Call for Feature Essays About Any Aspect of Popular Culture, Present or Past

'Miss Representation' Premieres on OWN Documentary Club, on 20 October

Bookmark and Share
Text:AAA
Thursday, Oct 20, 2011

Girls can do anything, right? Except that they’re still encouraged to see themselves as helpers, raised, represented, and expected to be wives and mothers rather than independent achievers. This is the primary argument made by Miss Representation. Jennifer Siebel Newsom’s documentary isn’t making a new or a very subtle argument, but it’s one—made emphatically—that makes the film a perfect fit for Oprah’s OWN Documentary Club. Media representations of girls and women as objects are actually increasing. The reasons are various, and include predictable fears and anxieties concerning potential shifts in power and money, and, the film submits, these representations influence how girls and boys think about the world and themselves. As Margaret Cho says plainly, “The media treats women like shit and it’s horrible and I don’t know how we survive it. I don’t know how we rise above it.”
  
The film organizes its analysis into three general categories, looking at women’s images in popular media—in TV and movie fictions, in journalism, and in politics. These images are certainly related (a point underlined in a clip from On the Record when Greta van Susteren, one of Sarah Palin’s most unabashed fans, asks her whether she’s had breast implants), and their effects are wide-ranging and long-lasting. But the documentary insists that they can be combated, and even makes some suggestions how—mainly by texting and joining campaigns on line the sort of effort most recent advocacy films ask of their viewers.


See PopMattersreview.


Rating:

Related Articles
11 Dec 2011
Gender inequality in Hollywood reigns supreme, but as Miss Representation shows, the male/female binary is so insidious that it even makes its way into productions that aim to counter it.
17 Aug 2011
The film organizes its analysis into three general categories, looking at women's images in popular media in order to expose their insidious effects.
Comments
Now on PopMatters
PM Picks
Announcements

© 1999-2014 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters.com™ and PopMatters™ are trademarks
of PopMatters Media, Inc.

PopMatters is wholly independently owned and operated.