Miss Representation – Rant

Woo. These stats are staggering (see below). Unfortunately, the youth of American is being sold the idea that women and girls’ value lies in their youth, beauty and sexuality. Luckily, there is (at least) one group that believes that all people should be equally represented in our media, that our voices should be heard, and that we should all be valued for our talents, capacity as leaders, and ability to contribute to the world at large.

Mission Statement:

Miss Representation.org is a call-to-action campaign that seeks to empower women and girls to challenge limiting labels in order to realize their potential and transform our culture for the betterment of all.

Given the advent of the 24-7 news cycle and the proliferation of infotainment and reality TV, media has become the predominant communicator of cultural values and gender norms, telling us all who we can and cannot be.

We believe that one ordinary individual, united with others around a common, meaningful goal, can spark millions of small actions that ultimately lead to a cross generational revolution to eradicate gender stereotypes and create lasting cultural and sociological change that will benefit not only women, but the world at large.

Some statistics:

•Women hold only 3% of clout positions in the mainstream media (telecommunications, entertainment, publishing and advertising).
•Women comprise 7% of directors and 13% of film writers in the top 250 grossing films.
•The United States is 90th in the world in terms of women in national legislatures.
•Women hold 17% of the seats in the House of Representatives (the equivalent body in Rwanda is 56.3% female).
•Women are merely 3% of Fortune 500 CEOs.
•About 25% of girls will experience teen dating violence.
•The number of cosmetic surgical procedures performed on youth 18 or younger more than tripled from 1997 to 2007.
•Among youth 18 and younger, liposuctions nearly quadrupled between 1997 and 2007 and breast augmentations increased nearly six-fold in the same 10-year period.
•65% of American women and girls have an eating disorder.

Please click here to learn more.

2 thoughts on “Miss Representation – Rant

  1. Jo says:

    I just fell into the Youtube Rabbit Hole of “Advertising and Women” and it’s heartbreaking. Wow, I don’t think I had ever really focused on how incredibly demeaning and offensive of of the vintage advertisements were.

    Check out this video: http://youtu.be/1ujySz-_NFQ
    “In this update of her pioneering Killing Us Softly series, Jean Kilbourne takes a fresh look at how advertising traffics in distorted and destructive ideals of femininity. Killing Us Softly 4 stands to challenge a new generation of students to take advertising seriously, and to think critically about popular culture and its relationship to sexism, eating disorders, and gender violence.”

    Have you bought into the standard ideas of beauty? What do you do to fight against it?

  2. Chelsea Rothschild says:

    Wow Jo, we must have all the same sources of information, because both this video and the “Men-Ups” have come to my attention recently.

    I definitely took some damage in my delicate teenage years from the media portrayal of the perfect woman. I had the all-too-common brush with eating disorders that are characteristic of American high school girls. It took a SOLID ten years for me to stop obsessing about my weight/appearance.

    My fight against it is focused on having pride in what I do above how I look. I’m a professional engineer, a writer, and a dancer. I still have to remind myself that these qualities are more important than being hot.

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