These Brave Girls Are Taking On the Media By Taking Over Times Square

As conveyed by the Brave Girls Alliance’s campaign video, according to the media, there is only one way to be a girl. There is only one color available, only one skin tone, one body type, and one possible happy ending. When a girl deviates from the norm, the media cannot resist applying a makeover by slimming, prettifying, sexualizing, and whitewashing her. The campaign's central message is to illustrate that girls deserve a childhood free of stereotyping and sexualization, deserve encouragement to reach their full potential, and deserve the joy of knowing the many ways of being a girl. This is a noble cause and a worthy message.

The Brave Girls Alliance consists of businesses, experts, not-for-profit organizations, authors, activists, artists, parents, educators, adults, and girls. They have come together to ask media creators to expand their version of what it means to be a girl, and recognize girls as whole, complex people and not as gender stereotypes. Members of the alliance ask the media to rethink branding that pigeonholes girls into the lowest common denominator (glitter, sexuality, hetero-normative femininity) and to elevate the elements that make female characters and narratives unique.

As Lori Day has discussed in her Huffington Post article, ‘The Soft Bigotry of Low Expectations for Girls,’ the seeds of adult female leadership must be sown in childhood. She argues that he world will be a better and a more just place for males and females when power and leadership are shared equitably, and that all begins in childhood.

Supporters of the campaign have been using the hash tag #BraveGirlsWant on Twitter to express their wishes and aspirations. They want to magnify their voices by showcasing them in digital billboards and special venues all over the world, starting with Times Square. Over the course of seven days, curated tweets and messages from communities will be displayed on a billboard on Times Square. They will take up four minutes per hour from 6 a.m. to 2 a.m., enabling the display of 40 messages per hour. In order to do this, however, Brave Girls Alliance needs to raise $25,000 by September 11. The intention of the Alliance is to begin the seven-day campaign on October 11, the second International Day of the Girl.

Anyone who wishes to contribute to the campaign can do so here

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Kate Galvin

Irish Law graduate from University College Dublin, Postgraduate in Modern European History from University of Cambridge.

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