This week in my lesson plans with the World Academy for the Future of Women, I’ll be transitioning the members from listening to their own bodies to define the ideal female leader in a global setting. So tonight, the women will be writing/drawing/telling their stories. I wanted to do a little internet research to find examples of different kinds of stories- and found a fantastic article on the way that magazines editorialize on women’s lives, giving us these “trends” we’re to worry about, but not actually telling us anything about women’s actual lives. These stories are the cooing of a false friend that claims to be helping you, but is actually pumping you full of fear and anxiety about who you are, where you’re going, and how you’re getting there. These stories have been in women’s magazines since there were women’s magazines. Naomi Wolff wrote about them in the early 90s, as did Susan Faludi. Many many writers have since then. The stories have not gone away. Now they’re in the Times.
I found this fantastic piece on trending lifestyle stories on Salon. It was written in July. I managed to get it on my Buffer, but in trying to scoop.it, I keep getting directed to a Baidu (the Chinese google) page surrounded by ads for breast enhancers. I thought it was a good story as soon as I found it. The fact that it’s being yanked before I can scoop it makes me like it even more.
I will get the story into a word document and get all my students to read it today. After we try to find it on the web in computer lab and they too are taken to a page surrounded by giffed breast enhancement ads with the boobies popping out of their bras. And we’ll have a fantastic conversation about how the media shapes the way we think about ourselves.