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Representation in the Media

With the growing inclusion of minorities in the media, representation can have a positive impact overall

For as long as the media has been a thing, minorities such as LGBTQ+, people of color, and disabilities have been underrepresented in the media. Negative representation and stereotypes for certain groups can create a false perception overall. People can have trouble with their own identity, or even create false beliefs based on those stereotypes. 

Microaggressions, or subtle hints towards discrimination, are extremely common in the media. Representation specifically impacts younger audiences, because while their beliefs on the world and themselves are forming, they view the media as how they want their life to be like, or how it’s supposed to be. According to, “A lack of representation can lead to children from minority ethnic backgrounds feeling invisible or unimportant.”  

With other minorities, such as LGBTQ+, representation can help people understand themselves better, and realize what they are going through isn’t abnormal, but just another part of life. Stereotypical characters aren’t able to showcase the diversity of the people in the world. We spoke to a few students about how they feel about minority representation

“It allowed me to understand myself better and gave me the confidence to express myself,” said Alan Tran (9).

Rana Noqul (9) shared “It gives people a broader understanding of what different cultures are all about, and it gives people an opportunity to see more into diversity, pushing past judgments.”

Movies are a great way to include representation, like Wonder, which is a story about a boy who has facial deformities and his struggles in school, Hidden Figures, where 3 black women part of NASA influence one of the greatest space operations, and Akeelah and the Bee, a story about an 11-year-old African-American girl who doesn’t give up on her dreams of winning the National Spelling Bee. 

There are many books that include representation as well, such as Heartstopper, which includes multiple main characters within the LGBTQ+ community, The Hate U Give,  telling the story of a black teen in a poverty-stricken neighborhood dealing with racism, Song for a Whale, illustrating the life and struggles of a deaf girl, and I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter, which deals with cultural expectations of a Mexican teen.

Overall, the representation of multiple types of people allows us to look into the wonderful selection of cultures, people, feelings, and experiences in the world.

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