“About Face” Body Image Benefit: America the Beautiful Movie

aboutface-header.gifMay 15, 2009 He’s baaaaaaaaaack! ‘Tell it like it is’ director Darryl Roberts of America The Beautiful is wrapping his last personal appearance on his U.S. screening tour to benefit two worthy Bay Area orgs promoting positive body image: About-Face.org (love their “don’t fall for the media circus” tagline) and Beyond Hunger (“freedom from the obsession with food and weight) And just in time for summer ‘swimsuit season’ when sensibility takes a backseat to ‘sexy/slim’ media surround sound.

I can’t begin to tell you how many tweens and teens I’ve overheard stressing out about their year-end splash fests and ‘graduation’ pool parties…not to mention all the self-critical body slams and strident high notes wafting from retail dressing rooms everywhere. I know, it’s ‘time eternal angst’ but never quite so amped…

If you didn’t catch the film last time when I wrote “See it. Support it.” or when I reviewed it and asked Dr. Robyn to add her expert voice, or when I interviewed Darryl directly, in this post, “An R-rated film you WANT your kids to see” then now’s the time to e-blitz it to all of your friends to sell out the screenings and support About Face & Beyond Hunger too!

america-the-beautiful“Does America have an unhealthy obsession with beauty?” As the kids might say, ‘duh!”

Come inoculate the teens against body shame, hearing the whys and hows behind the scenes that turn harm into hope and wounds into armor.

Darryl always has fresh stories and poignant tales from his globetrotting adventures that add new perspective and dimensions, as he whacks a few beauty beehives in grassroots endeavors for industry reform and policy driving initiatives.

Such as?

Accountability for the messages landing on kids: lobbying for insurance coverage of disordered eating, ditching unsafe chemicals in cosmetics, with the Search for the Cause campaign aligned with our friends at Teens Turning Green, and shining the spotlight on ways we CAN shift the mass media mindset leveraging the popularity of key celebs, like this post I wrote featuring Darryl’s “Open Letter to Oprah” to stop the yo-yo dieting with her gargantuan media clout.

Everyone has a role to play in this massive mindshift…


Yours is to show up…see the ATB film…tell your friends…

And get ready for the DVD coming soon (Shaping Youth will be using it for teen media literacy in our documentary film fest/house party style)

Meanwhile, here’s a recap of the trailer below, plus links to related posts on Shaping Youth (better yet, check out our entire ‘body image’ category and also Dr. Robyn, our ‘resident expert’ via her body image resource blog, KMA.)

You owe it to the females in your life to go see this one and impart the importance of deconstructing beauty myth 101 as part of their summer viewing pleasure! Enjoy!

America The Beautiful Benefit Screenings:

To Benefit About Face & Beyond Hunger

Includes Q&A with filmmaker Darryl Roberts

Two showings only, seating is limited, so buy tickets early!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009 6:30pm
Clay Theatre
2261 Fillmore Street, San Francisco (map)
(includes Q&A with filmmaker)
General admission: $21.50 (ages 12 and up)

Thursday, May 28, 2009 6:30pm
Rafael Film Center
1118 Fourth Street, San Rafael (map)
General admission: $21.50 (ages 12 and up)

Related Posts on Shaping Youth: Kids & Body Image


How to Counter-market Thinspiration

Mamma’s Got A Brand New Bag…er…Face. Nose. Belly.

Buffed Boy, Body Image, and Teen Scene ‘Hottie’ Factor

Facelifts for Kiddie Characters: Rebranding 80s Icons? (Part One)

Manga Makeovers & Body Image Cartoon Capers (Part Two)

Beyonce’s Dereon Divas: PopTarts and Sesame StreetWalkers

Body Blitz: APA Study Shows Harm of Early Sexualization

America the Beautiful Documentary: See It. Support It.

America the Beautiful Review by Amy Jussel; Dr. Robyn’s “How Much Do You Pay For Beauty? Flushing Health, Wealth & Happiness Down the Toilet”

America the Beautiful: Amy Jussel of Shaping Youth Interviews Director Darryl Roberts

America the Beautiful and the Oprah Factor: Yo-Yo Dieting Messages & the Pop Culture Zeitgeist

Related Resources: Allied Orgs & Articles

Frank Baker’s Media Literacy: Deconstructing Diet Ads

Cosmetics Database: Skin Deep (test how well YOUR products do!) and Environmental Working Group

TED Talks: Eve Ensler

A Child Among Women: CBS News/The Early Show: Gerren Taylor at 12

Model Gerren Taylor’s Short But Stunning Career: LATimes: Gerren at 18

America the Beautiful on MySpace

YWCA Beauty At Any Cost Report (9pp pdf)

New Moon Girl Media: When Do You Feel Beautiful?

Reign of the Girl Child: American the Beautiful’s Beautiful NYC Opening

Childhood Matters Podcast: Helping Preteens Develop A Healthy Body Image (Nurse Rona Renner speaks with two Bay Area medical experts 6-29-08

Common Sense Media’s Parent Tips for Discussion



  1. Will it ever end the unyielding idea we have regarding our looks, is there any way we can teach beauty starts from within especially with our children my grandson aggravated the heck out of me when he state age 22 he can only date beautiful women I reminded him neither me nor his mother would have ever had a life and family if all men felt that way. I’m not sure the meaning sank in however wherever and whenever we can it’s our job to say what we can and try to make a difference with our children.

    Dorothy from grammology

    Dorothy Stahlnecker’s last blog post..We’re moving our site

  2. Hi Dorothy, sadly your grandson is far from alone…In fact, the trailer for ATB shows guys voicing that very thing in unapologetic style…Pretty amazing to be so forthright on the shallowness front. But objectification has been normalized and even sanctioned in our pop culture zeitgeist as of late, (e.g. even the Spongebob Squarebutts ‘booty is booty’ bit…talk about early stage erosion of psyches! Measuring female backsides? ugh. TOXIC.)

    Anyway, just caught your link here…movin’ your site? Where you goin’??? Gonna go check it out now…

    Amy Jussel’s last blog post..Beam Me Up, Scholars: Arcane Star Trek Cameo Tidbits

  3. Thanks guys, keep up the good work! I would also like to say thank you to all your staff. Everything happened so fast!


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