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Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Ms. Blog: Don’t Be Shamed by “The Weight Talk”

by Jessica Holden Sherwood

I recently had my annual physical, and I got The Weight Talk for the first time. Luckily, I had come prepared.  While driving to the appointment, I even rehearsed in anticipation.

When I got The Talk, I responded by saying that I will never count calories.  I asked the doctor in earnest why he would care about my weight if I had good health, good blood pressure and so on. I listened to his answers. And a week later, I sent him a copy of Health At Every Size (a book which also has a website).

After all this time, fat is still a feminist issue...

Read more on the Ms. Blog

Monday, April 12, 2010

Press release:’s “Beautiful Girls” Raise the Value of Inner Beauty

Spreading the word...! 


Girls Fight Harmful Beauty Messages:’s “Beautiful Girls” Raise the Value of Inner Beauty

Flashing zits on a virtual face seek to convince girls to retouch “unflattering” Facebook photos so no one will “gawk at them.” Relentless media and marketing tell girls that their looks are far more important than their minds, spirits, or talents.

Girls have had enough.

Now, girls are fighting back with’s “Beautiful Girls” campaign. Starting today, through June 30, anyone worldwide can honor a girl or woman for her inner beauty: her accomplishments, passion, creativity, compassion, and all the other things that make up a wonderful person by completing a brief nomination form at

Starting May 1, all the nominees will be featured in the Beautiful Girls section of the safe, ad-free, creative community made by and for girls. This powerful campaign counteracts unhealthy messages like those at, where “face detection & correction technology … can smooth out skin, remove skin flaws….

PicTreat is just a new example of the age-old messages that led 90 percent of the teen girls questioned in a 2009 Girl Scout Research Institute study to say they couldn’t measure up to “beauty” standards.

“Stuff like that makes me furious,” says Nneoma Igwe, 13, of New Moon’s Girls Editorial Board. “We girls know that what we do, think and care about is more important than how other people think we should look. With this year’s “Beautiful Girls” online event, and our What Is Beauty magazine (in bookstores May 1) we tell the world what really matters!”

New Moon Girl Media Founder Nancy Gruver says, “For 17 years, New Moon has believed in the power and beauty of girls being themselves. This year, we’re in the leadership group convened by the American Psychological Association and Girls Scouts of the USA to support H.R. 4925 the Healthy Media for Youth Act. Girls need it desperately.”

According to the American Psychological Association, three of the most common mental health problems among girls — eating disorders, depression or depressed mood, and low self-esteem — are linked to sexualization of girls and women in media.

Gruver says, “But there’s better news among the thousands of New Moon girls: when asked to define beauty for the May-June issue of New Moon Girls magazine, our members tell about their inner beauty shining out in creativity, courage, and compassion; the only beauty that can keep them feeling happy and fulfilled. “

Anyone can nominate someone (even themselves!) to be a New Moon Beautiful Girl—just go to and fill out the simple entry.

Then look for that girl’s first name on in May, June and July.

“After all,” Nneoma says, “Real Beauty isn’t about how we look. It's about who we are and what we do.”

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Break the Cycle (Kotex*) – Finally, an ad campaign I like

Wow, finally an ad campaign I like!

This Break the Cycle site set up by Kotex encourages women to be real about their periods, and to share their experiences. I dig that "Break the Cycle" is a very transparent campaign--it focuses on its product to sell its product (rather than showing a women's body to sell something unrelated like alcohol or cars)--and pokes fun, Sarah Haskins style, at traditional ad campaigns for pads and tampons that treat periods as a taboo subject.

I also like that, unlike other campaigns that have allied themselves with you, the consumer, to sneakily get you to still feel bad about yourself and therefore buy their product (see Victoria's Secret's latest "I Love My Body" campaign still advertised on the standard thin, buxom models), the "Break the Cycle" site is itself a public service to women while selling a product actually helpful to them.

All that said, not sure how I feel about the mainstream part of the "U by Kotex" ad campaign that features a stuffed animal beaver...but still want to give kudos where kudos are due.