Miss Representation

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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/

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3 responses »

  1. I watched the trailer and am intrigued. I’ll send this link to my 24-year-old daughter. She is very sensitive to these issues, but even she, I think, will have new insights from viewing this movie. I feel as though it’s too late for me at 50-something to change how media has impacted me in any meaningful way. But, as a teacher, and as a mother of a smart, talented young woman, maybe I can provide a small bit of input that will help push changes along.

  2. This documentary sounds very interesting! I’ve heard about it somewhere else too. I checked out the trailer and it sounds like it has a very powerful message that would complement the documentary that I saw a few weeks ago, America the Beautiful. I found that “Miss Representation” will be aired again on OWN on November 12 at 11:00 a.m. I just set my DVR to record it. I’m looking forward to watching it.

  3. Another article and study reflecting how women are portrayed in the media – still under represented and over sexualized.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/22/women-film-study-annenberg_n_1107899.html?icid=maing-grid7%7Cmain5%7Cdl5%7Csec3_lnk3%7C114847

    Based on our discussion this past Sunday 11.20.11 – I don’t think we’re getting any better and I’m really reflecting on how change can and will be made. For starters, it starts with me, I need to value my strengths and continually not let the physicality get me down. And I need to send that message to my female friends and relatives and contacts on a consistent basis.

    I still am feeling compelled to send a letter to the editor at O or More magazines and question why they have so many ads related to beauty products. I know the answer will be money. But maybe it will be a little wake up call. They seem a litte hypocritical when they claim to be all about substance but it substance in a youthful, pretty package that seems to matter more to them.

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