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"The Illusionists" documentarychange for the better

30 Reasons Why I’m Making The Illusionists (and I’m Funding It Independently)

June 29th, 2011

We have just reached 30% of our funding goal on – in just 6 days! 10,200 thanks to all our wonderful backers.

I thought I’d celebrate the occasion by listing the 30 main reasons why I am making this documentary and why I have decided to fund it independently:

#1: For my eight wonderful nieces (aged 2 – 13) and for girls the world over, so that they will grow up to be strong, confident women, well armed to fight toxic media messages.

#2: Because there is a war being waged against our bodies. In the name of the almighty dollar, Euro, yen…

#3: Because of this quote by Ambrose Bierce: “To men a man is but a mind. Who cares what face he carries or what he wears? But a woman’s body is the woman.

#4: Because as a woman, I’m the constant target of toxic advertising messages. And I know what it feels like.

#5: So that I can tell the WHOLE truth. Without interference or censorship by media companies.

#6: So that I can be in control and make sure that the film’s message won’t be diluted or dumbed down.

#7: Because marketers know that sad people are bigger spenders. And they prey on our insecurities.

#8: (related to #7) because in the modern world, happy people are considered bad consumers.

#9: Because body dissatisfaction is starting to affect girls as young as 6.

#10: Because wearing lipstick, mascara, and eyeliner is becoming the new normal for elementary school girls. As a child of the 1980’s, this would have been appalling in my days.

#11: Because of “Toddlers and Tiaras

#12: Because media consumption is increasing exponentially and is expected to reach 90 hours a week by 2020. Most of it is supported by advertising. Most advertising preys on our insecurities and anxieties.

#13: Because wrinkles used to be a sign of wisdom. Now they’re demonized.

#14: (Related to #13) Because my mom at 62 shies away from the camera. I find her beautiful.

#15: Because I can’t stand double standards. Women’s faces are always thoroughly airbrushed in pictures, whereas men can have deep wrinkles and blemishes. This creates different expectations for both sexes.

#16: Because TV & film audiences and readers of women’s magazines have no idea what a real woman’s 62-year-old face looks like.

#17: To expose the cynical nature of advertising: the same brands sell skin whitening creams in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East and self-tanning lotion in the rest of the world. The mantra: you can’t be beautiful just as you are.

#18: Because the beauty industry doesn’t care if you look good. All they care about is that you are a “good consumer” and spend money on their products.

#19: Because I agree with Naomi Wolf: “A cultural fixation on female thinness is not an obsession about female beauty but an obsession about female obedience.

#20: Because 90% of women overestimate their body weight.

#21: Because according to the British Journal of Psychology, nowadays half of all 3 to 6 year old girls worry about being fat.

#22: Because pregnant women and new mothers have become a new target of body scrutiny.

#23: Because body anxiety is affecting men and boys as well.

#24: Because digital retouching is now being employed not just in photography but also in videos and films. Soon, unlined faces will take over all the media we consume… and real faces will become the minority. Unless you watch art house films, that is.

#25: Because Botulinum toxin was used as a weapon in the Gulf War. Now it’s injected in tiny doses in people’s faces to freeze their muscles and decrease the appearance of wrinkles.

#26: Because of this quote by Jean Kilbourne: “What does advertising tell us about women? It tells us, just like it did 30, and 40, and 50 years ago that what’s most important about women is how we look.

#27: Because of this study showing the link between media influence and body dissatisfaction.

#28: Because self-esteem plays a big part in people’s happiness and well being. And it is under constant assault by an army of marketers.

#29: Because Guy Debord’s 1967 predictions came true: we have become a “Society of the Spectacle.”

#30: Because I feel inspired by this quote by Margaret Mead: “A small group of thoughtful people could change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

Thank you again for your amazing support. You can watch our video and make a pledge by clicking here.