20 Eye-Opening Facts from ‘Miss Representation’
By Madelyn Collins
Pursuing a journalism and electronic media major at the University of Tennessee. Teach and perform dance on the side as a living.
Learn about the astonishing truth uncovered in the acclaimed film, ‘Miss Representation’.
Miss Representation was a 2011 film focused on themes of sexism and women in the media. According to The Representation Project website, Jennifer Siebel Newsom wrote and directed the film to expose “how mainstream media and culture contribute to the under-representation of women in positions of power and influence in America.” The film has won over a dozen awards as it does a thorough job in revealing the dark reality women live in. Education on this topic is important as The Representation Project reported, “Seventy-three percent of students said watching Miss Representation changed their opinion about the way in which women are represented in the media… sixty-one percent of students reported speaking up when seeing or hearing something derogatory towards women.” ‘Miss Representation’ sends a message about today’s culture and the images media use to hurt women rather than empower them.
Here is a breakdown of some of the most surprising information presented in ‘Miss Representation’.
“All of Hollywood is run on one assumption: That women will watch stories about men but men won’t watch stories about women.” – Geena Davis
The population of women in the world is roughly equal to the population of men, but that is not what the media looks like.
Only 16% of women are the protagonists in movies.
Between 1937 and 2005 (68 years), there were only 13 female protagonists in animated movies and all of them were looking for romance except one.
Women in their 20s & 30s are only 39% of the population, but they make up 71% of characters and people on TV.
The media objectify women as sex toys and unfairly stereotypes them.
Portraying women in a negative and deviant light is common
Reality TV portrays women as manipulative, vindictive, and on display for male judgment and objectification.
The female characters in G rated movies are just as likely to wear revealing clothing as in R rated movies.
Through the media, boys get the message that they should be violent, in control, unemotional, and women are to focus mainly on their physical appearance.
Women have a harder time pursuing leadership roles.
“… we have a whole generation of women who are less likely to run for office and less likely to vote.” – Caroline Heldman. When the media shows only men can have powerful positions in life this affects how young girls see themselves in the future.
Women make up 51% of the population and only 17% of Congress.
Women hold only 3% of power positions in the mainstream media.
Women own only 5.8 % of all TV stations.
Women are merely 3% of Fortune 500 CEOs.
Women comprise 7% of directors and 13% of film writers in the top 250 grossing
Women experience a startling rate self-hate, threats, and violence.
Violence and mental illness affect women at a high rate, and it can be through their own actions or from others’. “… women are seen as things, as objects. And turning a human being into a thing is almost always the first step toward justifying violence against that person.” – Jean Kilbourne.
Cosmetic surgery on youth under the age of 18 has tripled in a decade.
Women are very likely to show signs of self-objectification through anxiety, depression, and eating disorders.
About 65% of American women and girls have an eating disorder.
Twice as many females compared to males are diagnosed with depression post-puberty.
Cases of self-injury, such as cutting, is more common with young girls.
25% of women report abuse by a partner during their lifetime.
One in six women are survivors of rape or attempted.
15% of rape survivors are under the age of 12.
1 out of 2 girls as young as 6-8 years old want to be thinner.
Stunning facts like can be disheartening, but the film also had a bright side. It pointed out how women have the ability to change the situation around. Men do not outnumber women. Women make up a majority of college graduates and they hold a majority of the purchasing power. Standing together was a key component in the film to combat these alarming stats and to change the reality women live in today.