"You can't be what you can't see."
Writer/director Jennifer Siebel Newsom brings up this idea in her new documentary, "Miss Representation," a film that exposes how girls and women are portrayed in American mainstream media. "Miss Representation" weaves together startling statistics with stories from teenage girls and interviews from the likes of Dr. Condoleezza Rice, Lisa Ling, Nancy Pelosi, Katie Couric, Rachel Maddow, Rosario Dawson, Dr. Jackson Katz, Dr. Jean Kilbourne and Gloria Steinem all asking the same question: What do young girls see when they view American media?
Do they see women who are valued for their brains instead of their bodies? No. Do they see women who are treated fairly even if their opinion varies from another's? Nope. Do they see women whose accomplishments are based on something other than their most recent dress size? No again.
They see little girls strutting down catwalks with fake boobs and hair extensions. They read gossip bloggers mocking a starlet's dress size. And they hear male politicians declare that female politicians must be PMSing if they hold a different stance from their own.
Newsome's film aims to show us just how affected girls are by the images they see in American media and what we can do to bring about change. Check out the trailer for the film (watch out for colorful language from Margaret Cho around 2:05)
Find a screening location of "Miss Representation" here. The film also debuts on Oprah's OWN network on Oct. 20.