By Nicole Schirmer

Nicole Schirmer is a Public Health undergrad at CUNY Hunter College. SPARK has really raised her awareness to the over abundance of sexualization of young girls in the media. She is now talking to more people about these issues and raising their awareness as well so we can push back against the sexualization of young girls.

A Professor of mine had given me basic general information about the then upcoming SPARK Summit held on October 22nd, 2010.  I had never heard of an organization raising awareness against the sexualization of young girls, so I was intrigued.  Soon I stumbled across SPARK’s PSA ( and was hooked, I needed to be a part of the movement.  So I signed up to volunteer at the SPARK Summit. The SPARK Summit was a wonderful opportunity for young girls, and boys to learn how they can stand up and fight back against the sexualization of young girls, giving them the right tools and knowledge to be a part of the solution.

Children and teens are growing up in a society that is based on sexual television scenes, provocative magazine ads, provocatively dressed celebrities, and scantily dressed action figurines that are all marketing one thing, sex.  Young teens look to these sources as role models, people they would want to try and mold themselves into one day.   Because of this advertising, these individuals are influencing our younger generations to be something that they are not ready to be.  Advertising is giving kids the idea that they need to grow up faster and be more “mature”.   These ads are making young teens think that this is the norm to be sexy or provocatively dressed; they don’t have time to be kids.  So SPARK took a stand against the bogus ads of the media and taught young teens how to stand up and be a kid once again.

SPARK Summit on October 22nd helped to ignite a movement of empowering teens to stand up for themselves against the over abundant images in the media teaching our youth how to be “sexy”.  Actress and Feminist Geena Davis was a keynote speaker at the SPARK Summit.  (You can learn more about Geena Davis by visiting:  She was a remarkable speaker and really connected with the audience.  Ms. Davis asked at the conclusion of her speech that young teens rise up to take a stand against sexualization of young girls.   We need more celebrity icons to take a stand against the over abundant ads that are teaching our youth to be “sexy”.  SPARK ignited a movement that will carry on preventing the next generation of youth from being sexualized.