Miss Representation cuts through the mainstream message

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March 7, 2012 - 8:23am
Women pack the house at Broadway Theatre for the film screening. Ashley Wills/News Talk Radio
Women pack the house at Broadway Theatre for the film screening. Ashley Wills/News Talk Radio

Youth, beauty and sexuality -- The documentary Miss Representation exposes how mainstream media feeds the message that a woman's value relies on these traits.

"We want to make sure that women are appreciated for their academic skills, their athletic skills, for things beyond just how they look," said Betty-Ann Heggie.

Heggie's Womentorship Foundation sponsored the packed screening Tuesday at the Broadway Theatre, in hopes of sparking discussion.

"Maybe we're saying to our daughters 'aren't you pretty' instead of 'aren't you capable and I really admire how smart you are'," she said.

Tammy Van Lambalgan brought her 10-year-old daughter to the film.

"To understand the perspective of how women are portrayed in the media and in film," she said.

Overwhelming statistics are layered throughout the documentary. Women hold only three per cent of top positions in mainstream media and 65 per cent of women and girls will develop an eating disorder at one point in their lives.

"It sort of fires you up and ticks you off all at the same time, but it's a message that we need to remind ourselves of," said Chelsea Willness, a faculty member at Edwards School of Business.

Willness said she feels inspired and positive about the discussion.

"Being conscious of our own actions and how those reflect on younger women, or setting positive role models," she said.

awills@rawlco.com

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