Girl Power: All Dolled Up

A film by Sarah Blout Rosenberg

2011 | 24 minutes | Color | DVD | Order No. 121051


This thought-provoking short film examines the notion that “girl power” has been co opted by commerce to create a feminist construct that is ultimately damaging to girls’ identity and development. In a range of diverse, revealing interviews with girls as young as seven, we witness the power of the popular media in developing brand loyalty and image self-consciousness. Complementing the girls’ testimony are numerous pop culture examples, as well as academics illuminating how the concept of girl power has been used to bring in big money by focusing on appearance. From Dora the Explorer’s grooming aids to Disney’s Princesses line to the highly sexualized Bratz dolls, the message is clear: girl power means being attractive. As one particularly astute young interviewee puts it, “Somewhere along the way girls get the idea ‘okay, I’m supposed to look hot every time I leave my house.’” GIRL POWER is critical viewing for women’s studies, advertising and mass communications courses, educators or anyone who works with young girls.


“[T]he film features smart girls, complex girls, girls who can reflect on their lives, and they've got opinions of their own. … Want to get girls and young women to talk about how their lives are affected by marketing? Show them this film!”

Catherine Orr Professor of Women's and Gender Studies, Beloit College

"Recommended. Shines a light on the impact that media and popular culture have on the development of girls’ identities."

Educational Media Reviews Online (EMRO)

"The interviews with girls are honest and compelling, and they serve as prompts for girls and young women to reflect on media, beauty, role models, and ambition."

Amy Villarejo Feminist, Gender & Sexuality Studies, Cornell University


Sarah Blout Rosenberg

Sarah is an educator who has dedicated the last 18 years to serving public school students in urban areas such as Oakland, New York City and Boston. When it became evident that media education was a critical missing link in the curriculum, she left teaching to go to Emerson College for a MA in Visual Media Arts. She feels strongly that children need media literacy education in order to become critical consumers, and that we must pay particular attention to young women, whose sense of self is developing within this media/mediated context. Sarah is a single mother of two, born and raised in Cambridge, Massachusetts and is currently working as a Media and Technology Specialist in schools. (7/19)


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