Miss Representation

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Miss Representation
Promotional poster
Directed byJennifer Siebel Newsom
Written byJennifer Siebel Newsom
Jessica Congdon
Claire Dietrich
Jenny Raskin
Produced byJennifer Siebel Newsom
Julie Costanzo
CinematographySvetlana Cvetko
John Behrens
Ben Wolf
Norman Bonney
Nathan Levine-Heaney
Brad Seals
Boryana Alexandrova
Nicole Hirsch-Whitaker
Edited byJessica Congdon
Music byEric Holland
Girls' Club Entertainment
Release date
Running time
85 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$750,000 (est.)

Miss Representation is a 2011 American documentary film written, directed, and produced by Jennifer Siebel Newsom.[1][2] The film explores how mainstream media contributes to the under-representation of women in influential positions by circulating limited and often disparaging portrayals of women. The film premiered in the documentary category at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival.[3]

The film includes interviews with prominent women in media, such as Jane Fonda, Rachel Maddow, and Katie Couric, who discuss why their personal experiences have made them passionate about better portrayals of women in media. Siebel Newsom also uses this film to further her social action campaigns through The Representation Project, which was founded due to her frustration with the relationship between the under-representation of women in media and the under-representation of women in American politics.


The film interweaves stories from teenage girls with interviews to give an inside look at the media and its message that underscores young women need and want positive role models, and that the media has thus far neglected its unique opportunity to provide them. The film includes a social action campaign to address change in policy, education and call for socially responsible business.[4][5] The movie brought along a lot of positive movement and encourages those who viewed the film to take the pledge against gender misrepresentations by using hashtags like #RepresentHer and #DisruptTheNarrative.[6][7]


The film previewed on October 18, 2010, at an awards luncheon hosted by the San Francisco Commission on the Status of Women.[8] The film premiered on January 22, 2011, at the Sundance Film Festival, followed by screenings at the Athena Film Festival at Barnard College in New York City in February.


The cast consists of over 109 subjects, appearing as themselves. Raw footage of teenage girls telling their stories is shown alongside direct interviews with a multitude of influential celebrities, prominent political figures, activists, and accomplished filmmakers. These interviews included Katie Couric, Condoleezza Rice, Lisa Ling, Geena Davis, Marissa Mayer, Jean Kilbourne, Cory Booker, Rachel Maddow, Rosario Dawson, Jim Steyer and Jackson Katz.[9]


The film's soundtrack includes music from Metric, Alan Moorhouse, Van Phillips, Jules Larson, Chinatown, and Randi Skyland.[10]

  • "Help, I'm Alive" — Metric
  • "Gold Guns Girls" - Metric
  • "In The Swing" - Alan Moorhouse
  • "Tom Fool" - Van Phillips
  • "I Want It All" - Jules Larson
  • "Drive Me Crazy" - Chinatown
  • "This Is My Life" - Randi Skyland


The Oprah Winfrey Network acquired broadcast rights for the film following its premiere.[11]

Audience Award from[12]
Official Selection at[12]

Advocacy efforts[edit]

Miss Representation was the inspiration behind Siebel Newsom's Representation Project, a non-profit organization using celebrity ambassadors to spread the messages of the film to the community and media. This organization was founded in April 2011 and has since created the award-winning documentary The Mask You Live In, as well as built an online platform to provide tools and information for how to make a difference in your community.[15]

A call-to-action campaign grew out of the film, including a Twitter campaign to call out offensive media, a crowd-sourced list of media that represent women and girls fairly, a virtual internship program to recruit representatives, guides for media representation conversation starters, guides for electing females for political office, weekly action alerts, gender equality principles and resources & tools for taking action.[16]

Filming locations[edit]

Most filming took place in Los Angeles, California and San Francisco, California.[17]

Online activism[edit]

In March 2017 for the International Women's Day, Jennifer Siebel Newsom and The Representation Project (formerly “Miss Representation.org”[18]) launched a campaign against hate speech[19] ("#NotBuyingIt") asking Amazon to stop buying ads on website Breitbart and using the crowdspeaking platform Daycause[20] to create a tweetstorm.

