May 21, 2020 in Reaction Essay

Film Reaction Paper

The use of documentary films in addressing the misconceptions in the society is a common phenomenon. Artists prefer using such means in criticizing the prevalent vices in the community. Every film has an overarching principle that it amicably addresses. The Miss Representation (Newsom) remains no exception since it tackles how the mainstream media underrepresents women in prominent positions within the society. Newsom blueprints her observation and position by using this film as a road to the end of such misconceptions. Therefore, the paper discusses the main points of the documentary and the evidence presented to substantiate its predominant theme, and its relationship to media and culture as well as gender and sexuality. Besides, it presents a personal reflection of how the media form has impacted the construction of my perception of sexuality, beauty, masculinity, femininity, self-image, romantic relationship, race, and gender. 

Main Points and Evidence

The Miss Representation film addresses the misleading depiction of women in the mainstream media as its dominating principle. Newsom explores the themes by performing a series of interviews with many people. For instance, Margaret Cho, who is one of the interviewees, states that “The media treat women like shit” (Newsom). It is at this point that one begins to notice the Newsom’s stance on creating such a fallible documentary. Indeed, the producer judiciously integrates instances in which the media treats women inhumanely. Accordingly, Newsom presents a Hollywood actress turned activist, to prove how media undermines women. Apparently, Newsom’s observations remain factual following the how the media depicts women in the society, as, in many cases, mediocre women holding minor social positions appear in the film. On the contrary, the media presents good-looking men in lucrative positions. Furthermore, Newsom highlights how the media sexualizes, demystifies, and objectifies women in the society. As a result, women have become powerless and voiceless in the current world. According to Newsom, mainstream media presents and promotes women wearing turtlenecks and pants suits/sleazy. Additionally, they show women in extensions and tight clothes. It is such misrepresentations that the composer strives to eliminate from the minds of the people working in the media productions.

The Relationship between the Film and Media and Culture

Media and Culture discussion stresses the study of media while considering its historical, social, political, and economic aspects. Moreover, it examines how media has transformed the diversified cultural beliefs in the society. In comparison, the Miss Representation film offers a comprehensive analysis on the harms that mainstream media causes to women. The film points out the areas that media and culture should adjust, mainly focusing on issues undermining women’s status depicted to the society. Hence, the Chapter about media and culture provides the theoretical base that helps identify the atrocities and solicit mitigations to which women are exposed by means of the media in the documentary.

Relationship between Miss Representation and Gender and Sexuality

The Chapter about Gender and Sexuality develops the feminine and masculine social distinctions, while referring to the phenomenon of the dependence of one’s behavior on their sexual desires. A lot of stereotypes arise around the issues of the comprehension of the role that gender and sexuality play within the society. Pragmatically, there are exceptional roles for men or women in the society established for them through common social values and traditions. Besides, there are beliefs that restrict certain actions to be only performed by men and bar women from them. Accordingly, the Miss Representation film isolates the understanding of how the mainstream media discriminates women on the platforms of gender and sexuality (Newsom). It shows how media channels present men as decently positioned, dressed and well-mannered; while women stay aside either being valued only for wearing dresses that expose their body parts or being neglected for casual dressing and frigidity. Additionally, Newsom criticizes the discriminatory leadership responsibilities in regards to women, thus converging with the topic analyzed in gender and sexuality at several points.

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Media Form Reflection

There are various media platforms that convey messages to people, as the written, the audio, and the audiovisual channels among others. Personally, I prefer the audio-visual media to other forms. As a result, I watch television most of the time. The TV shows impact my beauty notion since they present various programs on the topic, as featuring people who constantly apply make-ups and dress. It has also influenced my sexuality through presenting admirable pictures of different individuals. Besides, it affects my femininity and masculinity notions through the presentations of men and women with different wears and roles that are presented to serve as examples of powerful heroes and weak handmaids. It has also aroused the sense of self-image since I tend to compare myself to those on the screen. Moreover, a romantic relationship is a common phenomenon with the television presentations, thus, leaving no choice, watching soap operas establishes and promotes the ground of drama and battles on which I and most of the people think the society should be built on. Finally, race and/or gender identity are accompanying features of television shows, as different characters get their parts according to the same stereotypes that they themselves present, hence closing the inevitable circle of discrimination.

In conclusion, it is apparent that the Miss Representation film highlights the controversial issues that underlie mainstream media in stereotyping women. Newsom integrates various features including interviews in its composition to help address the female status in the society. Furthermore, the film content circles around the discussion of such topics as media, culture, gender, and sexuality, mainly focusing on their interrelation that proves to be of major influence on the modern perception of reality. Moreover, my personal reflection on the form of media shows that it has impacted the construction of my notions of sexuality, beauty, identity, self-image, femininity, and masculinity among others. Therefore, the mainstream media needs to review its diminishing ethics of promoting discrimination.

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