A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this website.
Teens can learn about fighting media messages that sexualize girls and promote sexist stereotypes on this nonprofit organization's website. SPARK also highlights the important distinction between healthy sexuality (a positive, natural part of development) and sexual objectification (using girls' and women's bodies as a marketing tool). By calling out and critiquing the growing sexualization of girls and other harmful messages, SPARK gives girls a healthy dose of media literacy and encourages them to fight back.
SPARK encourages girls to become activists and fight harmful media messages.
Sex, Romance & Nudity
The site deals with some issues related to sex and sexuality, like the trend of vaginal plastic surgery.
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SPARK examines the use of the word "bitch" in a blog post, and "damn" is used occasionally.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that SPARK is a nonprofit organization that aims to fight the sexualization of girls in media and culture. A few topics might seem a bit edgy for younger teens (like vaginal plastic surgery), but these posts are clearly intended to educate and critique, not to titillate. Readers can post comments.
Is It Any Good?
SPARK's blogs feature smart critiques of the media's representation of girls, and its reports on successful actions (like petitioning teen magazines to limit their use of photo-retouching software) show that speaking out really can make a difference. SPARK's website isn't as splashy as some of its sister sites, but the organization's mission is rock solid.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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