The power of media is in the ability to be seen and heard, to be influential, memorable, and effective. As a culture, American identity is strongly shaped by the media. Most of us grew up bombarded by persuasive media advertisements that, while making loyal consumers of us, also by de facto shaped our sense of self starting from a very young age.
Body image has become a dominant factor in our socialization and how we come to understand and respect ourselves. And when we complacently consume messages sent out by corporate America about how our bodies should be , we unwittingly yield the power of our self-worth the behemoth that is mainstream media. And the power of self-worth is one of our most powerful assets and allies in life.
I believe we are now poised for a shift. Never before have we, as individuals, had the opportunity to harness the power of the media as we do today. And one of the most exciting aspects of this power shift lies in the revolution in how we relate to, care for and value our bodies.
So rather than try to overpower big corporate media by traditional means of outspending, we now have the collective ability to take a more artful path of less resistance and choose to redefine the media ourselves.
One of the ways to engage in this disruptive movement is to utilize new media to start conversations. Film is arguably one of the most potent forms of information dissemination we use today. For this reason, my mentor and fellow co-creator, Mer James, and I have joined forces to bring a screening of a powerful film called Miss Representation to our own city. Below is the flyer for this event, held here in Santa Barbara, on May 1st at 7pm at an awesome event space called The Narrative Loft.
Judy Foreman, with the Santa Barbara NoozHawk was kind enough to write up an amazing article about the upcoming film event, which also highlights about why Mer and I are so passionate about the subject and how we plan to take action and catalyze positive change.
This film exposes how mainstream media contribute to the under-representation of women in positions of power and influence in America. It takes a close look at the innumerable ways that young girls and women are affected by the glorified versions of beauty disseminated by mainstream media. Often these images are eroticized, photoshopped and fetishized versions of female sexuality. Such images send the message that a woman's value is in her youth, beauty and sexuality, rather than (among many more) her professional accomplishments, intellectual abilities and capacity for leadership.
The film is written, directed and produced by Jennifer Siebel Newsom, CEO of The Representation Project which she founded in response to overwhelming public demand for ongoing education and social action in support of the film’s message.
After debuting Miss Representation at The Sundance Film Festival in 2011, Newsom and her team recognized the need to address the set of issues that boys and men similarly face. So she and her team made a second film called The Mask You Live In that follows boys and young men as they struggle to stay true to themselves while negotiating America’s narrow definition of masculinity.
These issues are not particular to any specific gender, age or race. These are cultural conversations that are crucial and relevant NOW. Opening up this discussion allows us all to proactively and creatively affect change and bring about what we want to see in our society and in OUR media.
You can read Judy Foreman's full article in NoozHawk by clicking on this link: http://bit.ly/1EkgYAb