The first time I read about Jess was on a crowd funding website (Pozible.com) and I was instantly touched; she was seeking funding to print a body-positive mag called Brainwash Magazine as part of her initiative The Brainwash Project. Most importantly, she was demanding major magazines give more respect to women and young girls who are constantly targeted by the media to look ‘perfect’, attract the attention of boys and fulfil stereotypes. She was directly confronting CLEO Magazine by asking them to stop printing digitally altered images where appearances have been changed via a Change.org petition.
It took me two minutes to say: I need to meet this girl. And a couple of e-mails later Paper People became a play date between two girls and a few topics: body image, self-esteem, feminism, boys, advertising and size diversity. I wanted to share not only her story but also her urge to unveil these issues and -to be honest- my wishes too.
I read that Jess wanted to leave this world a better place than she found it and it reminded me instantly of the younger, less conformist version of myself, and the reason why I write and make films. And Jess is living proof that changing the world is possible. In the few weeks that have passed between the making of Paper People, Jess has not only visited the CLEO offices and the editor but also achieved the following:
- CLEO decided to publish their photoshopping policy in every issue from now on, at the FRONT of the magazine.
- They are asking if readers would like a disclaimer to acknowledge the digital alterations done to externally sourced cover images, and are thus considering putting a disclaimer on the inside cover regarding the cover image.
- While CLEO continues to publish digitally altered externally sourced images, they have received the message of the petition and have presented a 6-page body image debate in their November 2012 issue which is helping to spread awareness.
If you want to take part in The Brainwash Project visit:
or email Jessica at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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