Projects in Development

Project A 

My Mind On My Makeup

What It Is:

One of the easiest ways to detect patterns in information is to line it up; that’s why we’re putting together a timeline of media influences on children over the past 100 years. The idea began when we began considering the decline of female college student’s majoring in STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math) fields beginning around the turn of the century. Why had young women chosen to participate in STEM fields for twenty years, with particularly noticeable momentum after the start of second wave feminism, only to beginning turning away from those degrees in the aughts? Were women who graduated around 2000 the first students showing the influence of “princess culture,” which launched full-force on American daughters as they were entering early adolescence?

With this idea in mind, the When I Grow Up timeline looks at media patterns and availability and educational choices by the sexes, beginning with the release of Snow White in 1937. Specifically, the timeline will align:

  • every cover of Time Magazine since its inception coded by gender
  • moments of note in child development by year
  • top box office films over time
  • most watched programming via network television, cable television, SVOD, and You Tube
  • popular media tropes
  • technological developments over time & data related to household use (TV, VCR, DVD, SVOD, Computers, Smart Devices, etc.)
  • Disney princesses through the years
  • men and women college attendance numbers
  • college degree choices by gender
  • U.S. population growth rate
  • generation markers

We’re developing timelines for both genders, as educational choices for young men are also beginning to change drastically.

How It Will Be Presented:

1. Gigantic On-Screen Installation: The Bigger, The Better

In the interest of illustrating the growth of and currently overwhelming influence that modern media has on young people (and because of the magnitude of data pertinent to each year), we’ll present the timeline at an appropriately overwhelming scale.

2. Customizable Video by Year: An interactive experience for the individual

Where the gigantic screen will show the timeline in it's entirety and enormity, we'd like to show the significance of this data on a more personal level. It will be an experience where one can punch in their own birth date and watch the development of media messaging and influence over the course of their own lifetime zeroing in on specific and meaningful ages.

Project B

YouTube Series: The Athena Dialogues

What It Is:

Part of our research for the When I Grow Up timeline project focuses on the media (kind and quantity) that adolescent girls currently consume. An enormous portion of that media consumption happens on YouTube, and the female tropes presented by YouTubers that receive the most American media attention are troubling—and limiting. While we applaud female YouTube stars for seizing an opportunity and running with it, and while we are fans of the work of The Vlog Brothers, we are concerned that there are very few females doing YouTube work that is overtly intelligent and ultimately cool.

Moreover, media aimed at guiding young women’s professional choices generally happens too late: while Elle magazine launched a mentoring movement through its magazine in 2015 called Elle Agenda Mentors, the average reader of Elle Magazine is 37 years old. As girls begin self-selecting themselves away from being successful STEM classes as early as 12 years old, mentorship at 26 years old is fourteen years too late. Moreover, our research shows that even now, women are represented on average as only 42% of images in Entrepreneur Magazine. Even if women were represented equally in popular business magazines, the average reader of Entrepreneur is 41 and male.

By and large, the culture does not resonate to girls that being a high-performing professional individual is relevant and desirable.

How It Will Be Presented:

We’re developing a YouTube series highlighting 100 professional women who are socially adept and do interesting work at extremely high levels. In keeping with the idea that what young people see is what we get out of them, we’re creating a show that reimagines and hybridizes OWN’s Masterclass with INC Magazine’s “How I Did It” column for the benefit of girls grades 6 – 10.

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