Proud2Bme | Pretty, Sexy, Sassy

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Pretty, Sexy, Sassy

By Maya Bernstein--The film Pretty, Sexy, Sassy by the Ma’yan Research Training Interns of 2012-2013 is a compilation of a year’s worth of discussion on what it means to be the “perfect girl.” Based in New York City, Ma’yan provides feminist, social justice, and leadership training to teen girls and teaches vital skills to parents and educators. Based at the JCC Manhattan, we work in the Jewish community and the wider world towards greater equality for women and all people.

I started working with Ma’yan in the fall of 2012 as a Research Training Intern. Together with a group of 12 other teenage girls, I met twice a month to discuss feminism, privilege, stereotypes, and my life as a Jewish 15 year-old in New York City. My internship ended in the spring of 2013, and now I work as a youth alumna leader of the current RTI program.

The topic of body image comes up frequently in our meetings, often in a negative way. Together, the RTI of 2012-2013 decided that one major source of our own negative body images was the media and advertisements. And we wanted to do something about it! We made Pretty, Sexy, Sassy as a means to explore the effect of the media on young girls and women.

The process included conducting interviews with members of our community to see how they really feel about the media and its impact on how they view themselves. We discussed a range of media sources, such as magazines, TV shows, movies, and advertisements. Pretty, Sexy, Sassy exposes the pressure on young girls and women to conform to certain beauty standards. It also takes a stand against this pressure and provides viewers with tactics and strategies to promote positive body images. The RTI believe that everyone should have the power to define for themselves what beauty means. We hope that Pretty, Sexy, Sassy gives viewers the strength to love their bodies despite the pressure to be the “perfect girl."

Pretty Sexy Sassy: How Girls and Media Consume One Another from Ma'yan on Vimeo.

Learn more about Ma’yan and follow the organization on facebook and twitter! 

About this blogger: Maya Bernstein is a junior at Hunter College High School. She is a proud feminist and president of the StopSlut club at her school. Maya loves art, acting, food, and urban farming. Maya is an organizer of NY2NO, a youth-led coalition based in New York City that conducts service trips to urban farms in New Orleans and Philadelphia. She is also an alumni youth leader of Ma'yan's Research Training Internship. Hobbies include eating pizza and obsessively adding to her Netflix queue. Maya lives in Brooklyn, with her moms and little brother. 

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