Diversity general public. Women, the LGBTQ+, African
Diversity and representation of minority groups in modern media has been a long standing topic of controversy in society today. Many groups feel as though they are under represented in film, television, and other forms of entertainment.
The term “White – washing” has come into use recently to descried the supposed forcing of white performers in place of traditionally ethnic roles. This topic is heavily debated among both major film producers and the general public. Women, the LGBTQ+, African Americans, Asians, Muslims, And other various diverse groups of people commonly feel as though their respective positions in the media are being sacrificed in the name of inherent bigotry within western audiences. Diversity, in this sense, is considered a very important issue in media today and is vital to releasing the very prominent racial tension in today’s society and marks an important stepping stone to general equality among all people. Women in today’s media are stereotyped with many negative annotations that are damaging to many woman’s self esteem and self image. One’s such example of this is the extreme over sexualization of women, and especially female minors, in all places of media. In 2017 alone actress Millie Bobby Brown faced immense levels of sexual advancements and characterizations from both major producers of media an the general public. The thirteen year old actress, renown for her break – out role in the Netflix series “Stranger Things” has been voted sexiest actress of the year by many independent internet media sources, and this outrageous case of blunt pedophilia is extremely upsetting and disturbing to those mentally sound.
While the producers in no way show the character in any sort of sexually fashion, many other popular media sources do perpetuate this sickening example of over sexualization. Another prominent example of negative stereotypes of women in popular media is that being feminine in all aspects is nonapplicable with being successful in your career. A plethora of movies and TV 2 / 3shows display any position of power held by a woman to be achieved, said woman must be cold, uncaring, and generally ruthless. This harms the drives and goals of many young girls and their future career paths by showing them that being feminine and successful are two opposite concepts, which is simply untrue. There are many other prime examples of such negative displays of women not listed here, and all of them are extremely dangerous and damaging in impressionable young minds, especially in today’s “cult of personality”. We can remedy this by displaying a much wider array and variety of female characters and actresses in modern media today.
Another large problem in media today is a relentless drive of unobtainable beauty standards in all forms of entertainment and visual arts, and the long lasting damage this can cause to the many youth who practically worship celebrities in this day in age. Models, especially those in magazines such as Vogue, are forced by possible contract to be under a certain weight at all times, and this weight may be overly low and unhealthy. Seeing such “Heroine chic” models and actresses hailed as the hallmarks of beauty can force one to think an acceptable body is only achievable by the media’s narrow parameters.
However, a new movement (the body positivity and acceptance movement) has set forth and made many strides in achieving body diversity in today’s media. Many films and other displays of the human form that become more accepting to plus size models and actors. But, the previous damage of such unachievable beauty standards have already left a lasting mark on young women. The Dove company, in a general serve, found that only three percent of woman like their bodies, a shockingly low number for a modern society.
Other movements in this field, smaller but just as passionate, are now fighting for specific standards of female beauty in media to be abolished, such as the need for make up, feminine clothes, and shaving of body hair. While many women 3 / 3are now fighting for diversity of body types in media, a smaller portion of people are now also fighting for similar rights in men’s beauty standards. Examples of this include: for men to not need muscular or toned bodies, to allow boys and men to display emotions without being mocked, for men to wear more feminine clothing, etc. It is very important for young boys and girls of all shapes, sizes, and skin colors to be represented accurately in popular media because lack of average looking people creates an unrealistic standard of attractiveness, and had already created large issues of self hate, self harm, low self esteem, and depression in younger generations.
Diversity in media is extremely important. Not only because of it representing the population more accurately, but also because a lack of diversity can create harmful and self deprecating mind sets in people of all ages. Negative stereotypes of women and unrealistic body standards are two key issues in the battle to diversify modern media. Over sexualization of children, models starving themselves, and wide spread depression in high school students, are just some of the examples of negative effects that a lack of diversity in the media can have on a society. Humans come in all shapes, sizes, colors, genders, and body types, and these differences in us should be celebrated and displayed for their true beauty in all forms of media, and with that we may step forwards into a brighter, more diverse tomorrow.