Miss Representaion Film Screening
April 7, 2012 § Leave a comment
I attended the Miss Representation film screening. I learned a lot about adversiting and media representation of women. The film presented astounding statistics about the portrayals of women in the media and their power within the media industry. In the United States, companies spend $235.5 billion per year on advertisements; 80% of the countries in the world have smaller GDPs. Additionally, women only hold 3% of high positions in telecommunications and entertainment companies. On average, less than 20% of news stories are about women and girls. The film presented statistics that 65% of women and girls have eating disorders, and 17% have participated in self-cutting. The rate of depression for women and girls doubled from 2000-2010. These statistics are shocking, and yet this is not the extent to which media representations of women have damaged and conitinue to damage women and girls.
The American Psychological Association has stated that self-objectification is an epidemic in the United States that leads to negative self-image, depression, and lower political efficacy. This is apparent in the US Congress where only 17% of seats are held by women. Furthermore, the 2010 interim election was the first time women have not gained seats since 1979. One thing I found devastating for women is that nine states, including the District of Columbia, consider domestic abuse to be a pre-existing condition for insurance coverage. Women also face problems if they are in the workforce. 70% of women in the workforce are mothers, but there are not family leave, childcare, or flex-time policies that allow women to more easily navigate their statuses as mothers and employees.
Some of these statistics were hard for me to believe. It was hard to believe that companies in the United States spend so much money per year to try to convince us that we need products that we may or may not need. We fall behind many countries in representation of women in government positions. Their lack of representation is apparent in the fact that women employees who are also mothers do not have policies that make their responsibilities easier to handle. One uplifting statistic presented at the end was that women have 86% of the purchasing power. This could give women the power to force media to pay attention to women for other aspects rather than their bodies. I would absolutely recommend the film to everyone.