Jennifer Seibel Newsom’s TEDxWomen Talk on why she created the movie, Miss Representation.
Back in October, GeekMom Laura wrote about Miss Representation, a movie written, directed, and produced by actress and advocate Jennifer Siebel Newsom that analyzes how media shapes our perceptions about gender, and also affects women and girls’ ability to see themselves as leaders or be seen as leaders by others in society. Having watched the trailer for the movie (below), I was particularly interested in hearing Newsom speak at TEDxWomen–and she did not disappoint.
Newsom refers to media as “the third parent in the room,” and goes on to explain that between television and internet, magazines and billboards, kids typically take in 10 hours of media each day. She makes the argument that this is ten hours each day where children are receiving the message that “the power of women comes from their sexuality, and not their personal content.”
Personally, my favorite moment in the talk is where she describes the advice her agent gave to her 28-year-old self:
He told me to lie about my age and take my MBA off of my resume. They were not valued in a town that exports culture to the rest of the world.
Viewers who are looking to do something constructive with the understandable frustration they’ll feel after watching even small segments of Miss Representation are invited to head over to the movie’s website in order to take action, host a viewing a party, or purchase the media literacy curriculum for their educational program, church, or library.
Newsom reminds us at the end of her talk, we have power as consumers to change how media portrays women: we can vote for change with our dollars and our media choices.