Hoy me he encontrado con esta muy buena noticia, en Estados Unidos se ha introducido a votación del Congreso, un Acta para proteger a las mujeres jóvenes y adolescentes de la creación de falsas imágenes mentales de belleza (estereotipos y paradigmas entre otros) a partir de la visualización de estándares de belleza irreales producidos por retoques de imagenes de celebridades o personas del mundo de la moda y la farándula.
El acta en cuestión, cuyo contenido pueden verlo aquí, prevé tres acciones específicas para reducir el impacto que ya tienen y que pueden tener en las jóvenes esas imágenes. Propone:
- Programas de ayudas para promover la alfabetización mediática y el empoderamiento juvenil.
- Investigaciones sobre el impacto en el desarrollo juvenil de las jóvenes y chicas en los medios de comunicación.
- La generación de una fuerza nacional en temas de Mujeres y Jóvenes en los Medios de Comunicación.
Desde este enlace pueden ver un artículo mucho más detallado con información de las organizaciones que están detrás de esta iniciativa parlamentaria en Estados Unidos, y las posibilidades de que una ley similar pueda ver pronto la luz en Francia y en el Reino Unido. A continuación lo reproduzco en inglés.
Perhaps you’ve heard that France and Britain are considering photoshop laws: Laws that would require advertisers to indicatewhen an image has been digitally altered, or banning photoshopping altogether in advertisements aimed at people under a certain age. Last year, legislators on both sides of the Channel proposed legislation, arguing that highly photoshopped images, largely of female beauty, set unrealistic standards for young women and can lead to poor body image and eating disorders.
When the news of these proposed laws first broke last year, I suspected that American vehemence about freedom of speech combined with our tabloid tendency to scrutinize every last line, wrinkle and blemish on celebrity faces and bodies, no legislation of this kind could ever happen here in the US, and so far, it hasn’t. But last month, Congresswomen Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) introduced H.R. 4925, The Healthy Media for Youth Act. The bill, which draws on research by Girls, Inc. and theGirls Scouts Research Institute, among others, focuses on the most harmful aspects of media, including unrealistic representations of female beauty, sexualized images of young girls and teens, and violence against women as entertainment.
The bill, which has been referred to committee, proposes a three-pronged strategy to combat potentially dangerous media images: Media literacy, further research on the impact of consuming media that depicts women and girls in a less than positive light, and the formation of a national task force, run by the NIH, on girls and women in the media. You can read the whole bill here.
How flipping awesome would it be to know that federal money is going toward “countering the perpetuation and damaging effects of narrow, restrictive gender roles, stereotypes, and expectations, including the sexualization of female children, adolescents, and adults”? How about “teaching youth how to create and use media that contribute to social change, especially in their communities” or “facilitating connections between girls and women, and boys and men, as mentors”? It’s enough to make you want to pay more taxes! Er, maybe.
The Girls Scouts Research Institute, which last month released some interesting findings about girls and media literacy, helped to write the bill. In addition, the GSRI has put together a set of Healthy Media Images Standards, a set of guidelines that are essentially a blueprint for creating feminist media, including:
• Feature and value girls and women with varying body types and ethnicities
• Show girls in age-appropriate attire
• Do not sexualize female bodies to sell products or amuse male customers
• Include a diverse cast of female characters in active and ambitious roles
• Feature females in traditionally male roles, such as CEOs or action heroes
• Feature girls and women who have confidence in their abilities and appearances
• Show equality and mutual respect between female and male characters
• Feature positive relationships between girls and women, showing them cooperating with each other
• Feature male characters who value female characters in their talents, intelligence, and overall personalities, not just their appearances
Imagine how different the world might look if boys and girls and young women and men were consuming media that met even a few of these guidelines, let alone all of them. Imagine a world where projects that “show equality and mutual respect between female and male characters” and “feature girls and women who have confidence in their abilities and appearances” get green lit and are given huge financial backing, instead of being relegated to indie status because Hollywood and TV networks think that there’s a larger audience for movies about women with low self self-esteem and the men who treat them badly. Imagine a world where feminist media is not the exception, but the rule. And while we’re still a far cry from it, if Representative Moore Capito or Baldwin is your Congresswoman, please don’t forget to thank her for helping us to get one step closer to such a world.