In this online video petition, Melissa, a 10 year-old girl with a form of muscular dystrophy called Charcot-Marie-tooth, asks the American Girl doll company (Mattel, Inc.) to create a disabled American Girl doll and story. Melissa is shown sitting in front of a Christmas tree and piano, holding one of her dolls as she explains that she’s read all the American Girl books and has seen all the movies, and would love to learn or read about a girl like her, with a disability. In closing, she says, “disabled girls are American Girls too. We face challenges and overcome them every day,” and asks viewers to sign the change.org petition she put together with her sister.
This video, produced by the Los Angeles Times in 2016, discusses the experiences of Muslim women in America who wear hijabs. Hijabs are headscarves worn by Muslim women. The women speak about the various personal and religious reasons one may choose to wear a hijab. The women also address the stigma surrounding their religion. One of the women recounts her family feeling worried after the 2015 San Bernardino attack, believing that her hijab would make her a target for discrimination. While the hijabs make the women targets for anti-Muslim remarks, they assert that wearing the hijab is a form of their self-expression.
Recent years have seen a trend in which teenagers post videos of themselves, asking viewers if they are “good looking” or “ugly”. This clip was one of the first to gain popular media attention, getting numerous comments and being picked up on mainstream news shows. An article in the Huffington Post described that, “The sheer number of these videos, and how regularly their creators reference other ones, suggests that a virtual community has formed around the concept.”
Ask Amy is a web series produced by Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls Network, with new episodes appearing approximately twice monthly. It features writer/producer/actor/comedian Amy Poehler reading aloud a letter from an adolescent female fan and dispensing advice. The video’s low production values and Poehler’s thoughtful, direct-to-camera delivery convey the sense of conversing in the same room with the self-styled mentor. Published online on September 9, 2012, this installment of Ask Amy entitled “Bodies” was an immediate sensation and, one year later, had garnered nearly 375,000 views— more than 7 times the average number of views per Ask Amy installment. In “Bodies,” Amy advises a body issue-beleaguered letter-writer to regard her body with gratitude and to speak to herself as if she were speaking to a beloved daughter or younger sister. See the full transcript here.
In this video, we meet Ramiro Gomez, an artist working in Los Angeles. Ramiro shares his story of growing up with parents who immigrated from Mexico. While he had always wanted to pursue art, he first took a job providing in-home childcare in the Hollywood Hills. He explains that his parents had also worked in the domestic service industry, and they were unhappy that Ramiro was following the same path. However, Ramiro says this work inspired him; through his art, he explored the experiences of LA’s many immigrant domestic service workers. He now creates art pieces, including life size portraits inserted into public space, that make visible the labor that goes into maintaining the homes and gardens of Los Angeles. He explains that he hopes his art will make those who see it think about and discuss the contribution of these workers, the challenges they face including wage theft, and the sacrifices they make for young people in his generation.