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Miss Representation is an interesting movie that talks about women, media, and the influence the latter has on people. According to the documentary, the media construct a special image of females spreading the message throughout society, and make women see themselves in a particular, often unfavorable, light.
The movie shows that the mass media have a tremendous impact on women constructing certain views on body image or behavior. The media suggest that women have to look in accordance to specific standards, and that they have to act depending on the dictated rules. As a result, many women are unhappy with their looks, and they feel like they are inferior to the females on the media covers. Many women also tend to think that unless they look and act the way the media tell them, they will never be able to succeed and be happy. Hence, the mass media often make women dependent on negative and stereotypical images while not providing positive female role models. Men are also influenced by the media because they tend to think of women as less intellectual and ambitious simply because of how the media tend to portray females. Men focus more on sex appeal simply because journalists make them think this way. It is important to add “manly man” construct about males in the media as well.
The movie also deals with self-objectification. The term means that a person evaluates oneself based on his/her appearance, believing it to be the determinant factor of one’s persona. Many women fall into a trap of self-objectification simply because they think that physical appearances matter the most. However, this idea was created by the media. Self-objectification has many harmful results because people tend to overlook intellectual, and focus only on physical development.
The movie gives viewers an understanding that the younger generation of girls will not be able to develop and achieve success unless given positive examples and role models o successful female leaders. Women in politics cannot be denied because the younger generation will never grasp what equality is all about. Thus, the absence of women in the political sphere will have a very negative impact on young girls. As a result, it is essential to be more open towards females entering politics. I am more positive because I still believe that women, especially the younger generation, will find their way into this field, but it is essential to encourage them to do so, especially through media.
I also agree with the statements that leaders are servants to their nation; true leaders have to care about people they lead first. Hence, they have to act as role models, motivators, and encourage people to improve their society and achieve success.
The movie also examines an important issue of women not supporting other women because of the crooked perspectives. Many females are so stuck with their fault perspectives on other women that it is difficult for them to get rid of these stereotypes. For instance, the movie shows cat-fights, the nastiness of many women in power, their desires to find men by any chance, and destroy others on their way. When observing such women, spectators develop negative perceptions on females in general. Interestingly, that causes women to mistrust and dislike members of their own sex as well, and they tend to think that constant competition is the normal way to behave among other women.
The film depicts certain techniques mass media use to dis-empower women. The portray women in non-serious ways, making them look like somebody stuck up on the looks, without any intellectual capacities and potential. As a result, young women who watch or read about these women through media begin to think that a woman is just about the looks, and that she is not capable to achieve anything in the intellectual, political, financial, or any other serious field. As a result, women feel like they cannot empower themselves because all they can do is to be prettyy. The good news is that media can be an instrument for positive changes for both sexes as well. After all, Miss Representation proves that we can use media tools to strengthen the positive image. Media can help conduct positive changes by spreading information about successful role models and showing people that both men and women can achieve equal results. The media have to change its paradigm of depicting women only in physical/sexual ways and give them an opportunity to speak for themselves and represent them on an intellectual and ambitious level.
The movie helped me think about many fundamental things I never imagined were connected. For instance, I realized how violence in the media and computer games was connected to violence against women. The aggression people get via their computer and TV-screens makes them more impudent in real life, and they may turn this aggressiveness towards women who are physically weaker and often portrayed as victims in the media. As a result, many women suffer because of violence against them, and rape is one of the issues. Rape survivors often have common symptoms from the trauma such as constant fear, disgust with oneself, depression, and anxiety. A female often feels helpless, scared to begin a new relationship, can have flashbacks or troubles sleeping. The trauma has significant influence on both physical and psychological state of victims.
Miss Representation also delves into the matter of another negative issue which includes constructed stereotypes about men. They are often portrayed as tough, lacking emotions, cold, and excessively masculine. I believe that we can teach men and young boys to change and be more emotional through positive perception of male emotions through media. I believe that our society is ready to accept such a new image of a man who is more capable of feelings. There will be some conservative people who will still defend the “manly men” image, but the majority is ready to accept the change and transformation of men.
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