Every day girls are bombarded with disempowering messages: T-shirts that stereotype girls as being more interested in flirting and dating than math (let alone smart enough to handle math!); sexualized images of young girls; hysteria around food. Just 30 minutes of watching TV, filled with unrealistic, unhealthy images, makes girls feel bad about themselves. For girls to be healthy and empowered, they need to believe that they are valued for more than their appearance. 

In October 2013, New York City became the first major city in the nation to tackle the issue of girls’ body image and empowerment with the New York City Girls Project. Created by Samantha Levine and designed and executed by Dennis Ahlgrim, “I’m a Girl” was designed to help girls believe their value comes from their character, skills, relationships and attributes– not appearance – while also expanding the definition of beautiful beyond an unhealthy, unrealistic ideal. The goal was for girls to look up on the subway and see confident girls– girls who looked like them.

Featuring 21 girls, of different sizes, shapes, races, ethnicities and abilities (aged 5-13), the NYC campaign was designed to do two things: help girls realize that who they are and what they do is more important than what they look like and expand the definition of beautiful beyond the unhealthy, unrealistic images that saturate the media.The campaign appeared on buses and phone kiosks and on subways for two months, generating more than 400 million impressions.  

This past fall, Samantha and Dennis worked with the city of Washington, DC to launch a second generation campaign “More than Pretty” on buses. Including  girls from the Washington, DC public schools, the campaign featured a diverse range of representation to continue providing positive and varied images of girls to counter the limited and toxically narrow range that currently fills the marketplace. This campaign built upon the NYC vision by spreading the empowering and important message that there is more to girls’ value than just their appearance. It ran for a month, generating 40 million impressions. 


Our Mission

A Different Measure seeks to use public education to help girls and women understand their value comes from who they are and what they do, not what they look like. Further, by actively representing varied and diverse images, we seek to expand the definition of what is beautiful beyond the unhealthy, unrealistic images perpetuated in media and marketing. 


A Different Measure is a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a non‐profit arts service organization. Contributions for the charitable purposes of A Different Measure must be made payable to “Fractured Atlas” and are tax‐deductible to the extent permitted by law.