Brave Girls Want To Put Media On A Different Frequency!

Oct. 10, 2013 Update: At the end is a newly minted press release/activities update, and this great post by Adios Barbie crams a lot into a small package involving some of the partner organization efforts as well! 

Oct. 7, 2013 Without a doubt, this week’s about “All Things Girl” as the 2nd annual U.N. International Day of the Girl on October 11, 2013 hosts a plethora of girl-focused initiatives and media movements to empower and inspire coast to coast.

From our partnership with the Brave Girls movement to ‘Take Back the Media’ in Times Square with positive messages on our crowd-funded billboard (none other than Brave original writer/director Brenda Chapman as an anchor sponsor!) …to Shaping Youth’s media sponsorship of the all new life skills conference for teens in L.A. October 12, 2013 it’s an extraordinary time to hear the voices of girls and women rising to change the channel of media influence to a healthier, positive frequency which is smack dab at the core of our mission.

I’ve written extensively about our Brave Girls Alliance of passionistas, youth, and parenting pros ready to reclaim the stranglehold of profiteering over public health many times since its inception…

Now, that we’ve started to reach critical mass, “Brave Girls Want” to ask teens, friends and family all over New York City to put on their dancing shoes and help create a flash mob by Friday evening to unveil our Times Square billboard! Join over 20 of the partners and allies flying in to celebrate this social media spectacle that aims to Redefine Girly, ditch the deluge of ‘hottie and naughty’ narrowcast cues and reopen the crimped media messaging hose in a free flow blast of wellness. You in?

Our Brave Girls Alliance team believes it’s way past time for parents to pushback on the ‘so sexy so soon’ hyper-sexualized marketing that’s body-snatching kids out of their childhood…

We want to let toys be toys and expand brain plasticity with neuroscience benefits of free play rather than limit them…We’d like to see stereotypes upended with robust, diverse, inclusive, intelligent media that solves problems rather than creates them……And get back to imagination stations without walled worlds of “this is not for you” subtexts and absurdly gender-coded productization.

In short, we’re thrilled to bring our messages (and yours that were submitted!) for a very special Times Square premiere on the Day of the Girl, kicking off with the flash mob. It’s a collaborative, united display of Howard Beale, Network-style shout from the window fervor to champion change and say aloud, “I do not accept this.”

Brave Girls Want you to know you’re not just one voice, amplified.

This is the beginning of a strong consumer-driven, global movement to educate, innovate, and recreate smarter choices in the media and marketing industry.

It WILL sell. The tipping point is here…

Join us? The Brave Girls Alliance Manifesto:

We are here to ask media creators to expand their version of what it means to be a girl, and recognize our girls as whole, complex people and not as gender stereotypes. Stop profiting from selling girls short.

We believe that girls deserve better, because we know that the consequences to girls’ well-being are serious.

We ask media creators to rethink products in development and ensure they teach girls to be strong, intelligent, and adventurous.

We ask media creators to rethink branding that pigeon-holes girls into the lowest common denominator.

We ask media creators to elevate the elements that make the characters and narratives unique, instead of homogenizing the images and the merchandise.

We ask
media creators to practice corporate social responsibility now. Take the sexy out of childhood. Reducing female characters’ value to being about physical appearance and nothing more damages girls.

As I wrote  in this feature here, here’s a recap of my own Top 5 Reasons For Shaping Youth’s Partnership With Brave Girls Alliance:

1.) This is not a ‘one off’ billboard project, this is a movement of passionistas

2.) Brave Girls Want a call for corporate responsibility with what’s produced in the first place

3.) The Brave Girls Alliance calls out the huge ‘then and now’ chasm, and the ‘dumbing down’ of products

4.) Brave Girls Want to let toys be toys and let kids be kids

5.) Brave Girls Want to point out the problem AND be a part of the solution

Brave Girls Want Celebrates Oct 11: Int’l Day of the Girl

For those of us afar who can’t be there in person: (I’m one of them) join in the fun and follow along on Twitter using the hashtag #BraveGirlsWant, visit the Brave Girls Alliance Facebook page, and remember, there’s a Day of the Girl webcast for the various #IDG2013 festivities. Meanwhile, if you reside in the Big Apple and surrounding environs, Brave Girls New Yorkers to get up and dance and you’re invited!!

Our digital billboard is in Times Square on 7th Ave & 43rd Street showcasing messages from girls and people who care about girls who want a better, more diverse, and non-sexualized media representation of girls. Join us in Times Square to celebrate with a series of very short (easy-to-follow) Brave Girls Want flash mob-esque dance moves to draw attention to our sparkling billboard!

11th Oct. from 10am to 11am – The Brave Girls Alliance will hold a press conference in Times Square. We will soon distribute a press release that will include the details for this event.

