We're Not Buying It
The Biggest Cons of Consumerism
• you are what you own
• more is better
• she who has the most
• she who has the most
stuff gets the most (and
the coolest) friends
Having stuff is fun, but having too much
stuff only makes you want more
stuff....and that can lead to
overspending and the desire for more
stuff and a lot of unhappiness (to say
nothing of bills, bills, bills, and debt,
debt, debt, as you grow older).
• And all that stuff
eventually ends up
in landfill sites, so
it's not good for the
planet either, which
is why people are
starting to rethink
how much stuff they
Games People Play
(Especially People Who Want to Sell You
Truckloads of Stuff)
2004 Study by the Dove Self-Esteem Fund
• Only 2 percent of
themselves as beautiful.
• Only 5 percent feel
themselves as pretty.
• Only 9 percent feel
• 63 percent of women
say that women today
are expected to be
more attractive than
women of their mother's
• More than two-thirds
(68%) of women
strongly agree that “the
media and advertising
set an unrealistic
standard of beauty that
most women can't ever
• Well over half of all
strongly agree that
“the attributes of
female beauty have
narrowly defined in
• Seventy-five percent went on to say that they
wish the media did a better job of portraying
women of diverse physical attractiveness,
including age, shape and size.
agree that beauty
can be achieved
spirit and other
attributes that have
nothing to do with
• Eighty-five percent
state every woman
about her that is
• So why are we
wasting all that time
and energy looking
in the mirror?
The Buck Stops With You
• You have the power. Refuse to buy into the media
hype that is used to make girls and women feel
insecure or like they have to compete with one
another—so they feel compelled to buy more stuff.
Team up with
and all the other
wonderful women in
your life (plus all the
boys/men in our lives
who "get" it) and speak
out against offensive
• Save your energy for
games that make
sense, not silly mind
games like, “Beauty
Industry Snakes and
HEY….If you were
designing such a board
game, where would you
place the snakes and
• Learn the techniques
that activists use when
they want to change the
world: how to get
attention from the
media, how to get
letters published in the
local paper, how to use
the Internet as a tool for
change (in safe ways).
• Shine the light on the
• Have a contest.
• Give an award.
• Deconstruct ads or
• Host a media event.
Think of something you could do at home, school, or in
your community to get people thinking about a message
that matters to you.
• Your super powers include your creative
thinking and problem solving abilities, your
friendship skills, the various gifts and talents
you have been given, and all the other
ingredients that are part of the recipe for you.
• Figure out how you can tap into these super
powers in powerful and positive ways.
• Hint: If you figure out how you can use your
super powers to make the world a better
place, you’ll find that your self-confidence
skyrockets at the same time. You’ll be the
superhero starring in your own life.
Set goals for yourself and make sure that these goals
are challenging but achievable. Learn how use your
skills and strengths in powerful, positive ways—but
always in ways that are respectful of the rights of
others. Use your powers in truly powerful ways.
Resist the temptation to compare yourself to others—for
better or for worse. Remember:
you are a one-of-a-kind work of art.
• Learn to move your
body in the world in a
way that says, "I am
lovable and capable
and worthy of respect."
If this doesn't come
naturally to you, you
can take all kinds of
different classes that
will teach you how to
move with confidence
and grace; strength and
power: everything from
Yoga to Tai Chi.
• Use your superpowers in ways large and small; visible
and invisible. You can make a huge difference when
someone else is being bullied, but without becoming a
target for bullying yourself. (More about this later on.)
• Know who you are and
what you stand for.
Know where you're
headed and where
• Start keeping a journal.
• Create a timeline for your life
(with art, photographs, audio
• Keep a journal or write
letters to someone (maybe
your older or younger self).
• Create a series of trading cards -- perhaps about an issue that
you feel strongly about. Trade them with family members and
friends. Ask them to create their own trading cards and share
them with you.
• Create a trading card for yourself. Remember, you are the
superhero on your trading card. Stand tall and proud and
declare to the world, "This is me!” You can find out more about
trading cards by researching Artist Trading Cards (ATCs).
• Learn how to distinguish between helpful advice
and feedback; and unhelpful advice and feedback;
and terrible advice and feedback from other people.
• Imagine that you have a shred-o-matic in your brain
that allows you to get rid of the bad stuff instantly. Let
the shred-o-matic work its magic once and for all.
You have the power.
• Talk to someone else.
• Write down the
(dump your brain) and
then erase the
• Figure out how to turn
the message around
and do something
• Remove the power from
ugly or hurtful words so
that they don’t have the
power to .
• Bullying happens far too often, so we need to have
tools for dealing with it, both off-line and online.
Bully to You
Don't be a bully.
• Talk to someone about
why you've been
bullying others and think
of other ways of dealing
with the problem.
Don't be a victim.
• Walk away (and
friends to walk away so
that the bully loses her
• Talk about has been
• If you're online, learn
how to take a screen
shot or to otherwise log
the bullying activity so
that you have "proof" of
the bullying activity.
Don't be a bystander
(which is what most people are)
• Choose not to be part of
the problem. Quietly
choosing not to spread a
rumor, or telling your
friends to join you in not
spreading it, may be the
most effective way to stop
the rumor, just as
material stops a wildfire
Source of material on dealing with the bystander:
Bullying expert Stan Davis of Stop Bullying Now,
quoted in Maine's Best Practices in Bullying and
A Guide for Schools and Communities (2006)
• Help the target get away. This can
be done from a distance using a real
or made-up excuse (“The math
teacher wants to see you.”)
• Sit with, walk with, or be friends with
the target after the bullying is over.
Targets of bullying may be chosen
by the bully because they have few
friends, or they may have few
friends as a result of the bullying.
• Ask friends to stop bullying
others. Friends are likely to
listen to each other.
• Tell adults. It is often
difficult for adults to find
out what happened.
• Understand that you even
help the bully by telling.
Bullies are likely to be in
much more serious trouble
later if they do not change,
so telling on a friend is a
way to help that friend.
• Object to "bully culture,"
like movies and TV
shows that make
bullying appear funny or
cool. Bullying is
Calling All Moms (and Other Grown-up Girls)
Help your daughter (and all the other important young women in
your life) to see what makes her unique and to celebrate the
unique-nesses of others.
Keep the channels of communication open by
responding to anything your daughter tells you
with kindness and respect.
Spend time with your daughter. At the same
time, encourage your daughter's independence.
Ensure that your expectations of your daughter
Show your daughter how to express strong
feelings, including anger, in a positive manner.
Respect and validate your daughter's feelings
and try to understand the source of those
Help your daughter to develop a sense of resilience (an
ability to weather life's storms) and convey your
confidence in her ability to cope with life's challenges.
Model good coping and problem-solving skills
and help your daughter to develop these same
types of skills.
Ensure that the goals that your daughter sets for herself
or that you set with your daughter are age-appropriate,
realistic, and based on her interests and abilities.
Celebrate your daughter's achievements, both
major and minor.
Treat discipline as an opportunity to help your
daughter learn from her mistakes.
Don't be afraid to apologize to your daughter
when you make mistakes. It will boost rather
than undercut your credibility as a parent.
Ensure that your daughter knows that she is
loved no matter what. Your love for her is
unconditional. Families are forever.