The #NotBuyingIt campaign is a movement meant to empower others and call attention to the misrepresentations of men and women in the media. Siebel Newsom encourages youth to go against dangerous and negative messages that come along with the influence of the media. Stereotypes that the media promotes is what Siebel Newsom hopes the youth will overcome through the campaign. So far more than 60 million people have been inspired with the campaign and have expressed their views on Twitter.[21][promotion?] Siebel Newsom wants to make it as inclusive as possible for anyone involved in the campaign. There are many small things people can do each day. Siebel Newsom claims that they lead to a larger impact.[22] Siebel Newsom believes that standing up to the injustices seen in daily lives is how we are going to put a stop to it.[23] Another action Siebel Newsom wants to take is adding media-literacy classes in schools. By doing this, Siebel Newsom believes this is another way to educate the youth about how to understand the media and its messages.[24]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Trailer of the day: "Miss Representation"". Salt Lake Tribune. December 10, 2010. Retrieved 5 January 2011.
  2. ^ Bigelow, Catherine (February 3, 2010). "Boaz Mazor pays a visit". San Francisco Chronicle. p. 2. Retrieved 29 December 2010.[permanent dead link]
  3. ^ Martin, Paul. "Sundance 2011 - The Best of the Rest". Indie Movies Online. Retrieved 29 December 2010.
  4. ^ Lauzen, Martha, PhD., The Celluloid Ceiling: Behind-The-Scenes Employment of Women in the Top 250 Films of 2009
  5. ^ Rutgers Center for American Women and Politics
  6. ^ "#RepresentHer - The Representation Project". The Representation Project. Retrieved 2016-12-01.
  7. ^ "#DisruptTheNarrative - The Representation Project". The Representation Project. Retrieved 2016-12-01.
  8. ^ "San Francisco Celebrates Woman's Human Rights". San Francisco Sentinel. October 17, 2010. Retrieved 29 December 2010.
  9. ^ Newsom, Jennifer Siebel; Acquaro, Kimberlee; Baker, Chris; Ball, Krystal (2014-04-15), Miss Representation, retrieved 2016-12-12
  10. ^ Newsom, Jennifer Siebel; Acquaro, Kimberlee; Baker, Chris; Ball, Krystal (2014-04-15), Miss Representation, retrieved 2016-12-12
  11. ^ "OWN Acquires Miss Representation for OWNs Documentary Film Club". February 10, 2011.
  12. ^ a b c "Miss Representation".
  13. ^ a b Newsom, Jennifer Siebel; Acquaro, Kimberlee (2014-04-15), Miss Representation, retrieved 2016-12-01
  14. ^ "2012 and 2013 Gracie Awards". thegracies.org. Archived from the original on 2012-10-04. Retrieved 2012-10-28.
  15. ^ "About - The Representation Project". The Representation Project.
  16. ^ "Take Action | the Representation Project". Archived from the original on 2014-02-10. Retrieved 2014-12-22.
  17. ^ Newsom, Jennifer Siebel; Acquaro, Kimberlee; Baker, Chris; Ball, Krystal (2014-04-15), Miss Representation, retrieved 2016-12-12
  18. ^ "About - The Representation Project". The Representation Project. Retrieved 2017-03-11.
  19. ^ "This Is This Easiest Way To Fight Hate Speech". Retrieved 2017-03-11.
  20. ^ "Amazon, Your Ads Support Hate". Daycause. Archived from the original on 2017-03-12. Retrieved 2017-03-11.
  21. ^ "Representations of people in the media". gulfnews.com.
  22. ^ Schnall, Marianne (20 October 2011). "Miss Representation: An Interview with Writer & Director Jennifer Siebel Newsom". HuffPost.
  23. ^ "A Look At Media, Gender In 'Miss Representation'". NPR.org.
  24. ^ Bennett, Jessica (20 October 2011). "'Miss Representation' on OWN: Why Does the Media Hate Women?". The Daily Beast.

External links[edit]