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.
Rates of depression among girls and women have doubled between 2000 and 2010. “Turning a human being into a thing is almost always the first step towards justifying violence against that person.”
Women respond to advertisers’ messages of never being good enough: American women spend more money on the pursuit of beauty than on their own education. “If women spent a tenth of the time thinking about how to solve the world’s problems as they think about their weight…we could solve them in a matter of months.” - Katie Couric
Women make up 17% of congress. The 2010 mid-term election is the first time women have not made gains in congress since 1979. 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 report disordered eating behaviors.
Woman’s magazines have 10.5 X’s more advertisements and articles promoting weight loss than men’s
What Can You Do? Talk back to the TV when you see an ad or hear a message that makes you feel bad about yourself Tear out pages of your magazine that contain advertisements or articles that glorify thinness or degrade people of larger size Enjoy without negative messages Write a letter to an advertiser you think is sending positive, inspiring messages that recognize and celebrate natural shapes and sizes Compliment their courage for sending positive messages Support responsible companies.
Becoming a Critical Viewer of the Media All media images and messages are constructions (NOT reflections of reality) Advertisements and other media messages have been carefully crafted with an intent to send a very specific message Create ads based on what they think you will want to see, what will compel you to purchase their product Created to convince you to buy or support a specific product or service They will construct an emotional experience that looks like reality
Reflection Why is this film titled “Miss Representation”?
“People learn from the media more than any other source of information, so if you want to understand what goes on in our society, in the 21st century, we have to understand media.” – Jackson Katz, educator, film-maker, author. Do you agree with this? Why/ why not?
“So no matter what else a woman does, no matter what else her achievements, their value still depends on how they look.” – Jean Kilbourne, film-maker, author, on current media portrayal of women. Do you agree with this? Why/ why not?
“You can’t be what you can’t see.” – Marie Wilson, Founding President of the White House Project. What does this mean? Do you agree?
“The media can be an instrument of change, it can maintain the status quo and reflect the views of society, or it can awaken people and change minds. It depends on who’s piloting the plane.” – Katie Couric, News anchor. What does she mean by her statement “it depends on who’s piloting the plane”? Do you agree?