Thank you, Internets

While Real Living Beauty has only been active a short time, I have been blessed with great responses, insights and personal experiences from a number of readers. Many people have also sent articles that relate the RLB cause.

Several of these articles are fascinating and eye-opening and food for stimulating thought and conversation, so I would like to share a few with you.

First, an article sent to me by my brother’s friend Peter. This one is from oprah.com, and begins with the divine headline “Dear Every Woman I Know, Including Me.” It’s a healthy bit of insight into how we can adjust our own behavior and mentality to start making a difference in our own lives, and how we can help boost the self-esteem of little girls while we’re at it. Thanks, Peter!

“It’s not about protecting girls, it’s about engaging them.” This is my favorite quote from our next article, “Too Sexy, Too Soon.” This article addresses how girls are sexualized at a disturbingly young age, and how other young girls are affected by these images. For my money, the fact that there is a TV show called Toddlers and Tiaras is frightening enough, but the fact that it’s on a network called The Learning Channel – learning what, exactly? How even pre-adolescent girls should be made to feel like they have failed or lost simply because they aren’t pretty enough? It boggles my mind that this could be seen as anything other than a psychologically damaging practice. Unsurprisingly, this article comes from Anne, the mother of a young girl who is as adorable as any of those pageant kids, but who is also whip smart and – as any five-year old should be – more interested in her roller skates than high heels. Thanks, Anne!

This blog was also sent to me from Anne, and I have to share it because it is such a bright and clever forum for young ladies to speak their mind. We need more blogs like this and more people sharing them, talking about them, and making sure other young ladies know that they, too can be a part of something this awesome.

This next article was sent by my friend Amelia, who incredulously asked, “Why isn’t this being reported on more??” Why, indeed. While it is a little off the beaten path from this blog’s main subject matter, there is nothing irrelevant about girls fighting for their right to an education. What would the world be like if we heard more stories like this instead of starlets being happier about their weight loss than an Oscar win?

Lastly, I want to share several websites where you can get involved in the movement to change how women are portrayed in media. With all of the talking and frustration and impassioned ideals around this issue, the focus often becomes: Now what? Well here are just a few of your options.

Geena Davis deserves accolades for more than her iconic feminist role in Thelma & Louise. With the Geena Davis Institute, she is putting her star power behind the movement to create more positive representations (and frankly, representations Period) of women and girls in entertainment media. Hooray, Geena Davis!

Hey remember that awesome quote a few paragraphs ago about engaging girls rather than protecting them? Here’s an entire organization dedicated to doing just that.

Lastly, Miss Representation deserves another mention. The sure to be amazing documentary premieres tonight on the OWN Network, and that’s only the beginning. If you can’t watch tonight, be sure to record it (or like me, find a friend who has fancy DVR capabilities to do so for you), and then visit their website to find out how you can get involved.

Isn’t it exciting and heartening that there are so many people and organizations who care about this issue? I for one feel better already knowing about the passion behind this movement, and I’m thrilled that my fledgling blog is a part of it. If you have thoughts or comments or questions you would like to share, feel free to post a comment here or send an email to reallivingbeauty@gmail.com

Thanks to all of you for reading – there’s so much more to come!

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