I remember when I was in eighth grade and I watched Miss Representation. My perspective was never the same. For the first time, I could assign words to how I had always felt about the way women were treated in the media, how we were represented as sexual objects but never as strong and powerful leaders. I now understood that the flaws I saw in my own body were merely a societal construct.
My ignorance had trapped me, and now I was set free. I knew I had to do the same for someone else.
I learned that there was an organization behind Miss Representation, a nonprofit that tirelessly worked to expand equal representation for all marginalized groups so that everyone could live to their full potential. It was called The Representation Project. I signed up for their email list, and voraciously read every single newsletter and blog post. One day, I received the email that would change my life. They were accepting applications for a Global Youth Advisory Council, a group of young people who would work directly with the organization to carry out their mission. I knew what I had to do.
Two years later, I am still a part of the council, and still just as passionate about the organization as when I first discovered it. I have started a chapter at my own school. I have screened both of their films in my community. I have spoken on a panel about Miss Representation. I have been in two Representation Project videos. I have made amazing connections with so many incredible council members and Representation Project staff. And I know this is only the beginning. Being involved in this council finally gave me the tools I needed to become an activist and expand my understanding of social justice and the meaning behind representation. I now use my writing as a tool for action, as a way to speak about important issues, raise awareness, and hopefully inspire others to do the same. All because of this one movie. All because of this one council.