Zoom Vixens and Virgins and Other Mythological Creatures: How Teenage Girls See Themselves

Vixens and Virgins and Other Mythological Creatures: How Teenage Girls See Themselves

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Sex parties, drugs, eating disorders, suicide...It seems everywhere you turn there’s another report of teenage girls gone bad. This program follows one mother’s investigation into the lives of young women and the mixed messages that girls receive about conforming to specific behavioral or beauty ideals. “Media feeds girls a constant diet of provocative images and then calls them sluts or skanks when they achieve that look,” says Dr. Lyn Mikel Brown, one of three specialists on female adolescence featured in the film. Through candid conversations with teen girls about sex, substance abuse, and the pressure to be popular, viewers glimpse the real-life stories behind the scandalous headlines and find a generation that is at once more accomplished, and yet more anxiety-ridden, than perhaps any other before. (46 minutes)

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What's Going on With Teen Girls? (01:34)
The filmmaker orients viewers by describing how she became interested in researching teen girls. See excerpts from the upcoming program.

Meet the Girls (03:56)

Vancouver B.C.: Mallory (15) and Teal (16) are both in recovery from drug use. Sam comes up with a plan to get more teens involved in the project.

Meet the Women (02:04)

Dr. Sharon Lamb and Dr. Lyn Brown have spent their careers studying adolescent girls. Author and sociologist Shauna Pomerantz has observed student life at a high school.

Honesty Box Responses (03:28)

Sam, Teal, and Mallory gather to read comments from high school girls. Negative responses outnumber positive ones three to one.

Living Up to Media Message (02:17)

Women and girls are performing better than ever before. Teal, Sam, and Mallory talk about their early high school memories.

Impossible Beauty Standards (04:05)

Fat and ugly were the most common responses in the honesty boxes. Insecurity about looks is intensified by digital technology. Fashion and cosmetics industries profit from insecurity.

Fighting for Survival (01:53)

Teal recalls her early high school years. Being popular was stressful.

"Mean Girl" Phenomenon (02:23)

This recently coined phrase promoted by the media has created a truth where none existed. Reality shows perpetuate the idea that girls are their own worst enemies.

Power of Media Labels (03:01)

Young girls in high school discover that sexuality seems powerful. Popular culture is not geared toward the well being of girls. Media fascination with celebrity parallels its focus on teen girls.

The Rainbow Party Myth (02:13)

Teens talk about oral sex and media hype.

Fact Vs. Fiction (02:10)

Teens get swept up in media hype about sex. The girls are way off when they speculate about the average age of sexual activity. The girls discuss the impact of porn on teen sex.

Eating Disorders (02:10)

The effort to be thin preoccupies most high school girls. Teens suffering from anorexia and bulimia can find people to support this dangerous behavior on the internet.

Self Injury (02:45)

The girls describe self mutilation as self inflicted punishment. Sam opens up about hurting herself and self medicating. Her parents provided a life line during this scary time.

Drug and Alcohol Abuse (04:36)

Substance abuse has become a right of passage for teenagers. Teal and Mallory talk about meeting strangers on the Internet. The girls find out one of their friends has overdosed.

Focus on the Postive (02:02)

Girls and women are more successful than every. Backlash in media and society my be a result of upsetting the gender balance. Sam, Teal, and Mallory are thriving.

Multi Media Exhibit (02:17)

Teal, Mallory, and Sam create an art display using language of opposition. They use words of grief and insecurity to create a call for action.

Final Thoughts on "Girl Problems" (02:15)

Social problems require social solutions. Most girls manage to survive the teen years and thrive as women. The girls write letters of advice to their 13 year old selves.

Credits: Vixens and Virgins and Other Mythological Creatures (01:01)

Credits: Vixens and Virgins and Other Mythological Creatures

Length: 47 minutes

Copyright Date: 2010

Vixens and Virgins and Other Mythological Creatures: How Teenage Girls See Themselves



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