By MARGOT PEPPERS
A group of protestors stripped down to their bras and underwear on Saturday outside a Victoria's Secret store in San Francisco, California, to protest media representations of 'perfect' bodies. The members of About-Face, an organization promoting positive body images, wanted to send the message that women don't need to look like super-toned and ultra-thin Victoria's Secret models in order to be attractive. Protestors proudly took to Facebook and Twitter to share photos of themselves, half-clothed and carrying motivational signs that said: 'I pledge to love my body'.
The demonstration, which was organized mostly via Facebook, was called Operation Real Bodies Real Love: About-Face Action of Body Acceptance and Self-Love. Jennifer Berger, executive director of the organization, told ABC7 that their message was: 'Not everybody needs to be like that in order to be attractive, in order to be awesome in general.'
The group gathered to take a stand against the size-zero ideal. 'We really wanted to speak out against that whole piece of it,' she said. Protestors included at least one male participant, who stood outside the store wearing just his boxers and carried a list of 'tips for body love', like 'Tell yourself how great you are in the mirror'. The group asked passers-by to sign a 'body pledge', which encouraged them to accept their bodies as they are. They also enlisted people to add to and sign a petition against clothing brands like Victoria's Secret, who promote the unrealistic media portrayal of the 'perfect' body,
The San Francisco-based organization, which was founded in 1995, also promoted the event via its website. 'We want to represent the public and fight for more accurate representations of bodies in the media,' said a release.
The non-profit hopes that with various demonstrations it can push brands like Victoria's Secret and Abercrombie and Fitch to include more diverse body types in their ads and clothing designs. 'About-Face equips women and girls with tools to understand and resist harmful media messages that affect self-esteem and body image,' says the website.
The site also explains why the group finds it necessary to debunk negative media messages about body image and weight. Reasons include the fact that 'teenage girls who read articles about dieting are five times more likely to take extreme weight-loss measures five years later than girls who do not read such articles.'
By BIANCA LONDON
Ugly, flame-haired plastic dolls became one of the United States' biggest toy fads in the early 1960s. And although they are usually the plaything of small children, one grown woman is so obsessed with trolls dolls that she owns over 3,000. And mother-of-one Michelle Kerrins' obsession shows no sign of abating. The 38-year-old began her crazy obsession when she was just 10 years old and now spends at least four days a week scouring flea markets and thrift stores for yet more, usually snapping up at least three new ones a week.
The gymnastics instructor from Los Angeles spends several hours a day in her 'troll sanctuary' - the spare bedroom she has transformed into a showcase for her trolls. And whenever long suffering husband Dean complains, Michelle puts on her special troll patterned bikini - which she refuses to wear in a pool for fear the chlorine will ruin it - and flirts with him. However, Dean draws the line at getting close to Michelle when she puts on her troll mask. Daughter Delaney, 14, is more understanding and even helps her mother undertake the mammoth task of cleaning the trolls and photographing each of them so they can be catalogued.
Speaking about her love of trolls on TLC's My Crazy Obsession, Michelle said: 'Trolls make me really happy when they are all looking at me.
'I think they are so ugly they are cute. I like the odd things in life. I can never have enough troll dolls.'
When volunteers and employees were suspected of sexually abusing children, Boy Scout officials often didn't tell police, files from 1970-91 reveal. In many cases they sought to hide the situation.
By Kim Christensen and Jason Felch, Los Angeles Times
September 16, 2012
Over two decades, the Boy Scouts of America failed to report hundreds of alleged child molesters to police and often hid the allegations from parents and the public.
A Los Angeles Times review of 1,600 confidential files dating from 1970 to 1991 has found that Scouting officials frequently urged admitted offenders to quietly resign — and helped many cover their tracks.
The details are contained in the organization's confidential "perversion files," a blacklist of alleged molesters, that the Scouts have used internally since 1919. Scouts' lawyers around the country have been fighting in court to keep the files from public view.
Spoiler:As The Times reported in August, the blacklist often didn't work: Men expelled for alleged abuses slipped back into the program, only to be accused of molesting again. Now, a more extensive review has shown that Scouts sometimes abetted molesters by keeping allegations under wraps. In the majority of cases, the Scouts learned of alleged abuse after it had been reported to authorities. But in more than 500 instances, the Scouts learned about it from boys, parents, staff members or anonymous tips.
In about 400 of those cases — 80% — there is no record of Scouting officials reporting the allegations to police. In more than 100 of the cases, officials actively sought to conceal the alleged abuse or allowed the suspects to hide it, The Times found.
There is no indication the Scouts took the matter to law enforcement.
In 1976, five Boy Scouts wrote detailed complaints accusing a Pennsylvania scoutmaster of two rapes and other sex crimes, according to his file. He abruptly resigned in writing, saying he had to travel more for work.
When a Los Angeles Scout leader was caught by police with hundreds of photos of naked Scouts in 1984 — many showing him giving enemas to boys — Scouting officials worked closely with police and the county children services department to keep the case from becoming public and embarrassing the Scouts.