The Advertising of Alcohol To Women

Alcohol advertising spending is set to hit 6 billion dollars in 2023 with the advertising of alcohol to women as a key industry focus for the last 60 years.  

On the podcast today we’re talking about the advertising of alcohol to women with Jean Kilbourne.  Jean is internationally recognized for her groundbreaking work on the image of women in advertising and for her critical studies of alcohol and tobacco advertising. 

In her film, Deadly Persuasion, Jean exposes the manipulative marketing strategies and tactics used by the tobacco and alcohol industries to keep Americans hooked on their products. 

The goal of alcohol advertisers is to sell more than beverages. 

As Jean notes in her work,

Ads sell more than products. They sell values, they sell images. They sell concepts of love and sexuality, of success and perhaps most important, of normalcy. To a great extent, they tell us who we are and who we should be.”

Over our lifetimes alcohol advertising has created the drinking culture in which we live and our beliefs and positive associations with drinking. Not only that, but alcohol advertising has been our main source and form of information and education about alcohol – by design. 

As part of advertising campaigns alcohol companies have successfully normalized daily drinking, heavy drinking and framed alcohol abuse and dependence as a problem of the individual consumer rather than the expected result of consuming an addictive product. 

In our conversation today Jean is going to break down how alcohol advertising is targeting women, the work the alcohol industry is doing behind the scenes to normalize heavy drinking, resist regulations, shape opinions of who and what is to blame for addiction and increase consumption of their addictive substance with little to no push back from governments or health agencies despite the harm it causes society. 

Tune into this episode to learn:

  • The myths alcohol advertisers want you to believe
  • The psychology of advertising alcohol to women and girls
  • Why the alcohol industry cannot afford to have its best customers drink responsibly (The top 10% of drinkers consume 60% of all alcohol sold. The top 30% of drinkers consume 90% of all alcohol sold)
  • The big reason the media and our healthcare systems do not tell us the truth about how dangerous alcohol is
  • How teenage girls, young adults and mothers have been targeted by alcohol companies through the introduction of sweet alcoholic beverages, low calorie alcoholic beverages, product innovations like “canned wine” you can take “to go” (portable and concealable!), portrayals of women drinking in TV shows and movies and wine mom culture 
  • Strategies alcohol companies have used to successfully avoid advertising regulations, health warnings on products, increased taxes and widespread reporting of the negative health effects of alcohol consumption, including political donations, lobbying and leveraging the importance of their ad dollars to media outlets

Statistics about women and alcohol you need to know: 

  • Between 1960 and 2015 U.S. wine consumption grew from 163 million gallons to 913 million gallons.
  • In 1991 the U.S. television program, “60 Minutes”, popularized the health benefits of drinking red wine in moderation. It led to an increase in red wine sales in the U.S. by almost one-third.
  • From 2001 to 2013, alcohol use among women in the U.S. rose nearly 16 percent. During the same time frame, the percentage of women who have four or more drinks on a given day shot up 58 percent.
  • By 2016 The Washington Post reported that middle-aged white women were drinking themselves to death, with alcohol consumption killing twice as many women in this category as it had 18 years before.
  • A 2017 study put high-risk drinking among women at over a fifty percent increase in the previous decade. 
  • In 2020 women increased heavy drinking episodes again, by 41% this time during the pandemic
  • In 2020 women with children under age 5 in the household increased alcohol consumption by 323%, black women increased alcohol consumption by 173% and hispanic women increased consumption by 148%
  • In 2021 alcohol related deaths increased 25% during the first year of the pandemic, a major increase over previous years 
  • Women who had 2-3 alcoholic drinks per day had a 20 percent higher risk of breast cancer compared to women who didn’t drink alcohol 
  • In 2022 The World Heart Federation reported that even small amounts of alcohol have been shown to raise the risk of cardiovascular disease, including coronary disease, stroke, heart failure, hypertensive heart disease, cardiomyopathy, atrial fibrillation, and aneurysm.
  • The CDC reports that excessive drinking both in the form of heavy drinking or binge drinking, is associated with numerous health problems, including chronic diseases such as liver cirrhosis; pancreatitis; various cancers, including liver, mouth, throat, larynx, and esophagus; high blood pressure; and psychological disorders.
  • A 2021 report detailing money spent on political influence by the American Alcohol industry showed more than $237 million was spent on campaign contributions and lobbying over the previous two election cycles.

    Here are 3 ways I can help you drink less + live more

    More About Jean Kilbourne

    Jean Kilbourne is internationally recognized for her groundbreaking work on the image of women in advertising and for her critical studies of alcohol and tobacco advertising.

    In the late 1960s, Jean began her exploration of the connection between advertising and several public health issues, including violence against women, eating disorders, and addiction, and launched a movement to promote media literacy as a way to prevent these problems. 

    A radical and original idea at the time, this approach is now mainstream and an integral part of most prevention programs. According to Susan Faludi, “Jean Kilbourne’s work is pioneering and crucial to the dialogue of one of the most underexplored, yet most powerful, realms of American culture – advertising. We owe her a great debt.” Mary Pipher has called Kilbourne “our best, most compassionate teacher.”

    Her films, lectures and television appearances have been seen by millions of people throughout the world. Kilbourne was named by The New York Times Magazine as one of the three most popular speakers on college campuses. She is the creator of the renowned Killing Us Softly: Advertising’s Image of Women film series and the author of the award-winning book Can’t Buy My Love: How Advertising Changes the Way We Think and Feel and So Sexy So Soon: The New Sexualized Childhood and What Parents Can Do to Protect Their Kids (with Diane E. Levin).

    To find out more about Jean and the work she does, head to

    Follow Jean on Instagram @jeankilbourne

    Links and Articles Referenced In This Episode

    Deadly Persuasion: 7 Myths Alcohol Advertisers Want You to Believe | Center for Media Literacy | Empowerment through Education

    Watch Deadly Persuasion: The Advertising of Alcohol & Tobacco Online | Vimeo On Demand on Vimeo 

    Jean Kilbourne on The Dangerous Ways Ads See Women (Full Transcript) – The Singju Post  

    Hello Someday Podcast Episode on Wine Mom Culture and Advertising 

    WHO highlights glaring gaps in regulation of alcohol marketing across borders

    Report Shows $237 Million in Political Spending By American Alcohol Industry

    Study published in JAMA Network Open which found that during 2020 there was a 41 percent increase in the number of days on which women drank heavily – “heavily” defined as having four or more drinks in a couple of hours.  

    Study conducted by the American Psychological Association found that the rate of adults who reported drinking more to manage pandemic stress was more than twice as high for parents with children between the ages of 5 and 7. 

