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The Fight Against Negative Media Messages

Finding One’s Self

Every year our ensemble crafts a play on similar topics – leading one to wonder just how different this year’s performance could be from years past. I am happy to say that what this year’s ensemble has created is completely unique. Although bullying and healthy relationships are addressed in our script, we have spotlighted a more universal topic: self-acceptance. Everyone, regardless of age or gender, has struggled to discover who he or she is and accept the things they uncover along the way.

In exploring this topic, our ensemble has for the first time written a play that does not simply follow one plot line. Instead our play glides from one scene to another, connected by common themes and witty commentary from a Greek chorus.

We explore the idea of how the media influences our personal identity. Through our quest to enlighten our audience about messages in the media, many ensemble members have gained new perspectives.

I had never taken time to notice just how sexist and stereotypical many of the messages that are promoted in mainstream media are. It is as though our media created the fairy tales of the next generation, telling stories of the elegant size zero model, who has no “real life” responsibilities giving her just enough time to do her hair, makeup, and nails perfectly before going out on the town as she flaunts her long, smooth shaven legs in six inch heels.

I don’t know anyone who looks anything like a magazine cutout and yet many young people still dream of having that “perfect image.” That is as unrealistic as thinking that one day you’ll be Cinderella! At least our childhood desires to be princes and princesses didn’t result in a warped self image that drives some to develop life threatening diseases like bulimia and depression. I should end this blog before I get carried away and spoil the play by restating all of its contents. I hope I have sparked your interest not only in our play, but in the fight against the negative messages of the media.

By Lina Green, Peer Leader & Ensemble Member in Changing Lives Youth Theatre Ensemble

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