Miss Representation is a documentary from 2011 exploring the media pressures put on young women in America, it more so talks about the limited political power that is given to women and how female power is under-represented in media influences. The documentary was quite a shock to how sexist the media actually is, it showcases women as being natural enemies to each other and generally bitchy behaviour, come on now women do get on with each other.
Jennifer Siebel Newsom narrates throughout the documentary the fears she has of her little girl growing up in the male dominated environment, if they aren’t subjecting women sexually they are undermining their intelligence. A wide range of shocking statistics are also used throughput to showcase how oblivious we may be to what is actually going on in front of our very eyes on a daily basis.
“Studies prove exposures to sexually explicit video games and music videos is linked to men’s acceptance of rape myths and sexual harassment”
“1 in 6 women are survivors of rape or attempted rape”
“It is estimated that out of the 8 million people with an eating disorder 7 of those million are women.”
“In 2011, only 11% of protagonists in films were female.”
“Women hold only 5% of clout positions in telecommunications, entertainment, publishing, and advertising”
Media influences may seem ineffective but they do shape how a society thinks, females are constantly sexualised which makes it seem that we are objects, in the popular video game Grand Theft Auto men can beat up female prostitutes and get their money back after ‘using their services’ it shows a complete lack of respect towards women and like this behaviour is acceptable and possibly even funny.
It may not be featured in the Documentary due to it being 2 years later but Robin Thicke’s Blurred Lines is a primary example of how women are being overly sexualised constantly in the media. The models in the video are dancing around topless (explicit version) and the lyrics over exert sexual intentions and rape, the blurred line wipes out the answer no making it seem like the females are available and this is not acceptable, glorifying rape in popular culture formats will make it more accessible for audiences, women should not be portrayed as sex objects or even used just to boost a songs video hits.
With women’s small contribution to media services it means that the patriarchal society will continue to grow, males will continue to undermine a females persona and focus more on her looks, with the over exposure of slim models and celebrities and shaming those who gain weight then it will make it seem like your looks are the most important factor of life.
Jennifer Siebel Newsom illustrates that when auditioning for roles she was advised not to mention her educational achievements due to it being potentially intimidating, what’s wrong with having a degree? Women aren’t dumb which is constantly a media stereotype e.g.’dumb blondes’ but it seems that if you do have good educational traits then you are an outcast and you should focus more on your looks rather than studying. A good example of this is Mean Girls, this isn’t mentioned in the documentary btw, it’s a film that everybody has either heard of or seen, when Cady remotely shows any intelligence she is instantly looked at like she is a freak by the ‘Plastics’ but then you slowly see her consumed by the beauty obsession and bitchy personality.
If more female power was allowed in the media then changes could be made, young girls wouldn’t feel self conscious about their looks at such a young age and the ever growing increase in depression and eating disorders wouldn’t be such a high risk. Everyday females aren’t like those constantly showcased in music video’s, Miley Cyrus may walk around in next to nothing and twerk but it doesn’t mean that every girl wants to act like this.
More statistics and information for the documentary can be found on it’s official site, it can also be viewed on Netflix (UK)
*images from google