    Alcohol industry corporate social responsibility initiatives and harmful drinking: a systematic review 

    Gray-area drinking: pandemic’s heavy drinkers are ignoring the health risks

    The feminisation of alcohol marketing – BBC Worklife 

    Women Now Drink As Much As Men — Not So Much For Pleasure, But To Cope 

    Beer, Wine & Liquor: Top Contributors to Federal Candidates, Parties, and Outside Groups | OpenSecrets 

    Women, Alcohol and the Wine Culture – Sanford Behavioral Health 

    Nine charts that show how white women are drinking themselves to death – The Washington Post 

    Big Alcohol Exposed: Big Investments in Advertising Onslaught – Movendi International

    Britain has a drinking problem – and the alcohol industry can’t afford to let us kick it | James Wilt | The Guardian 

    Alcohol Intake and Breast Cancer Risk: Weighing the Overall Evidence – PMC 

    Sorry, wine lovers. No amount of alcohol is good for you, study says.

    Connect with Casey

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    Want to read the full transcript of this podcast episode? Scroll down on this page.


    The Hello Someday Podcast helps busy and successful women build a life they love without alcohol. Host Casey McGuire Davidson, a certified life coach and creator of The 30-Day Guide to Quitting Drinking, brings together her experience of quitting drinking while navigating work and motherhood, along with the voices of experts in personal development, self-care, addiction and recovery and self-improvement. 

    Whether you know you want to stop drinking and live an alcohol free life, are sober curious, or are in recovery this podcast is for you.

    In each episode Casey will share the tried and true secrets of how to drink less and live more. 

    Learn how to let go of alcohol as a coping mechanism, how to shift your mindset about sobriety and change your drinking habits, how to create healthy routines to cope with anxiety, people pleasing and perfectionism, the importance of self-care in early sobriety, and why you don’t need to be an alcoholic to live an alcohol free life. 

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    The Advertising of Alcohol To Women


    drinking, alcohol, people, advertising, women, industry, michelob, targeting, wine, alcoholic, girls, problem, sober, products, advertisers

    SPEAKERS: Casey McGuire Davidson + Jean Kilbourne


    Welcome to the Hello Someday Podcast, the podcast for busy women who are ready to drink less and live more. I’m Casey McGuire Davidson, ex-red wine girl turned life coach helping women create lives they love without alcohol. But it wasn’t that long ago that I was anxious, overwhelmed, and drinking a bottle of wine and night to unwind. I thought that wine was the glue, holding my life together, helping me cope with my kids, my stressful job and my busy life. I didn’t realize that my love affair with drinking was making me more anxious and less able to manage my responsibilities.

    In this podcast, my goal is to teach you the tried and true secrets of creating and living a life you don’t want to escape from.

    Each week, I’ll bring you tools, lessons and conversations to help you drink less and live more. I’ll teach you how to navigate our drinking obsessed culture without a buzz, how to sit with your emotions, when you’re lonely or angry, frustrated or overwhelmed, how to self soothe without a drink, and how to turn the decision to stop drinking from your worst case scenario to the best decision of your life.

    I am so glad you’re here. Now let’s get started.

    I’m jumping in before the episode today because I wanted to let you know that if you haven’t checked out some of the free resources on my website, you are missing out on some great support that could be helping you on your journey to drink less and live more. If you go to you can grab the free 30-day Guide to Quitting Drinking. Over 10,000 women have downloaded the guide and it is really comprehensive what to expect on day three and day five, what to shop for, how to get ready to quit drinking, what you might feel on day 16, tips and tricks and resources to tap into. You can just go to my website, enter your email address and it will be sent right to you. 

    Also at you can sign up for my completely free 60-minute masterclass, Five Secrets to Taking a Break from Drinking, even if you’ve tried and failed before. These are the mindset shifts that I go through with my private coaching clients when we first start working together. And if you’ve been stopping and starting with drinking, take 60 minutes out of your day to watch this, it will help. You can sign up for a time that works for you. And if you don’t end up being able to make that time a recording of this session will be sent to you. 

    And if you’re ready to make this whole quitting drinking thing easier or take a longer break from alcohol, I want you to check out my signature online sober coaching course, The Sobriety Starter Kit. It will help you move from day five and day 10 to 45 and 60 to six months and beyond by building not only your sober foundation and sober muscles, but life skills that will serve you well for the rest of your life. If you want to learn more about it, just go to And now let’s jump into the episode.

    Hi there. This is an interview and a conversation that I am so excited to bring to you and one that I spent a lot of time researching and preparing for because the work that my guests does is so close to my heart. 


    Jean Kilbourne is here. She’s internationally recognized for her groundbreaking work on the image of women in advertising and for her critical studies of alcohol and tobacco advertising. In the late 1960s, Jean began her exploration of the connection between advertising and several public health issues, including violence against women eating disorders and addiction and launched a movement to promote media literacy as a way to prevent these problems. A radical and original idea at the time this approach is now mainstream and an integral part of most prevention programs. 


    According to Susan Faludi, Jean Kilbourne ‘s work is pioneering and crucial to the dialogue of one of the most under explored yet most powerful realms of American culture, advertising. Her films, lectures and television appearances have been seen by millions of people throughout the world. Kilbourne was named by the New York Times Magazine as one of the three most popular speakers on college campuses. She is the creator of the renowned, Killing Us Softly: Advertising’s Image of Women film series, and the author of the award-winning book, Can’t Buy My Love: How Advertising Changes the Way We Think and Feel and So Sexy So Soon: The New Sexualized Childhood and What Parents Can Do to Protect Their Kids. And in 2015, Jean was inducted to the National Women’s Hall of Fame. So Jean, thank you so much for being here.



    Oh, it’s my pleasure. I’ve been looking forward to this. Yeah,


    Casey McGuire Davidson  05:41

    I’ve been looking forward to it as well, I think I mentioned when I first reached out to you that I was in college, I studied Sociology and American History. And then I worked in marketing and advertising for 20 years. So I was part of, I worked at a large beauty company and a large coffee company, you know, researching our customers and our products and what resonates with them and doing focus groups and testing and customer segmentation. So the work that you do, and around how people are targeted by advertising and influenced, is so interesting to me.



    And something you know a lot about, so that’s great.


    Casey McGuire Davidson  06:28

    Yeah, yeah. Well, to start out, will you tell us a little bit about what advertising is? What’s the purpose of it, and what strategies are used?



