By Amanda Vining, Regular ContributorJuly 12, 2015
Gender representations in the media are indisputably limiting. Whether it’s an overly sexualized image of a woman in a magazine advertisement or a boy being told to “man up!” in a movie, the media projects some pretty harmful gender identities. As a member of the I AM THAT GIRL community, I am a strong advocate of healthy media that empowers the individual and highlights the strengths of men and women, instead of oppressing them. That’s why when I came across The Representation Project’s campaign #NotBuyingIt I was excited to find other allies in the healthy media movement!
What is The Representation Project and the #NotBuyingIt campaign? The Representation Project is a nonprofit organization started by documentary filmmaker Jennifer Siebel Newsom, the badass director of the film Miss Representation (available on Netflix), that utilizes social and visual media to bring attention to the limiting gender stereotypes presented in mainstream media. The #NotBuyingIt Campaign is a hashtag and app-based program of The Representation Project that encourages users to speak up about media they view that they find to be limiting.
The campaign has created waves on social media.
Recently users spoke up about their opposition to a Bud Light slogan that perpetuated rape culture by using the #NotBuyingIt hashtag, and Bud Light issued a public apology.
image via storify.com
Why is it important to speak out about media that we find limiting? Because if we don’t speak up, our voice will never be heard. Your voice is a powerful tool. Together, as the I AM THAT GIRL community, we are powerful and have the ability to create change through the values we stand for.
I stand for healthy media and the elimination of stereotypes and degrading material in the media, so I am going to take a stand against images and rhetoric by #NotBuyingIt.
The Representation Project asks social media users to use the hashtag #NotBuyingIt when they come across media which they feel is disparaging to gender representations. The hashtag has been used on such social media platforms as Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest. I challenge you to bring the hashtag to other platforms, such as Vine, Snapchat, and any other social media avenues you use regularly.
The app is downloadable on iTunes and on The Representation Project’s website at http://therepresentationproject.org/take-action/not-buying-it/. I encourage you to download this app, use this hashtag, and share this campaign with your friends so that we can join forces to create positive change in mainstream media!
Have you seen offensive/limiting media lately? Will you join the #NotBuyingIt campaign? Why or why not? Tell us below!
Amanda lives in Austin, Texas, where she strives every day to be as BRAVE and BeautyFULL as she can be. She graduated from The University of Texas at Austin with a self-designed degree in Children’s Rights, and Duke University with a certificate in Nonprofit Management. In her spare time, Amanda can be found scouring Pinterest for her latest craft project, drinking coconut mochas in her favorite coffee shop, and advocating for sexual violence prevention on her blog, Talk About Rape (www.talkaboutrape.com.)
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