Monday, March 5, 2012

Media Monday: Women's History Month

This month is National
Women's History Month.

For those that don't know, I work as an Events Coordinator at a medical school - so my job is basically planning new student orientations, currently working on helping plan the Graduation Gala and then events focused on awareness months, etc such as National Women's History Month.

In honor of this month, I've not only created a bulletin board downstairs by their mailboxes highlighting women doctors and nurses, but we'll also be showing Miss Representation this Thursday.


About the film (take directly from the MissRepresentation.org website)

"Like drawing back a curtain to let bright light stream in, Miss Representation (90 min; TV-14 DL) uncovers a glaring reality we live with every day but fail to see. Written and directed by Jennifer Siebel Newsom, the film exposes how mainstream media contribute to the under-representation of women in positions of power and influence in America. The film challenges the media’s limited and often disparaging portrayals of women and girls, which make it difficult for women to achieve leadership positions and for the average woman to feel powerful herself.

In a society where media is the most persuasive force shaping cultural norms, the collective message that our young women and men overwhelmingly receive is that a woman’s value and power lie in her youth, beauty, and sexuality, and not in her capacity as a leader. While women have made great strides in leadership over the past few decades, the United States is still 90th in the world for women in national legislatures, women hold only 3% of clout positions in mainstream media, and 65% of women and girls have disordered eating behaviors.

Stories from teenage girls and provocative interviews with politicians, journalists, entertainers, activists and academics, like Condoleezza Rice, Nancy Pelosi, Katie Couric, Rachel Maddow, Margaret Cho, Rosario Dawson and Gloria Steinem build momentum as Miss Representation accumulates startling facts and statistics that will leave the audience shaken and armed with a new perspective."

image source
The film highlights and informs us of amazing and downright disturbing statistics: 
  • The number of cosmetic surgical procedures performed on youth 18 or younger more than tripled from 1997 to 2007.
  • Among youth 18 and younger, liposuction nearly quadrupled between 1997 and 2007 and breast augmentations increased nearly six-fold in the same 10-year period.
And these statistics don't even being to discuss non-surgical procedures like laser hair removal, botox, chemical peals, collagen injections, etc. Where today's youth is exposed to over 10 hours a day of multiple forms of media consumption it's no wonder more and more suffer from body dysmorphia.

Where are the other role models, the ones standing up and voicing that's it's okay to be you?

I myself, as a woman nearing her thirties, has to combat these images every day and find acceptance of my body. Day in and day out I work with students who (although they are all adults and in medical school) many also fight the images they see in the media but also the pressure and influence their peers have on them. Just because one student doesn't physically look like another, or doesn't follow the same eating habits, fashion trends, etc doesn't mean they will be any less of a doctor. I hope this film helps wake some of my students up and helps others realize they are not alone.

I recommend if you haven't already seen it (hell even if you have) to go to the Miss Representation website and see if there's a screening happening near you in the future! It'll rock your world.

3 comments:

  1. The statistics are alarming! Thank you so much for posting this!

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  2. Sounds like a really interesting film. I'll have to check it out! I love films like this!

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