"Miss Representation" perfectly represents women in media

On Thursday, February 27, students, faculty, and staff gathered in the Eddy Theatre to watch the documentary “Miss Representation”. The event was sponsored by the Pennsylvania Center for Women & Politics (PCWP) and co-sponsored by Her Campus Chatham.

The event began with an introduction by the Executive Director of PCWP, Dana Brown. Brown read some upsetting but true facts about women in politics, specifically in Pennsylvania. Brown said that 82 percent of legislature is made up of males in Pennsylvania and that Pennsylvania has never had a female senator or governor.

The film started with the audience being bombarded with various images of how women have been represented in the media. One scholar said that images are impacting our lives and that girls get the message that the most important thing is how they look. Guys then get the message that that’s all that matters about girls. The story then begins with the narrator revealing that she’s pregnant with a girl and mentions worry about her growing up in this society. Then, she talks about her childhood and how a coach violated her and after that traumatic experience she then developed an eating disorder.

The film then goes on to talk about the ideal image of beauty and Jean Kilbourne said that it would not ever be attained and advertising creates problems for men and women. The film mentions that self-objectification has been seen as a national epidemic for women. Next, it talks about how women are distracted from making a difference because they are worried about their bodies.

The main purpose of the film was to touch on how women do not often have leadership roles. Typically, female leaders in movies are the catty bosses. The film went on to show clips of men talking about women in politics in negative ways. They were talking about their appearance and stereotypes that trivialized women. The film then talked about how Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin were discussed in the media during the 2008 election. Hillary Clinton was perceived as bad and more masculine. On the flip side, Sarah Palin was heavily sexualized throughout the election.

The film also talked about how women are treated as objects in music videos and film. Dating violence was also talked about and various statistics about dating violence were mentioned. It talked about how society should teach boys to express emotion and one scholar went as far to say that men are emotionally constipated and that there should be a spiritual healing for guys.

The film ends with the narrator in the hospital giving birth to her daughter and discussing that she hopes that the world gets better for her daughter’s generation. After the film, there was panel for Q&A.

The film was an eye opener for all women and shows how badly they are misrepresented in the media and how there needs to be a change that not only the media, but also individual men and women need to make. “Miss Representation” is available to watch on Netflix.