Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Healthy Media Commission Convening in Washington DC

Today in Washington DC Healthy MEdia: Commission for Positive Images of Women and Girls brought together media leaders and subject related experts to create a blueprint of recommendations for promoting positive media images. Healthy MEdia is co-chaired by Geena Davis, Academy Award-winning Actor and Founder of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, and Deborah Taylor Tate, former FCC Commissioner.

Recognizing the need for gender balance and positive portrayals of women and girls in the media, in 2010 the Girl Scouts of the USA along with the National Association of Broadcasters, the National Cable & Telecommunications Association, and The Creative Coalition hosted the Healthy Media for Youth Summit. The summit recommended the formation of a Commission to spearhead an industry-wide commitment to promote positive images of girls and women in the media.

Most 8- to 18-year-olds spend upwards of 10 hours a day engaging with media. (Kaiser 2009). In family films and television, male characters outweigh female characters nearly 3:1 and 5:1 in background or group scenes; only 27 percent of the speaking characters are female. (GDIGM). More than half of girls (55 percent) admit they diet to lose weight; 31 percent admit to starving themselves or refusing to eat as a strategy to lose weight (GSRI).

To meet these challenges, Healthy MEdia aims to host the National Discussion on best practices to promote positive and balanced images of girls and women and secure Industry-wide, public commitments to take steps toward positive change.