negative or anti-female lyrics. You could write your own version and get some airtime for it or pass it around online, and send it to the original writer and performer. Or maybe… …a blockbuster movie is way too violent or sexist, or just doesn’t show women in real-life ways. You could use the “movie trailer” format, remake the story line, and then post it online for others to see! …create a new soundtrack for an existing movie, TV show, or commercial because you think the original sends the wrong message. You could combine various kinds of music (classical, techno, pop, country) to create your new soundtrack, one that changes the mood entirely. 75

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    Gimme aC! Now, it’s time to challenge yourself to Cultivate better use of media in your own life. There are plenty of ways to do it. You can commit to saying no to TV stereotypes (and shutting off the TV whenever they appear). You can keep talking back to media makers about what matters to you. You can keep making media yourself that reflects your values. But what exactly will be your personal ongoing commitment? To figure that out, jot down what has inspired you most along this journey. What opened your eyes, surprised you, made you mad, or made you think, and made you want to create? 1. 2. 3. So what ended up on your list? And what on that list speaks to you the most? Just remember: No matter where your ideas come from, this challenge is for you, so the choice is up to you. 90 1914 The first transcontinental telephone call. It would be another 65 years before telemarketers started bugging people in the middle of dinner! 1974 The word “Internet” enters the lexicon, although most people won’t be surfing the Web for another 20 years.

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