The good news is that three of my absolute favorite sites on the internet– Women and Hollywood, Jezebel, and Miss Representation– linked to and posted about Reel Girl’s Gallery of Girls Gone Missing From Children’s Movies in 2013.
The bad news is Reel Girl ran out of bandwith not once, but twice. ARGH.
The good news is the sexist posters from kids movies are back up. If you haven’t seen them, you can look now.
You should also check out Laura Beck’s post on Jezebel. She writes about the bad influence the limited representations of females has on kids:
As for how it leaves girls feeling, this is probably something many of us can relate to. As a child, I strived for the perfection of a Disney Princess, perhaps subconsciously knowing I’d never achieve that, I started imagining myself in the shoes of more adventurous male characters. I’ve talked to many women who’ve had similar experiences, this sort of transference. Lacking decent female role models, it’s not surprising many girls live stories through the eyes of boys and men.
There’s a passage in Margaret Cho’s hilarious 2002 autobiography I’m the One That I Want that talks about this in terms of race. This is paraphrased, but she basically says that, as a young girls, she couldn’t wait to grow up and become white like everyone on TV. Heartbreaking, and I think this experience resonates with many people. When you don’t see yourself reflected in media, you push yourself into it.
Beck also goes on to tell a creepy but unsurprising story:
Now, a personal anecdote. I have a friend who’s a writer working in children’s TV. She’s constantly taking meetings and pitching stories, and she told me when she first started in the business, she pitched stories with girl leads. However, after being told to change the protagonist to a male character more than a few times — and once being told to actually turn the movie into a live action rom com for adult women!? — she now pitches almost entirely male-driven stories. And guess what? She’s selling.
What is surprising is that so many people buy the bullshit line: “Girls will see movies about boys, but boys won’t see movies about girls.”
How can we see cool movies about girls when no one will make them?