The role of the media today – as we all are well aware – is incredible. You’re using it right now, to gather information, procrastinate, watch YouTube clips, research for your assignments, waste time….. There’s a million and one reasons why we choose to sit and focus upon screens and products each and every day, and there’s a million and one solutions to problems we didn’t even know we had.

As a young woman, a girl, a sister, a daughter, a friend – the implications of the media on my personal search for self-confidence and self-fulfillment has been enormous. I may not have realized it at the time, and I may still not be fully aware of just how deeply playing with Barbie Dolls growing up and watching Disney Princess movies has altered my perception. But it has.

We cannot help it – when we see and absorb information, the subtext that may not be directly in front of our eyes immediately and drastically affects our subconscious. We have been taught that beautiful women are successful women, and that one cannot exist without the other. Men, accordingly, have been wired to expect the same thing.

This isn’t a natural assumption – it’s a learned one.

In film, TV, politics, news, music, fashion, schools, magazines, and so much more, women are portrayed as one thing, and not another. We learn right and wrong through constructed images and imagined characters from the moment we can read and write, and in doing so, women and young girls forever compare themselves to elevated and dramatized standards of perfection.

Missrepresentation, a documentary available for free on Netflix and online, attempts to draw awareness to this disaster.

Whether you are a young girl, a student, a mother, a father, a boyfriend, a cousin, a friend, a daughter, or just about anyone, you need to watch this documentary. In order to most fully understand the impact of media as a whole and the following of society blindly behind cameras and stereotypes, we must, ironically, turn to a more honest, far more shocking form of media.

It is only 90 minutes, but it is 90 minutes that could completely update and refresh your entire outlook on yourself, our society, your ambition, and those girls you judge too quickly without enough thought.

It’s only 90 minutes – you owe that much to yourself (at least).