A poem by Miss8 that got her a Commended Award in The Dorothea Mackellar Poetry Awards …
Little girl China
You are little girl china you sing
and play in the leaves. But
you are lonely.
But you know you are sad.
on a mountaintop.
But you long for friendship.
You eat wild rice
But you long for chili.
You never get what you want.
After all, you are little girl china.
Advisory Report Oct 27th, 2009 – Media Release
Weird to start a blog post with a bunch of links, but this is how my ire was raised (yesterday) enough to spend the majority of today thinking about the <rant> below. The Australian Federal Government has decided to do something about the way that the media has overtaken people’s opinions, feelings and subconscious in respect to body image. Full marks to them for thinking of this, and taking some form of action.
However, having not really heard of this initiative until yesterday, I was perturbed to see who was held up, other than The Hon Kate Ellis MP (Minister for Early Childhood Education, Child Care and Youth), at the press conference announcing the launch of the Full Advisory Report (Titled: A Proposed National Strategy on Body Image) from the National Body Image Advisory Group.
[By the way, I have read through the report several times and feel it is a good first draft in terms of tackling the issues it is meant to address. I could say that it does not cover all the issues in society-at-large that influence Body Image (refer to http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/national-strategy-on-body-image-doesnt-go-far-enough-20091029-hle0.html for a far more adroit and brief analysis than I could attempt), but that is not the purpose of this post].
The Members of the National Body Image Advisory Group are:
Ms Mia Freedman (Chair) Journalist and former Editor of Cosmopolitan magazine
Ms Sarah Cornish Editor, Girlfriend and TV Hits magazines
Prof David Forbes School of Paediatrics and Child Health, Uni of W.A.
Ms Helen Gazal Fashion industry businesswoman
Ms Kerry Graham CEO, Inspire Foundation
Ms Raina Hunter YWCA
Mrs Sarah Murdoch Model/media personality
Prof Susan Paxton Head of School of Psychological Science, La Trobe University
Ms Amanda Scott Youth representative, currently Chair of NSW Youth Advisory Council.
Ms Belinda Seper CEO, Belinda international Pty Ltd
Ms Claire Vickery CEO, Butterfly Foundation (eating disorders)
Mr Christopher Warren Federal Secretary, The Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA)
I will leave you to reflect on the list above, and form your own opinions in respect to the membership of this group. I was amazed to find no representation of ‘Family’ (either ‘Mothers’ or ‘Fathers’) on this panel of ‘experts’ – we are talking about a Youth initiative after all. The fact that there are only two men on the Group, with both arguably being there in a professional capacity rather than as Fathers/Brothers/Uncles, was equally amazing.
After all, real change stems from the formulation of Government policy via an interaction with the real world, rather than a representation of it purely by academics, industry, peak bodies, support groups and poorly promoted (media & advertising) requests for public input into the ‘consultation process’.
Further, it astonishes me that Mia Freedman was chosen to Chair this committee. I have nothing specifically against Mia myself, but I do feel that her current public persona is not as far from her previous employment choices than she would have you believe [This is where the ire kicks in].
I do not understand how it is OK to provide role models (to young women) who change horses mid-stream – but who are still well and truly riding a horse. Surely there are other women who could have been selected to be the public face to the media for this, other than Mia Freedman (see below) and Sarah Murdoch (current host of Australia’s Next Top Model & wife of a member of NewsCorp’s Board of Directors)?
The bottom line in terms of Mia, from my point of view, is that her blog is a provincial attempt to replicate the cult of Oprah. In other words, to allow educated Australian middle/upper class women to be socially and outwardly emancipated without any risk to their privileged lifestyle or capitalist existence.
I guess the thing that really raised my shackles was Mia’s post about her trip to Canberra to launch this report (http://mamamia.com.au/weblog/2009/10/so-i-said-to-kevin.html). Even worse than the post on her front page (just below it in fact – see image directly below), was a portion of her web site called Frockwatch. Does she not understand the irony of the Chair of such a Group using the Cult of Celebrity to generate clicks, and thus $$ for Mia to spend on her Witchery obsession? These things are all intertwined.
As the Chair, is it acceptable to on the one hand ask major (old or new) media to simply abide by a code (National Strategy on Body Image) that goes against their revenue generation methodology (skinny people sell stuff), and then have content like Frockwatch and writing about compulsive shopping as a great cure for stress on your own site? Should Dentists advertise Coca-Cola on their professional web sites?
There is more to come (I am spent in terms of words for today).
I had a good read through all of the following, prior to writing this post. I would highly recommend your wading through it over the coming days and weeks.
More delicious than I can tell
Aftertaste without end
Hot sell the good taste
So the journey begins.
Since the very late 90’s, I have suffered lengthy debates, between various elements of myself, in regards to the launching of my own blog. I possess both a youthful and adult perspective of cyberspace which displays itself in an honest and open approach contrasted with levels of cynicism, paranoia and deconstructive analysis appropriate for someone born in 1970.
If you follow me on Twitter (@glebe2037) you will know that I have a very broad range of interests, thoughts, opinions, tastes and beliefs. This blog will travel the same road. Stay tuned for an eclectic mix of whatever the hell I decide warrants the time to post about.
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