Miss Representation is an inspirational documentary that offers an inventive and fresh standpoint on the subject of sexism. The documentary also demonstrates the manner in which gender parity can be realized to enable more women assume leadership roles in the society.
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It also depicts how the United State’s mainstream media undermine the representation of women in influential positions. Jennifer S. Newsom is the producer of the documentary Miss Representation. The film criticizes the media’s role in creating a negative impression about women in the society (Walsh 1).
The documentary features provocative dialogues with members of the press, politicians, activists, scholars and artists. They include Lisa Ling, Condoleezza Rice, Rosario Dawson, Nancy Pelosi, Gloria Steinem, Paul Haggis and Katie Couric. The film provides astounding statistics and facts that leave viewers stunned and armed with a new perception.
The screening of the film was launched at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival (a documentary competition event). Miss Representation was also featured at the 2011 AAUW National Convention where it was eulogized for its dynamic tone and constructive message.
The documentary offered AAUW convention a chance to mingle with community members as well as convey an empowering message. There is no doubt that the media’s representations of women (in magazines, television programs, internet or billboards) are discouraging. The manner in which women are depicted by the media stands out as one of the causes of gender disparity in the society.
This is the main thesis of the documentary Miss Representation. Jennifer Newsom (a wife and actress) was inspired to produce this documentary on the basis of her earlier struggles in life. Her inspiration to undertake this project also stemmed partly from her concern about the nature of the society her little girl was expected to live in (Walsh 3).
The central theme of Miss Representation is based on the fact that the sexual portrayal of women by the media results to disempowerment and trivialization of women in the political and cultural engagements.
The film depicts footages of Britney Spears, Paris Hilton and Heidi Montag along pictures of notable women in history such as Hillary Clinton, Rosa Parks, Nancy Simpson and Eleanor Roosevelt. The entire thesis of the documentary is communicated by footage of Sandra O’Connor (wearing judges’ robes) which is placed next to an image of Jessica Simpson in Daisy Dukes.
The rest of the documentary is composed of several professionals who lay out awe-inspiring information concerning the roles of women and the manner in which the media depict them in the political, economical and cultural settings. The central thesis of the documentary is also enhanced by animated statistics that glide on the screen to illustrate the prevalence of gender disparity in the United States (Walsh 5).
The documentary provides important lessons to us in terms of the need to promote media literacy in our society (particularly now) given that we are regularly barraged with onscreen advertisings and images everywhere we go. There is an urgent need to understand the role of media in the society.
On one hand, media serves as a mirror of the society. On the other hand, it is subject to manipulations by powerful individuals in the society who may dictate what should be displayed. Miss Representation provides an entry point through which the society can address the glaring gender disparities and the misrepresentation of women in the media (Walsh 6).
Walsh, Kathleen. Review: Miss Representation Exposes An Ugly Truth That Needs To Be Seen. Oct 18, 2011. Web.