Storytelling Via Stickers: Girl-Caught Aims To Dial Down Disrespect

Sept. 22, 2011, Celebrating “Day of the Girl

Brands and broadcasters are always talking about “authentic engagement” and they’re about to get some.

It all starts today, with New Moon Girls’ launch of Girl-Caught—an action, a site, and a sticker campaign that lets GIRLS literally adhere and stick to THEIR idea of what their image should be in media messaging…

As we unite for girls everywhere to sound off ‘yay or nay’ on ad and retail campaigns and media and marketing messages, you’ll be able to participate in this respectful rebel yell using fun virtual and printable stickers you can upload to the Girl-Caught Gallery here. (see sidebar to download or embed the stickers on your own site!).  We’re notably proud to partner with New Moon Girls leading the way, along with Mind on the Media, Pigtail Pals, Powered By Girl, School Girls Unite,  Day of the Girl…and hopefully…YOU.

Launching today, Sept 22, appropriately the Day of the Girl, the Girl-Caught campaign gives girls a media megaphone (and a bit of subversive guerrilla marketing) to talk back to sexist media and take back the ‘brand positioning’ of their own personas.

As I wrote in this post,  New Moon Girls Slams Sexualization of Kids with Girl-Caught it’s time to invite any and all ages to join in the free fun of self-expression…Make it a class media literacy project. A digital tech lesson. A community challenge. A college dorm activism alert. Bring in boys and men to use their own lens too.

All you do is upload images you find particularly positive or negative then ‘show and tell’ your story using the red ‘stop it’ sticker or the green ‘thank you’ sticker—After you share them on the NMG/Girl-Caught site then share ‘em with your own communities…Widely. (Blog, share on Facebook, Tweet using #GirlCaught, you know the drill.)

“Oh, c’mon, Amy…do you seriously think a simple sticker of self-expression can turn into an avalanche of change?”

Well…Substitute the word ‘sexualization’ for ‘snow’ in avalanche, and there’s a strong corollary…

Avalanche: “…A sudden rapid flow down a slope, occurring when either natural triggers or human activity causes a critical escalating transition from the slow equilibrium evolution…”

Get my drift? Girls are getting buried and crushed by the icy barrage of media messages trivializing and slandering their self-worth and skill sets in ‘bods over brains’ time and again.

So envision the positives of sharing these Girl-Caught stories not just with the brands themselves, but collectively to Congressional offices nationwide as we deliver thousands of ‘girl-caught’ examples in support of the Healthy Media for Youth Act.

I truly DO believe we’re watching an avalanche in slow motion.


We’re reaching a tipping point of toxicity that signals a ‘market correction’…and YOU can be a part of the solutions-based pushback toward positivity…

Girl-Caught is one of the ways you can HELP instead of being stuck in the quagmire feeling like it’s all ‘too big and voluminous’ to make a dent.

Yes, we all know when it comes to depiction of girls and women through products and programming the results have been abysmal lately (see links list of SY stories on sexualization below). BUT…

Girl-Caught is a catalyst to push forward some of that rumbling massive media mindshift already well underway, gaining momentum through events like and partner orgs like Powered By Girl who is launching a new SPARK IT action (culture jamming ad revising) today too—

How Will YOU Celebrate Sept 22 Day of the Girl?

More movement brewing? Exactly one month from now on October 22, Hardy Girls Healthy Women will be launching a pushback parade on the sexualization of Halloween, with their 3rd annual ‘Freaky Fun Run’ to bring back ‘scary.’

And as I recently wrote here about Beauty Back Beauty’s billboard campaign declaring  a movement underway to launch pushback to lousy media portrayals there’s a whole lot of  shakin’ goin on…(plus the Illusionists film, and Miss film, the list goes on and on…I hope they’ll all partner with NMG’s Girl-Caught!)

As for the Girl-Caught sticker storm? I think it’s a fabulously accessible media literacy activity for kids to ‘show and tell’ with hands-on fun.

