The Wellesley Centers for Women (WCW) will host a special screening of the highly anticipated update to the pioneering Killing Us Softly series and a conversation with local film maker Jean Kilbourne, Ed.D., on Wednesday, May 12th at 5:00 p.m. on the Wellesley College campus. The fourth in a series, the newly released documentary takes a fresh look at how advertising traffics in distorted and destructive ideals of femininity.
Killing Us Softly 4 marshals a range of new print and television advertisements to lay bare a stunning pattern of damaging gender stereotypes—images and messages that too often reinforce unrealistic, and unhealthy, perceptions of beauty, perfection, and sexuality. By bringing Kilbourne’s groundbreaking analysis up to date, Killing Us Softly 4 stands to challenge a new generation to take advertising seriously, and to think critically about popular culture and its relationship to sexism, eating disorders, and gender violence.
A senior scholar at WCW, Kilbourne is internationally recognized for her groundbreaking work on the image of women in advertising and for her critical studies of alcohol and tobacco advertising. In the late 1960s she began her exploration of the connection between advertising and several public health issues, including violence against women, eating disorders, and addiction, and launched a movement to promote media literacy as a way to prevent these problems. A radical and original idea at the time, this approach is now mainstream and an integral part of most prevention programs. Her films, lectures, and television appearances have been seen by millions of people throughout the world. Kilbourne was named by The New York Times Magazine as one of the three most popular speakers on college campuses. She is the creator of the renowned Killing Us Softly: Advertising’s Image of Women film series and the author of the award-winning book Can’t Buy My Love: How Advertising Changes the Way We Think and Feel and co-author of So Sexy So Soon: The New Sexualized Childhood and What Parents Can Do to Protect Their Kids.
The program will begin at 5:00 in Collins Cinema on the Wellesley College campus. For more information, visit: www.wcwonline.org/calendar.
Work at the Wellesley Centers for Women addresses three major areas: the social and economic status of women and girls and the advancement of their human rights both in the United States and around the globe; the education, care, and development of children and youth; and the emotional well-being of families and individuals. Issues of diversity and equity are central across all the work as are the experiences and perspectives of women from a variety of backgrounds and cultures. This year, the Centers is celebrating its 35th anniversary. Learn more at www.wcwonline.org/35years.