So, tell me how you really feel.

The phrase above has been uttered to me many, many times. Apparently I have difficulty keeping my (very strong) feelings at bay.

(ahem, let me get on my soapbox for a minute, I promise I will step off soon)

This week the seventh and eighth graders started a media and advertising unit. The unit focuses on how we receive messages and why we make the choices we do. Simple enough, right? But the curriculum was lacking a little something, something. So I decided to take matters into my own hands.

In my former life I worked in various marketing and public relations positions. It all started with an internship my senior year of college with The Northwest Alliance for Responsible Media (NW-ARM). While working there I spoke to student groups about the messages advertisements send us, and how to dissect them with a critical eye.

This week I let my fingers walk over to The NW-ARM’s website to see what they had in store these days. And boy did I find a lot! I was happy to provide my growing list of resources to the language arts department, and hope to be able to bring one of the speakers to our school.

One of the main reasons I decided to go into teaching was to help children gain self-esteem. If children are told no, or your wrong, or you can’t, too often or too young they will have big obstacles to face throughout their educational and personal lives. Low self-esteem is built from many negative messages, some driven by friends or family and some via the media. With our society so bombarded by media messages at every turn it is no wonder why kids often have a hard time determining what is right, wrong and how to make intelligent decisions.

I spent a great amount of time in my undergrad* years researching the effects of media message and the role they play in our society. I figured the best way to re-direct my negative energy (toward myself, my eating habits, my body and my weight) was to educated myself. The more I learned about the harmful side-effects, (in all areas of my life), the more I wanted to push those negative feelings away. Naturally I dove into this project with excited eyes and ears.

*I majored in Applied Communications and minored in Sociology, needless to say I was VERY interested in the subject matter. In fact my Senior Thesis focused on popular female magazines and the negative impact they have on women, (a very abbreviated version of the actual title).

Here are a few (very, very short list) of my findings…

About Face: the truth behind advertising

Best and worst offenders

Media Awareness

Media Education Foundation

Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood

How to write a complaint letter about an ad           

Finding Advertisements Game (geared at 4-6th grade students, and is very introductory)

Interested in promoting National Eating Disorders Awareness Week? (Feb 6-12 or 20-26, depending on your area) click here!

 Articles of interest:

In a World of Ads, Teaching the Young How to Read Them

Unraveling new media’s effects on children

Media and Girls

Consumerism – Protecting Children from Advertising

There are many, many more articles citing the negative impact media and advertising have on children and our culture as a whole, and while I know all of this to be true, why do I still buy into it? I try not to, yet I get sucked into asinine shows like The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, (true story), and find myself poring over swimsuit pictures in US Weekly getting upset that I don’t have the perfect stomach/thighs/arms.

Why do you think this is? Why do we do this to ourselves? Comparing ourselves to models/celebrities/what we think the norm is even though we know it really isn’t?

(source)

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Click it, you know you want to
Forgive me, I can’t embed youtube clips into my post unless I do them as just a youtube post, sigh.

(Thanks for the vent, stepping off soap box now and resuming normal ramblings…)

So do you want to know how my day went aside from that?

Brekkie was pretty normal: oats with almond milk/water, chia seeds and dried apricots.

Lunch was a bland salad (literally just spring greens, spinach and dressing) with some leftover Bob’s Red Mill Vegi Soup + mozz.

Snackies consisted of a nanner,

some peanut butter topped crackers w/theraflu, (yum…),

and lots and lots of Hall’s cough drops, with inspirational messages!

Thanks Hall’s, I can conquer the world now.

The hubs decided he was so over soup, (we have Bob’s Red Mill Vegi, Homemade Chicken Noodle and Pacific Organics Roasted Red Pepper/Tomato in the fridge at the moment).  Clearly we needed to spend a little of this months restaurant budget on some pizza, courtesy of Pizza Rita, our favorite local delivery place.

Honestly, I really just want to eat everyone’s crust. Their crust is buttery & crispy deliciousness….ahhh

Now we’re all gathered in the basement watching a little movie action, Rilo included.

Love yourself today. And tomorrow.