Jennifer Siebel Newsom's documentary Miss Representation explores how "the media’s misrepresentations of women have led to the underrepresentation of women in positions of power and influence."
The irony that the film, which premiered at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival, aired on OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network, a network operated by and named for a powerful woman (the exception that proves the rule?) is not lost on us.
Then again, three seconds of Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, a minute of The Bachelor and a dose of Real Housewives, Basketball Wives, and Jersey Shore offers an overwhelming counterpoint to the case that women enjoy a position of privilege in mainstream media.
Fortunately, for those who missed the film on OWN, the film is making a grassroots tour of the country, including a FREE screening at the High Museum tonight (Thursday October 25 at 5PM) courtesy of the High’s Teen Program and Athena’s Warehouse.
About The Film
Like drawing back a curtain to let bright light stream in, Miss Representation (90 min; TV-14 DL) uncovers a glaring reality we live with every day but fail to see. Written and directed by Jennifer Siebel Newsom, the film exposes how mainstream media contribute to the under-representation of women in positions of power and influence in America. The film challenges the media’s limited and often disparaging portrayals of women and girls, which make it difficult for women to achieve leadership positions and for the average woman to feel powerful herself.
In a society where media is the most persuasive force shaping cultural norms, the collective message that our young women and men overwhelmingly receive is that a woman’s value and power lie in her youth, beauty, and sexuality, and not in her capacity as a leader. While women have made great strides in leadership over the past few decades, the United States is still 90th in the world for women in national legislatures, women hold only 3% of clout positions in mainstream media, and 65% of women and girls have disordered eating behaviors.
Stories from teenage girls and provocative interviews with politicians, journalists, entertainers, activists and academics, like Condoleezza Rice, Nancy Pelosi, Katie Couric, Rachel Maddow, Margaret Cho, Rosario Dawson and Gloria Steinem build momentum as Miss Representation accumulates startling facts and statistics that will leave the audience shaken and armed with a new perspective.
Jennifer Siebel Newsom
Writer | Director | Producer
Jennifer Siebel Newsom is a filmmaker, speaker, former actress, and advocate for women, girls, and their families. Newsom wrote, directed, and produced the 2011 Sundance documentary Miss Representation, which explores how the media’s misrepresentations of women contribute to the under-representation of women in positions of power and influence. Newsom launched MissRepresentation.org, a call-to-action campaign that gives women and girls the tools to realize their full potential. Newsom is an Executive Producer of the 2012 Sundance Award-winning documentary The Invisible War, which exposes the epidemic of rape in the U.S. military. She is currently in pre-production on her next film. Newsom is also the founder and CEO of Girls Club Entertainment, LLC, which develops and produces independent films that empower women. As an actress, Newsom appeared in films and television shows including In the Valley of Elah, Something’s Gotta Give, NBC’s "Life", and "Mad Men". Newsom currently serves as a board member of KQED; a member of the Girl Scouts Healthy MEdia: Commission for Positive Images of Women and Girls; an advisory board member of Emerge America; and an honorary board member of the International Museum of Women. Newsom graduated with honors both from Stanford University and Stanford’s Graduate School of Business. Newsom resides in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband, California Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom, and their two young children.
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