    Well, advertising has changed so much, you know, over the last 150 years or so that, I mean, it used to be selling ads in shops, you know, long time ago. And it really was really into, in sort of the mid 50s, the 1960s, that it became much more powerful. And where they began, advertisers began to be able to use psychological research to target people, and there was just a whole lot more money being poured into it. And that’s become exponentially more so in the past 20, 30 years, let’s say. So now, advertisers can use very sophisticated psychological research to learn about what will affect us, mostly on an emotional, subconscious level. I mean, advertising is not really meant to give us information, it’s meant to arouse emotions, that we will then link with the product. And it’s also meant to create needs for products that we don’t really need. And I’m not talking about things that we do need, I’m talking about the sort of major national international advertising for things like, you know, anti aging creams and stuff like that, you know, diet products, things that, that really don’t, don’t work and that aren’t really necessary anyway. But average, and also advertising has changed. We can talk about this more, in a while, I’m sure. With the advent of social media and the internet. So in the past 20 years, there’s been a sea change in the way that advertisers work.


    Casey McGuire Davidson  08:09

    Yeah, and it’s, you know, I think people aren’t aware of how many advertising messages they’re exposed to, every single day, not just through TV or online, because so many people don’t actually watch live TV anymore. But product placements or social media and you know, everywhere around you.



    Absolutely. I mean, we’re exposed to about 5000 ads every day. And that includes sending the actual as we see on billboards and things like that. It includes things like the ads that people wear on their clothing, and, and the social media stuff. So that’s an awful lot of advertising. And at the same time, most people, almost everybody feels personally, completely not influenced by advertising. So wherever I go, what I hear more than anything else is, oh, I don’t pay attention to us, I just tune them out. They have no effect on me. And it is actually true that we do tune out most ads, we don’t pay conscious attention. But the problem is that that doesn’t protect us, that makes us more vulnerable, because we’re not paying conscious attention. These ads affect us on a subconscious level. And they get beneath our radar. The advertisers are very happy that we think that as are trivial and stupid, and that we’re above them, because that just enables them to reach us much more successfully.


    Casey McGuire Davidson  09:32

    Yeah. Well, I’m interested in so much of your work, not only advertising of alcohol to women, but also you know, how it’s influenced diet, culture, how women feel about their bodies, and our children, especially young girls have got an eight year old daughter. But to start let’s talk about alcohol advertising and particularly alcohol advertising to women. Can you tell me a little bit about your research there?



    Well, I’ve been, I started researching alcohol advertising in the 1970s. I started researching the, you know, the advertising’s image of women in the late 60s. But in the 70s, I started collecting alcohol ads and I, about six months into it, I realized with absolute horror that the alcohol industry understood alcoholism better than any other group in the country. They really got it. And they were using this information and doing research to target alcoholics, because the alcoholic is their best customer. So 10% of drinkers consume about 60% of all the alcohol sold. So that’s amazing. Really, 90% of drinkers consume a third of all the alcohol so if you look at those statistics, 10% is roughly the percentage of alcoholics, one in 10 drinkers is an alcoholic, one in three has a problem with alcohol. These people were to get sober or to cut way back, think about what that would do to the profits of the alcohol industry; it would destroy them. 


    So what they need to do in their advertising is they need to normalize problem drinking, they need to glamorize alcohol, and they meet the need to make it seem that that drinking way too much, is actually fine is normal is perfectly okay, because they are targeting people like me, who drank way too much, but wanted to be convinced that somehow my drinking was normal. And this has been going on for a very long time. And they do have different ways of targeting men and women and we can talk about that. But they’re also primarily interested in targeting young people, because brand loyalty, as I’m sure you know, starts when you’re very young. I mean, it starts mostly when you’re a teenager. So if you start drinking Budweiser or smoking Marlboros when you’re in your teens, chances are you’re going to stick with those brands for the rest of your life. So they really want to get people when they’re very young, most addictions start early. If you hook them early, they’re yours for life.


    Casey McGuire Davidson  12:06

    Yeah, I mean, absolutely. And I know that also in terms of sort of trying to move people down the spectrum, whether you are, you know, a moderate to heavy drinker or heavy drinker, or, you know, full blown in addiction. In advertising and marketing, a big focus of ours were to sort of increase consumption of our current customers, increased share of wallet. And this is a really old example but I know it’s one that I studied when I was in college. It was, you know, the example of Michelob and their advertising campaign. And at one point, they were doing a campaign that said, “the weekends belong to Michelob.” And then that shifted into, “the nights belong to Michelob.” And then their, their, you know, third one was, “Michelob, some days are better than others,” you know, in terms of when it’s okay to drink, when you should drink, you know, the impetus behind it, all that kind of stuff.



    Actually, that’s from my film, Calling the Shots, right, which I came up with using those Michelob. So in that way, I made a film in the 70s, or the 80s, the early 80s, called Calling the Shots: The Advertising of Alcohol, which I remade a few years later. But that was one of the things that struck me was that particular Michelob, as your night is started, with weekends were made for Michelob. And then it became put a little Michelob in your day. And it’s been on like that. But history started with holidays for me, for Michelob. And then it went on from there. 


    But of course, advertisers are interested in increasing consumption. I mean, the more people use of any products, the more handy you eat, the more paperclips you use, I mean, the better it is for the people making them. The problem is when the product is addictive. Again, the person who’s increasing the consumption is very likely an addict. Now the addict is the ideal consumer, really, because addicts need the product, and they need to keep ratcheting it up. So it is a tragedy really, that addicts are the best consumers because that means that addicts are very heavily targeted by industries like the alcohol industry, the tobacco industry, the junk food industry, and the diet industry.


    Casey McGuire Davidson  14:28

    Hi there. If you’re listening to this episode, and have been trying to take a break from drinking, but keep starting and stopping and starting again, I want to invite you to take a look at my on demand coaching course, the sobriety starter kit.

    The sobriety starter kit is an online self study sober coaching course that will help you quit drinking and build a life you love without alcohol without white knuckling it or hating the process. The course includes the exact step by step coaching framework I work through with my private coaching clients, but at a much more affordable price than one on one coaching. And the sobriety starter kit is ready, waiting and available to support you anytime you need it. And when it fits into your schedule. You don’t need to work your life around group meetings or classes at a specific day or time.

    This course is not a 30 day challenge, or a one day at a time approach. Instead, it’s a step by step formula for changing your relationship with alcohol. The course will help you turn the decision to stop drinking, from your worst case scenario to the best decision of your life.

    You will sleep better and have more energy, you’ll look better and feel better. You’ll have more patience and less anxiety. And with my approach, you won’t feel deprived or isolated in the process. So if you’re interested in learning more about all the details, please go to You can start at any time and I would love to see you in the course 


    And so I mean, I’ve seen the evolution. Since I mentioned I’m 46, I’m turning 47, in the last, you know, 20 plus years, I’ve definitely seen the evolution, especially of the wine industry, in terms of the targeting of women and the increased consumption of women and wine in particular. Have you taken a look at that?



