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Sex, Gender, and Body Image

Are any organizations working for more diverse body types in movies and on TV?

Yes, and although it's difficult to say whether they've had a big impact -- large busts and six-pack abs are still the norm in Hollywood -- things are changing. Among the more diverse representations who are more than eye candy: strong female characters who use their brains (Divergent, Hunger Games); nerds who are successful despite their puny physiques (Jobs, Silicon Valley); sensitive guys who don't care about being "ripped" (The Perks of Being a Wallflower, The Fault in Our Stars); and women whose average body types are not the butt of the joke (Lena Dunham in Girls and Raini Rodriguez in Austin & Ally).

In addition to Common Sense Media, which promotes the importance of positive body image in the media, these organizations are working for more diverse body types in movies and on TV and less sexualization of women across all media.

  • The Representation Project
    With documentaries such as Miss Representation and The Mask You Live In, the Representation Project works to "challenge society's limiting representations of gender."
  • Geena Davis Institute on Gender in the Media
    Founded by Geena Davis, this research-based organization seeks to "engage, educate, and influence the need to dramatically improve, gender-balance, reduce stereotyping and create diverse female characters in entertainment targeting children 11 and under."
  • Dove
    The company's two campaigns, Real Beauty and Girls Self Esteem, exemplified by the time-lapse video "Evolution" showing the Herculean behind-the-scenes effort to make a model look "normal," are designed to broaden the definition of beauty.
  • About Face
    This media-literacy organization "equips women and girls with tools to understand and resist harmful media messages that affect their self-esteem and body image."
  • Spark Movement
    The activist organization is aimed at ending the sexualization of girls and women in media.
  • New Moon Girls
    This magazine for girls age 8–12 supports and connects girls in a body-positive way that emphasizes girls' intelligence, creativity, and potential.