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OU Grad to Speak at Starr Symposium

Published: Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Updated: Saturday, February 14, 2009 12:02

Influence to act a certain way, be someone who is sexy, independent, and well liked, is incredibly common among women these days. The marketing targeted toward young girls is an alarming issue that many people ignore simply because it is so common. Through the pressure of the media, celebrities, and even in college sororities, this message is heard loud and clear by females everywhere; and nobody understands the pressure put on girls better than Ottawa University graduate Lyn Mikel Brown.

Brown graduated from Ottawa University with a degree in Psychology, and now teaches at Colby College in Maine. She specializes in the psychology of women and researching the media's influence on girls' lives and their interactions.

"We prepare girls for these choiceless choices by giving them an illusion of choice. You can see the types emerge already in the products available to young girls; options attached to a very different set of meanings," Lyn Mikel Brown, Ed.D., wrote in her book "Packaging Girlhood."

The marketing message to girls and young women has been made clear for years and that message is: sex sells. Unfortunately for most, this message is learned and perfected at a progressively younger age each year. Even the females portrayed in fairytales are beautiful, thin and busty. And though some girls might not recognize it directly at that age, it still places a vision in their minds to grown up and be beautiful. Celebrities also mold the minds of younger adolescence' when they allow their lives of partying and being involved with boys to be made public.

"It's obvious that women are given this idealistic view to be thin and pretty; and celebrities have a huge impact on girls who are in their teens. They are giving them an example of what to expect when they get older," Amanda Emery, a KU student, said.

These issues, along with ideas to move toward a more aware society, are discussed in Brown's book, "Packaging Girlhood." This information will also be examined and approached when Brown comes to speak at the Starr Symposium on March 6,. An afternoon workshop, as well as an evening presentation will be held in light of these issues. The event will be held at the UMKC University Center; all are welcome to attend.

To reserve free tickets contact the Central Ticket Office at 816.235.6222

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