    Oh, absolutely. And one of the things has happened, you know, in recent years has been the targeting of young mothers by the wine industry, the whole sort of mommy juice phenomenon and the the normalizing of young mothers getting together on playgrounds and, and having, drinking wine, which is a terrifying prospect really, when you think about. You know how much attention small children require. I mean, even if, even if you’re not worried about the danger to these children, just the distraction of the mothers, the lack of attention is really scary. But that’s, they’re very definitely being very heavily targeted. 


    And then years before the alcohol industry started targeting girls, because they wanted to increase the market, you know, and the more girls would drink, the more money they would make. They did that by coming up with a lot of sweet drinks, what we called in those days, Alcopops, advertised at teenage girls, and they were drinks that, you know, tasted like lemonade or cotton candy or something disgusting. And, but they were very popular with very young people. And they also made them easy to carry and easy to conceal. So they’d be in pouches, or they’d be in small hands. And so that was all absolutely deliberately intended to open the market to girls and to young people. Because again, hook them early and they’re yours for life.


    Casey McGuire Davidson  18:19

    Yeah, absolutely. And when you talk about, you know, marketing towards young parents, as you know, the mommy wine culture as a way to cope with stress. You know, I absolutely bought into that hook, line and sinker when I was a young mom. In fact, there was an author who wrote books called Sippy Cups Are Not for Chardonnay and Naptime Is the New Happy Hour by Stephanie Wilder-Taylor, and I had those books. I gifted those books to my friends when they were pregnant or new moms. And what’s amazing is, is definitely while there, Taylor is now sober and came out while she was still marketing those books saying, I have a problem with alcohol and I need to stop drinking. But you know, we buy into this and we push it on others. But one of the studies I saw that was most disturbing, I’m sure you know it well, that there was a 41% increase in the number of days on which women drank heavily in 2020, during the pandemic, and that’s defined as having four or more drinks in a couple of hours, which, by the way, it was absolutely the way I drank. But the rate of adults who reported drinking more to manage stress was more than twice as high for parents with kids who were five to seven years old. And like you said, it is a population of people who you know, drinking just makes their stress worse and parenting harder.



    It absolutely does and of course it’s devastating for children even, I mean, in the worst case is of course it leads to sexual abuse. In physical abuse, and, you know, all sorts of horror, but even if that’s avoided, it’s very when you drink. As you know, Sir, will you become sort of less and less present? You know, you may feel like you’re more present, you know, because you have those kinds of deep was seen, like intimate conversations that you can’t remember the next day. But I remember when I was about, I don’t know, six months sober my 14 year old niece said to me, You’re so different. And I said, she wasn’t really aware of the fact that I stopped drinking. And I said, really? How am I different? And she said, Well, she said, it’s like, you’re here. And that really registered with me, it was true, I was finally present. And I really hadn’t been before, not fully. So the thought of a parent, especially of a small child not being present, how devastating that is to small children, you know, to feel that you’re, your parent is, is not really there for you is very, very scary. Even if there aren’t the more horrible things that often happen when people drink.


    Casey McGuire Davidson  21:06

    Yeah, and I have a good friend who works here in Seattle, in marketing and advertising, actually, for my favorite winery, that was my drink of choice. And she was talking about how she’s also quit drinking, but back in the day, she would, you know, with her agency used to create 100 page decks about women, particularly young women, young moms, how to target them, what they were aspiring to what they were missing, you know, how to influence them, to convince them that buying wine would make them more carefree, more individualistic, more rebellious, you know, more attractive, all those things?



    Absolutely. I mean in the early days, I mean, mostly the alcohol industry targeted men, and they, they use women to sell alcohol to men, you know, they use, you know, semi nude women and all of that. And then they began to, and they use sex, I mean, the idea that if you, if you’re a man, and you drink and you get a woman drunk, you’ll be able to have sex with her. And then they began to offer the bottle almost as the substitute for the relationship so that the bottle became like St. Pauli Girl. And I remember one ad for St. Pauli Girl that said, Some girls travel in packs, others in six packs, and there were the bottles of St. Pauli Girl as if that’s what you really needed. Or this, this New Year’s kiss the one you love, and it was a bottle of alcohol, not a person. So that was very much a way that they targeted men. 


    But for women, they always tried to have it be more about romance than sex, you know more about, there’d be all these couples in this amber light or in you know, on sailboats or in sort of beautiful surroundings. And the idea was that if you drank, you’d be, you’d be more attractive, you’d be more successful in your sexual and intimate relationships. But it was less hardcore than it was with men, you know, but it that’s, that’s changing a little bit too. But that’s certainly the way it was, you know, when they started really targeting women.


    Casey McGuire Davidson  23:14

    Well, now at this point, I feel like and I want to talk about how sort of advertising actually creates culture, because now I feel like women sort of have bought so far into this, this concept that alcohol helps you, you know, it’s what adults do. It’s fun on Mommy, playdates, it’s required for a night out that we influence each other, you know, in terms of when someone posts it, they’re having a bad day on Facebook, or a funny story, like six people will chime in and say you need wine, or is it sippy time or it’s happy hour somewhere, or whatever it is.



    And all you need to do is look at greeting cards to see that too. Right? I mean, what the occasion is all about, you know, drinking and getting drunk and all of that. And you’re absolutely right that it does sort of build on each, you know, we sort of influence each other particularly now with social media. I’m pretty on things on Tiktok and Instagram, and all of that is if, you know, here’s the good life, and it always involves a glass you know, or a bottle. And with this, with this total, of course, the other thing alcohol, so the alcohol advertising always glamorizes alcohol use, it makes it seem fun and sexy and glamorous and all of that. And it also always erases all of the negative consequences. So you never see, obviously, people throwing up. You don’t see sexual assaults, you don’t see car crashes, you don’t see all of those kinds of things that we all know are related to alcohol, but we never see them in the glamorous advertising that surrounds us. So that’s it. 


    Another thing that it does is sort of glamorizes it and it erases all the negative consequences. And so actually, the way that people portray themselves on social media also erases negative consequences. I mean, you rarely see, you know, somebody doesn’t post something of them throwing up into a bucket, you know, or holding their friend’s hair, you know, as they, you know, are over the toilet, that it said it’s sunset with a glass held up, you know, but we all know that there is another side to this. Sure, by the way, alcohol, I am not, you know, against alcohol, per se. And I think that if somebody can, you know, enjoy it in real moderation, no problem, but, and it can be fun. But it’s, it is a huge problem for so many people, and such a huge problem for this country. And for children who are growing up with parents who have a problem with alcohol.


