Renaming The Self-Esteem Act

comment | February 1st, 2012

What's in a name, anyway?  We'll find out.  We're renaming The Self Esteem Act, and from now on it will be known as the Media and Public Health Act.  What?!  Yes, that's right, the Media and Public Health Act.  Catchy, no?  Everything about its intent, its focus, and our call for Truth-in-Advertising labeling remains exactly the same.

So why change the name?  A few reasons.  One, along with the amazing people at the National Eating Disorder Association who are joining with us as co-sponsors of the Media and Public Health Act, we wanted to make crystal clear the cause and effect relationship between the media (and media industries) and public health (ie how people feel and don't, and the consequences of same, based on the images we're served up – and not).

Two, since we first announced it, there have been some who have stood with us and supported the Act's intent but who felt "self-esteem" was not the right articulation of the problem nor the psychological consequence. 

Three, after looking at 1 and 2 together, we took a look at the grassroots support we'd captured so far – and perhaps even more importantly the support we've yet to capture, and came to the conclusion that something needed to chanbge to better market and sell a premise and call-to-action that we consider irrefutable (and we know not everyone agrees with the irrefutability nor the proposed solution).

We can not understand how politicians, NGO's, corporations, and individuals who've spent their lives and careers fighting this fight can look at at this particular data-set, this simple call for transparency and truth-in-advertising, and not stand with us.  And while nearly 2000 of you have signed the petition, sharing and showing your support (THANK YOU) we need more of that to move this forward and help girls and women (to say nothing of boys and men) stop feeling the need to chase images of perfection they can never catch – if only because they're not real.

And move this forward we are and will.  As we've said from the very beginning, we don't view the Act nor truth-in-advertising labeling as a panacea.  We don't see Hollywood, Madison and 7th Avenues as villians.  We don't think digital manipulation is wrong.  What we see is a need to act, a need to do something because something must be done.  Will a name change make a difference or the difference?  We don't know.  But like before, we knew we had to do something and so we're doing this.

We hope you'll join with us, National Eating Disorder Association, Adios Barbie, I Am That Girl, SheHeroes, We Stop Hate and thousands of others who know that doing nothing is no longer an option, and who realize we are all in this world and this situation together, and together we need to stand up for what's right and what's necessary – and change and transparency certainly are.  Now.

We hope you'll stand with us as a member of the Coalition of the Concerned and sign and share the Media and Public Health Act petition.  After all, how can truth-in-advertising be a bad thing?  And maybe, just maybe, it can help change and save lives.  XO, OOC