Staying Real: Teen Confront Sexual Stereotypes

Staying Real
Teens Confront Sexual Stereotypes

by Sophie Bissonnette
National Film Board of Canada/YWCA Montreal, 2010
DVD, 24 min. 37 sec., ages 11 – 13

In this film, a group of young teens explores sexual stereotyping in advertising, TV, movies and games and how it affects their own lives. They look at the packaging of toys, colours used in marketing campaigns, clothing (or lack of ) in advertising and how girls and boys are portrayed in popular culture. They discuss how the stereotyping that is so prevalent in their environment makes it difficult for them to be themselves rather than conforming to the unrealistic ideals that they see portrayed on TV and in magazines and movies, and how they (girls, especially) are judged by their peers according to how they dress. Filmed in Montreal, the participants speak in French, but excellent voiceovers seem natural and unobtrusive, and actually demonstrate how youth in different cultures are experiencing the same problems. The French version of this film is also on the DVD, and a free, downloadable teachers’ guide is available at This would be a valuable tool to open discussions and to help develop critical thinking among adolescents in the target age group.

Review by Diana Mumford.

This review is from Canadian Teacher Magazine’s May/June 2011 issue.

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