Why Minorities Need Accurate Media Representation

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Photo courtesy of: highbrowmagazine.com

While more representation in the media is nice, minorities deserve to be properly represented and not stereotyped.

I am Latina. I am educated. I am beautiful.

So why am I always the maid in the movies? Why am I the hyper-sexualized wife or “slut”? Why can’t I be a doctor or a CEO or even the president?

In today’s world, while many advances for equality have been made, we are still just taking baby steps in the career spectrum for women and minorities. To this day white males still prevail predominantly in the workforce over other races and gender. Even in Hollywood, women and minorities are less likely to get leading roles or even speaking roles for that matter do to their biology and DNA.

Time’s article, “8 Sad Truth’s About Women in Media” broke down the Status of Women in U.S. Media from 2015 to show how underrepresented both women and minorities are in the media world. And while men-primarily caucasian-still dominate hard news and broadcasting,  minority males still have a lot to overcome as well.

DEVIOUS MAIDS - SAISON 2
Photo courtesy of: teva.fr

Black men, 68 percent of the time, are the most likely to be shown in relationships, while Asian men are the least likely to have girlfriends on screen (29%). Latinos have less than 5% of speaking roles in films and currently there are no Latino studio or network presidents. Even 69 percent of all maids from 2012-2013 in the media were played by Latina actresses, according to Charlotte Alter from Time.

With roles like these however, we never see Black women in power or Hispanic government officials. We don’t see Asian lawyers and female leaders. Men still hold these roles in movies, games and TV shows because they still hold positions in real life. When we see people on TV or represented in news who are like us, relating to gender and age and race, we want to be like them.

So young caucasian boys are taught that they can be anything–from President, to CEO, to lawyer, etc. But what about black or latino men? They see themselves as criminals and believe that they can’t amount to anything better.

For me, I see a provocatively dressed woman, seducing her way to the top an never conquering her dreams. Now what if I was insecure to believe those kinds of things? Luckily I am not.

When some would say I should be grateful that Latina women are even in media, I think about whether its even worth it. If we are going to make steps towards equality and try to improve representation, then we need to do it correctly and accurately.

No more all white boards and African-American thugs. Everyone deserves to be able to turn on that TV or look at that news paper and see themselves thriving. To know you can do anything is one of the most powerful weapons in this world.

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