Take Action around 'Girl Model'
- Partner with a community organization that focuses on girls (e.g., a local Girls Inc. chapter) to host a screening and a discussion about the relationship between fashion, body image and girls' self-esteem.
- Include a panel of experts in media, modeling or body image to support a discussion and to offer strategies for resisting unhealthy media messages or peer pressure.
- Using examples of ads from the galleries at About-Face or the Library of Really!?!at Powered By Girl or ads that your group has collected, create and post counter-ads that help people think more deeply about portrayals of women and girls. You can find ideas for other types of media activism at www.sparksummit.org.
- Identify groups like FAIR Girls that help girls escape from human trafficking and related exploitative situations. Find out what you can do to support their work.
- Invite a representative from a state or local consumer protection office to speak to your group, school or organization about modeling agency scams.
- Together with women's studies faculty from a local college or university, host a mother-daughter event that creates a safe space for women and girls to learn about the historical roots of the emphasis on women's appearance and the people who make money from current messages about beauty.
- Carefully look through the images in your favorite fashion magazine. Estimate the average age of the models. How many images include young girls modeling clothing for women? Talk about why designers would choose to use children to showcase women's wear. What does that choice say about how society feels about actual women and aging?
Get informed about the issues in the film and lead a discussion in your community.
Girl Model strips away the façade of the modeling industry by following two people whose lives intersect because of it. Ashley is a deeply conflicted American former model-turned-scout. Thirteen-year-old Nadya, plucked from a remote Siberian village and promised a lucrative career in Japan, is her latest discovery. As the young girl searches for glamour and an escape from poverty, she confronts the harsh realities of a culture that worships youth—and an industry that makes perpetual childhood a globally traded commodity.
Girl Model’s disturbing look behind the curtain raises important questions about responsibility that go beyond the people we see on screen. Viewers are confronted with a reality that forces all of us to ask who creates the demand for these models and who is responsible for their well-being. As an outreach tool, the film is an excellent springboard for discussions about the culture of fashion and the role its values play in our lives, media and economy.
In this lesson, students will engage in an in-depth discussion that examines the demand in the advertising industry for thin models under the age of 18 and the impact that this practice has on the body images of consumers.
This list of fiction and nonfiction books, compiled by Penny Talbert and Rebecca Zinner of Ephrata Public Library, provides a range of perspectives on the issues raised by the POV documentary Girl Model.