Please note that this blog post is a school assignment, but it's a good one!

I first saw this video on my best friend's Facebook wall. Watching it has reaffirmed the world I grew up in. It's overwhelming how much of my life I attribute to messages and images I've been handed by the media. The majority of the images flashed are a part of my childhood and teenage years; products I've purchased, movies I've watched, even news stories I've followed.

Then it struck me. There is such a stark contrast to the women I actually aspire to be like (...Lisa Ling), and the images of women that the media bombard me with. Guess which one is perpetually shoved in my face daily, many times hourly? It's astonishing how unavoidable these photoshopped, over-dieted, fountain-of-youth, pre-packaged messages are. Although new media is a beautiful tool (you wouldn't be reading this post without it!), the social landscape has a dark side.

I'm not a feminist, an activist or an advocate for women's rights by any measure, however watching this video was a grave reminder of what women are subjected to over, and over, and over again. Media, and most especially new media, is a seriously powerful tool. It just broke my heart listening to those little girls share their struggles about their self-esteem and how they value themselves, largely thanks to messages and imagery in the media.

I can tell you that the amount of messages we are being subjected to has increased thanks to new media. Via Twitter, Facebook, FourSquare, Myspace, You Tube (among many, many others) - these messages have crept into virtually every aspect of our lives. The pervasive nature of media directly affects the way we view ourselves, dictates the way we spend our money, and has just as much influence as our parents, if not sometimes more.


Women hold only 3% of clout 
positions in telecommunications, 
entertainment, publishing and advertising. (USA)
Teenagers are spending 10.5 hours
a day consuming media. (USA)

Women comprise of only 15% of all 
writers, directors, producers, 
cinematographers and editors. (USA)

Now, what kind of message is that sending? I'd really like to hear your thoughts, so please, comment!


  1. Hopefully I don't sound preachy, but boys are also bombarded with ideas of who they should and shouldn't be.

    Those pre-school beauty pageants are sick. It looks ...weird. And wrong.

  2. Hey Monique! I have been trying to follow your blog as much as possible. I love all of your posts and this post in particular was great!

    Until recently, I similarly never considered myself a feminist, or activist for women rights, because I assumed it is just a matter of time until our generation of women "catch-up" and equalize the workforce.

    I think that while men are, as Mark pointed out, subjected to ideas of "who they should be," the difference is the outcome of who holds power in society. As Jane Fonda said, “If what gets put out there that creates our consciousness is determined by men [i.e. through either sexualized or demeaning images of women], we are not going to make any progress”

    I believe that women have the right to be sexual and express their sexuality, however if we determine our sexuality through a medium (like the media), that exploits our sexuality, then a problem exists.

    As the end of the clip said, “It depends on who’s piloting the plane.” I think men and women both contribute to the sexualized nature of our media, but in my opinion it is determined through a masculine lens. We need to celebrate women’s accomplishments rather than demean them!

    I think this is what feminism is all about. I used to assume that feminism was this hippish word that meant butch women who hated men. I have now come to realize that I am feminist that is looking for equality for all humanity; women and men, regardless of their sexuality. In our 21st century, we have not reached a point of equality, and this is why we can’t give up!

    Thanks Monique for posting this and taking to time to realize how media, when used properly, can make a change!

    - Kathy Davis

  3. Totally! Been noticing how much of boys club certain facets of this industry seem to be. How many directors are there anyway? Why is it unattractive and threatening for a woman to express her creativity and be in charge?

  4. I'm going to be a film director, and it's interesting to read that stat about the percentage of women in that workforce. It'll be interesting to see how that will change over the next several years.


Shout out