“It is amazing how I never thought through the fact that my self image has been so framed by the images I see on TV of who I am, who and what I am supposed to be… all framed by the expectation of the world I live in. In the eyes of the world, I can nicely fit into a number of boxes comfortably. I am Black, I am an African and most importantly, I am a gender!”…
Closer to home in Ghana, the list expands further and further. From being portrayed as the meek wife, or as the wicked stepmother, to the helpless brainless Barbie like diva, I unconsciously became what I was projected to be…
If this is the case, then it stands to reason that we can begin to first of all identify that image projection of us, which isn’t true and call out those putting out those images to stop the misrepresentation.
We can most importantly also insist that a true picture of us be projected. Not just a picture of who we are now, but who we can and want to become. A lens that captures who we are becoming…
Filmmakers and every one in the media profession should understand the responsibility we hold in our hands through the lenses and pens we mould.
When you consistently tell the young girl child that all she is worth is the body she lives in, she will become a dumb Barbie who will spill self-truths that will make you uncomfortable.
But instead of addressing the underlying issues that help shaped the thinking and self-projections of this now, woman, we as a society are most likely to take the easy way out. We will crucify the whistle blower and everyone will soon rid of the sinking belly feel… and life will get back to normal. There is this saying about when an object is moving at a certain velocity in a certain direction, unless force of an equal nature, velocity and propensity is applied to alter and reset the coordinates, it will most like continue in that direction.
It is therefore time to start to converse as a society, around the role that the media plays in reinforcing negative stereotypes ofsegments of society that are not helpful to the overall wellbeing of our communities and people. We need to tell the stories of the kind of woman that actually makes up 50% plus of the society.
The woman who will go to work and come back home and take care of the home also, and be the last to sleep, but first to rise.
The single mother who makes an honest living,
The market woman who will get on a truck and go to places unbeknownst to her family to ensure the best purchases. Many times unsafe!
How about that girl selling on the streets to take care of herself through University?
The Kayayo girl who risks her life on the streets everyday to take some money back home to help take care of her fast expanding family back home in the north?
How about the third wife who takes care of the children of the five (5) other wives?
Hardly will you hear stories of wicked stepmothers poisoning their step children in real life, but that is what we see in films all the time.
It is important for civil society, to look into the mirror of its projections and determine a way forward that is aligned with our collective progression as a people…
We implore you to take the conversations we begin here today further into your homes and your offices and to TV stations and Radio stations and think through how we continuously reinforce the very things we don’t like again and again to ourselves by projecting them subconsciously through our films, TV and Radio programs. It can be good entertainment, yes, but therein lays the responsibility! we should also begin to demand from the media and its representatives as a country what we want to see… for this is what we become…
There is the opportunity to show that young girl that she can be what and whoever she wants to be. That she doesn’t have to fit into any one box or become anyone thing because of any one circumstances…
Juliet Yaa Asantewa Asante
FB reminded me of an article I wrote on my wall 2 years ago and boy is it even more relevant today, even more than ever! 🌹 – I would love to hear your thoughts on the images we see in the media of us and how we feel about these images we portray…