Representation Matters

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Photo by Olenka Kotyk on Unsplash

They’re blond, they’re pale and their problems all get solved, resolved. Laugh track in the back, everything’s fine and they hug it out. Everything ends on time. Everything fits in the 30 minute slot, once a week, prime time.

It’s not just a TV show, it’s not just about a functional extended family fun full house florescent glow, it’s a window. For an impressionable young and dumb kid, this window was a glimpse into what she thought was reality. Not fiction, but a depiction of actuality. An understanding of what was acceptable, desired and admired.

And then she compares herself and ultimately cries in despair. Because as she looks from one surface to another, a TV screen to a mirror, she notices, they don’t match. She’s not pale, she’s not blond. Eyes shaped almond, not big and round. Family far from functional, she concludes, White is right and I am wrong. 

As time passes and progresses, this kid’s growth is stunted, regresses. She’s taller in height, and her physical size expands, and yet she stands, stooped. Back bent, eyes down, arms curled in as she attempts to take up less space, a girl with no face. Lacking in self worth and self confidence, the overwhelming monolithic, prolific, ubiquitous monster of a beast of the media has pushed her to resist her own existence, because it’s loud and clear, there’s no space for her here. I don’t belong, I don’t fit, so let’s just make myself disappear. 

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