For those of you completely freaked out by the Internet video featuring very young girls dressed like street-walking Cinderellas and spouting more F-bombs than one would hear in an Eastern European women's correctional facility, there is a soon-to-be viral video antidote. I won't link to the vile video. It will just get more hits. Try this out instead while you are reading. I'll bet you will be humming along within minutes, and if you are a mom with a young daughter, you will definitely want her to watch this.
The world of social media works in strange, serendipitous ways. I received an email last week from a singer-songwriter friend, Claire Holley, with a link to the "Supermodel Astronaut Challenge." Knowing that women's issues are a big part of my world-view, she thought I might want to explore the story behind the video. The fledgling media campaign is aimed at young girls and women and embraces the statement "I am enough." Supermodel Astronaut Challenge was written and produced by Holley's friend, Ellen Tift, who is a professor at Belmont University School of Music in Nashville and co-owner of Worldwide Groove Corporation.
"Ellen has been generous to me personally in my artistic endeavors," Holley wrote in an impassioned email.
I was worried that I might not like it. Music reviews for friends are a dicey prospect, but I should not have worried.
Right off the bat I was hooked with the idea of women in the competitive music business helping each other with no strings attached.
Warning. The tune is so catchy, the images so whimsical, and the message so uplifting, you won't be able to get it out of your head.
Supermodel Astronaut Challenge is a wonderfully produced video that stands on its own as a musical endeavor. Throw in the message, and YouTube has something very special.
In an email, I asked writer and producer Tift what motivated her to start this media campaign. I assumed it was in response to the F-bomb video that so thoroughly exploits young girls.
I was wrong.
Tift was only marginally aware of the offensive video, and Supermodel Astronaut Challenge was born out of her conviction that, even in the after-glow of the feminist movement, women and girls are faced with impossible media images that rob self-esteem and sap creative energy. Unrealistic ideals make us feel inferior. There has never been a Supermodel Astronaut.
The song came first, Tift says.
She had been struggling with feelings of inadequacies as a musician. Was she in a "self-indulgent and frivolous" career?
"So, I think creating a campaign that can affect change in a positive way, fueled by a song I've written, for me that is absolutely as good as it gets in terms of using my own personal gifts in the best way I can," she said.