Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Solutionary Women: Caroline Ticarro-Parker

This week's Solutionary Woman is Caroline Ticarro-Parker, the Executive Director of Mind on the Media, the nonprofit that sponsors Turn Beauty Inside Out, a campaign to raise awareness about sexist portrayals of girls and women by the media. The most recent Turn Beauty Inside Out Girls Leadership Retreat just happened in Queens, NY June 21-24th. You can read some of the girl's blog posts from the retreat here.

Caroline was kind enough to answer a few questions for me as part of an e-interview.

Briefly describe Turn Beauty Inside Out.

Mind on the Media (MOTM) is a nonprofit organization out to inspire independent thinking and foster critical analysis of the media. MOTM's main project is Turn Beauty Inside Out (TBIO), an annual campaign that explores the portrayal of girls and women in film, television, music, advertising and government. TBIO was created by New Moon: the Magazine for Girls and Their Dreams almost five years ago, which also promotes positive self-image among youth.

How did you get involved in this kind of work?

I am the mother of twin girls, now age 8. When I started, they were only 4 years old and I was already seeing the impact of the limited media they did see. Now I’m seeing every day how important it is to have open communication about beauty, self-esteem and image!!!

What do you enjoy the most about your work with Turn Beauty Inside Out?

It’s “one small step, but one giant leap” for change. I’m proud that it has been a good “conversation” starter in many homes about the true definition of beauty.

What is the biggest challenge in your work with Turn Beauty Inside Out?

The media...the big oppressive, one-sided, misguided and chauvinistic media.

Please share a success story from your work.

Organizations all across the country are excited to organize their own TBIO “event” - big or small in their own community to talk about being beautiful on the inside. Over the last eight years we’ve sent Action Kits to over 3000 people!

What keeps you motivated and energized to do this work?

My daughters...and all girls.

What tips, resource and advice would you give to someone who wanted to do the kind of work you are doing, or just wanted to make a difference in girls' lives around body image issues?

Janeane Garofalo was one of our founding Board of Directors and she said it best, “Just like junk food – you can’t spend the whole day eating it, you’ve got to balance it with the healthy stuff. Don’t feed your mind with all that junk – find alternatives, be creative and don’t be afraid to use the f-word....feminist!”

Do you think that blogs can empower girls? If so, how?

Freedom to read and write what other “like-minded” girls are thinking, good or bad it’s always a nice feeling to not be alone.

If you know a Solutionary Woman who works at a nonprofit or NGO who you think I should profile, please email me at britt at brittbravo dot com with their name, organization and contact info.

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