Thursday, July 28, 2011

Beauty Redefined Billboard Campaign

One person -- or in this case, two people (twin sisters) -- can make a difference! I know I'm not alone in being disgusted at all the billboards and other materials (magazines, TV ads, etc. etc. etc.) that objectify women's bodies and communicate the message that worth = looks/weight/size etc.

Lindsay and Lexie Kite, Ph.D. students in Communications, have decided to take action to help give women different messages. This week, twelve billboards are going up along the I-15 corridor in Northern Utah that will be a contrast to the bikini beer ads, the plastic surgery ads, and others that line the freeway.

One of the things I love about what the Kites are doing is that they are teaching media literacy. Too often, people just absorb the messages from the media without looking at them critically, analyzing the dynamics, and challenging falsehoods with which we are bombarded. Once I talked with them, I started realizing how completely saturated our world is with these messages. I also feel more determined to help my children understand the truth about who they are, and how different that truth is from what they hear and see in the culture around them.

To learn more about the Beauty Redefined campaign, see

You can also read an interview I did with the Kite sisters.

And here is a recent news story about the Beauty Redefined billboard campaign.



  1. I like this project VERY much. We definitely need to do some redefining.


    PS. My sister and niece and I were talking about this very subject yesterday.

  2. Very cool. Looking forward to seeing the new billboards. I hate driving past some of the ones up there now (with my kids in the car, especially!).

  3. Sue, I'd love to hear more of your thoughts on the subject, if you feel like sharing. ;) thoughts exactly. I was recently asked if I thought this 'fight fire with fire' approach was useful, and in this case, I think it definitely is, because it gives a direct contrast in that context to the GARBAGE we see.

  4. Billboards don't feature very highly in Australia, which I like. That being said, beauty is very stereotyped through advertising and tv shows.I'm glad I have close friends who have their own idea of beauty, none of which are based on "society".

    I think everyone wants to be told they are beautiful, and I think everyone needs to believe it.

  5. Great message Michelle. I wonder what effect those will have on women.

    I work in Marketing so I see and think about this issue from time to time. I think this will help spread the message that there are other qualities to develop other than looks.

    If anything, those that choose to develop looks as their priority have a short time to enjoy the benefits, where knowledge, work skills, and personality last a lifetime.