The Good: Looking for some good news to lighten your spirits for the weekend? Check out this story about two 15 year old girl scouts who are working to change the way their organization's famous cookies are made. It all began when the girls were researching orangutans as part of their Girl Scout Bronze Award. In their research they learned that one of the biggest threats to orangutans is habitat loss, as acres of Southeast Asia's rain forests are regularly cleared and burned for the production of palm oil. Palm oil is a common ingredient in cosmetics, crackers and, you guessed it, Girl Scout cookies.

The Bad: Just when you thought kids' toys couldn't get any more inappropriate, Mattel is coming under fire for their skimpily-dressed Monster High dolls, in particular the Clawdeen Wolf doll (pictured above) that some think encourages young girls to wax and tweeze their bodies to perfection.  These dolls are marketed to girls as young as six.

The Ugly: This link is a video, and I've embedded it here for you to check out. In this video, Jean Kilbourne discusses how advertising traffics in distorted and destructive ideals of femininity as part of her "Killing Us Softly" series. This is so hard for me to think about as my daughters approach the age where their self-image can be so affected by the images they seen on TV, on the computer and in magazines. I would give anything for them to hold on to this innocence of youth in which they wear whatever clothes they grab first and never give a second thought to the size of their tush or the height of their cheekbones.

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