    Casey McGuire Davidson  25:54

    Well, one of the things that sort of frustrates me is that, you know, you see all this advertising that convinces you that you know, alcohol is an adult beverage. You go to a restaurant, the first thing they do is bring you the wine list, the first thing they do is ask you what you want to drink. And you know, the vast majority of time it’s alcoholic beverages that are available. And show like you said, just the glamorized side of it. And then if you individually drink too much, don’t remember the night, blackout, throw up, you feel like something’s wrong with you. Like it’s a personal failing that you can’t, you know, quote, unquote, drink responsibly. And nobody talks about it. I mean, as a sober coach and a podcaster, I hear from so many women who are going through the exact same thing, and yet have jobs and marriages and outwardly appear like nothing’s wrong. And yet all these women aren’t talking to their friends about what they struggle with.



    Yes, so right. And there’s so yeah, there’s so, there’s still such ignorance about it, that the people still have sort of this image of the alcoholic person is the person in the trench coat on skid row, you know, or the, or the woman whose bag lady or something. I mean, they, they don’t see if a woman is put together, is high functioning, most people miss the fact that you know that something is really going on. 


    And I actually remember when I was in my 20s, of seeing a doctor, a male doctor, and he was going through the list, you know, do you smoke? And I did, of course, I never met an alcoholic who didn’t, but I suppose there are some these days. And then he said, Do you drink? And I said, Yes. And then he said, How much do you drink? And then that was a moment of truth for me. What was I going to say, you know, was I going to really tell him how much I drank? Or was I not? So I decided to sort of, you know, waffle, and I said, oh, about a bottle of wine a day, which was actually less than I drank. But boy, that’s plenty. Right? I mean, that should get somebody’s attention. And he did look up for a minute. And then he said, Well, don’t worry, honey, you’re not the type to be an alcoholic. 


    Now, the other thing, of course, is that that’s what alcoholics want to hear, right? I mean, that really was exactly what I wanted to hear, that I was not the type to be an alcoholic, because I was already worried about my drinking. I knew I loved it too much. I knew it was causing trouble for me. But to have a doctor say, Don’t worry, that was that kept me kept me going for another couple of years, you know, so I think we still, even though there’s a little bit more knowledge, or actually, there’s quite a lot more knowledge about it than there was when I was young, you’re still not nearly enough?


    Casey McGuire Davidson  28:45

    Well, I feel like you know, and tell me because, you know, I’m younger than you are and came to sobriety later, but I feel there is even an influence on people drinking where people are determining, are you or not? Are you not an alcoholic with the idea that, quote, unquote, you know, nobody would stop drinking, unless they fall into those categories. And what it does is, I think of it in the same way that you know, the alcohol message, the big alcohol messages to drink responsibly, where you sit there and you know, maybe you take those quizzes and they’re like, Well, I don’t drink in the morning and I haven’t lost my job and nobody said anything to me, therefore, I don’t need to stop or shouldn’t want to stop because it’s so glamorized. Whereas there are a lot of people who struggle with moderating this addictive substance, who would benefit from seeing what life is like without alcohol but not wanting to be labeled a quote unquote alcoholic is a big barrier to them.



    Yeah, I agree. And I don’t think it’s necessary, required to label oneself or to be labeled. Actually, I mean, if you can’t, then you, then it’s, you know, a more serious, I mean, it’s a more serious problem. But in terms of, of whether then you have to call yourself an alcoholic, I think they’ve even changed it in the DSM these days and call it alcohol use disorder, you know, which is fine. I don’t care what people call themselves, you know, it’s, I think that what’s important is that if alcohol is causing problems in your life, and if you are not able to reduce your consumption, grammatically, then then it’s then the thing to do is to stop. And you know, that’s terrifying to somebody. I mean, that, to me, is the idea of giving up alcohol. I used to say, without alcohol, I put a gun to my head, you know, and the truth is, alcohol was the gun. And I didn’t realize until I got sober, that everything I thought alcohol was giving me, it was actually taking away from me everything. And so, but there’s no way to know that until you actually stop. And but when I say stop, I don’t mean just stop without any support. I think it’s very hard to do that. I think it is really important to, you know, if you’re going to do that get support, get help.


    Casey McGuire Davidson  32:14

    Yeah, I totally agree. I mean, support is key, especially with the advertising and you know, the glamorization of alcohol that’s around you. If you’re in a world surrounded by alcohol where it’s put on a pedestal, it’s very difficult to stop drinking without creating a community around yourself or information. That you’re not the only one who’s deciding that you don’t need to drink.



    And there are many different ways of doing that, too. I mean, I’ve used the most common sort of self help, although it really shouldn’t be called self help, because it’s really about helping others. But the support group that’s, you know, the most common one. But, and that’s worked well, for me, but there are other kinds of groups that work well for other people. So you know, I think that is many, there are many different ways, but I think what’s, what’s very, very difficult is to try and do this on your own, you know, without help and without support.


    Casey McGuire Davidson  33:08

    Yeah. Well, one thing I wanted to talk about was the way in which the alcohol industry promotes the message of, you know, Drink responsibly, because, you know, it really takes the focus away from the issues with the substance itself.



    Absolutely. And it blames the individual, basically. It sort of, they’re basically saying, We have this wonderful product, and a few sick people can’t handle it, you know, and if you’re responsible, you won’t have a problem. Well, the truth is, this has nothing to do with responsibility. In fact, I was incredibly responsible as a young person I had to be, and alcohol in a way was a way for me to break free of that, you know, I was who I was, such a good girl, and so hard working, and you know, all of that. And alcohol was one of the few ways that I felt like I could relax and get be, you know, be free of this voice in my head that kept telling me I had to do more, do more, do more. And so it’s not about responsibility at all. And to say that, that incredible message about Drink responsibly, first of all, they couldn’t possibly mean it, because as I said earlier, you know, 10% of drinkers consumed 60% Of all the alcohol, if those 10% Drank responsibly, the alcohol industry sales would be they’d be devastated. So they can’t mean it. And they shift the blame onto the individual rather than on to their unbelievable marketing techniques.


    Casey McGuire Davidson  34:40

    Yeah, and one of the things that I thought was interesting, so I occasionally get contacted by people who have a speaker they want to have interviewed on the podcast, and I got contacted by this organization called And they wanted me to interview their CEO and I looked up the group and the partners, and every single partner was an alcohol company. They talk about, you know, the Foundation for Advanced Alcohol Responsibility not for profit mission to fight drunk driving underage drinking responsible decision making. And yet you know, they’re their supporters. Their partners are Jager, Meister, Bacardi. You know, the big champagne companies, distilleries, vodka, you know, all the things and I was just like, a, I don’t think I’m going to interview you. But that is messed up. 


