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  • Amanda Beaton shared a letter in the Group logo of What does representation mean to you?What does representation mean to you? group 4 weeks, 1 day ago

    Representation: From Generation to Generation

    Representation; it’s a word I only truly learned about in the last 5 or so years…and I still have a lot to learn about. You see, growing up I loved movies, books, television shows; basically any escape from real life was my jam. Luckily, there were a lot of shows, celebrities and characters in stories that I, as a blue eyed white girl should have related to. But that’s the issue, they provided unrealistic expectations. I should have related to them but I didn’t, and because of that I felt there was something wrong with me. So I forced myself into these imaginary boxes so I could fit into the unrealistic mold. I wasn’t thin, I wasn’t straight, nor did I have the idealistic family. But I kept trying to force something instead of appreciating what I had. That’s the 1st thing representation means to me; if I had more depictions of the “non-perfect” it wouldn’t have left me with an ideal I couldn’t live up to.

    Now for the 2nd, and most important thing it means to me; it means my niece and nephews get to see people that look like them in a positive light. You don’t see many Hispanic or mixed representations in the media. Luckily, that’s getting better, but still not as it should be. Truthfully, I’ve only seen a few depictions of a mixed Hispanic household, and they’re either displayed in a telenovela style, or not in a very positive light. I want my nephews and niece to grow up and be able to have role models to look at. I want them to see that they are the norm. I want them to know that they can be the main character. That they don’t have to fit into a perfect box or mold themselves just to be like what they see on t.v or magazines. I want them to see that “perfect”, is over-rated. I know what I had to go through, and I’m white. I had a lot to be able to look up to, and still felt like I didn’t fit the mold. Representation matters; for all races, genders, sexual orientation and body types, not one single one of us are the same. So why does the media portray the world that way?
    My hope for the future is that that changes. We have so many different channels, streaming services, and social media apps now that there is zero excuse for not allowing everyone to tell their stories. And isn’t that what art should be? Art should imitate life, so I think it’s about time it did that.

    An Angry Aunt
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    • Oh man this was such a good read. Your first paragraph was so raw! & it was relatable. I wish our generation had an easier time healing but it’s wonderful that people have the courage to share their stories. Someone, somewhere will read that now & relate & not feel so alone anymore.

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      • Thank you so much Denise, your comment made my day!! I agree completely; our generation spent most of our lives trying to live up to the expectations of not only the media, but the generations before us. We all need to take the time to heal, and connect with each other, and hopefully continue to have the courage to share our stories, however difficult. And if someone can read my story and not feel so alone , then that truly means the world to me. <3

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