Last month I was delighted to be invited to join Forward (Foundation for Women’s Health and Development) as an educator on female genital mutilation.
Forward have been working on this issue for decades and working in schools for four years. They run a youth programme working with young people across the country empowering them to speak out about it. Over the last few years the issue of FGM has grown in public consciousness and they have been increasingly asked to give talks in schools.
In order to manage increasing demand, they have employed 15 educators to work across schools in London, I am delighted to be part of that team.
Today I’m running a workshop at Highbury Grove School, London on women in the media. This is obviously a broad topic and a lot to cover but in the end I decided to focus on advertising. The aim is to leave these young women of an understanding of how the advertising industry works. How it feeds on our aspirations and insecurities and uses them to make us buy stuff.
Although humans will always aspire to be better than they are. We can temper our expectations and understand what impact the beauty industry has on our self perception.
I’m also going to be looking at how magazines place adverts next to articles exploring these ‘issues’. I want to teach them a healthy cynicism about advertising. We’ll also look at photoshop using this video: