Category Archives: News

Teen Identity Mag Launches New Show

We’re excited to announce the launch of a new show on TeenIdentityMag.com. It’s called “2 Minutes with Taylor.” It’s a kind of variety show starring one of our Teen Identity team members, Taylor Smith. For months we’ve been planning to create original content for the online magazine that will get teen girls coming back again and again. This benefits them (a positive and entertaining alternative to what’s currently being marketed to teen girls) and it will benefit our Network members as traffic to the site increases.

At first glance, the show may not seem like much. Just a girl talking to the camera with a colorful background. However, based on our research of shows that have huge followings on YouTube, we think this has great potential. Shows like juicystar07, iJustine, kevjumba, and perhaps the most popular YouTube channel of all NigaHiga . Three key essentials we’ve noticed are

  1. Relatability
  2. Simplicity
  3. Comedy

We should state that it is not our goal to become an uber-Tuber. It would be great if we ended up with hundreds of thousands (or even tens of thousands) of views. But, we’re doing this because we sincerely want to create a slate of shows for teen girls that is truly a positive alternative.

Keep up to date with all the Teen Identity shows at our YouTube channel or subscribe to them in iTunes.

Celebrity Photographer Jeremy Cowart TI Coach and Partner

We’re pleased and excited to announce world renown celebrity, fashion and commercial photographer Jeremy Cowart has joined the ranks of Teen Identity Network coaches and partners. Jeremy does not typically offer personalized one-on-one coaching, so the coaching arrangement of Jeremy’s participation is slightly different than our other arrangements.  We think all Lifetime and Network members will still be thrilled with what we were able to work out with Jeremy. E-mail coaching@teenidentity.com for more details.

Jeremy has also agreed to offer his soon to be released Lifefinder DVD at a discount to Network members. We’re just working out the logistics of how to make it work. So stay tuned.

As the founder of Help-Portrait, Jeremy is a photographer who’s always been committed to using his talents to better his community. Teen Identity’s mission to raise the confidence and self-esteem of teen girls across America fits right in line with Jeremy’s overall belief in giving back.

About Jeremy:

Jeremy Cowart is a professional photographer from Nashville, Tennessee. Beginning his photography career in 2005, Jeremy quickly became a respected artistic voice in the industry. Having shot numerous musicians, entertainers and celebrities, Jeremy is also the founder of Help Portrait, a worldwide movement of photographers giving free portraits to those less fortunate. As his list of clients continues to grow, so does Jeremy’s desire to improve, share, teach, and give back to those around him.

This Month’s Gift to Network Members – Power Pricing MP3

One of the ways we will provide value to our network members is by giving free digital goodies that are worth at least as much, if not more than the already low monthly membership fee of $10. This month we’re giving all of our network members a free download of Ron’s “Power Pricing Strategies” mp3 (a $30 value!). This is a 75 minute coaching call session where Ron goes in-depth into pricing your services. The download also comes with the pdf “Building Your Business with Blogging.” The free download will only last during the month of December. It expires on December 31, so take advantage of it now. If you’re already a Network member, you should have received an e-mail with the link. If you’re not already member, then what are you waiting for? Join now and help us change a generation. (After signing up, we’ll send you a welcome e-mail with a link to the download, as well as instructions on how to take advantage of off the other Network benefits).

The Sexual Objectification of Women in Media

I don’t know who discovered water, but it certainly wasn’t a fish!” ~ Marshal Mcluhan

The point Mcluhan makes here is that some things are so common place to us, that we don’t even recognize they’re there. That is what the over-sexualization and objectification of women in media has become.

Our goal with the Teen Identity Network is to encourage professional photographers and filmmakers to help change the way females are portrayed in the media. We want to educate professionals and get them to think twice about the kind of photos or video they take of teen girls. We all are so bombarded by sexualized and objectified images of women every day, that it is easy for any of us to not even realize we could be contributing to the problem, instead of fixing it.

Example of Objectification

We will continue to provide education to help Network members understand and evaluate how the sexualization of girls and women happens in media. Our hope is that you can take away real and concrete ideas to implement into your studio.

The education and information we’re providing is being based on industry experts who have completed years (and in some cases, decades) of research on the topic. For instance, here were some findings recently reported at the S.P.A.R.K. Summit (Sexualization Protest: Action Resistance Knowledge). This was for a period of study from June 2006 to June 2010 and it dealt with the coding of sexualization in music video:

  • provocative dance
  • male gaze
  • close ups on body parts (most common)
  • provocative dress – sexual stereotype, sexy school girl, body glove, dominatrix, etc.
  • 92.8% of music videos contained at least one measure of sexualization
  • race differences: black artists twice as likely to be portrayed with provocative dress, similar in other 3 areas
  • genre differences: country less than pop and r&b

As noted above, one of the key ways objectification happens is when you take a photograph that accentuates or focuses on just one body part, rather than the whole girl. The sexualization of the girl is worse if that body part is one of the five that are inherently the most sexual: legs/hips, buttocks, crotch, mid-drift, and bust. Any time any of these areas are accentuated or exclusively highlighted in a photograph, you run the risk of objectifying in a sexual way, that teen girl. (Especially if the body part is completely bare).

I know that some people will read this and think “How prude.” I don’t think it’s about being prude. It’s about addressing a real problem and issue in this country that has very REAL ramifications on the lives and esteem of teen girls. (We’ll blog a little later about those ramifications).

Killing Us Softly

Jean Kilbourne is a celebrated speaker and advocate for female self esteem and health issues. The objectification of women in media is a topic she has addressed, studied, and fought against for forty years. Much of the education and work we do with Teen Identity is inspired by her work. Take a look at this short excerpt from her latest DVD series, “Killing Us Softly.” After watching it, think about the kind of photos you’re taking of teen girls, and ask how much your work is influenced (in a positive or negative way) by the media.

Meet the Team – Part 3 of 4

This is part 3 in our series of videos introducing you to the girls on our local Teen Identity team who are helping us change the world. Most of these girls are our senior portrait clients. They are part of our “True Beauty Model Program” which is our ambassador marketing program: where you get your senior portrait clients to help market your business to their friends. Some studios call them “models.” Some use the term “street team.”

The True Beauty Model Program

We’ve taken our street team concept to a whole new level. The girls are more than just marketing reps for us. We get them more involved with special photo and/or video projects that give back to the community and address important issues all teen girls face. We’re now getting girls applying to be “True Beauty Models” from literally all over the world.