I have always loved movies and going to the cinema – the escapism it provides is thrilling and sometimes therapeutic. But sometimes, while it is nice to live in someone else’s reality for two hours, it doesn’t hurt to have yours represented on screen every once in a while. Now, I’m not talking about making fantasy or sci-fi films more realistic, I’m talking about basic human stories that enable us to connect to the characters we see on screen.
When people often talk about representation and diversity in film the conversation almost always leads to the industry’s struggle with equality, whether it is women struggling to get paid fairly or people of colour fighting to be represented authentically.
It is shocking to me that we still need to address these issues in this day and age, but let me tell you why representation in the media is important. The term ‘symbolic annihilation’ refers to the idea that if you don’t see yourself represented in the media, you, and others, think you’re somehow not a valuable member of society.