When Jennifer Siebel Newsom’s documentary Miss Representation premiered at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival, audiences were riveted, and Oprah Winfrey acquired its broadcast rights. Jennifer, the film’s writer, director and producer, gives us an inside look at the media, the most persuasive and pervasive force of communication in our culture, and the dangerous message it delivers about women to America’s youth. She does this by interweaving stories from teenage girls with provocative interviews given by some of America’s most influential thought leaders in politics, journalism, entertainment, activism and academia including Dr. Condoleezza Rice, Nancy Pelosi, Katie Couric, Rachel Maddow, Lisa Ling, Rosario Dawson, Geena Davis, Dr. Jean Kilbourne and Gloria Steinem.
Her compelling film uncovers how American mainstream media’s limited and disparaging portrayals of women are spoon feeding yet another generation of young women and men the unfortunate idea that a woman’s primary value lay in her youth, beauty and sexuality – and not in her capacity as a leader. This, Miss Representation argues, makes it difficult for women to obtain leadership positions and for girls to reach their full potential.
To prove this point and others, Miss Representation presents startling facts and statistics that offer a new perspective. For example, we were surprised to learn that 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.
Women You Should Know applauds Jennifer for making such an important film. We strongly encourage you to watch the Miss Representation trailer below. It’s eye opening and alarming because it makes you realize the prevalence and magnitude of a problem that has been ignored and overlooked for far too long. We have no doubt that the 2 minute and 49 second trailer will make you want to find a film screening in your area.To learn more about the film and MissRepresentation.org, a call-to-action campaign that seeks to empower women and girls to challenge limiting labels in order to realize their potential, click here.