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Registered charity in Scotland:  SC 006208.

  • A Letter From Me

Dear Media... A Letter From Me

'We are all superwomen... Be yourself , we are all unique in our own way and we should start believing that.. Be who you want to be and not the person that others are trying to make you.'

- Young Women taking in part in work with Saheliya, Stills Gallery, Edinburgh Art Festival and Edinburgh Rape Crisis Centre.

Above image taken from the 'Beyond the Selfie' exhibition, courtesy of Stills Gallery Edinburgh and Morwenna Kearsley.

This Summer, Edinburgh Rape Crisis Centre joined forces with Saheliya and Edinburgh Art Festival to take part in 'Every Woman A Signal Tower', their young women's summer school. The project consisted of creative writing and zine-making workshops with Edinburgh Art Festival and workshops with Edinburgh Rape Crisis Centre to explore issues to do with gender-based violence, examined through a lens of multiple oppressions such as sexism, racism and Islamophobia. The young women's group also worked with Stills Gallery, Edinburgh, to produce the 'Beyond the Selfie' exhibition curated by Stills and artist Morwenna Kearsley. The exhibition premiered at Glasgow Women's Library and will hopefully have new dates soon.

Below we hear from some of the young women involved in the group on the subject of representation and the media. The group discussed who is represented in the media, how they are represented, what impact this has, and what needs to change. Here, in their own words, is what some of them had to say.

Above image taken from the 'Beyond the Selfie' exhibition, courtesy of Stills Gallery Edinburgh and Morwenna Kearsley.

Dear Media,

I think you should have different types of women. Different variations. I would feel inspired if I saw women wearing hijab in a positive way.

I think you should have positive role models to look up to. When I look at [mainstream] magazines I can’t connect to these women, they are completely opposite. I have never personally seen women that I can connect with.

Women shouldn’t be pressured to look a certain way. It is not beneficial. Stop using ‘woman’ as an accessory. They are more than certain ‘types’ of women. Young children could see ‘cool’ women [and think] ‘I could be like her because she looks like me’. If a magazine had a variety of women, I could connect to them more. It would make you feel more, it is more than stereotypical expectation.



Dear Media,

Empower all women. More representation of women that do not fit society’s standards of ‘skinny’, big breasted/bum etc. Real, raw women.

To send the message across that you should not feel ashamed of how you look. Embrace your culture, e.g. not to feel ashamed to wear your hair how it sits naturally (e.g. afro) or wearing a hijab.

Educate children to prevent [negative body image] from becoming an issue later in life.



Dear Media,

Stop sexualising.

[Show] women in power[ful] positions.

We need to be inspired more from everyday people – women who are not just people in media but who are familiar (our friends, family, etc.)



For more about the 'Beyond The Selfie' exhibition visit and to find out more about Edinburgh Rape Crisis Centre's sexual violence prevention visit our website.


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Edinburgh Rape Crisis Centre offers free and confidential support to women, all members of the trans community, non-binary people and young people aged 12 -18 who have experienced sexual violence at any time in their lives.


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