by: Sebastian Campion

Last year the Swedish Social Ministry launched a web, print and video campaign called Flicka (girl) that attacks the moral of mass media.

Under pressure by the media's beauty ideals, and the aim of the public campaign is to educate young girls about the techniques and effects of advertising and thus help them to think critically.

One of the campaign's video ads is shaped as a sexist music video featuring semi-nude women washing a car. Suddenly, one of them confronts the camera and asks "what is this, why do most videos look this way?". The viewers are then invited to pick up the phone and call the CEO of Universal Music in Sweden and ask him the question. His name and phone numer is shown on the screen. The local commercial broadcast stations TV3 and TV4 have refused to air this and another similar video.

Additionally, a recent interactive web ad illustrates the other (real) side of magazine-covers. The front side of a Metropolitan cover shows a typical photo of a young girl but by clicking the image it gradually reveals how it has been retouched and manipulated in order to meet the standard media beauty ideal. One of the headlines read: 69 clicks from sexbomb to normal.

The videos can be seen by clicking the link at the bottom of the page.

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