Teen Mom is a reality television show that first aired on MTV in 2009. It follows the lives of four teenage girls – who were originally featured on the show 16 and Pregnant – in the years following the birth of their children. The struggles of teen parenthood are portrayed by documenting their evolving and challenging relationships with family, the fathers of the children and other boys.
This clip comes from a documentary, produced by the Media Education Foundation, called Tough Guise: Violence, Media & the Crisis in Masculinity. In this segment, educator and scholar Jackson Katz outlines what it means to be a “real man” in contemporary American society. He argues that a focus on being a “tough guy” leads to high rates of violence among men and boys, as well as unproductive relationships and unfulfilled personal lives.
Tasmanian artist Sonia Singh’s Tree Change Dolls are recycled and repaired dolls that are given a makeunder and more down-to-earth style. Singh removes the dolls’ original factory painted features, and repaints the faces so that the dolls look more natural, younger, and down-to-earth, as opposed to the typical style of highly made-up and glamorous dolls like Bratz dolls. Singh’s mother also creates and knits new outfits for the dolls. In January 2015, what started as a home project transformed into an Internet sensation once she posted before and after photos of her dolls online, garnering attention from media and people around the world who supported her efforts to recycle and makeunder the dolls, and wanted to know where and how they could purchase them.
Aimed at humanizing and shedding light on the realities and experiences of detained migrants, this illustration is part of Visions From the Inside, a visual art collection based on letters written by detained migrants at the Karnes County detention center, a for-profit immigrant family detention center in Texas.
This advertisement from GoldieBlox, a company that makes engineering toys for girls, makes you think about the gender of heroes in popular stories. The video reimagines scenes from famous movies and television shows such as The Matrix, Back to the Future, Rocky, Star Trek: The Next Generation, ET, Braveheart, and Pirates of the Caribbean, replacing the male leads with Goldie Blox and Ruby Rails action figures as the heroes of these well-known popular culture action stories. Goldie Blox is the main animated character for the girls engineering toys company, and Ruby Rails, named after the web application framework, is Goldie’s tech-saavy, coder, software engineer best friend. Interspersed between the reimagined movie and tv scenes, the video shows statistics from research studies about inequities of representation in Hollywood, such as “Only 1% of popular films star women of color,” “Only 12% of lead film characters are women,” and “Men get twice as much screen time as women.” Near the end, the video states, “All girls deserve to see themselves as heroes…we need more heroes, share this with yours.”