Andy Warhol said, “In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes.” But in today’s world, is there a difference between fame and infamy?  That was the conversation Pat Wachtel, president and CEO of Girls Inc., and Tom Sokolwski, director of the Andy Warhol Museum, had last week at the Indianapolis Museum of Art.  Hosted by the Women’s Fund and PNC, Pat and Tom addressed the world of Warhol and his women, how art has effected pop culture, and the impact culture has on girls today.

If you haven’t had a chance to visit the IMA to see the temporary exhibition, Andy Warhol Enterprises, you must! The exhibition focuses on the commercial influence of Warhol’s career, taking you through his work from retail window designer, to greeting card creator, to film and music producer, and magazine publisher.  You can’t help but notice Warhol’s obsession with money and how he could make more if it.

I was struck by one piece, a painting of an advertisement called “Make him want you.”  The image was of a woman in her pearls and 50’s era hair looking up longingly at her man with the words it’s named for above them.  Shot Orange Marilyn by Andy WarholCertainly, you can pick up any women’s magazine today and you’ll see images evoking the same message.  During the event, Pat said, “Women have always been the culture keepers, and it’s our job to help our daughters navigate the messages and influences of our culture.”  The Girls Inc. Media Literacy® program does just that. 

Media Literacy helps girls work through the messages they are receiving from all types of mediums to figure out for themselves what to think about it.  Girls who see models and celebrities as role models have an increased risk for body dissatisfaction and eating-disorder symptoms.  A girl who goes through Media Literacy can identify positive role models and can look at advertising with a critical eye, and know that to “make him want you,” you don’t have to buy a certain perfume or pair of jeans. 

Girls Inc. is there to explain the difference between fame and infamy.