|Get the best of Oprah.com in your inbox. Sign up for our newsletters!|
Picture Imperfect: OWN's New Documentary Miss Representation
A documentary reveals the damage mainstream media does to women.
When Jennifer Siebel Newsom (left) learned in 2009 that she was expecting a baby girl with husband Gavin Newsom—California's lieutenant governor—she struggled to imagine how her daughter "could grow up to be emotionally healthy," she says in Miss Representation, the documentary she directed to expose how American media erodes female self-worth.
In the film, Newsom, Gloria Steinem, Katie Couric, and others lament the way today's TV, film, and Web content—dolled-up little girls strutting down pageant catwalks, gossip bloggers mocking a starlet's size—teach us that our worth is based on our desirability. The film shows how women leaders are trivialized (witness Glenn Beck calling Hillary Clinton a "bitch"), and notes that Hollywood greenlights few female protagonists (and fewer still whose happy ending doesn't involve landing a man). It also reminds us that these movies and shows keep getting made because we watch them. Let's hope Newsom's debut helps us change more than the channel. Miss Representation premieres on week from today on OWN.