I was on my When Sisters Speak poetry high well into the week. I told everyone I know how empowered I felt watching the poets and how their messages resonated with me so deeply I planned on bringing my teen and pre-teen daughters to next years show.
Most of the responses I received were positive, close friends said they would bring their daughters as well. However, not every one was so in favour of the idea.
“What about the explicit content”, “Don’t they talk about sex, a lot?” were among the many questions they asked.
And I thought, well if my daughters are exposed to a plethora of images through the media daily, would the few swears or provocative content taint them?
NO, every day all children are exposed to false ideas of beauty and sexuality prepetuated by companies, media organizations and so on in a bid to make them feel inept, inadequate, and inferior to the air brushed, salon primed, corporate sponsored celebs that adorn magazines and bombarded are T.V and computer screens.
So I think it is imperative that us as parents take control of the messages our children interpret. Of course we can not cocoon them from the world and would be foolish to even try, but it is critical we intercept the false messages our children get through music videos, Disney programming (20 yr olds should not be playing 15 yr olds in H.School), and the internet, with intelligent information that is rooted in reality and not some inflated hollywood fantasy.
Watching empowered black woman share stories of pain and happiness is an invaluable message for my daughters, who usually see black girls relegated to the roles of video chick 1, stock- friend, comic relief, or the rude/outrageous character. I want them to see woman embracing their womanhood not for its sexual value but for its depth and nurturing quality.
The University of Toronto Scarborough UTSC is also interested in the ideas young women are developing based on media encounters. They are premiering the film Miss Representation on Feb 1, 2012.
Here is a link to the trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6gkIiV6konY
I may not be able to stop all the stereo-types, false ideals and misinformation that my daughters encounter, but I can combat it with positive/ affirming messages that enrich their soul and spirit.