    Yeah, it is. And it no use the alcohol industry is incredibly powerful is even more powerful than the tobacco industry. And they overlap, too. You know, Philip Morris, you know, was, or Altria, I guess it’s called now has his hands in alcohol and tobacco. But until recently, it was really involved in organizations like the American Medical Association had alcohol and tobacco stock. I mean, they hadn’t divest it of stock in these industries. The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence had members of the alcohol industry on his board. Until you know, that stopped maybe 25 years ago, I was on the board, you know, 25 years ago, and there were not any alcohol industry reps here. But the alcohol industry was incredibly sophisticated about getting its tentacles everywhere, you know, certainly giving huge amounts of money to politicians on both sides of the aisle to make it very difficult to have any kind of public policy that would really make a difference. I mean, slapping drink responsible, drink responsibly on as and so yeah, that that makes no difference whatsoever. But it makes people feel sometimes like they’re doing something. Yeah.


    Casey McGuire Davidson  36:51

    Well, in the fact that, you know, you go into a bar restaurant, and they have this sign saying, you know, don’t drink during pregnancy, or, you know, that label on a bottle. It makes it seem like any time other than when you’re pregnant. Alcohol is not bad for you.



    Yes. Right. Or when you’re not driving or something like that. 


    Yeah, right, exactly. Where someone can get in plenty of trouble sitting home alone, not pregnant, not driving. But monkey getting a whole lot of trouble.


    Casey McGuire Davidson  37:22

    When you look at advertising today, and advertising of alcohol, what are the key things that jumped out at you? What should people, you know, if they want to be informed media consumers and are looking around at their world? What should they notice, sort of have a critical eye?



    Well, one thing is to actually pay conscious attention. Every now and then we can’t pay conscious attention to every ad we have, you know, but every now and then stop and just look at an ad and think, what are they really selling here? You know, is and is it a, you know, against a couple on a sailboat, you know, looking incredibly happy and romantic and what’s really going on here. That’s, that’s one thing. The other is to be really critical of social media, because so much of it is, first of all, all the influencers, you know, all the social media posts that look as if they’re just posts your friend, you know, your friend, the celebrity, but in fact, they’re being paid. And this is a, it’s an ad. And in some ways, it’s more dangerous than the others because it, it really hits beneath your radar. And especially for young people, they think, Well, this is my friend, you know, my friend, this celebrity who’s drinking and having no problems, but, but not realizing that that is a kind of advertising. So I think they become much more adept at targeting us, because of social media very individually. You know, the way it is, if you shop for something, and then all the ads pop up every time you go online for anything. It’s the same way, if they get on to the idea that you’re interested in alcohol, you’re going to be hit with alcohol as everywhere you turn. So they’re much more adept at that than they ever were before.


    Casey McGuire Davidson  39:05

    Yeah, which does two things, right? It normalizes drinking, the idea that everybody drinks that it’s not a problem. And also, if you see it everywhere, you’re likely to increase your consumption of it. I mean, I know, just in the alcohol space, cuz I’ve researched it. You know, you can target on Facebook and Instagram, people who have an interest in red wine and white wine in vodka. You can target groups and people who are members of this group that has like millions of people in it called Mommy Needs Five Cups. So the ability to target people who are interested or consumers of alcohol is really easy nowadays. And so if you are a problematic drinker or heavy drinker or just interested in that, you are going to see that much more often. 


    So what we think is the entire world everybody drinks like we drink. That’s actually not true. Like you said 10% of drinkers consumed, what 60% of all the alcohol, right? And 30% consumed 90% of all the alcohol, which means that two thirds of most Americans are drinking alcohol soft, very important to them, you know, they’re drinking not at all, or they’re drinking very, very moderately, and of course, moderate this really means no more than one drink a day for a woman no more than two drinks a day for a man, you know, and not all at once. So that to alcoholics, to people like me, that sounds like, why bother? I mean, I never wanted wondering. Yeah, never. I mean, what will be the point you wouldn’t really get high. But for most people, the truth is, for most people, alcohol just isn’t that important. And they can drink a little bit and leave it. I mean, I still see, I still, I’m 46 years sober and I still leave restaurants and I see people who have left half a glass of wine on the table. And I think, how is that possible? 


    Oh, my gosh, same thing, like walk away without finishing that glass of wine,


    Casey McGuire Davidson  41:09

    My husband, you know, is a completely normal drinker, and he will open a beer, and then sit down on a couch and forget about it on the kitchen table and just for like, hours, and I’m like, do you want this? Because I’d like to, you know, your kid, I never ever understood it. But, you know, the other question I have is, What do you think would be the biggest change that could be made to, you know, make a dent in the influence in the power of alcohol marketing and alcohol advertising, the influence it has?



    Well, it’s if you want to know what’s really going to make a difference to reduce consumption of alcohol, which is what we’re talking about. We absolutely know what will. And what you need to do to discover what it is, is you’re looking at what the alcohol industry is fighting hardest against. So the alcohol industry is fine about putting labels on like pregnant women should drink, that’s fine. What they really fight against, the first thing is raising taxes on alcohol, making alcohol more expensive, would reduce consumption dramatically. And the taxes could be used to fund treatment programs and to help educate kids and all of that. So it’s not a very sexy thing to say, is certainly not politically, people don’t like to hear the word tax. But the truth is that raising taxes on alcohol, which we hardly ever do in this country, would make a gigantic difference. 


    Another thing that would make a really good difference, big difference, would be really limiting the alcohol advertising. And by that, I mean, the kinds of things that they’ve done in other countries. Well, in some other countries, they’ve totally banned it. And it but here we could have advertising, which maybe shows the bottle or you know, something like that, which does not link it with sex or with happiness, or with you know, all the other things that it gets linked with. So doing something raising the taxes, doing something about the advertising, and putting really serious labels on the alcohol pads Not, not just drink responsibly, but really serious ones, like, you know, this product is potentially addictive, or you know, this. So it goes into x number of kinds of cancer, or if you drinking alcohol increases your risk of breast cancer by experts and increases your risk of breast cancer, that would be a great thing to put on. 


