I watched a documentary last night that made a big impression on me.
The film is Miss Representation, and it explores / explains how American youth are being sold the concept that women and girls’ value lies in their youth, beauty and sexuality. It is a a call-to-action campaign that seeks to empower women and girls to challenge limiting labels in order to realize their potential.
They are uniting individuals around a common, meaningful goal to spark millions of small actions that ultimately lead to a cross-generational movement to eradicate gender stereotypes and create lasting cultural and sociological change.
The documentary really made me step back and take a critical look at the many, many, many media images of females: what is their intention? who is their real audience? who is paying for these images and who is buying these images? who is challenging or accepting these images. The other really thought provoking areas were the blurred areas between new and entertainment and between entertainment and reality. I thought the statitistics presented in terms of increases in plastic surgery, depresssion, advertising and the beauty industry indicate that we’ve been heading in the wrong direction since the women’s movement in the 70s.
I strongly recommend this documentary to all people and I especially would like to watch it with my 11 and 16 year old nieces. They need to know that their value really lies in their intelligence, wit, philanthropy and successes. And that they need to be mindful of how females are portrayed in the media – not falling prey to the nonsense we are “fed” each day. I’m thinking we should arrange a screening of this film in Cleveland.
Check out http://missrepresentation.org/