New York City just launched an offensive on yet another modern plague: low self-esteem in girls. The city started a new public health campaign aimed to encourage girls, aged 7 to 12 years, to challenge the unattainable notions of beauty foisted upon them by pop culture and advertising.
The campaign, which consists mostly of ads on public transportation, was the brainchild of Samantha Levine, the mayor’s deputy press secretary. Levine said she was moved to start the project after learning that 80% of 10-year-old girls report being afraid of being fat and most girls’ self-esteem drops at age 12 and doesn’t improve until 20. The Sisterhood spoke with Levine about what she hopes the campaign will achieve and why we need to redefine beauty.
Bloomberg’s new plan for encouraging breastfeeding by way of restricting the distribution of formula in hospital maternity wards has incited a lot of resistance. And rightly so. There are better ways to help women choose breast over bottle than limiting their options or shaming them into it.
At Slate’s Hanna Rosin writes:
The question here is not whether breastfeeding is better or worse, we can all agree that breastfeeding infants is somewhat better than not breastfeeding them. The question is, as I have written many times before, that we do not want to feed into a culture that has made the failure or lack of desire to breastfeed seem like a shameful and even criminal affair.
Forward contributor Lenore Skenazy writes at the Daily News:
The mayor’s idea, of course, is that since breast-feeding seems to be the healthiest choice, why not discourage the alternative? But then maybe he should discourage women from having babies at a later age. After all, those kids are more likely to have health problems. Or maybe he should discourage parents from ever driving their kids anywhere? After all, that is the No. 1 way kids die — as car passengers. Or maybe he should just stop us all from ordering a large soda …