For those of you completely freaked out by the Internet video featuring very young girls dressed like street-walking Cinderellas and spouting more F-bombs than one would hear in a women's correctional facility, there is a soon-to-be viral antidote. I won't link to the vile video. It will just get more hits. Try this out instead while you are reading. I'll bet you will be humming along within minutes, and if you are a mom with a young daughter, you will definitely want her to watch this.
The world of social media works in strange, serendipitous ways. I received an email last week from a singer-songwriter friend, Claire Holley, with a link to the "Supermodel Astronaut Challenge." Knowing that women's issues are a big part of my world-view, she thought I might want to explore the story behind the video. The fledgling media campaign is aimed at young girls and women and embraces the statement "I am enough." Supermodel Astronaut Challenge was written and produced by Holley's friend, Ellen Tift, who is a professor at Belmont University School of Music in Nashville and co-owner of Worldwide Groove Corporation.
"Ellen has been generous to me personally in my artistic endeavors," Holley wrote in an impassioned email.
Right off the bat I was hooked with the idea of women in the competitive music business helping each other with no strings attached.
Warning. The tune is so catchy, the images so whimsical, and the message so uplifting, you won't be able to get it out of your head.
Supermodel Astronaut Challenge is a wonderfully produced video that stands on its own as a musical endeavor. Throw in the message, and YouTube has something very special.
In an email, I asked writer and producer Tift what motivated her to start this media campaign. I assumed it was in response to the F-bomb video that so thoroughly exploits young girls.
I was wrong.
Tift was only marginally aware of the offensive video, and Supermodel Astronaut Challenge was born out of her conviction that, even in the after-glow of the feminist movement, women and girls are faced with impossible media images that rob self-esteem and sap creative energy. Unrealistic ideals make us feel inferior. There has never been a Supermodel Astronaut.
The song came first, Tift says.
She had been struggling with feelings of inadequacies as a musician. Was she in a "self-indulgent and frivolous" career?
"So, I think creating a campaign that can affect change in a positive way, fueled by a song I've written, for me that is absolutely as good as it gets in terms of using my own personal gifts in the best way I can," she said.
How often do you feel that you are not good enough?
"That is the question. The answer is obvious. Much time and energy is wasted with feelings of inferiority everyday."
This video floods the viewer with dozens of images of women and girls who are happy in their own skin. It's OK to be exactly who you are. You are enough. Embrace the idea. Sing about it. Dance to the music and immerse yourself in the beauty of life on this earth.
Tift has crafted a powerful message that is accessible to women and girls of all ages and all cultures.
"I'd just like to add that I wrote the pledge based on years of life experience, reading books, and conversations with women. I need this pledge just as much as anyone else. Even in the process of creating and promoting this whole campaign, I've had to remember self-grace and all the rest of it. I think we can be so hard on ourselves. It's detrimental to our wellbeing. It's true for me, anyway. I need this challenge," she said.
Tift is encouraging girls to make their own videos, submit to social media, and use the song with no royalty worries.
Who are the real Supermodel Astronauts? Watch the video and find out. It may surprise you.