Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Turtle Power!

When I was about five, I was obsessed with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I had all their action figures, begged for karate lessons, and told my mom I’d die if I didn’t get home in time to watch the show. Obviously there was only once choice for a Halloween costume that year.

Me and my older sister, 1991
That year I wasn’t dressed up as Rafael. I was Rafael. I was taking my ninja skills to the street and God help any bad guys trying to steal candy or egg houses. I was funnier, smarter, and stronger than the five year old I had been that morning. That’s always been the essence of Halloween in my book. The chance to be something you’re not.

So why do so many young women choose to take characters with fantastic traits and reduce them to a “sexy ninja turtle”? Anyone can throw on some makeup and a short dress, but how many people can pop out of a sewer drain, stop crime, and finish it all with a hilarious pun?  

It’s no secret that the media is bombarding our girls with messages that say they should derive their worth from their beauty, how they dress, and how easily they can attract men. But in the face of all that, how do we make them believe us when we say it’s way cooler to be the smartest or funniest girl in your class than it is to be the one with the shortest dress?

When we get that message across, it'll be easier to tell our girls that boys and men can and will love them even if they say no to sex. That it’s your personality, your brains, and your sense of humor your partner should hold most dear, not how hot you look in a skimpy outfit.

by Kylee Perez, Communications Specialist, SC Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy

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