A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this website.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this site is a forum for girls to get answers to questions on a wide variety of issues, including dating, health, fitness, beauty, family, and friendships. It's the online component of actress Elizabeth Berkley's offline self-empowerment workshops, and will soon be developed into an MTV series. (Yes, she's the same Elizabeth Berkley who was in the highly erotic, somewhat cult movie Showgirls.) The site promotes positive messages about things like self-esteem and body image, and while the site's design is very girly, there's a strong sense of "girl power" throughout. Currently there's no advertising on the site or links to other sites, but a store is coming soon.
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What's it about?
ASK-ELIZABETH.COM is the online offshoot of Elizabeth Berkley's empowerment workshops for girls, in which she helps them deal with things like dating and breaking up; friendship difficulties; and handling the pressure to be thin. The site's aesthetic is very girly-girl, with lots of pink, hearts galore, fairy-tale flash animation, and even a Tinkerbell version of Elizabeth Berkley herself.
Is it any good?
Despite its fluffy appearance, the site actually has some substance. Most of the content can be found in the At the Movies section, in which there's an extensive collection of informative, entertaining, and easily-digestible videos containing lots of good stuff for girls. In some videos, we see Elizabeth interacting directly with a group of girls on particular topics, which gives teens a valuable peer perspective on things; and in others, an expert in things like hair, makeup, and fitness gives practical advice -- almost all of it budget-friendly -- on how to look your best. There's even a thing or two for grown-ups to learn. Sure, Elizabeth Berkley might not seem like the most likely candidate for teen workshops, but this site is a pleasant surprise.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about why it might be important to have an online destination to interact with other girls looking for information on things that everyone's going through. Elizabeth Berkley is an attractive celebrity. Is it easier to relate to someone like her on body image and self-esteem issues, or is it hard for you to believe that she ever had any problems with these things? Is it helpful to know that even someone famous went through the same things you're dealing with as a teen?
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