January 17, 2012

Video: Photobooth of Change, Body Image Edition

Originally create for and posted at Proud2Bme.org.


Video: Photobooth of Change, Body Image Edition

By Melanie Klein–My students and I talked back to mainstream media by creating our own  messages. We let them know that we’re fed up with what we’re being given and told them what we want.

Sometimes anger can spark real change, especially when it gets us to move away from thinking “What’s wrong with me?” and start questioning what’s wrong with a culture that makes us feel so bad about ourselves so much of the time. Margaret Cho knows a little something about that. She went off in a much-publicized and justified Twitter tirade last week. After being on the receiving end of some snarky comments about her body, Cho lost it. As she eloquently put it, “I blew a f****ing gasket. I screamed out loud and tracked the perps down and blocked them, but not before really ramming it to them in the strongest language I could use.” For years she’s been told she needed to lose more weight, she wasn’t pretty enough, and worse. Cho reacted to this latest criticism in a massive, over-the-top rant, during which she basically told the haters to shove it.

When you’re repeatedly told you don’t meet the ridiculously narrow and unrealistic expectations of beauty, that negativity can mess with your head for a long time until you eventually just get sick of it…and then get totally pissed off. And the way I see it, getting pissed off is a whole lot healthier than retreating into self-hatred.

While not all of us have our anger at this body-hating injustice shared across the internet, it doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist or that it isn’t valid. As I quoted in an earlier post:

It is that act of speech, of “talking back,” that is no mere gesture of empty words, that is the expression of our movement from object to subject – the liberated voice.” –bell hooks

February 21, 2011

WAM! It Yourself, Los Angeles: 2011 Conference

Originally posted at Women, Action & the Media.

Friday, March 25 and Saturday, March 26

Santa Monica College, 1900 Pico Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90405

Humanities and Social Sciences 263 (see campus map)

Part of WAM! It Yourself 2011, a multi-city event by Women, Action & the Media. For more information about events happening in LA and all over the world, check back here or email Rachel.

RSVP HERE: Facebook Event Page. Seating is based on first come basis.

Friday, March 25th

2:00-3:00 p.m.

Video presentation and discussion on the representation of Women of Color in academia with Morgane Richardson, founder of Refuse the Silence

3:15-4:15 p.m.

Lecture on strong female characters in science fiction and fantasy television shows with Anita Sarkeesian.

4:30-5:30 p.m.

Presentation on the possibility of social change through social media with Pia Guerrero, co-founder of Adios Barbie.


Video clips from the Kick It Up! project and discussion on women in new media with Amie Williams and Kamala Lopez of Global Girl Media.

7:00-8:00 p.m.

Workshop on ImMEDIAte Justice, a summer program that empowers young women from Los Angeles to share their experience of reproductive justice through film, featuring Jacqueline Sun and Carla Ohrendorff.

8:15-9:15 p.m.

Discussion with Daena Title on her recent “DROWN the DOLLS” series and the work of feminist art.

Saturday, March 26th

11:00-12:00 p.m.

Poetry slam and video presentation with Cleo Anderson.

12:15-1:15 p.m.

Presentation on “Beauty Activism: How media messes with our body image and what we can do about it,” with Claire Mysko.

1:30-2:30 p.m.

Discussion on social media and media literacy as tools of activism in the classroom with Melanie Klein and Rachel O’Connor.

2:45-3:45 p.m.

Presentation of LoveSTRUCK, a discussion about the Twilight phenomenon and its glamorization of unhealthy relationship behaviors, with Elin Waldal.

4:00-5:00 p.m.

Presentation on “Revolution of Real Women: Infiltrating Media, Normalizing Authentic Beauty and How to Spark Your Own Revolution!” with Briane Widaman.

5:15-6:15 p.m.

Discussion of the role and state of feminist online media and reflections on the first year of the Ms. Magazine blog with Michele Kort and Jessica Stites.

RSVP HERE: Facebook Event Page. Seating is based on first come basis.

Saturday Night Mixer

7:30-10:30 p.m., at private residence in Culver City, CA

Sarit Rogers, a local feminist photographer, will be hosting a social networking event in her home in Culver City, CA. More information forthcoming!

*Registration for Saturday night mixer required.  Contact: melmelklein@cs.com

Related articles:

November 9, 2010

Media Democracy: The Photobooth of Change v3.0

Filed under: Media — Tags: , , , , , — Melanie @ 4:15 pm

If you could talk back to mainstream media, what would you say?

This Photo Booth of Change was created in WS30: Women and Pop Culture @Santa Monica College, Fall 2010 and compiled and edited by Carla Ohrendorff of ImMEDIAte Justice.

For v1.0 and v2.0 click on the following links:

Photo Booth of Change at WAM! Los Angeles, March 2010

Photo Booth of Change, WS30 @ Santa Monica College, Spring 2010

May 12, 2010

What Does Media Democracy Look Like to You? Photo Booth of Change v2.0

Filed under: Media — Tags: , , , — Melanie @ 9:52 pm

Make sure the sound is up for this one!

Once again, thanks to Carla O for putting this together for the spring 2010 class of WS30.