Femininity in the Mass Media

Using film as a catalyst for cultural transformation, The Representation Project inspires individuals and communities to challenge and overcome limiting stereotypes so that everyone, regardless of gender, race, class, age, sexual orientation or circumstance can fulfill their human potential.

From the OveHum we want to recommend the viewing and the use of resources prepared by the team of MissRepresentation, since we tested in classrooms and we can confirm excellent results. It is an innovative project to develop critical thinking about our exposure to media, and it is close to young people, so they generate enriching debates and reflections. In our case we’ve worked with the short bilingual version we present below, first with teenage students in an English class, and secondly, in college, working values such as Respect and Dignity. It’s interesting to see how the girls react and reflect on the discussions, and in a context of trust, personal issues will arise about their relationships, confirming the importance of all the concerns addressed at the Miss Representation curriculum.

Miss Representation uncovers a glaring reality we live with every day but fail to see. Written and directed by Jennifer Siebel Newsom, the film exposes how mainstream media contribute to the under-representation of women in positions of power and influence in America. The film challenges the media’s limited and often disparaging portrayals of women and girls, analyzing at the same time, the consequences implied in this phenomena.

In a society where media is the most persuasive force shaping cultural norms, the collective message that our youth receive is that a woman’s value and power lie in her youth, beauty, and sexuality, and not in her capacity as a leader. Although women have made great strides in leadership over the past few decades, there is still a long way to go, and the impact of media plays a critical role.

With the participation of teenage girls, and provocative interviews with politicians, journalists, entertainers, activists and academics, Miss Representation shows startling facts and statistics that will leave the audience shaken and armed with a new perspective.

Author: Dr. Gonzalo Torquemada

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