feminism · leadership · media · miss representation · politics

Miss Representation

I recently watched ‘Miss Representation,’ a documentary about how the media portrayal of women impacts on the limited numbers of women in positions of power. I highly recommend watching it. Although it is focused on the US, it is a reflection of the media across the globe and is informative and thought provoking.

The documentary highlights the impact of the media and capitalism on how women are viewed in the world. Media shows us that women are bodies first and that these bodies will help you achieve if and only if they meet men’s ideals. Well I can tell you that is bullshit. The media constantly belittles women in power or gives them no coverage at all. We often get shown female celebrities in very little clothing but rarely get to see female CEO’s or politicians without sexist comments being made about them. It needs to stop.
‘Miss Representation’ touches on the lack of censorship in media. Many people, including myself, would see this as a good thing because surely less censorship = more freedom. But what about when that freedom is being used to show women as objects and is influencing how young girls view themselves. It’s contributing to the rise in eating disorders and low self esteem. There needs to be limits on the media in order to protect society. The media is so powerful but with no rules, it can show whatever it wants. It has no obligation to represent groups fairly. It should have. I’m not saying censorship is the answer. I’m saying that things like airbrushing need to be stopped, media coverage needs to be just as favourable to women and people of colour as it is to white men. I don’t know how this can be achieved but there are small things we can do to make a difference:
  • Stop buying tabloid magazines. Those ones which have a ‘circle of shame’ around ‘fat’ parts of women’s bodies. They are fuelling the way men and women view women, they make it seem like looking good should be a priority. #NotBuyingIt to call out these outlets on their sexism.
  • Do not watch tv shows or movies which objectify women. Stop watching those films that refuse to show women as strong characters and make them constantly rely on men for everything. They are not accurate portrayals and they’re boring, we’ve seen it all before.
  • If you’re a writer, write strong female characters into your stories. Show your readers that women are people to. They are not just props for male characters.
  • #MediaWeLike for any media outlets which are positive for and empower women.

 

Remember that women are powerful, we can be powerful regardless of what the media  might tell us. Women can be leaders. Women can be successful. Women can change the world. And it will not only benefit women but everyone. If women are encouraged to enter politics then government’s will be more representative. If the media starts to show that women are more than their bodies, women will start to believe it too.

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