11th Oct. from 3pm to 5pm – Several of us will be heading over to the United Nations to attend the Girls Speak Out event. This event will give girls from all over the world the chance to speak with governments and UN Agencies about how they are making strides for girls in their community. Approximately half of the girls at the Girls Speak Out will present on issues related to the International Day of the Girl 2013 theme, “Innovating for Girls’ Education.” If you would like to join us register here.

11th Oct. from 6:30pm to 7:30pm – The Brave Girls Alliance will hold a public party in Times Square in celebration of the International Day of the Girl and our Take Back Media Campaign. Please join us!

We are planning some fun activities for girls of all ages and for the ones who love them…Here’s more:

Hello girls in New York City!This Friday, October 11th is the second International Day of the Girl. This is also the kick off date for our 7-day Take Back Media Times Square campaign by the Brave Girls Alliance. During this week, we have rented a digital billboard in Times Square on 7th Ave & 43rd Street and we will be showcasing messages from girls and people who care about girls who want a better, more diverse, and non sexualizing media representation of girls.And to kick off the week of girls-loving billboard messages, we invite YOU, your friends, and all the girls you know to join us in Times Square to celebrate with a series of very short (easy-to-follow) Brave Girls Want flash mob-esque dance moves to draw attention to our sparkling billboard! We need you!Here’s the scoop:Between now and Thursday:
1)    Grab a bunch of friends, girls, sisters, cousins, girls you meet on the street
2)    Find a space to practice (empty classroom afterschool, living room, cafeteria, park, subway platform…)
3)    Learn the dance! (secret tip: you don’t have to be “a dancer.”) Just go to this link and watch our YouTube video where Amee, Mia and Asa will show you what it looks like.
4)    Try to memorize the sequence of moves, but of course feel free to make them your own and add your own flairs.
5)    Exaggerate the gestures and commit to the meaning of placing your hands on hips as “proud” gesture and that the “Popeye arm curls” as a gesture that channels to everyone watching that you are “strong.” It’s ok to be cheesy here!
6)    Smile! Have fun with it because that is way more important than getting every move exactly right.
7)    Practice again! Have a snack! Practice again!
On Friday October 11:
8)    Find your brightest orange or turquoise shirt, sweater, scarf or hat (or if you don’t have anything in these colors, then just wear bright colors and your dancing shoes!).
9)    Meet us in front of the Toys R Us on 44th St and 7th Ave at 5:45pm on Friday – look for the orange & turquoise balloons or women in orange or turquoise scarves.
10) We will do our dance 4 times at 6:00, 6:15, 6:30 and 6:45, so if you miss the first one, you can still jump in.
11) Take pictures! Make videos!Can’t wait to see you Friday when we will show and tell the world what #BraveGirlsWant!


Update! Media Alert!

October 11th is the International Day of the Girl.  It is also the kick-off day of our 7-day Take Back Media Campaign, where we will be showcasing messages of empowerment from girls and people who care about girls.

 WHO:  The Brave Girls Alliance is comprised of people who believe in changing the messages being presented to girls by the media, toy companies, and other large corporations.  Led by Melissa Atkins Wardy and Ines Almeida, we hope to share our message and start the movement toward change.

Ines Almeida is the CEO and Founder of Toward The Stars, a marketplace and movement that provides gifts and resources that inspire and enable girls to be strong, smart and daring.

“The International Day of the Girls is a powerful date where people from all over the world come together to focus on the education, safety and wellbeing of girls. I am delighted that the Brave Girls Alliance is able to contribute to this celebration of girlhood by showcasing the voices of girls and the ones who love them in Times Square.  I am hopeful that media content producers and toy makes will take our lead, and improve their representation of girls and deliver what #BraveGirlsWant.”

 Melissa Atkins Wardy is the owner of Pigtail Pals & Ballcap Buddies, a company offering apparel and gifts to full of awesome children.  Her book, Redefining Girly: How Parents Can Fight the Stereotyping and Sexualizing of Girlhood, Birth to Tween, will be released January 2014 by Chicago Review Press.

 “The Brave Girls Alliance was formed in response to growing numbers of parents and consumers feeling offended and tired from the constant stereotyping and sexualization of girls in  the media.  Having successfully worked with media content creators before, a group of my colleagues and I knew that now was the time to aggregate voices of parents, experts, authors and activists to drive meaningful change with media creators and marketers in order to craft a healthier media environment for our girls.”

WHAT: Brave Girls Alliance has rented a digital billboard in Times Square where we will be showcasing messages of empowerment and change.  The billboard, located at 43rd street and Seventh Avenue in Times Square, will show our messages for six minutes every hour, between 6am and 2am, over the course of seven days.

