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Using Art to Empower Girls Works. Here’s Why.

Using Art to Empower Girls Works. Here’s Why.

march 3rd, 2020

There’s a reason we like to use art to empower girls. Many reasons, actually! As Malaka Gharib with NPR reported recently, when someone creates art, something special goes on in their brain. And it just so happens that art creates the perfect conditions in the brain for girls to learn. By using guided art projects (like our coloring book, or an art challenge), we can help girls grow their confidence, strength, bravery, etc.  

So, how does it work? Art does a few things:

Makes Girls Feel Good

First of all, art helps set the tone for important conversations by making girls feel good. We all know that children love doing art. It turns out that there’s a reason for that. Gharib interviewed Girija Kaimal, a professor and art therapy researcher. As Kaimal said, studies show that "engaging in any sort of visual expression results in the reward pathway in the brain being activated…. Which means that you feel good and it's perceived as a pleasurable experience.”

Is Relaxing

Art also helps girls relax and feel open to conversations with adults. One of the things researchers do is measure cortisol (a naturally occurring hormone) levels to gauge stress. As Gharib wrote, "They found that 45 minutes of creating art in a studio setting with an art therapist significantly lowered cortisol levels.”

Helps the Brain Prepare for the Future

Finally, guided art can help girls because it works with the predictive nature of the brain. Recently scientists have started to think of the brain as a “predictive machine.” As Kaimal said, the brain uses "information to make predictions about what we might do next—and more importantly what we need to do next to survive and thrive.”   

Gharib wrote, “…Art-making helps us navigate problems that might arise in the future…. When you make art, you're making a series of decisions—what kind of drawing utensil to use, what color, how to translate what you're seeing onto the paper. And ultimately, interpreting the images—figuring out what it means.” So, when a girl works on an art project that’s designed to be empowering, she takes in those lessons for the future, and explores her own thoughts and feelings. We believe that these benefits can be multiplied when adults talk openly with girls about their projects, and share their own beliefs and experiences.
So, if you want to help girls learn about power, creativity, independence, etc., don’t hesitate to reach for the crayons.
Using Art to Empower Girls Works. Here’s Why.

march 3rd, 2020

There’s a reason we like to use art to empower girls. Many reasons, actually! As Malaka Gharib with NPR reported recently, when someone creates art, something special goes on in their brain. And it just so happens that art creates the perfect conditions in the brain for girls to learn. By using guided art projects (like our coloring book, or an art challenge), we can help girls grow their confidence, strength, bravery, etc.  

So, how does it work? Art does a few things:

Makes Girls Feel Good

First of all, art helps set the tone for important conversations by making girls feel good. We all know that children love doing art. It turns out that there’s a reason for that. Gharib interviewed Girija Kaimal, a professor and art therapy researcher. As Kaimal said, studies show that "engaging in any sort of visual expression results in the reward pathway in the brain being activated…. Which means that you feel good and it's perceived as a pleasurable experience.”

Is Relaxing

Art also helps girls relax and feel open to conversations with adults. One of the things researchers do is measure cortisol (a naturally occurring hormone) levels to gauge stress. As Gharib wrote, "They found that 45 minutes of creating art in a studio setting with an art therapist significantly lowered cortisol levels.”

Helps the Brain Prepare for the Future

Finally, guided art can help girls because it works with the predictive nature of the brain. Recently scientists have started to think of the brain as a “predictive machine.” As Kaimal said, the brain uses "information to make predictions about what we might do next—and more importantly what we need to do next to survive and thrive.”  

Gharib wrote, “…Art-making helps us navigate problems that might arise in the future…. When you make art, you're making a series of decisions—what kind of drawing utensil to use, what color, how to translate what you're seeing onto the paper. And ultimately, interpreting the images—figuring out what it means.” So, when a girl works on an art project that’s designed to be empowering, she takes in those lessons for the future, and explores her own thoughts and feelings. We believe that these benefits can be multiplied when adults talk openly with girls about their projects, and share their own beliefs and experiences.
So, if you want to help girls learn about power, creativity, independence, etc., don’t hesitate to reach for the crayons.

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For easy ways to empower girls, fun activity ideas, alerts about new Hopscotch Girls products, and more, join our email list.

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