Women in media

10 Inspirational Messages to Girls in Canada

Girl smilingIt’s an unfortunate fact: Every single day, girls in Canada are exposed to thousands of media messages telling them how to look, think, and feel.

The impact of this on girls’ well-being is serious: We know that through constant exposure to sexualized imagery, women and girls learn that their primary value comes from their physical appearance.

We also know that when girls are socialized to obsessively focus on their appearance, they pay a steep price.

All this made us wonder: What would happen if girls were in the position to create the messages they see?

What African (Black) History Month Means to Me

Young women huggingFor most of my adult life, every February I have celebrated and commemorated African (Black) History month with family and friends at community and organizational events across the country. It’s been a precious time to learn of the contributions of African Canadians in the past up to the present, reflect and appreciate their legacy, and instill a strong sense of pride in the minds and hearts of young people, African Canadian youth in particular, most of whom have been unaware of the positive impact of their ancestors and present day heroes on the larger Canadian society.

This message is brought to you by #GirlPowered!

Girl Powered Girl Council choose their favourite girlpowered messagesThe girl council has spoken!

A cross-Canadian group of girls has shortlisted the most powerful messages from the 1,500 submitted to girlpowered.ca. But, given the sheer volume and awesomeness of the submissions, it wasn’t an easy task.

“How am I going to pick?” asked Brenna, 12, as she and her fellow council members began poring over pages of messages, including “Follow your dreams, even the wild ones” and “Be the girl you look up to.”

How to Disregard Criticism by Applying the “Reasonable Man” Test

Woman in blazer standing outsideThis post was originally published by Informed Opinions’.

Celebrated American poet and critic, Ezra Pound, in his considered advice to beginning poets offered the following advice: “Pay no attention to the criticism of men who have never themselves written a notable work.”

But he could have been speaking to female opinionators a century later. So many of the trolls who trash women daring to comment in prominent places “have never themselves written a notable work.”

Uplifting Bodies, Amplifying Voices

BCCAs iconEveryBODY has a story and a purpose – and on October 6, the 4th annual Body Confidence Canada Awards (BCCAs) brought together a diverse and inclusive community to recognize 11 outstanding champions of body positivity, equity and diversity!

This year’s recipients truly embodied what body confidence is all about. From body activism to human rights, education, arts and entertainment, health and wellness to fashion with a social conscience, recipients are role models who are leading the way toward a world where body-shaming does not win.  

Introducing our new President and CEO! A Q&A with Paulette Senior

Paulette SeniorAs a young newcomer to Canada, Paulette Senior wouldn’t have envisioned herself where she is today—stepping into the role of President and CEO at the Canadian Women’s Foundation.

She was 11 when she moved from her grandmother’s home in Jamaica to join her family in Canada, and struggled with culture shock and a new school. “The school system didn’t really value me and didn’t really see me as bright and capable; in fact, it told me the opposite.”

One of Paulette’s teachers decided she didn’t belong in her grade level, so she was streamed into “an incredibly basic form of education”. But when a different teacher later recognized she didn’t belong there, she got the chance to re-join the regular stream.

What’s Possible in a World That’s Girl-Powered?

Girl smiling in front of GirlPowered billboardIt’s not news that girls are bombarded with thousands of negative messages every day, everywhere they look.

Sometimes it seems like we’re trying to mop up a flood with a cotton swab, but more and more, people are speaking out about disempowering messages and limiting stereotypes aimed at girls. As consumers we’re questioning why girls are marketed to differently than boys, challenging magazines that portray girls’ as no more than the “sum of their fashion, makeup and hair”, and calling out the media industry on its dismal representation of girls.

Young Feminist Blogging Carnival Wins the 2016 Michele Landsberg Community Award!

Girl using tabletWhen Somaya Amiri thinks of role models, she thinks of her mom.

“I picked up all her habits, whether it’s the way she talks, or the way she tucks her hair behind her ears. I learned how to strive and fight for life like her.”

The McGill University student, who is originally from Afghanistan, credits her mother with being the most influential person in her life. But, in her blog post Learning to Love Myself, she also reflects on how social expectations can make it difficult for mothers to model self-love.

Taking the Power Out of Body Shaming

Young woman sitting under treeCan you think of the last time you were body shamed?

I can. It was two months ago at a hair salon. I had taken a vacation day and there I was sitting in the salon chair, so excited to try out a new style. It was a teaching salon and the instructor was looking to show the student what might be a good style for me. As I made suggestions and showed photos of what I like, they were speaking as if I wasn’t even there – “don’t cut it here – look how WIDE that makes her neck look!”

Telling Indigenous Women’s Stories – Why the Coverage Needs to Go Further

Dictionary definiteion of justice"This isn’t another poor Indian story, is it?”

It’s been over 10 years, but I still remember the shock I felt hearing those words from my producer. It was 2005 and I worked at a national current affairs show, and had just pitched my first story on a missing Indigenous woman. A girl I knew from back home in Saskatchewan had disappeared. Her name was Amber Redman and she was 19. Amber was on a volleyball team that I coached when I was in university. I didn’t know her well, but I remember she was a shy, sweet girl.