Our school programs address the needs of girls of color from various backgrounds and ethnicity.
Many young women are oblivious to the impact that media has on theirr lives. Marketers spend billions of dollars per year to set a largely unachievable standard of beauty so that they can sell more products as we strive to achieve the ever-elusive perfect body and image. This deception creates feelings of inadequacy in women, especially children and young adults who are in the midst of cognitive development.
For women and girls of color the impact is even greater, as racial markers, such as dark skin and kinky hair, are rejected by the influential media. Women with these physical traits are seemingly unworthy of media attention. Indeed, women and girls of color are largely invisible in media. This is true even on Spanish-language television. Even more revolting is the common marketing practice of digitally lightening the skin color and photo-shopping curves out of advertisements. No wonder young women of color are facing an epidemic of low self-esteem!
When Latinas do appear in media, they are regularly typecast in stereotypical roles. “Minority Women, Media, and Body Image” (PDF), a report out of the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agriculture Sciences, found that:
“Similar to the effects on African-Americans, the media has perpetuated stereotypes about Latin-Americans, those of which differ from the typical non-Hispanic woman. These images are shown on television, which is heavily consumed by Latin-American women. Latin-American women on average watch four more hours of television daily than women in other ethnic groups. Due to this increase in exposure, Latin-American women are more susceptible to negative images, making comparisons to the media ideal more detrimental. As a result, Latin-Americans have a heavy loyalty to the health and beauty industry. The support that they give to this industry may be associated with the dissatisfaction felt when media ideals are used for comparison.”
The Pretty Brown Girl School initiative allows girls of all backgrounds and ethnicity to have a safe place for their voices to be heard. Our goal is to broaden the circle of conversation with girls to encourage healthy interactive dialogue and activities in a celebratory environment. It is because of commitments like yours that gives us hope that lives will be changed; one girl at a time.
Subscribe to our monthly E-Newsletters for the latest news and updates!