We learn more from media than any other single source. By the time girls are teenagers, they spend about 10 hours a day watching tv and movies, reading magazines, and online. What do girls learn from the way girls and women are represented in the media right now? In the words of a teenage girl:
“It’s all about the body, not the brain.”
Girls are valued for being cute, beautiful and sexy. Men are valued for having power over women. The few truly powerful women who do exist are subjected to inappropriate comments about the way they look. Hillary Clinton is “haggard”. Condoleeza Rice is a “dominatrix”. If this is how the most powerful women in the world are treated, what does it say about how our society views ALL women?
This is why the representation of girls in the media matters. Not just because this media climate fosters bad body and self image. Because like it or not, these are the tools that are teaching our daughters what is possible. And our girls need more possibilities.
You can’t be what you can’t see. That’s the message behind the new movie Miss Representation, premiering on OWN on October 20th. If you have a daughter, or a son you’d like to raise to respect women, you need to see it.
See the trailer after the jump.