About-Face Blog

Use your purse to be an activist

By May 18, 2011 5 Comments

Daniela Caruso tackles the media's representation of women using the power of her purse.

Forget wearing your heart on your sleeve. About-Face reader Daniela Caruso wears her brain on her purse. She lets the world know how she feels about the media’s manipulation of women by shouting it out on her handbag. She encourages you to do the same.

My purse-billboard activism demonstrates what we already know to be true: When a girl or woman expends less energy worrying about how many pounds she weighs, whether she’s the hottest one in the room, or how to get more male attention, something magical happens.

She wastes less of her precious energy on dieting.

The mainstream media tries to tell girls and women what female beauty is: an absurd and one-dimensional standard that can be attained by buying the product or service being thrown at you.  

Instead of following this greed-advice from a corporate magazine page or billboard, females can spend more energy pursuing their own ideas of what would lead to self-satisfaction, like spirituality and wellness, or pursuing solutions to real current problems on our blue marble planet.

From factory farms to sweatshops, Daniela tackles world issues with the images displayed on her bag.

From factory farms to sweatshops, Daniela tackles world issues with the images displayed on her bag.

This is what happens when a girl uses her beautiful brain, her gorgeous curiosity, and her kick-ass passion towards understanding and then trying to help the world around her – when she’s not fixated on dieting!

I switch the sign in my purse at every new moon, according to my mood, local events, or the season of the year.  The messages I’ve created include comments on the media’s assault on women’s self-esteem for corporate profit, morally indefensible factory farms, the Congo’s conflict over cell phone minerals, and the proliferation of fad technology and the sweatshops used to mass produce such technology for those of us in the developed (minority) world year after year.

I would love to share this idea with other girls and women who have their own passions to express.  It just takes a little bit of courage to spread one’s own positive or awareness-raising messages to the world.

It takes a little bit of ovaries – but isn’t it worth it?

— Daniela Caruso is from Toronto, Canada.