Upfront

A new APA video shows firsthand how skimpy pop star clothes and reality TV-show divas can affect girls' self-image. "Girls Talk: The Sexualization of Girls," available on APA's website, focuses on six middle-school girls who sit down to share their thoughts on the images they see in advertising, on television shows and elsewhere.

The girls talk about American Apparel ads, pop star Nicki Minaj's outfits, and the TV show "Toddlers and Tiaras."

The video follows up on the APA Public Interest Directorate's groundbreaking 2007 task force report on the sexualization of girls, which found that the proliferation of such sexualized images is harmful to girls' self-image and healthy development.

Produced by Public Interest Directorate Communication Coordinator Tina Wolridge, the video has been viewed more than 11,000 times on YouTube.

It will also be included in a curriculum APA is developing to teach middle-schoolers to think critically about the topic.

"I believe if we empower our girls, they can empower other girls," says Wolridge. "Together with a good support team that includes parents, educators, family and friends — we can win."

— Lea Winerman