This week at S4S we returned to TrueChild with another lesson about gender and gender norms! The girls were given magazines like Vogue and asked to pick out pictures of women that they thought did and did not fit societal standards of beauty. When the girls asked what that meant, MacKenzie said that she thought it meant things that girls have to be to be considered beauty. “Girls are supposed to be skinny, have nice hair, and always dress well” said MacKenzie. With that definition in mind, the girls sorted through their magazines and found plenty of pictures to put on the board. The girls then were asked to put the pictures of women who did fit societal standards on one side, and those who did not on the other side. When the pictures were up next to each other on the board, the girls were able to see the requirements that the media sets for them when it comes to being a girl. Ja’nyha said that it was even hard to find any women who did not look perfect. When I asked the girls how I felt about this, many of them said that it was annoying. “If this is all we see then we feel like we’re not pretty enough unless we look like this”, said Antoinette. On a similar note, Bailey noticed that the magazines made it seem like a girl’s only concern should be how good she looks. However, the girls all agreed that they shouldn’t let magazines or the media tell them how to look and act. Women are often told to be a certain way but the girls of Ariel know that they can be whoever they want to be! These types of revelations are so amazing coming from our middle school students!
To get their legs as well as their brains pumping, the girls did a quick physical activity after our discussion. Because we had just talked about female empowerment and what it really meant to be a woman, there seemed no better thing to do than to listen to some girl power music and have a dance party! Gabby said she loves the song BO$$ by 5th Harmony, so we put that on and got to groovin’!