Watch What You Watch: Girl Scouts PSA Encourages Girls to Examine Media Critically [VIDEO]


Yesterday while watching TV, I came across a great PSA by the Girl Scouts of the USA called “Watch What You Watch.”

Take a look at the 30 second spot I saw:

In this media enriched world we live in, teaching youth how to critically examine what they watch and see in the media is now more important than ever, especially for girls. In fact, a Girl Scouts nationwide survey on body image found a direct correlation between the media and how girls view themselves.

One of the key findings of the study was that girls felt pressure from the media and fashion industry to be thin. Nine out of ten girls said the fashion industry (89%) and/or the media (88%) placed “a lot of pressure on teenage girls to be thin.” Eighty-one percent of girls also they would prefer to see more “natural” / “real” images of models in the media rather than “touched-up, airbrushed versions.”

“Watch What You Watch” calls on youth to critically examine how women and girls are portrayed in the media — on television, movies, magazines, and ads. “No-one should tell us how we should look,” says Felicity Huffman, known most for her character on Desperate Housewives, in the PSA.

Viewing the media with a critical eye is not only important in terms of the size and shape of women and girls represented, which is more often than not extremely thin, but also important for examining all the messages youth receive from the media about what’s “cool,” “popular,” “hot,” etc. The celebrities say, “Question everything!”

The PSA won the prestigious 2011 Gracie Award for Outstanding Public Service Announcement. The award strives to encourage the realistic and faceted portrayal of women in entertainment, commercials, news, features and other programs.

If you want to check out the 60 second PSA which also includes some male celebrities watch the video below:

What do you think? Will you watch what you watch more critically now?

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Yoplait Removes An Eating Disorder Triggering Commercial


Photo: Youtube video screen shot

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Allison P.
Allison P.2 years ago

This is great! I think it would be even better if some of these stick-thin celebrities really tell the truth about what it takes for them to maintain their unrealistic (for most people) bodies.

Kynthia R.
Kynthia R.3 years ago

The Girl Scouts have always been focused on relevant issues to young ladies. Unlike the Boy Scouts, they dont prepare their young charges to be soldiers and homophobes.

Tim Cheung
Tim C.4 years ago


Martha Eberle
Martha Eberle4 years ago

I am glad to see the Girl Scouts modernize and talk about relevant things. Good message for girls. .... Now if the Boy Scouts could get their act together and stop their exclusionary message.

colleen p.
colleen p.4 years ago

what about disfigured and "deformed"? why is it only the fat girls get catered to? because they starve themself thin?
I lack the means to start an acting school or funds for "the other other" shaped females.

where are the scoliosis inflicted chicks?

Robert O.
Robert O.4 years ago


Jonni Stormo
Jonni Stormo4 years ago

I saw this PSA yesterday too, and I was not especially pleased. While I like the overall idea, the message in this PSA seems to claim "just because we are super pretty and skinny doesn't mean you have to be" with one obligatory heavy girl and one older woman. Even more absurd, I first saw this commercial aired immediately after another common ad that I find incredibly sexist and offensive; one for "Drop Dead Diva" which ends with the heavier main character standing in the foreground while a significantly skinnier "shadow" behind her strikes sexy poses. Perhaps instead of warning us to be more aware of what messages media sends us (right after the same station hypocritically airs those messages), the media should just stop sending us messages intended to insult and belittle.

Past Member 4 years ago

I agree with the other posts here, that the PSA falls short. How about showing confident "real" people, particularly teens and young adults since this is the audience -- and having them say "I don't need celebrities to tell me what to wear or say or do!".

Michele H.
Michele H.4 years ago

i can agree with you Deborah K. :'}

Deborah Kampfer
Deborah Vitek4 years ago

What we need to focus on is being HEALTHY. If one eats a good diet and exercises and is 30 pounds "overweight", that is how they are supposed to be and so what. But there needs to be great emphasis on exercise and diet. When I see skinny young girls with no muscle tone I simply feel sorry for them. Being strong and fit makes life so much easier.....let's go with that idea.