Misrepresentation Trailer (2011 Sundance Film Festival Official Selection)

 

Great documentary on the way in which media portraits women in power. Imagine how this influences the youth and their real life relationships. How have we been influenced?

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I think Western women have been so greatly affected and it get's worse and appears to be encouraging children who are below teenage years to become dis empowered at younger ages than before.  It is the strangest irony that society as a whole are critical of the Muslim women, yet how much freedom do they really have beneath/behind their burkhas?  Are we as women not more imprisoned by the so called freedom we have, constantly berated for weight gain, aging, bad hair and fashion.  Who really are the prisoners and the victims?
I think media is definitely one of the more powerful mediums of communication in our culture.Women are constantly led to believe that their worth is dependent on beauty,youth,weight and sexuality. This topic is starting to be given " airtime" in beauty and fashion magazines and perhaps the debate may start breaking the mould of what is the stereotypical "perfect" woman.
Are we prisoners to society's expectations-yes,maybe.....do we have less freedom than women hidden behind their burkhas?-I'm not sure
Having read both Infidel and Nomad and having the utmost respect for the highly acclaimed author Ms Ayaan Hirsi Ali and her courage regarding the horrors of the lack of freedom for Muslim women, I meant this in the context that I believe western women are prisoners in the sense that by our very freedom, so have we become as enslaved by the pressure of the media and how society judges the worth of women by appearance.  I am not comparing the freedom of the two societies on any other basis, other than it must be strangely liberating not to have to concern oneself with any of the daily physical issues relating to the subject only, that western women contend with.  Just a thought!
One can never really know these answers, it is a matter of choice and how comfortably we live with them. The media though, as shown in this clip, proves to be sensationalist as this is what 'sells'. Unfortunately we the consumers buy into this. We have the power.
Some very interesting comments have also been posted on Rhetoric and Writing Fall

There is a wave slowly beginning to break globally, where notions of equality, based purely on humanness are taking hold. Just as the current financial system now comes under fire from everyday people voicing their disillusion, so too will the "bim bam bimbo boody" picture be challenged. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the beauty of the human form being admired, but an entire gender's worth defined by it is nonsense - and it will shift. The shift though must begin with how we bring up our children - with how we stop the "pink little princess / blue soccer boy" segmentation that begins at an early age - with encouraging unisex participation in sport while kids are young and can physically compete as equals until body mass comes into play at a much later age - where girls for example play football in mixed gender teams; and boys are encouraged to share in the 'softer' pastimes normally associated with girls. In terms of getting the message out as adults, men and women have to stand together on this. At Rhodes University where I now work, the varsity's annual anti-rape campaign involves women and men - with guys coming out in open, strong, vocal support of women. On the day dedicated to expressing discontent at the silence around rape - at a society where 1 in 9 rapes is reported, because the victim is often viewed as co-perpetrator for 'dressing sexy' - both men and women walk around campus for the day with their mouths taped shut. The point is that this is an issue where a united stand is needed - where men and women stand on the mountain together and say 'enough'. And maybe it's time for women like the Hiltons, the Kardashyans et al - to actually stand up and really push the other, more achiever-orintated part of their lives, into the public domain. Ultimately, what everyone needs to understand is that beautiful but vacuous people of both genders rapidly "talk themselves ugly" and that people become more and more beautiful if who they are is not a cardboard cut-out, but full, well rounded, rich and true.

"As an agenda setter, the media has a duty to portray not just what is, but what could be - and to open the debate on gender equality." Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA); 2002. 

Wow, i think this video is absolutely fantastic, and so true. Women have become objectified through commodity culture and more specifically the media. I feel that through this objectification, women's desires and wants have changed. The media has misguided people into seeing women as these sexual objects rather than intellect and beauty. And what saddens me the most, is the fact that children are becoming so exposed to this "commodity culture" that they start to live what they see, they begin to aim for the plastic surgerys, the money, the want to be desired, which ultimately in the end leads to loss of "oneself". The rate that media is moving, with the rate that technology is expanding, we will only begin to see more and more of this. Our children are being influenced, therefore creating insecurities, they continuously question their existance with relation to the media and where they stand with regards to it all. With the use of media and the fact that it is so prominent, the desire for more, the need for more disrupts ones existance. the media is so loaded with desires, promises and wish images that we are bombarded from every direction, the ultimate question...how do we escape? the answer, we cant, we as a society can only try to slow it down, but i do feel that it will start to take over more so than ever, due to the fact that it is a known concept that sex sells. I believe that we either choose to ride the wave or go against it, at the end of the day i feel that the media is so powerful that our words would be taken as a pinch of salt, unless we stand up and fight for our future generations. Yes, i do believe we have a choice, we can pick up that magazine and read it, or we can go read a book, but how far can our choices take us?

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