Alicia Hosking


What’s Up World? #38

Published on MTV’s international pro-social website MTV Voices on 31.07.13

What’s Up World?
Between the cracks of the world’s news headlines.


Don’t mess with the Burka Avenger

A brand new, kick-ass super hero is about to hit the small screen in Pakistan.

Mild-mannered teacher by day, stationery-wielding ninja by night, the Burka Avenger is taking on the Taliban and fighting for safe education for girls, one school at a time.

Created by one of Pakistan’s biggest pop stars, Haroon, the first animated series ever produced in the country is a creative response to one of the nation’s major social issues.

In a country where the Taliban have blown up hundreds of schools, poisoned and thrown acid on schoolgirls and last year attracted international outrage for shooting 15 year old Malala Yousafzai in the head, Burka Avenger is set to bring strong social messaging to Pakistani kids, emphasising the importance of peace, justice and access to education.

Getting big in Japan

The young women of Tokyo are being asked to sport mini-skirts and thigh-high socks – and let big name brands advertise on the skin in between.

Campaigns for punk band Greenday and Hollywood feature film Ted have been amongst the first to try their luck with the ‘skinvertising‘ programme, which requires the girls to walk around town for eight hours a day with the graphics painted on their thighs.

While the (male) PR agent responsible describes girls’ thighs as prime advertising real estate – as, apparently, men’s eyes are already on them – others view the concept as another step in the sexual objectification of women’s bodies in advertising and are calling for the boycott of brands and companies that take part.

What do you think? Good PR or exploitative and sexist? One guess what I think…

Why Instagram is making you sad

We discussed some time ago the perils of trawling through friends’ Facebook posts and the rise of Facebook envy, but it seems there’s a bigger threat looming to our social media happiness: Instagram.

Researchers say that by distilling the most envy-inducing element of Facebook, ie. the photos, providing users with means for careful curation / polishing / distortion of reality and then keeping count of ‘likes’ and comments, Instagram is like a social media KO to the old self-esteem.

They say comparison and competition with others, paired with the app’s ample opportunity for stalking, can lead to feelings of disconnection, inferiority, loneliness and even depression.

So rest assured – if the filtered, enhanced, trimmed, tweaked, polished and filtered again happy snaps of people you love (and people you don’t love) are making you feel a bit rubbish, you’re certainly not alone. *plays Everybody Hurts*

High five Peru!

Green technology is generating social change in Peru.

The country’s Energy and Mining Minister Jorge Merino has announced a new solar energy program, The National Photovoltaic Household Electrification Program, which will provide electricity to more than two million of the poorest Peruvians.

Right now only66% of Peru’s populationhas access to electricity – the rest use oil lamps for light, with fuels that can harm their health. The program will increase that number to 95% by the end of 2016, with the installation of some 12,000 solar panels to service the most impoverished communities. Nice one Jorge!

Something brewing in your part of the world? We want to know about it. Tweet @its_alicia or @mtvvoices using the hashtag #WhatsUpWorld

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