WHERE: Seventh Avenue and 43rd Street, Times Square, New York

 WHEN: Friday, October 11th

Media event: 10-11am, 165 West 46th Street, Suite 402 (enter at 1460 Broadway, between 46th and 47th)

Party/Celebration: 6:30-7:30pm, Plaza in front of Toys ‘R Us, and our billboard, at 43rd Street and Seventh Avenue

WHY: It is time to ask media creators to expand their version of what it means to be a girl.  The consequences to limiting girls’ opportunities are many, and we are hoping to begin the dialogue on how to promote change!

10-11-13: So Excited to Start Seeing All of Our Tweets Shining Bright in Times Square!

Here’s One of Ours At Shaping Youth…Onward!

bga billboard SY tweet

Related Reading on Shaping Here are a few more champions of change and unsung ‘sheroes’ to put on your positive picks list. Shaping Youth views from the lens of inter-connectivity in terms of medial literacy/gender and the impact on kids so we don’t fit the criteria for a ‘girl-focused’ org but definitely have written multitudes on ‘all things girl’ to raise voices and awareness. Here are just a few…

All Things Girl Series on Shaping Youth By Amy Jussel

LegoFriends: Please Build On Possibility and Brain Plasticity

STEM Toys: Innovate to Educate (Roominate, Little Bits, Goldie Blox and more)

How Will YOU Use Media to Inspire On International Women’s Day?

Twitter: Women2Follow Dedicated to Inspiring Girls (need to add yourself to this list?) 

Wanted: Female Creative Directors to Change the Media Landscape

Empowering Girls Instead of Consuming Them

Day of the Girl: GirlCaught Aims to Dial Down Disrespect

GWLN-Global Leaders for Justice: Using Media for Breakthroughs

GWLN-Mentoring: Masai, Midwives, Mobile Medical: Media That Matters

GWLN-Global Women’s Leadership Network/Young Leaders Worldwide

GWLN Delegate Carrie Ellett on Girls For a Change

The Girl Effect: A World Changing Media Message

Shaping Youth Honors Girls Rights Week

Dear Media, Please Change Your Channel of Influence (TEE party)

Positive Picks/Media & Marketing: Pigtail Pals, Redfining Girly

Backtalking Billboards: The Kite Sisters Take Back Beauty/Respect

Girl Caught! New Moon Girls Slams Sexualization!

Steamed About Sexualization? Healthy Media for Youth Act: Pt1

Healthy Youth Media Act: Can Change Be Legislated? Pt2

Teen Girls: Ready for a Rebel Yell to Spark Change?

Tips From the Trenches: Re-Imagining Youth Activism

Shaping Youth Joins New Moon Girls As Affiliate Partner

A Tee Party Kicks Off All Things Girl Week on Shaping Youth

Veteran’s Day: Women in the Military: MyVetwork

Interview with Girl Mogul Founder Andrea Stein

New Moon Girl Media Relaunches as Digital Community AND Magazine

S.Y.’s Body Image Expert Dr. Robyn Silverman On Dove Forum

Motrin Mamas & Twitter Tirades; Marcom Blunders Redux

Twilight Teens, GirlChild Press, +Read Kiddo, Read!

Fem 2.0: Feminine Feminism

GLTR Girls: Girls Learn to Ride (wakeboards etc)

Doctor Jenn Pajama Parties, Neuroscience

What’s On Tweens’ Minds: Meet Denise Restauri of AllyKatzz

Girls Prescription for Self-Worth: Respect Rx

Smart Girls at the Party.TV: SNL’s Amy Poehler

Wise Women & Alice 3.0: Geek Chic For Girls (pt.1)

BrainCake: Teen Girls Talk Tech & Worldchanging (pt.2)

DigiGirlz: Teen Girls Build Community Online & Off (pt.3)

She’s Geeky/Techno Leaders Converge

She’s Geeky/Vlogging with Ryanne Hodson at She’s Geeky

Media Moms, Engineers, Purple Tornadoes At She’s Geeky

She’s Geeky and Proud of It  (My first Shaping Youth geekery)

This Valentine’s Day, Fall Madly In Love…with Yourself!

Rachel Simmons/SY Interview: Curse of the Good Girl

Rosalind Wiseman/SY Interview: YA Kidlit- Boys, Girls/Hazardous Mat

Media Spotlight: Rachel (&SY) Talks to Chicago Trib/Girlpower Gone Wrong

SY-Amy Jussel & RS in Chicago Trib (pdf) Using KidLit Girls’ Bullying Literacy

Reading the Right Message About Bullying (+ huge KidLit Resource List)

Media Musts to Wrap Up All Things Girl Week Part One

Seven Sensational Blogs About Girls: All Things Girl Week Part Two, Finale!


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