"Sexting" and "cyberbullying" are topics that I have touched on before in this blog and ones that I continue to follow in the media. These issues have become extremely prevalent in teen culture and many youth based organizations are beginning to bring attention to the dangers teens face by taking part in such activities. One media conglomerate that has taken a strong call to action in recent years is MTV. The teen media giant has taken a few different approaches in educating teens on the dangers of sex through their core campaigns; It's Your (Sex) Life, which encourages young people to make responsible decisions about their sexual health and A THIN LINE, a campaign that teaches youth to identify, respond to and stop the spread of digital abuse.
Now, MTV has brought to life the work of Eve Ensler, author of The Vagina Monologues and legendary activist, to tackle teen issues such as safe sex, sexual pressure, "sexting," constant connectedness and dating abuse. The new campaign doesn't just look to educate teens on these issues, but to empower and encourage them to speak out about their experiences.
Last week, MTV began featuring a series of provocative spots focused on Ensler's critically-acclaimed, New York Times bestseller I am an Emotional Creature: the Secret Life of Girls Around the World. The book captures heartfelt life experiences from girls around the globe. Rosario Dawson, Aubrey Plaza (Parks and Recreation) and Jessica Stroup (90210) give voice to the stories that aim to inspire girls to take a deeper look into their minds, bodies, hearts and curiosities.
The five new spots on MTV and MTV.com feature the young celebrities reciting monologues from I am an Emotional Creature. You Tell Me How To Be a Girl in 2010 discusses the differences in dating today compared to previous generations. It examines how teens often base their relationships on social media norms. I Dance touches on young people's desires to stay above the constant pressures that they face, such as "sexting", by taking part in activities they actually enjoy. Dear Rihanna brings attention to dating violence and the common fact that many young people make excuses for abusive behavior. Asking the Question focuses on the importance of teens getting past the awkward encounter of asking the prophylactic question. It's Not a Baby, It's a Maybe takes a look at the consequences of applying selective abstinence.
MTV will also premiere exclusive interviews with Ensler, who is also the founder of V-Day. V-Day is a global movement to end violence against women and girls by encouraging them to respect themselves, own their feelings and make their own choices. The organization also looks to ignite activism among young women by providing them with a platform to amplify their voices.
I am always impressed by MTV's desire to reach out to their young audiences with new, innovative educational campaigns. For more than a decade, MTV has sought to teach their viewers on the importance of safe sex, and now in the new age of digital dating they are once again bringing the issues to a forefront. MTV seems to push the envelope with their sex education campaigns, which I think is a great way to reach young people. Teens, especially those of the digital age, don't want to be lectured about safe sex. And although MTV may be telling them something they have already heard, the fact that it is coming from their favorite celebrity offers a new level of interest.
The I am an Emotional Creature campaign is a way for MTV to educate their viewers through a global collection of first-hand, relatable teen experiences. The books monologues will be easy for teens to associate with and will hopefully teach them... if he/she can do it, so can I.