We are currently working to spread our message into the greater Kansas City community by participating in a mural project at 42nd and Mission Streets in Kansas City, KS. In conjunction with the Rosedale Development Association, REbeL members recently spent a Friday off from school doing a community clean-up and prepping a wall for our future mural. We will begin painting the mural design in the coming weeks. Photos from this project are shown below.
REbeL members met at the mall recently to put “surprise messages” in unexpected places. We also handed out “compliment cookies” at the BVNW vs. BV High School Football game on October 6th. We hope that through these activities we brought a smile to a person or two!
In our current culture, we are surrounded with media images and messages . . . from the internet to billboards, movies, clothing, and television . . . it’s nearly impossible to NOT be impacted. Unfortunately, the impact is often a negative one.
As members of REbeL, we work to counter these negative messages by teaching media literacy skills; encouraging others to become more critical consumers; and by providing alternative, positive ways of thinking.
We REbeL against the idea that the only definition of attractiveness and worth is found in the pages of magazines, and instead, encourage everyone to realize that they are beauty-full.
–Remember that all media images are constructions and NOT reflections of reality. Media messages and advertisements have been carefully and purposefully crafted to send a very specific message, and typically to get you to buy a specific product.
–You have the power to choose how you will experience all of the media messages you encounter. Choose a filter that protects your self-esteem and body image.
–Talk back to the TV when you see or hear a message that makes you feel badly about yourself or your body. Tear out magazine ads and articles that do the same.
–Identify an advertiser who you think sends positive messages and celebrates the natural diversity of human shapes and sizes. Then write them a letter and thank them!
–Use your “buying power.” Make a list of companies who promote negative body image messages and make an effort to avoid buying their products.
–Fill your home, car, locker, and life with positive messages (like those shown in this email). Write these messages on your mirror and on sticky notes for yourself and others.
(National Eating Disorders Association, 2005)
With money raised during our 2011 Walk to REbeL, we purchased 150 copies of the book Shapesville by Andy Mills and Becky Osborn for all elementary schools in the Blue Valley, Olathe, and Shawnee Mission school districts as well as the Johnson County Public Libraries.
Shapesville promotes positive body image by depicting a small town where five friends of various shapes, sizes, colors, and talents celebrate what makes each of them unique. Simple, rhyming verse, bold, playful illustrations of basic shapes and colors, and endearing characters show that ‘It’s not the size of your shape or the shape of your size, but the size of your heart that deserves first prize.”
REbeL members are available to provide a story time for children including a short discussion of the book and its meaning and message. To schedule a story time, please contact Dr. Laura Eickman at email@example.com or Lea Daum at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The average U.S. resident is exposed to approximately 5,000 advertising messages per day. (Alfreiter, Elzinger, & Gordon, 2003)
TV was introduced in the country of Fiji in 1995; popular shows included Melrose Place and Beverly Hills 90210. Prior to 1995, dieting was a foreign concept in Fiji and a round, robust body type was the standard of beauty. “You’ve gained weight” was a compliment. By 1998, 74% of teenage Fijian girls believed themselves to be “too big or fat,” 69% had been on diets, and 5 times as many individuals engaged in bulimic behaviors than had only 3 years before. (Becker et al., 2002)
As female models and actresses have become thinner, the number of eating disorders has increased. (Stice, 2002)
Seeing models and celebrities in ads, in magazines, and on TV leads to lowered self-esteem, increased body dissatisfaction, dieting, and depressed mood. (Project EAT, 2006; Stice, 2002)