Calls for girls to fight ad sexism

The Mercury (Aust) October 16, 2009

Tasmanian schoolgirls are being told to boycott their favourite brands in a fight against the “pornification of culture”. Author and activist Melinda Tankard Reist told students at Rose Bay High School yesterday to take a stand against advertising campaigns demeaning to women. She named Pepsi and Dove among the brands that should be rejected for their offensive ads.

“We know that eating disorders are at an epidemic level in this country, one in 100 with anorexia, one in five with bulimia, significant numbers of girls using vomiting and fasting to lose weight, we know that self-harm is the highest cause of hospitalisation for girls aged between 13 to 19,” she said. “The research tells us that all of these things are linked to the objectification of women and sexualisation of girls.” She slammed Pepsi for a new iPhone application, which purports to teach men to “score” with female stereotypes such as “sorority girls” and “treehuggers”.