Why is Media Representation Important?

Why is Media Representation Important?

In the struggle for social equality, issues like media representation are often pushed to the side or considered secondary to larger systemic problems. However, although they do not always have the same kind of immediate consequences, negative and limited portrayals of people of color in the entertainment industry can have a damaging impact on the way that marginalized racial groups are perceived and treated, as well as on their own self-image and self-esteem. Below are several resources that examine the real world effects of negative stereotyping and limited media portrayals of people of color, and specifically women of color, from a variety of perspectives and in a variety of formats.

“Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?” And Other Conversations About Race (Beverly Daniel Tatum, Ph.D.)

Thin Ice: “Stereotype Threat” and Black College Students (Claude M. Steele)

Effects of Stereotyped Representation in Television on Female and People of Color Viewers’ Self-Esteem (M. Alison Denzer-King)

That’s Not Me I See On TV …: African American Youth Interpret Media Images of Black Females (Valerie N. Adams-Bass, Keisha L. Bentley-Edwards, and Howard C. Stevenson)

Hypersexualization of Women of Color in Contemporary Media (Sophia Lugo)

Why Movies Are Also “Real Issues” (Dylan Marron)

A Girl Like Me (Media That Matters)