Ever since media has been created its played a huge role in how women are portrayed. We see from a young age that women are represented as skinny, pretty, or even dumb in the media. This portrayal affects a lot of women on a day-to-day basis. It makes us think that we have to conform to this representation and others believe that this is just how women are. Why are women portrayed like this and why are most people ignorant to their negative portrayal? In the documentary, Miss Representation directed by Jennifer Siebel Newsom, women come together to share their experiences of how this negative portrayal has affected them in their lives and take apart the social construction around women’s image.
Through out this documentary, viewers get to see interviews with several women who work in the media. Most of them are actresses like Daphne Zuniga, who has starred in the popular series, One Tree Hill. Zuniga in the film speaks about landing a role on television and was told, “Your part is secured, but would you consider doing botox, or collagen, or something?” It’s not an uncommon occurance that women in television turn to these procedures to look youthful and keep their jobs. This also holds true for newscasters and journalists who are covered in makeup and told what to wear and what to say. Katie Couric, who is most well known for being a journalist on the Today Show said in the film, “If women spent a tenth of the time thinking about how to solve the world’s problems as they think about their weight, we could solve them in a matter of months.” This goes to show how often women are worried about their weight and their appearance. Women are led by the media’s portrayals to believe they have to be these things in order to be happy, or keep a job. Miss Representation shows us the negative portrayal of women in the media and it deconstructs the social construction of how women are “supposed” to be.
Miss Representation. Dir. Jennifer Siebel Newsom. Girls’ Club Entertainment, 2011. Film.