In thinking about how to wrap up this project, I decided that I wanted to do something action oriented. The Seventeen Magazine Project has made some strides in calling attention to and promoting discussion about the inaccurate and unfair representations of teens, women, and humanity as a whole in mainstream media. The blog itself, however, has done little to actually spur large-scale, direct change. Having established this blog as a foundation for discussion, I thought it would be nice to end the project with some sort of advocacy campaign-- a project involving readers that called mainstream media out on the carpet for their limited and inaccurate portrayal of what it really means to be a teen, a woman, and a human.
I kicked around some ideas with my dad about possible projects. He vetoed most of my suggestions, pointing out that use of violence/vandalism/open flame/mustard gas would probably cast a dark shadow over the positive message of fair media portrayal that I was trying to promote. At the very least, I thought it might be cool to put some faces to the people that mainstream media is misrepresenting. Here is what I came up with. The project is called, "Hey mainstream media!" To participate in this project, all that you have to do is take a picture of yourself holding a sign with words finishing the statement, "Hey mainstream media! I am...."
Anyone can participate in this project. That is, anyone that at some point has felt misrepresented by or excluded from mainstream media. This project is NOT just for teens. Are you a black woman? Maybe you're more than just a sassy best friend character. A straight man? Maybe you're interested in more than just pictures of naked women. Unlike media, this project does not exclude or alienate any demographic.
You can email me your submissions here, or add them directly to the Flickr pool. I'll add all the pics that I get to the Flickr pool, and post the ones that I find most interesting here on the blog.
Eventually, if enough people participate, I am thinking about having these photos printed up into collage-style posters and mailing/delivering them to the offices of magazines/tv studios as a reminder of how few consumers actually fit the limited set of stereotypes that media prescribes to us.
Make the type on your poster bold and readable! Let's see how many pictures we can get by July 6. Here's number 1....
Hey mainstream media! I am...