Inclusive Representation

Words from the beautiful artist photographed:
"I think representing yourself is the greatest accomplishment and the greatest struggle. When you welcome vulnerability, exude strength and apply courage, people begin to open their hearts to you. Women all over the world experience generational pain and only in true and inclusive representation will we be able to revolutionize the way the world thinks when it hears 'woman'."
. . .
Promoting the importance of having all ethnicities represented in the media, is often discussed from the perspective on non-whites only. This shouldn’t be. Truth be told, whites have and continue to have more social privilege, which dates back in history. To shift the discourse for the future, all women of different skin colours and sizes should be promoted in media outlets, so that they can have someone to look up too and identify too. Oprah Winfrey said it best: “I did not have anyone that looked like me on TV growing up, so I became that woman”. So, why is it so important to promote racial visibility in the media?

  1. Young men and women can remove their inherited biases on the standard of beauty and success when racially profiling their counterparts, in classrooms, when dating, and in the workplace.
  2. Young women of colour should be able to turn on their TVs, computers and smartphones, and see ambitious and beautifully represented women on media ads that look like them. So that, they can grow up knowing that they too can be that way.
  3. Inclusivity of all ethnically represented groups should be embraced and celebrated. Rihanna’s idea of 40 shades of all skin colours is a novice concept in the 21st century, this is noble on Rihanna’s end but it goes to show that we have a long way to go as a society in terms of marketing companies creating products representative of everyone.
  4. Whites hold a position of power, economically and socially speaking. When recognizing and embracing the importance of racial representation, they can use their position of power in board room meetings and executive positions, to shift the discourse and break apart systematic barriers perpetuated throughout history starting from European ancestors.

There more reasons why representation is important. It is even more critical for the discussion to keep happening, so that media outlets and campaigns, can start embracing promoting all types of women. After all, we are not all blonde, skinny, and size Double D cups. Not that there is anything wrong with being that way, but there is something wrong with only showcasing that as a standard of beauty, and causing our psych to think that if we don’t all look that way, we are not beautiful. That is why, those who hold the power, bear the responsibility to support this movement.

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