Goody Goody Girl Scouts

Last month my 7-year-old decided to join the Girl Scouts.

Oh joy!

And by joy I mean Heaven help me.

I’ve got nothing against the popular youth organization that has become an institution in its own right.

Girl power!

However, any parent with a Daisy or Brownie knows that 97% of the work involved with being a member of such a dedicated non-profit falls onto mom or dad’s shoulders.

I’m guessing more moms than dads bear the brunt of the chaperoning, fundraising, sewing badges on vests and other Brownie-related tasks, but I could be wrong… though I doubt I am.

In any event, currently, I’m knee-deep helping my little Brownie complete various projects in order for her to score more badges to decorate her official, wait for it… brown… vest.

Ironically, just as I was getting ready to curse the estrogen-fueled organization for making my fingers bleed trying to sew tiny patches on an extra small vest, I discovered something the group was promoting that I could really get behind–besides Thin Mints and Samoas. According to the Girl Scout Research Institute, reality TV is a bad influence on young females.

Okay, it’s not exactly late, breaking news, but there is something to be said for the fact that a survey of about 1,100 girls ages 11 to 17 indicated that reality shows make them believe they can get ahead in life by being catty.

A spokesperson for the Girl Scouts Research Institute summed up the results of the survey by saying, “Teen girls who regularly view reality TV accept and expect a higher level of drama, aggression, and bullying in their own lives, and measure their worth primarily by their physical appearance.”

The Institute also noted that reality TV shows “more frequently portray girls and women in competition with one another rather than in support or collaboration. This perpetuates a ‘mean-girl’ stereotype and normalizes this behavior among girls.”

Basically, the Girls Scouts’ research found that young females mirror what they see on TV. However, group leaders add, “We don’t want girls to avoid reality TV, but want them, along with their parents, to know what they are getting into when they watch it.”

I would have been fine if the Girl Scouts denounced reality TV. It may have made my bleeding worth it.

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Michele Cheplic

About Michele Cheplic

Michele Cheplic was born and raised in Hilo, Hawaii, but now lives in Wisconsin. Michele graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Journalism. She spent the next ten years as a television anchor and reporter at various stations throughout the country (from the CBS affiliate in Honolulu to the NBC affiliate in Green Bay). She has won numerous honors including an Emmy Award and multiple Edward R. Murrow awards honoring outstanding achievements in broadcast journalism. In addition, she has received awards from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association for her reports on air travel and the Wisconsin Education Association Council for her stories on education. Michele has since left television to concentrate on being a mom and freelance writer.