I really wanted to write about how the media’s manipulation and choices affect us, often negatively. That’s when I realized that their actions far exceed the capacity of one blogpost. So this is going to be like a little series. Today’s main focus, minority representation. How does the media portray people and women of color? How do they create stereotypes? Who is affected by this? Are non-minority people aware of the erroneous messages? Those questions are going to be addressed and discussed. I am also going to focus on real world examples that let you decide how you feel and also to show how prevalent it is. Big warning, I am probably going to criticize and expose some of your favorite movies, media platforms, and pop culture idols. So get ready.
what do I mean by media? This is something I will address in each post, because I believe it’s important when understanding the larger issue. When most people think of media, they think of the news and magazines. But it’s much more than that. The news is a big part of it, but it’s also movies, television, modeling, etc. It’s really important because of the immense power media has, and the special influence it has on kids. The news has the ability to create political tensions. Movies can make kids think that women shouldn’t be doctors or that people of color always like in poverty. It helps to create stereotypes and portrayals, creating a misogynistic, racist, and overall terrible culture.
minority representation and me. Today’s topic. I chose to talk about this, because as a female of color, it’s really important to me. I also have a different perspective as I have experienced different forms of media representation throughout my life. To give a little overview of what “minority representation” is, it’s how are minorities being shown in media? How are women being portrayed? How is the media being inclusive to minorities? How are people of color in the news being shown? What bias is being created?
my impact. A personal example would be the lack of women of color in politics being shown on he news. For me, that’s been really significant because it wasn’t until I saw people like Kamala Harris and Barack Obama before I even considered politics as an option for me. Congressmen and women of color are often not given a lot of media time and that creates an atmosphere that they are nonexistent. That’s just one way the media manipulates our sense of the world. However, when people like Kamala Harris are able to speak up and put themselves in the media, they are able to redefine the narrative.
who is being impacted? It’s not just young girls of color like me. Everyone is being impacted by how the media portrays minority. Either the lack of representation, or the times there is representation (movies like Ocean’s 8), there is still a message being spread to everyone. In addition to people, our entire cultures are being altered.
movies. I am going to include a lot of stuff about movies in every post, because I know that everyone interprets things differently. The previously mentioned politics example is one way to show the manipulation in media, however it’s important to acknowledge that it can be found everywhere. As we saw in the recent golden globes, Hollywood diversity still has a long way to go. A good example is superhero movies.
avengers. I know this is going to hit a nerve for a lot of people, even for me, but it’s important to acknowledge everything. Although they have made efforts towards a diverse cast and equal representation, Avengers is still a predominately white and male run brand. For little kids, it shares a message of who can be the hero. For others, it shows that only white (rich) men can succeed, be strong, have power, etc. And as Avengers grows, it’s impact on viewers grows. It has so much power, that translates to the ability to change society. Instead of continuing to feature white men, it could (which I think is coming in the next few years) try a new origin story, featuring a strong minority figure.
why is this important? It’s important because we shouldn’t live in a world where the everyone has to be constantly alert to what the media is doing. It’s important because we need to be aware that there is manipulation, that we are ALL being affected about, because if we don’t know it’s happening, those stereotypes and ideas become a part of the world.
Please leave your ideas in the comments, because in the past few points I’ve really enjoyed reading them. I know I’m going to upset a lot of people by pointing out that the media they love has issues, but I think it’s worth it. I think this is an important and necessary topic that everyone needs to discuss. Thank you for taking the time to read my post about it.
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