Founder, Researcher, Group Facilitator

Renae Regehr: BA Psychology, MA Counselling Candidate

In my early 20s I discovered Jean Kilbourne’s documentary of “Killing us Softly.” My worldview was profoundly changed as I realized how significantly advertising and media images influence us, and I was hungry to devour more information.  What started out as a passion for empowering girls quickly expanded to understanding boy’s body image experiences as I realized they were not immune to such concerns.

Through my Masters of Counselling I have been researching the representation of men and women in media and how it impacts the attitudes, beliefs, behaviours and emotions of viewers. Free To Be Talks was created out of an academic and personal passion to educate myself, and others about the limiting messages we receive from the media. It was also, just as importantly, created as a place to point to solutions and connect with others.

Contrary to messages in media emphasizing our bodies are a primary source of our value, we believe there is much more to us than our bodies. Our spirits are full of emotions, thoughts, ambitions, humour, love, heartbreak, spirituality and much more. We believe the world will become a better place when girls and boys are valued for their intrinsic worth and feel free to grow and flourish into who they are created to be.