Media representation refers to how the media portrays groups of individuals with different characteristics. It refers to how some aspects, such as gender, age, physical abilities, age, or race, are presented to society.
Why is representation important?
If you can see it, you can be it: this is the idea behind those who promote the positive representation of all people, regardless of class, race, physical or intellectual capabilities, gender identity, and sexual orientation.
Many experts say that what children and adolescents are exposed to directly influences their goals and dreams. In other words, children and young people determine what they can achieve based on examples.
In the case of people with disabilities, negative representations in the media can limit their aspirations. For this reason, people with disabilities must be portrayed positively in the media.
Two actions to improve your children’s aspirations
- Discuss the movies and series you watch with your children. Talk about what is unique about each character, what you like about the characters you see, what you do not like, and what your children can learn from each character.
- Search stories, songs, movies, and tv shows that positively reflect the characteristics of your son or daughter.
Examples of media representation
The followings are some movies, and tv shows recommendations that can be ideal for your family.
- Raising Dion: this series tells the story of Dion, a boy who discovers his superpowers, and his mother, who wants to protect him at all costs. Fun fact: Sammi Haney, the actress who plays Dion’s best friend, is a patient of the Children’s Rehabilitation Institute TeletonUSA (CRIT) in San Antonio, Texas.
- Finding Nemo: A father’s love leads him to travel the world to find his son while discovering the importance of friendship and courage.
- Fundamentals of Caring: An 18-year-old teenager with muscular dystrophy journeys with his caregiver, learning about life and the importance of having love to get ahead.
- Atypical: A teenager with autism is ready to fall in love, so he strives to become independent from his family. The series talks about the dynamics of a family with a young man with Autism Spectrum Disorder. This series questions what it means to be “normal” and asks us: who is “normal”?