Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Social Media and Voice

Social Media and Voice

Catherine Cook-Cottone
The Yoga Bag

Social media is, among other things, an excellent channel for OUR voices. Maybe it is my age, but I remember the old days when the media was controlled by a few very powerful people, news outlets, and corporations.

I have watched, and studied outcomes, as the media images of women contributed to problems like eating disorders and objectification of women. This was done without a counter-voice that could be seen and heard by the masses. Please note, not all media is bad or creates risk for things like eating disorders. There are wonderful people and organizations across media. In fact, the effective people in the press in part, preserve our democracy.

AND the past 20 years have given us social media. Through social media, the citizenry- the people- have created major shifts in history using our voices. Lives have been saved. For example, during a horrific earthquake in China, responders were alerted via tweets when cell phone coverage was taken out due to insufficient capacity. Through social media, we get people to pay attention to things they ignore, oppressed people, and issues that matter. 

Social media has a role. I argue-- a powerful role in our culture.

You can play a role.

In term of eating disorders, objectification, and female development- I ask that all of my female friends, colleagues, and sisters in gender- PLEASE POST.

PLEASE POST all of the amazing things you are doing in your lives. Post about how you are making this world a better place, being healthy, and living in connection and love. I want to know when you are promoted, published, and when you take a moment and lovingly SEE your child or friend. I want to know about your challenges and your victories. Together we can tell the world we- women- are SO MUCH MORE that our size, shape, and diets (which- by the way- do not work).

You may not realize it, but your posts are acts of social activism for young girls and women who- without this version of women in the media- would be left to the millions of sexualized, objectified images.

When you post- our young girls can see- what is possible for them. When they see women being in power in their lives- they think, “That could be me.” When they see older women defying age and gender bias- using their voices (through writing books, in acts of social justice, or via acts of love) they have hope.

Yes- when you post- our young girls and adolescents can see more than airbrushed, sexualized images. They can see more than reality shows based solely and completely on appearance and social capital. They can see more than women focusing their entire cognitive and physical capacity on trying to be smaller- not for health reasons- but to conform to unrealistic, unhealthy body standards.

PLEASE POST

Post so they can see. Post so I can see and honor your efforts.

PLEASE POST so the WORLD can see that being a WOMAN is about being up to powerful, wonderful, and beautiful things.

And for those of you who are already posting- thank you!

Catherine




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