Imagine being an 8 year old and able to sound off with an opinion to be heard in the media at the same decibel level as an adult? The Girl-Caught gallery enables that self-expression.

And what about girls who want to give a high five and a ‘yeah, that’s more like it’ to brands that empower instead of consume them?

When you see a pack of ‘tweens’ 8-12 voting to uplift the good stuff and have the drek sink to the bottom, or teens incensed that their little sisters are having their self-worth skewered and sold off recklessly as commodified ‘opportunity’ trading in corporate pedophilia of shock schlock…it makes a powerful case for why we need to create a little bit of static in order to put media and marketing on a different frequency altogether.

Join us all, won’t you? It’s great to have a place where youth, teens, and the adults who love them can turn power-whines and mounting murmurs of frustration into productive pursuits backed by research, policy, and social media clout to move the needle on the Richter magnitude scale…

Again, easy peasy:
1. Go to the Girl-Caught site.
2. Download or print out your own Girl-Caught stickers.
3. Paste them to the negative or positive Girl-Catches you find.
4. Upload them to Girl-Caught!

Stick ‘em here and there. And everywhere.

Sound off. Stick ’em on.

Let’s get this party started…

A free copy of Packaging Girlhood to the first person who leaves a comment here with their ‘personal pick’ and directs me to it on the site so I can see what they’ve uploaded, pro or con.

Another free copy of Packaging Girlhood to the first new partner org that comes aboard and ‘wants in’ to show their support for our friends at New Moon Girls.

Be PART of the momentum, part of the solution…and stick it to ‘em with Girl-Caught stickers. It’s free, fun and easy to make a strong statement with a few clicks that will carry far and wide.

Can’t wait to see what you post! I’ll be adding some fresh ones very soon, meanwhile, here are more POSITIVE PICKS to remind people to support those who ARE ‘caught being great’ …enjoy!

Shaping Youth’s Positive Picks: All Things Girl

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

Empowering Girls Instead of Consuming Them

Baiting Outrage: Using Hooks With Media Mindfulness

Sexualization Summit to Spark Change!

Spark Ignites a Summit of Powerhouses, Geena Davis & More

The Girl Revolution: Empowering Girls Vs. Consuming Them

New Moon Girl Media Community Online

Girls Prescription for Self-Worth: Respect Rx

Commodification of Kids: The Backlash Has Begun

Preteen Tips/How to Say it To Girls

America the Beautiful: See it. Support it.

Childhood Matters Radio Show: Raising Strong, Healthy Girls Today

 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 (Update Coming ’11)

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

Global Women’s Leadership Network/Young Leaders Worldwide

GWLN Delegate Carrie Ellett on Girls For a Change

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 (update ’11 coming)

The Girl Effect: A World Changing Media Message

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

Media Musts to Wrap Up All Things Girl Week Part One

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

Why We Need Girl-Caught Stickers

Sexualization Needs Shifted To R-E-S-P-E-C-T

Girl Caught! New Moon Girls Slams Sexualization!

Vogue Cadeaux: Children ARE Gifts, Not To Be Bought or Sold

Bottom Feeders Like American Apparel Need Whacked in The Assets

Vamp Tramp Toys: A Monster Problem (Mattel)

Body Blitz: APA Shows Harm of Early Sexualization

Toxic Messaging: K-Mart/Alloy Episodic Back to School

Girls Are Not Candies, Tweens Are Not Teens, Thongs Are Not Undies

Raising Girls Amidst Meat Marketing: Carl’s Jr, Burger King Raunch

Taking Aim at Target: Think That V is a Coinkydink?

When It’s Not Hip to Be Square, Sexist Spongebob & Burger Shots

Sexed Up M&Ms Sell Fashionably Decadent Premium Sleaze

Mama’s Got A Brand New Bag…Er…Face. Nose. Belly.

