as humans trying to live, love, heal, learn, enjoy, survive, and figure out how to be part of a complex world, we make choices CONSTANTLY. and a lot of what we’re choosing is what to consume: food, fashion, media, news, even the conversations in which we choose to participate.
just like what we buy & where we buy it is a vote with our dollar, what we watch, read, & listen to is a vote for the voices & stories we want to see represented and amplified. it’s important to be aware of/examine how we make these choices and how these choices impact our communities — particularly if you’re a person of privilege like i am.
so, i invite you to consider the following questions about the articles, books, movies, tv shows and other media you consume and/or share:
– whose stories are being told? who’s telling the stories? (is it mostly white people? men? or marginalized folks?) whose stories are being left out?
– if you find that a lot of the media you’re consuming and sharing is created by white folks and/or men, is it from creators whose work you’ve sought out? or is it stuff that’s crossed your path, like an article that was trending on twitter or a book recommended by a friend?
– consider the privilege and opportunity that may have been a factor in the visibility of these works and creators, or in the resonance of their work with your experience. think about what informed what you were exposed to and taught in childhood and in school, and how that subsequently informed what you gravitated toward or sought out throughout your life.
why does asking these questions & developing this awareness matter? why does what we choose matter?
if we’re not seeing diversity of gender, race, sexual orientation, body type and beauty standards, and folks with disabilities — whether in front of the camera or in the pages of a paperback — we’re not seeing & hearing the stories of underrepresented (and often underserved) groups. (and that means they may not be seeing themselves, either; google “symbolic annihilation.”)
representation matters; visibility matters. we need systemic shifts when it comes to the many things that impact physical & mental health, and those changes start with our individual choices 💛