Feminist media study films like Miss Representation speak to how much influence popular media has. We discuss the absence of accurate female representation through means such as the Bechtel test, a test that uses a series of feminist criteria to assess the gender bias in film and tv. We are beginning to understand how women are constantly objectified. We seem to have gained an understanding of how masculine projections perpetuate violence. We acknowledge how lack of representation enables the cycle of oppression. We claim to understand how the media silences, manipulates, and marginalizes.
However, what we don’t seem to be grasping is the more lucrative tactics of the media. Petra Collins boldly exposes that the media actively works to spin and mask the oppression so that ultimately we are the ones silencing ourselves. When we look at the concept of censorship, we need to be ready to acknowledge our role in the matter.
Every time we label another person a “bitch” or a “slut” we are not only degrading the victim of these words but ourselves. Every time we edit our bodies to align with harmful beauty standards, we are telling ourselves that we are not naturally beautiful. We tell ourselves that these self-destructions are not only what we want, but what is best for us. Collins highlights an important action that has gotten weighed down by other heavy questions–asking why.
Until we are ready to ask the questions and face the answers, we will continue to be trapped in our own silence.