Kappa Delta hosts Jean Kilbourne at Colorado State

The women of Kappa Delta want to encourage self-confidence in all CSU women, and hope to do so through the teachings of feminist author, speaker and filmmaker Jean Kilbourne.

On November 13 at 7 p.m. in the Lory Student Center theatre, Kappa Delta will host Jean Kilbourne, the filmmaker behind acclaimed documentary “Killing Us Softly,” to speak about how women are perceived in the media. The event is free and open to everyone.

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“My hope is that [attendees] will realize that all of these images that are placed on us aren’t defining – I mean, that’s not what a woman really is,” said Carrie Mobley, Kappa Delta president. “It’s an image that society creates for us to be, but we don’t have to conform to that.”

Kilbourne will deliver a message that is very close to what Kappa Delta believes in as a national organization, exemplified by their ‘Confidence Coalition.’ The purpose of this Kappa Delta initiative is to inspire confidence in women. Its ideals are utilized as the CSU KD women volunteer with local Girl Scouts for their philanthropy, hoping to inspire the young girls to be more self-confident.

Last week in order to promote their event with Jean Kilbourne, the Confidence Coalition committee sold paper roses that said “you’re beautiful because…” for $1, encouraging students to tell friends or loved ones that they are beautiful. On Monday, all CSU Panhellenic women were also asked to participate in a day without makeup.

“The Confidence Coalition inspires women to reach their true potential, and realize how beautiful they really are,” Mobley said. “It’s something that we kind of just picked up and incorporated into our overarching values.”

Kappa Delta hopes that will have a positive effect on the self-confidence of CSU women, and help to dispel lies about beauty that the media has promoted.

“Having Jean coming to speak is (good) because it will open up our eyes to why we have these standards for ourselves and our community members, and how having those standards, especially beauty standards, is unfair,” said Alissa Meeks, Gamma Phi Beta and Panhellenic member in charge of organizing the event. “It creates a lot of pressure on our community.”

Kilbourne said that she first decided to take on the issue of women in the media in the 1970s because although it widely affects men, women and children, at that time it was a topic that no one had addressed.

“This is every bit as (important) for men as it is for women,” Kilbourne said. “People leave my lectures, or my films, and what I hear more than anything else is, ‘I’ll never look at ads the same way.’ So, I’m hoping that people will learn more about what’s really being sold in advertising, beyond products. Advertising sells attitudes and values and images, and that kind of thing, and (I hope) that seeing my presentation will make people much more aware of that, and that awareness, in turn, makes us much less easily manipulated.”

Kilbourne said that although she wishes media literacy were taught earlier in our society, learning about the influences of advertising and how it affects the behavior of men and women is still extremely important for college students.

“Ideally, people should be learning this kind of thing really very early on,” Kilbourne said. “In the United States, we don’t really teach media literacy – we don’t teach people how to pay attention to advertising. And so that’s why for many people, even college students, this comes as news… it’s a new angle on how to look at advertising, which surrounds us. We all believe that we’re not influenced by it, but I hope to demonstrate that indeed we are.”

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Collegian Reporter Ellie Mulder can be reached at news@collegian.com.