In a society where media is the most persuasive force shaping cultural norms, the collective message we receive is that a woman’s value and power lie in her youth, beauty, and sexuality, and not in her capacity as a leader.
Miss Representation draws back a curtain to reveal a glaring reality we live with every day but fail to see – how the media’s limited and often disparaging portrayals of women and girls makes it difficult for women to feel powerful and achieve leadership positions.
Written and directed by Jennifer Siebel Newsom, this documentary film exposes how mainstream media and culture contribute to the underrepresentation of women in positions of power and influence in America.
Stories from teenage girls and provocative interviews with politicians, journalists, entertainers, activists, and academics, like Katie Couric, Rosario Dawson, Gloria Steinem, Margaret Cho, Condoleezza Rice, Rachel Maddow, and Nancy Pelosi, build momentum as Miss Representation accumulates startling facts and statistics.
Even though released in 2011, the film remains highly relevant. According to a McKinsey report, despite gains for women in leadership, the “broken rung” was still a major barrier in 2019. For the sixth year in a row, women continued to lose ground at the first step up to manager. For every 100 men promoted to manager, only 85 women were promoted – and this gap was even larger for Black women and Latinas.
Miss Representation is a powerful movie – not only educational, but also entertaining, sometimes shocking, and truly inspiring. It is a movie that every parent, teacher, or media executive should watch.