Erin McNeill

I am a journalist and the mother of two boys, a teen and an almost teen. I believe we need to act to protect all children from the toxic commercialism that is running rampant over their lives. We have to say “stop!” to the powers that are selling sex and violence to our children from infancy. We must educate ourselves about the insidious nature of marketing to children today, and we must give our children the tools they need to protect themselves from the effects of this bombardment of materialism, violence and sexualization that leads to depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, loss of individuality, obesity, unhealthy relationships, and violence. We need to find our way through the wilderness of harmful messages to our children, for the well-being of our children, and for the future of our society.

L.L. Bean, Land's End, dipping toes into pornification game

I’m not sure the trickle down theory works in economics, but it sure seems to be taking effect in sexualized marketing. It starts with a drip, drip, drip. While sexualization creep touches girls at younger and younger ages, it also starts moving into new green territory. Parents who don’t want to expose their girls to “I’m too pretty for homework” t-shirts, could always turn to Land's End. Until this:...more

Girls and Sports: The Power of Showing Real Women Being Strong

A few weeks back, I wrote about the positive effect it can have on girls to portray female athletes engaged in their sports, being strong and competent, rather than as sexualized objects. For instance, here is a women’s rugby marketing campaign on campus that shows real women being strong. The campaign is for the club at Arizona State University. ...more

Thank you for posting one of our posters. This campaign was so incredibly fun to execute. ...more

Got my knickers in a twist over this catalog

It came in through the mail slot.It's a Spanx catalog and it entered my home uninvited this weekend. I called the 800 number immediately and asked to be taken off the mailing list.And then, although they didn’t ask, I told them why....more

Shopping adventures with the cynical boys

When the boys got back from camp a few weeks ago, they had a craving for some goodies after a summer of wholesome cooking over an open fire....more

I'm looking at their website and it's cool. But it really does look like the Fresh Markets I've ...more

What does Hannah Montana have to do with fishing?

At the lake house we rented for a family vacation, there was a fishing pole. Here is my niece trying to catch a fish in the lake. The purple fishing pole reel has a Hannah Montana logo on it....more

Get out the popcorn, it's movie time! Sigh.

It’s summer, so I’ve been thinking about movies. This week, my husband and I watched a movie that did not pass the Bechdel Test. What’s that? Why, it’s a pretty funny, in a sadly telling way, measurement of a movie maker’s view, either of  women, or of the movie-going public. To pass the test, a movie has to have these three features: at least two female characters, who talk to each other, about something other than men. Now that I’ve learned about this test, I don’t think I’ll ever be able to watch a movie in the same way again. ...more

This book is making me jumpy

Do children and youths today have a too-short attention span? Experts are concerned, but what's the culprit? It's been said that the internet is having a negative effect on people's ability to concentrate. (See Is Google making us stupid? in The Atlantic.) ...more