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Cover Girl Culture
Awakening the Media Generation
A film by Nicole Clark
US, 2009, 80 minutes, Color, DVD, English
Order No. W09979
Being thin, pretty and sexy brings happiness. Young girls receive these messages daily hundreds of times. But who sets these impossible beauty standards—and how can they be changed? In this eye-opening documentary, filmmaker and former Elite International fashion model Nicole Clark, now a champion for young girls and their self-esteem, calls for a necessary change: integrity and responsible media for our youth.

COVER GIRL CULTURE pairs images of girls and women in television and print ads with footage from the catwalks and celebrity media. Clark is given rare access to women editors from major magazines like ”Teen Vogue” and ”ELLE”, who provide a shocking defense of the fashion and advertising worlds. The film juxtaposes these interviews with revealing insights from models, parents, teachers, psychologists, body image experts and most importantly, the heartfelt expressions of girls themselves on how they feel about the media that surrounds them.

With an insider’s view, the film addresses issues like today’s increasingly invasive media, heightened advertising to tweens, the sexualization of girls, and consumer culture’s disempowerment of young women. An up-to-date inquiry into advertising and the cult of celebrity’s deep and negative impact on teens and young women, COVER GIRL CULTURE also suggests how to educate young women to think critically about the media.


Parents Television Council, Seal of Approval Award
Delray Beach Film Festival, Community Service Award

  • Women’s International Film Festival, Miami
  • Big Bear Lake International Film Festival

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    "A powerful and unrelenting critique of the marketing of sexiness to young women and even little girls."
    Joan Jacobs Brumberg
    Author, “Fasting Girls: The History of Anorexia Nervosa”

    “A very important and educational film [that] can teach young women to take a more objective look at what they are being taught to think about themselves by the media, and perhaps for the first time, to question it.”
    Ally Sheedy

    “Remind[s] others loudly that a true cover girl is one who is full of strength, power, confidence and compassion, not a vapid, thinned out display model used to sell self loathing to the masses."
    Dr. Robyn Silverman
    Body Image Expert, Coach and Author, “Good Girls Don’t Get Fat”

    “A powerful teaching tool to deconstruct and uplift,…poignantly gives the girls’ eye view of the collateral damage in this fight for the hearts and minds of children’s perception of their own self-worth.”
    Amy Jussel
    Executive Dir., Shaping Youth

    “A hugely important piece for young girls everywhere…Helps us understand why it is so imperative to guide our girls towards a healthy appreciation for the unique and beautiful aspects of themselves as individuals.”
    Mariel Hemingway

    “Funny… [and] heartbreaking.”
    Celeste Fraser Delgado
    MOLI View

    "The documentary reveals the insidious reality of U.S. consumer culture and tells parents how to combat the beauty industry's grasp on their daughters: Teach media literacy."
    Ms. Magazine

    "I have treated Eating Disorders for 20 years. In that time, I have never come across anything that has the impact of 'Cover Girl Culture'. The filmmaker did a brilliant job of exposing the media's soul-killing influence on our girls today. I believe that all parents of girls should see this film."
    Kelly Boswell, PhD, Licensed Psychologist

    “As a Girl Scout Troop Leader, I deal with the impact the media’s messages have on our girls.… These girls will never look at a fashion magazine or fashion ads the same way thanks to Cover Girl Culture.”
    Elissa M. Jackson
    Girl Scout Troop Leader, Cadette Troop 2943

    “Cover Girl Culture introduce(s) many constructs and themes essential to discuss in gender and women’s studies courses… Showing [it] at the very beginning of such a course would provide an excellent introduction to material that will be discussed in more detail throughout the course, generate students’ excitement and anticipation for the material, spark discussion…”
    Tracy L. Tylka & Rachel M. Calogero
    Sex Roles Journal

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    Cover Girl Culture is included in the following Special Collections.
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