    So these are all the things that the alcohol industry never wants to see. They give a lot of money to politicians. So I’ve testified before the US Congress a long time ago about putting serious warning labels on alcohol as, and it was, you know, it was a great idea. But it was a non-starter because these people had so much money from the alcohol industry. But those are the things that would really make a difference. And then I also think that I’ve always been an advocate for media literacy, which means teaching kids how to deconstruct how to understand social media, how do you understand the ways in which they’re being targeted by these industries? Because one of the insights I had in the 70s when I started looking at alcohol and cigarette ads was what would make a difference to kids. 


    And I knew that when I was, I started smoking when I was 13, and in those days, there were no warnings, nobody knew anything. But if somebody had said to me then, you know, this is going to, you’re going to, you could be dead by the time you’re 50. Because of this, I would have said, so what. I mean, who wants to live to be that, you know, old anyway, I mean, it really seriously at 13, 50, who cares? Or, you know, if they showed me a diseased lung, I would have thought so what you know, I mean, I’m, you know, it’s not happening now. 


    But if somebody had said to me, you’re being manipulated by a very powerful industry that wants your money, that would have gotten my attention. And so that was the insight I had in the 70s. That led me to see media literacy as a tool for prevention of these problems, that if we could teach kids that they’re being manipulated by the alcohol industry, by the tobacco industry, that these industries are using a lot of money in psychological research, to hook people and to make them addicted, that gets his attention. And in fact, it does. I mean, it’s been borne out that this really does make a difference much more than telling them that they might die as a result of this. Because, again, when you’re a teenager, you’re not, you don’t feel mortal. You know, you really don’t.


    Casey McGuire Davidson  45:40

    Yeah. Well, and I think that’s interesting, as well, because do you feel like there’s a shift happening at all, I mean, it took forever. But finally, what the American Cancer Society said that no amount of alcohol is actually good for you, or it’s actually acceptable in terms of having no cancer risk. And I feel like studies are coming out all the time, based on how bad alcohol is not only for your liver, but also for your heart, which, for years, people said that it was actually good for your heart or, you know, leads to dementia and all that kind of stuff.



    I think there is a shift. Absolutely. And some of it is this whole kind of sober, curious, dry January, I mean, all these products that are non alcoholic, that actually tastes pretty good. You know, I mean, I know plenty of alcoholics who won’t touch non alcoholic beer or non alcoholic wine, and that’s fine. I respect whatever people want to do. But I’ve been drinking, you know, for 40 years, and I don’t have a problem. It’s not a trigger for me. And I just get awfully sick of sparkling water, you know, so I literally love non alcoholic beer and the growth in that category and non alcoholic spirits and wine. I mean, it’s incredible, just in the last three years.



    Yes, in the last three years. And I think that’s wonderful. And it seems that this generation, who are they now? Gen Z seems to be drinking less, or thinking about it more or, you know, being more curious about what it’s like not to drink all the time. So, so all of that, I think, is very good for us. The other thing that’s happening that’s going to change the drinking to some extent has been the legalization of marijuana, you know, and the fact that there are now people legally can get high with a drug that is, I mean, I’m, you know, I’d sooner that people mostly get by without drugs, but but the truth is that marijuana is a much less hazardous drug than alcohol is. You know, I mean, it’s, it’s got its issues, and it can cripple motivation, and, you know, all sorts of things, but it doesn’t make people violent. And it, you know, it doesn’t, it just doesn’t make people aggressive. All of that. In fact, I used to say to my audiences, you know, you’re out at night, and there’s a, you’re in a dark alley, and a group of guys are coming toward you, would you rather they’d be drunk or stoned? You know? No, no question, right? You don’t want them drunk. Stoned, you know, so hey, try this, you know. So I, again, I’m not I’m not here, advocating that people should get stoned all the time. But I think the fact that there is an option, a legal option, that is, in fact, less dangerous than alcohol, is a good thing.


    Casey McGuire Davidson  48:24

    Well, and so, the other thing I want to talk to you about, because I think it’s so fascinating is the work that that you’ve done on advertising to women, based on their bodies, or to girls how, you know, sort of the diet industry, how women think of themselves how they don’t measure up. Can you tell me about that?



    Well, I think that the first half was how I started and I started collecting, as in the late 60s, looking at images of women. And I was the first person to do this in any kind of serious way. And then I put together a slideshow and then eventually made the first version of Killing Us Softly, which I made in 1979. And what I saw, as I took and put them on my refrigerator with magnets,  I mean, this was a long time ago, that I began to see a pattern in the pictures and I saw the ways in which the advertisers were telling women that there was something wrong with every single part of our body. I mean, they were asked like, why are your feet as sexy as the rest of you or what’s wrong with your elbows? I mean, it was really, like, awful that the body was dismembered in advertising, so many ads featured just their breasts or just your legs or something like that. And that there was an emphasis on beauty for women that was really tyrannical and also impossible, absolutely impossible to achieve. 


    And so I was fascinated by this as a feminist. I was fascinated by it as someone who’s been here interested in media for a long time. And also, when I was young, I did some modeling. So I knew something about fact that there are no winners in this game, you know, I mean, I was modeling was one of the few ways I could make money, it’s still is a very lucrative profession for some not, you know, not everybody for a long shot, but, but it was also from my experience soul destroying, there was a huge amount of sexual harassment that came with the territory, it did not make me feel good. And, and I found that other models, myself included, were the most anxious about our looks of anybody. I mean, we were the most insecure people, even though we were considered the winners in the game, you know, because if that’s your, where your value comes from, if you’re at all reflective, you realize it’s going to be very short lived, you know, this is not going to last very long. And then what are you going to be left with? And I remember men saying to me when I was, I don’t know, 25, Your beauty is an international passport. And, and I said, Well, maybe but someday we’ll be revoked. So I always knew that that was going to be short term. And if that’s where I put my, my hopes, my dreams, my value, I was going to be in big trouble. So anyway, there is this terrible, terrible emphasis for women on achieving a look that’s really basically impossible to achieve. And then we’re all made to feel ashamed and guilty when we fail.


    Casey McGuire Davidson  51:28

    Yeah, I mean, it comes from everything, you know, starting with Barbies right there, the way they were designed, you know, physically, women couldn’t walk if they had those proportions, you would tip right over. 


    Right, exactly. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. And that’s gotten much, much worse, because and the reason it’s gotten worse is primarily Photoshop, you know, the fact that now, women can be made absolutely perfect through Photoshop. And, of course, girls are doing this to themselves, they Photoshop their own images, put them up on, you know, Instagram or wherever, and other girls compare themselves to their peers. They know these images are photoshopped, but he’s still you can’t help feel inadequate, you know, when you compare yourself in that way, but the, in general, the the emphasis for women on how we look and how thin we are, and how young looking we are, is, is insane. And it does huge psychic damage, it wastes our time, it wastes our money, and it does horrible things to our self esteem, especially to teenagers.


