Importance of Media Representation


I’ve been noticing a lot that people are complaining/not understanding about how it’s important for characters to represent people who usually don’t get represented. It’s time that to explain a media concept, with sass and tea, and explain why you should care.

For starters, what is Media Representation? It’s how groups/communities and ideas are portrayed by a media in a certain perspective. This impacts how someone sees themselves or another group. A perfect example of this is how some people see Islam as terrorism. Because of the media representation and the emphasis on radical Islam in new stories, people assume that all people who practice Islam are terrorist. While it’s not entirely the news fault because they are just doing their job to report top stories that will get those ratings. The news isn’t showing people practicing Islam in a positive light.  Because there’s no positive image of Islam, that’s how people get a negative opinion on it.

If there was a positive image of Islam being portrayed in the media, then we wouldn’t have people assuming racist shit. Yes, I said it because it is racist. Just like it’s racist to assume that people from Mexico are working as “the help” illegal. Now, I’m not here to assign racist or homophobe to people, but rather just explain why you should care about media representation. But I’ll give you a slight hint though if it’s one of those things because #icare.

Now, the main thing I’m here people complaining about is about media representation of the LGBTQA. It’s nothing bad like using slurs, there was still some but they aren’t worth mentioning. It was more along the lines of “why does [insertcharactername] have to be gay? I don’t care about his/her/their love life.” To that question, I respond with “Will you still watch the show? If not, then why do you really care because it’s not affecting you enjoying the show?”

Having characters that are LGBTQA portrayed in the media is a big thing. A couple of years ago, there wasn’t any. If there was, they were stereotyped as a flamboyant man who loves glitter or overly masculine “butch” lesbian. They were mainly just a comedy punchline. They weren’t showing people, who don’t identify as LGBTQA, that they were just like them. The only thing different was their sexual preference. Now, LGBTQA is portrayed in a way that shows that. They aren’t just a punchline but rather standout characters. It shows people that it’s okay to be LGBTQA.

Media representation helps with societal acceptance and understanding of groups that wouldn’t normally get it. Positive representation is something that impacts perception. Especially, if you are in that group. Like if you are in the closet and your family is against it, positive acceptance of it in the media lets them know that it will get better and that there are people to support you. You never know how media representation will impact people. The most positive portrayal, the better impact it will have.

I can literally go on about this but I’m going to leave you with this: it’s not all about you. Just because you don’t like the fact a character is getting more detail (i.e. love life in which no longer has them being straight), isn’t going to stop you from watching nor hurt your soul. It could change some people perspective and impact people’s lives. Representation in the media of anything in a positive light helps make the world better. Media Representation in general just introduces things and helps open the door for conversations that normally wouldn’t happen.

Leave your thoughts in the comments below. Make sure you follow me on Twitter for more tea. 

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