So what do we do? We discuss. We refuse to purchase the products being sold. We support young women in making healthy choices. But, more importantly, we make sure all of our kids become media literate. What's media literacy? This is taken from the Center for Media Literacy's (CML) vision statement:
the ability to communicate competently in all media forms as well as to access, understand, analyze, evaluate and participate with powerful images, words and sounds that make up our contemporary mass media culture.The CML site has an archive of its magazine, Media and Issues, and you can read articles online. I did a search under the term "images of women" and the top four results all dealt specifically with the portrayal of women as explored in Jill Kilbourne's film. Interesting reading.
PBS has information on Digital Media Literacy on its webpage. There's lots more information on media literacy online or at your local library.
Just as dripping water will wear away rock, a constant barrage of false media images can wear down a child's self-esteem. Please let's all make an effort to be more aware of what we're seeing.