Why representation in the media is important
Many people have underestimated the impact that having good representation can have on people living in our society. Everyone deserves to feel like they belong, regardless of gender, sexuality, race, disability, and many more.
Representation shouldn’t only be something we see in TV shows and movies., It's important to have it in the workplace and in, education, to clearly show the lives of different people all over the world. People have different experiences that happen in their lives, which leads to the belief that people of all backgrounds should be able to grow up and see themselves being represented in places that have neglected to do so.
The phrase “Representation matters” refers to the opposition of continuously seeing the default: straight, white, and males. This is especially more evident in the entertainment industry, where the movement has fought for more representation the most. Children growing up nowadays should have the opportunity to see someone like them in this industry. Having more representation lets kids dream bigger, with them realizing that they can be like the people they see on the screen.
Many children’s early experiences in life are spent consuming the media put out for them, allowing them to imagine what they can be in the future based on the examples of people shown in front of them.
Having this representation amplified around us shows that these people are just like us, humans with everyday, average lives. Representation matters because it shapes the way we see other people. For example, it can change how people are conditioned to think of minorities due to society and how people of different minorities think of themselves.
The media has a duty to represent the society they live in, because without properly showing how different people are, they show that they don’t have the abilities to communicate with people different to them. Without accurate representation, the full story of what the storyteller says cannot be told.
The film industry in Hollywood is just one example of an area of the media that needs to continue to evolve. More diversity in the films they produce, brings a much larger audience and allows people to have an opportunity to learn about that culture.
People all over the world have expressed their gratitude to the media for creating and reflecting more diverse stories. There has been a steady increase of diversity in consumable media, but that progress has taken far too long and too slow for our ever growing and changing populations. Although there is still a lot of work to be done, we shouldn’t disregard all of the progress many industries have made by providing representation to people of different backgrounds.