just a mom figuring it out one day at a time

Miss Representation- A Powerful Message about Media & Our =

I first saw a trailer for this documentary on a Facebook post of a friend-

Miss Representation 8 min. Trailer 8/23/11 from Miss Representation on Vimeo.

After viewing it once, I was hooked. I had to watch it again. I even contacted my local theater venue to see if they would be willing to host a viewing. If you haven’t seen anything about Miss Representation, I suggest you watch the trailer or visit the site www.missrepresentation.org– the message is that important.

According to the trailer, teenagers today consume 10 hours and 45 minutes of media a day. But what exactly are they consuming? What messages are they absorbing when they view TV, ads, movies, and other online content? As a parent of a school aged boy and girl, I like to think that I am fairly vigilant about what my children are exposed to. I realized after watching this that I have a lot more to do.

As a female I think that in some ways I have become immune to how women are so often portrayed on TV, in ads etc. that I no longer “see” the subtle messages. Yes, Toddlers & Tiaras is extreme, but what about the other, less overt degradation of women? Shows where women or girls are portrayed as “dumb” or solely focused on for their exterior appearance? These are the messages that have become so commonplace that I guess I simply take them for granted. I recognize my apathy and hope that it does not spread to either of my children.

For my daughter, I want her to see women as powerful- and not just because of their sexuality. I want her to realize her ability to do and be anything she wants, as long as she puts her mind and hard work into it. For my son, I want him to see women as valuable contributors to all aspects of society. I hope that he will recognize and respect women’s rights, intellect and beauty- hopefully in that order.

Society will not change overnight, but I vow to increase my vigilance and, where possible, will provide positive contrasts for both my children. Maybe one day advertisers will seek to pay for ads featuring strong, intelligent women- not just those who look good with airbrushing.

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