    Casey McGuire Davidson  52:37

    Yeah, I mean, my daughter within, she was last year in second grade, and I was, you know, putting her to bed one night, and she was sort of looking at my belly and looking at hers. And she said, Mom, my belly doesn’t go in, you know, and she’s, she’s seven. And I was like, of course it doesn’t, that’s where your organs are. It’s not supposed to like, curve in. But the fact that she was kind of worried. I mean, we had a whole conversation about diet, culture and health and whatever, which was good. But you know, she was really worried about it and sort of nervous to talk to me about it. And I know, it’s, it’s not uncommon at all, but you know, I was sad that it was hitting her so early.



    It is sad. But on the other hand, how lucky she is to have you as her mother and somebody who will pick up on that and talk to her about it. Because that’s so important. Because one of the things I say to my audiences, to women in my audience is, even if you can’t stop the negative self talk, it’s very hard to stop the negative self talk, don’t do it around a girl, your daughter or any other girl who’s hearing it don’t ever say I’m so fat, or my thighs are so fat, or I can’t eat that because it’s bad. If a girl is listening, whether she’s your daughter, your niece or a stranger doesn’t matter. I mean, ideally don’t do it to yourself. But at the very least don’t do it with girls around because it just so deeply affects them you know, and it makes them feel that there’s something wrong with them even when they’re seven, eight years old.


    Casey McGuire Davidson  54:16

    Yeah, and there’s so much out there I mean, my daughter and I were laughing about because you know mascara she likes makeup and I of course use mascara and like it but I was like, How ridiculous is it that we were somehow convinced that we would be more attractive if our eyelashes are longer like that is crazy that that’s like a measure of female attractiveness that you know and how expensive it is especially as you grow older to try and I don’t mean this girl I mean the extensions and all this. 


    Oh, yeah.


    Casey McGuire Davidson  54:47

    Yeah, I worked for L’Oreal for five years in marketing and advertising. So I completely get all that and was introduced to so many products I didn’t even know existed but somehow critical that I can’t really feel right. 


    Yeah, right. And I do hate to see little girls wearing makeup. I mean, I think it’s fine. You know, play with it. That’s fine, you know, play dress up and play with it. But little girls who are wearing makeup to go to third grade. I mean, oh my god, this is so horrifying.


    Casey McGuire Davidson  55:21

    Well, what’s crazy is when I turned 40, my boss at L’Oreal took me to get Botox for the first time. I mean, that’s insane. I was like, I can’t believe that because I was terrified to get Botox. I was like you’re, you know, anyway. Yeah. And she was like, oh, no, I’ll take you to my guy. I was like, Oh, my Lord. So that’s, that’s messed up. I wanted to share my favorite quote of yours that I’d read, which is, there are so many, and I’ve got them all in front of me. But this one I really loved. You said, “Ads sell more than products, they sell values. They sell images, they sell concepts of love and sexuality of success, and perhaps most important of normalcy, to a great extent they tell us who we are and who we should be.”



    Yeah, that I mean, I started saying that to a reader way back with my first film, and, and because that was what I thought was one of the most important things was that, that they sell a lot more than products. I mean, they do sell products, but in the end, also some of what they sell is not intended by advertisers. You know, I mean, I think that advertisers are mostly, they’re in the business of trying to push their product, right? And if they have to make women anxious about aging, or something like that, in order or being, you know, not being thin enough, in order to sell the product, will they do it, but I don’t think that they want to create eating disorders, I don’t think they want to, you know, make make older women, you know, deeply depressed, at least I hope they don’t. But nonetheless, that is what happens. So it doesn’t mean it doesn’t even have to be intentional for it to have an effect, and to have a very negative effect.


    Casey McGuire Davidson  57:10

    Yeah, absolutely. I mean, one of my good friends here in Seattle, who’s also a coach and has also stopped drinking, she used to live in Arizona with her husband and three boys. And she said one of the reasons she wanted to move to Seattle is she didn’t want her boys to grow up in that area where she said so many women had facelifts, had breast implants, you know, were very thin, had blonde extensions. And she was like, I don’t want them to think that that’s what all women should look like, or do look alike, which I thought was incredible.



    I just had, I have a friend who moved from Dallas to New Hampshire for the same reason. Because she wanted her girls not to, you know, not to be in that kind of, it’s true that there are parts of the country where I mean, this is true everywhere. But it’s more extreme in LA, in, you know, in Dallas, in Phoenix, and you know, there are places, it’s just more extreme in a lot of these places. I live in Boston, and I live in Boston, and not that there are plenty of Botox women here in Boston, but there also was a little bit less of this kind of, you know, extreme version of, of trying to change yourself.


    Casey McGuire Davidson  58:25

    Yeah, you know, it’s interesting, I went to a boarding school in Connecticut. And, you know, the joke was there that you could never be too blonde, too rich or too thin. There. I mean, it was sort of competitive eating disorders and bulimia in some of the dorms. And I suppose, you know, got into a number of colleges and specifically chose one in Maine where most of the you know, girls were brunette, and they were the puffy vests and you know, where the boot duck boots, because I was just like, I don’t want to spend four years feeling like I don’t measure up.



    Yeah, yeah, that’s a good choice.


    Casey McGuire Davidson  59:05

    I know. Well, I tried. I tried the other way, and it was way too hard. Is it way too harsh? Yes.



    They do. It just takes so much time. Right?


    Casey McGuire Davidson  59:16

    Well, you’ve done so much incredible work. I can’t even list all the books and articles and films you’ve made. But if women listening to this want to find out more about your work and follow you, what’s the best way for them to do that?



    I think go to my website, And I just updated it so there is an extensive resource list on the website. There’s a way to see my TED Talk, which is, you know, you can see for free or there’s a way to get, you know, my films and my books. There’s a lot of articles. There’s just a lot of resources on the website. So I think that’s probably a good place to start. And then depending on what your interests are, the resources are divided by category, you know, parenting and body image and alcohol and that sort of thing. So you can just go to whatever you’re most interested in. And there are links that will take you to other places to get further information.


    Casey McGuire Davidson  1:00:12

    Great. Thank you so much for coming on. I’ve loved this conversation.



    I have too. It’s been great to meet you. Great to be with you. Thank you, Casey.



    Casey McGuire Davidson  1:00:22


    Thank you for listening to this episode of The Hello Someday Podcast. If you’re interested in learning more about me or the work I do or accessing free resources and guides to help you build a life you love without alcohol, please visit And I would be so grateful if you would take a few minutes to rate and review this podcast so that more women can find it and join the conversation about drinking less and living more. 


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