Film & Media Studies Theory

Whitman College – FMS 387

Girls Scouts: Just Another Big Business

1 Comment

gsLogo

The Girl Scouts logo is widely recognizable, whether it is because of their cookies or their presences at any grade school. The logo, and the organization behind it, acts as a myth for the idea that the Girl Scouts only want to foster the leadership of women, however, Girl Scouts is just another big business. They are not only in the business of empowering women, but also in the business of money.

When I first see that the logo is of three silhouetted females (two white and one green), paired with the lettering of “Girl Scouts” denotes that this is an organization started for women, by women. The faceless women show that the Girl Scouts have no specific look, they do not discriminate, accept everyone of every background and race. While the logo does not show much, it connotes so much more.

To me, the connotations of seeing the distinctive logo are that of young girls forming friendship, gaining leadership skills, and going to Girl Scout Camp. I see the images of smiling adolescent girls zip-lining and learning new skills plastered on bright colored Girls Scout cookie boxes. I think of the green vests filled with patches and pins that invade schools on a troop-meeting day.

Those images are actually the backbone of the myth of Girl Scouts. While we do think of these images, it is mostly forgotten that money is a common factor in the skills that are taught within Girl Scouts. The mission of the Girl Scouts is to empower women and to teach them new skills. But behind this female empowerment, we must first pay: to be apart of a troop, for a uniform (and a new one every time you go from Brownie to Junior, Junior to Cadet, etc), for the camps, for the cookies, and for the patches. The Girl Scouts take the opportunity to make learning skills into a money making endeavor, to sell cookie you must have leadership skills and you learn to make change. The Girl Scouts even give incentives to sell a specific number of boxes, and no since middle-schooler can deny the fact that they want the awesome prizes, they HAVE to sell 250 boxes! The combination of learning new skills and getting prizes, that Girl scouts embeds, results in the sales of hundreds of boxes of cookies, worth $4.50 a pop.  The Girl Scouts pressures scouts to independently work on a patch and to try to get as many patches as possible, so the organization of the Girl Scouts get $1.50 every time the scout gains a new skill that they encourage. It all comes down to money.

Money and business: an integral part of our culture today. In our world, everything revolves around big business and consumption. Consumption allows us to get what we want and creates further wants. Big business and money designate power to those who have more of it than other; the rich get richer and the poor stay poor.

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One thought on “Girls Scouts: Just Another Big Business

  1. I’m glad you’ve given voice against the Girl Scout cookie campaigns, which I’ve felt awkward and guilty about not purchasing cookies from more times than I’d like(though, I have succumbed to “thin mints” on numerous occasions). It seems strange, setting up tables manned(teehee) with women and very young girls, using their image and initiative to sell cookies to a largely unsuspecting customer base who stumble into cookie inspired philanthropy during errands. We are meant to feel righteous about supporting a good cause, but mostly we’re buying indulgences that come with a stamp of guaranteed self-satisfaction. The donation aspect of the program masks the internal thought of “I want cookies” with “I want to do something good, and here, this option comes with cookies!” Its worrisome, for sure, and it’d be very interesting to look into the complexity that impels someone to buy an unprompted box of cookies while other forms of charity are far less emphasized, and popular. Awesome discussion starter!

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