A Few Reasons to Watch Miss Representation
The idea that something can warp our ideas of ourselves, other people, and society altogether seems impossible; However, media strongly impacts our culture, shapes our society, and most people do not recognize its dominating influence. The documentary Miss Representation puts the media’s control over society into perspective. It is an eye opening movie, with shocking reveals that should be common knowledge.
When watching this movie with my mother, her reaction was astounding. She sat me down and had a long talk about body image, sexuality, and how to be strong no matter what anyone tells me. If only other women had the same push to be strong.
It is incredible to thinking of the impact media has upon us. With teenagers spending 30 hours a week watching television, Magazines being the new literature of our generation and commercials found from TV, to boards on the side of the road, it is impossible to deny the media’s everyday impact on society.
Many people today still do not understand the political economy of television. In commercials, an image is set of unimaginable beauty by using this beauty product, being more powerful by driving this car. The media creates these images of perfection in order to make money. And without this product, you are not as beautiful, not as powerful, the image in your mind is shifted to think you are not good enough.
And this Media affects women in an incredibly significant way. There is so much negativity in the media towards women, their weight, and how they should look, which represents the pressure females feel to conform to men’s ideals. There is a concept of the perfect woman and how she must look and act a certain way and the women who do not are scrutinized.
The idea of beauty is more extreme and impossible than ever. Before there was only cosmetics. Now there is Photoshop to create the perfect woman and a higher standard for females. “Females measure themselves against an impossible standard,” says Jean Kilbourne in Miss Representation.
Females are made to think looks are the only important thing to have, and men who are shown pictures of supermodels that are photoshopped to perfection then judge women much more harshly. Miss Representation takes testimonies of young girls who have been affected by the strong influence of the media. Miss representation tells how 65% of females have an eating disorder, 17% cut or give physical harm to themselves (due to bullying from peers or their own self-image not seeming to be good enough), and the rates of depression among females has doubled between 2000 and 2010.
Brain development only reaches the full potential into the mid-twenties of a human’s life. Teens are ruled primarily by emotions during this time. Full cognitive function is not there for teens to distinguish what is true and what is fantasy. Teens are a much more vulnerable class of society.
Our society features anorexic actresses and models, and even those without eating disorders photoshopped to seem as such. We are conditioned to think that this is what women should look like.
Miss representation is a movie for all mothers, fathers, teenagers, male or female, and anyone else who has been affected by the media, and especially for those who are blind to the media’s role in our lives. After watching this movie, I myself felt a surge of power, determination and pride for the women who have done so much to get us this far. But it is up to us to not allow that power to be taken from us once again.