Music & Culture
How to Become an Activist About Something You’d Like to Change
Written by T.M. Gaouette | May 16, 2012
Is there something you would like to change in your country, the media or your community? Maybe you’re not happy with the way a magazine presents itself, or how a television show portrays a certain group of people.
Whatever your concern, if you’re passionate about it and you want to advocate your cause, consider the following steps:
- Understand your cause. You may think you have a strong concern about something, but in order to argue it, you need to understand everything about it. This is because you’ll run into people who oppose you. Try your best to understand everything about your cause, including its origin, who is being harmed, your goal and your solutions.
- Write a letter to the person in charge. It may be the editor of a magazine or the producer of a show. Find out who is the best person to contact about your concerns. Again, this requires doing some homework. Then, lay out your concern, your goal and your suggested solutions in your letter.
- Get the word out about your cause!
- Post your cause on a petition site, such as change.org. Getting hundreds or thousands of people to support you and your cause will strengthen its credibility. Additionally, you’ll get a great understanding of how important this issue is to others.
- If the cause is within your own community, design and print up some flyers. Make those in your community aware of the issue and see how they feel.
- If the cause is a larger issue, you may want to contact a media outlet, such as a local radio or television station. You may be asked to speak about your concern, so be prepared.
Don’t doubt your ability to create change and don’t give up. It’s amazing what one person can do. Take Julia Bluhm, as an example!.
14-year old Bluhm has her own mission. The eighth-grader from Maine was tired of all the Photoshopping in the teen publication Seventeen.
So she decided to make a change by posting a petition on change.org urging the magazine editor to publish at least one monthly photo spread devoid of Photoshopped treatments of models.
An avid ballet dancer, Bluhm is familiar with girls who are obsessed with their weight. She also understands that girls who feel pressured by images in fashion magazines often opt for unhealthy solutions, such as extreme dieting and eating disorders. When these magazine standards of perfection aren’t met, many young girls get depressed or develop low self-esteem. But unbeknownst to many of these girls, these images are highly Photoshopped to unrealistic levels, so their efforts are often in vain.
I started this petition to help girls see that they’re not alone. Seventeen magazine is supposed to be a relatable magazine, right? How can we relate to computer altered photos? Seventeen is popular with my friends and lots of teen girls. If they agree to print one unaltered spread a month, they could start a trend that will help so many girls like me feel better about their bodies (Julia Bluhm).
The petition has gained a lot of traction, and to even Bluhm’s surprise, she was able to hand-deliver it with almost 25,000 signatures.
Bluhm also met with Seventeen‘s editor Ann Shoket. Even though Shoket chose not to adopt Bluhm’s idea of one non-Photoshopped spread per month, the eighth-grader is not deterred.
I think the tenacity of this young lady should be praised. She has proven that even a young girl can make a big difference.
Although Bluhm has not achieved her goal yet, she has traveled further in her journey than she ever thought possible. Even now, the names on her petition are adding up. By May 11, the petition had collected over 68,000 signatures. That’s amazing!
PI girls, Bluhm is a prime example of how much one person can do and how many people she can reach. Even here on Project Inspired, our own Nicole Weider is working hard to make a difference. Her petition on change.com is calling for Cosmopolitan to be sold in a non-transparent wrapper and sold to adults only because of its explicit and often pornographic content and covers.
Ladies, let’s pray for Julia Bluhm and Nicole. May their missions be strengthened in momentum, and may God bless their selfless efforts to protect young girls. And may their efforts be successful.
Do you have a cause you would like to advocate? Do Julie and Nicole inspire you?