Flipcam’s Ability to Spread the Word

The first workshop I attended at the SPARK Summit this past Friday was the Flipcam Workshop. Led by Shelby Knox, she explained how the Flipcam is an excellent method with which you can get across real girls’ stories, while promoting your activism,in a quick and easy way.

(Flipcams are only around $100, connected through a USB, and battery-powered. For the effectiveness such a piece of technology can have – it’s certainly worth investing in!)

In the workshop, we split up into groups of three and interviewed each on Flipcams provided. My group members and I discussed many things over the camera, answering such questions as:

  • Why is it important to you to end sexual objectification of girls in the media?
  • What traits/hobbies make you a real girl that is different from the image the media portrays of girls?
  • What are you being for Halloween, and how will it counteract the sexualization of girls through the marketing of  “sexy” Halloween costumes for girls and women?
  • What was a defining moment in which you realized the negative effects the media has on how you were personally viewed by the world around you?

Answering the questions confidently, one of my partners answers shocked me. She shared the first point at which she realized how the boys in her class in her viewed her due to how girls and women were depicted in the media. And I do mean boys; she was in the 4th grade. I cannot image how it would feel to be sexualized at such a young age. I am 16 and it is hard to come to grips with the fact that to many men, I am just an object, and nothing more to their brainwashed selves. Hitting puberty early, my group member talked about the comments she’d get from her male classmates. Her reaction was confused, as she was “there to learn,” she said, not to be hit on by prepubescent, media filled ideals.

After finishing our interviews of each other, Knox came over and we discussed how sexual images played into our lives as high school students. The same group partner also mentioned how her school had uniforms and how some girls rolled up their skirts to be short as possible, yet were offended when boys called out to them. She blamed it partly on the girls, playing into the need to shorten their skits for their male classmates’ attention, but then also felt it was the boys’ fault, for falling victim to what the media has defined as ‘hot.’ Knox also mentioned how it is odd that the hyper-sexuality of pornographic images of the ‘school-girl look’ is so influential to how men perceive actual uniformed girls. It is gross to think, she said, the “they know that if you’re wearing a uniform you are obviously 18 or younger, yet they still,” call out and make disgusting, low, comments.

We then discussed how media affects us all personally. One 12-year old girl mentioned that although the media’s ideals for girls and women seem to affect her friends, in terms of their constantly complaining how they wish they were skinnier. She then said, she didn’t feel the same way, as school and family were what was important. Knox then pointed out that this may get harder as they get older. I agreed, it was harder, regardless if you want the media to play a big role in your life or not, it will affect you in many ways. As you grow up and become more independent, you are naturally less sheltered from the media world surrounding you.

Having the strong ideals of school, family, and friends, is important, but we also have to accept that media does play a big role, regardless of if we like it or not. Being able to independently stand up and acknowledge the faults of the sexist media is what will make us powerful women.

6 thoughts on “Flipcam’s Ability to Spread the Word

  1. I think that the flipcam has become one of those inventions that hasn’t fully caught everyone’s eye because when you think about it they do the things that a video camera does and for much less. Not only does the flipcam allow people to begin their own action, it also really shows how technology has advanced and how people can use it to their advantage.

    1. Although it is quite shocking to think that a girl as young as in the 4th grade has internalized sexualized images of women in the media, it is a sad reality. Now that I think about it, when I was in elementary school many of the girls, and myself included, were effected by sexualized images of women in the media. We had already the idea implanted in our heads at that age that wearing tighter and more revealing clothing=being “sexy” and “cute”. I also remember at that age, maybe around 9 or 10, in elementary school that a lot of the boys would make rude and innappropriate comments about the girls. So in addition to us girls internalizing these images at such a young age, the boys were internalizing ideas of sexualizing girls at the same time.

  2. I really enjoyed reading your post and finding out about what workshop you took. It is sad how a school girl’s outfit has become such a popular, sexualized image. I am also interested with the question you got to ask about Halloween costumes. Only a few days ago I went to a Halloween store In hopes of finding a Jedi costume. What I encountered, however, was very disturbing, as I saw that the only costumes that were available for women were hyper-sexualized outfits. There were many ‘sexy nun’ and ‘sexy school girl’ costumes that seemed to be distributed in every section containing women’s sizes. In the end, after wandering around aimlessly in the mound of skimpy costumes, I asked a man who worked there where I could find a women’s Jedi costume. His answer caught me off guard when he said: “Oh, there are no Jedi costumes out there for women.” He then showed me a a highly sexualized outfit for Princess Leia and said this costume comes in my size and handed it to me.

    I may have gotten a bit off topic, but when I was reading this post, I was reminded of what had happened to me only a few days earlier. it is heart-wrenching how the media has twisted so much around and made women into sex toys. It is truly disgusting!

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