Body Image: Tips for Teens (Both Genders!) To Survive the Media Morass

What Sells: Infants As Fashion Statements & Joke Props?

So Sexy So Soon, Shaping Youth Talks to Jean Kilbourne

Beyonce’s Dereon Divas: PopTarts and Sesame Streetwalkers?

Sexist Undies: Slimy Santa Innuendo Gets the Heave Ho-Ho-Ho!

Bratz Movie Seeps Bratitude Into Kid Culture

Where My Dogs At? A Misogynistic Misfire-MTV2

Pussycat Dolls Vamp for Lame TV-the ‘F’ Word is Feminist? Hardly.

Celeb Pop Culture and Media’s Tipping Point of Toxicity

Hollywood Walk of Lame—Victoria’s Secret Models ‘Earn’ Star? For WHAT?

Mommy, Why Are Her Legs Spread Like That?

Shaping Youth Is In the L.A. Times (Miley Mess

Kids Are A Captive Audience With Ambient Advertising

Race, Gender, Sexism: Pop Culture Cues & Kids (3-part series)

Shaping Youth Through Ambient Advertising

Manga Makeovers And Other Body Image Cartoon Capers

Facelifts for Kiddie Characters?

Gender, Race & Sexism: Shaping Youth Through Pop Culture Cues

Girls As Boy Toys Takes an Even More Toxic Turn

Packaging Boyhood Authors/Interview: What ABOUT the Boys?

Packaging Boyhood: Corporate Pirates Raid Boys’ Souls

Turning Boys Into Monsters: Energy Drink Leaves A Foul Taste (Again!)

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

Media Literacy Resources for Empowering Girls

(Besides Shaping Youth, Dr.Robyn Silverman, AdProofing,,  So Sexy So Soon, Respect Rx, Rachel, Rosalind, The Girl Revolution, TrueChild, & other youth advocate blogs, see the list of resources on our sidebar e.g. aligned orgs like: About-Face,, Packaging Girlhood, Hardy Girls, Healthy Women etc.

Amy Jussel, Shaping Youth: Recos & Must Reads

So Sexy So Soon: The New Sexualized Childhood and What Parents Can Do to Protect Their Kids Diane E. Levin and Jean Kilbourne

Packaging Girlhood: Rescuing Our Daughters from Marketers’ Schemes (Packaging Boyhood, Oct 2009;  S.Y. Board Advisors)
Sharon Lamb and Lyn Mikel Brown

Sexual Teens, Sexual Media: Investigating Media’s Influence on Adolescent Sexuality Jane Brown et al (Eds)

APA Task Force on the Early Sexualization of Children (full 72pp pdf)

Girls Shape the Future: Study/Girls Inc: Early Predictors of Girls’ Adolescent Sexual Activity (summary: 8 pp pdf)

Resource List from So Sexy So Soon

CCFC Fact Sheet on Sexualizing Childhood

CCFC Two-Page pdf of stats & resources on sexualization “Sex on TV4″ Program for the study of media & health

Wellesley Centers for Women: Commentary on So Sexy So Soon

Review: What IS Sexualization? APA Explains…

“There are several components to sexualization, and these set it apart from healthy sexuality. Sexualization occurs when

  • a person’s value comes only from his or her sexual appeal or behavior, to the exclusion of other characteristics;
  • a person is held to a standard that equates physical attractiveness (narrowly defined) with being sexy;
  • a person is sexually objectified—that is, made into a thing for others’ sexual use, rather than seen as a person with the capacity for independent action and decision making; and/or
  • sexuality is inappropriately imposed upon a person.

All four conditions need not be present; any one is an indication of sexualization. The fourth condition (the inappropriate imposition of sexuality) is especially relevant to children. Anyone (girls, boys, men, women) can be sexualized. But when children are imbued with adult sexuality, it is often imposed upon them rather than chosen by them. Self-motivated sexual exploration, on the other hand, is not sexualization by our definition, nor is age-appropriate exposure to information about sexuality.”



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