The Power of Representation

Ayoola O and Grace G gave the thought for the week in assembly on the power of representation in the media, literature etc and the positive effect it can have on society. 

Read their report below:  

“This term’s theme for the ‘thought for the week’ is about celebrating diversity and celebrating differences. This week we thought that we would talk about the power of representation and the positive impact on an individual and the power it holds in society. Representation in the workplace, in high leadership positions, in books, in mainstream music, in the media, all of these various forms of representations can impact the way that we see ourselves and ourselves within society. 

“Representation in the media is particularly important as it shapes our understanding of the world around us. The media has the power to shape our attitudes, beliefs, and values, and it can impact how we view ourselves and others. Therefore, when we have positive representation in the media, it can help to break down stereotypes and biases and create a more inclusive and equitable society. 

“When we see someone who looks like us, talks like us, and shares our values and beliefs, it validates our existence and helps us to feel a sense of belonging. It can teach us valuable lessons about taking a world where we see ourselves into our realities. It can break down stereotypes and make us understand different cultures and identities rather than what we think they may be like, through people’s maybe own biases or own assumptions. Representation, genuine real representation, can break down the stereotypes, where people’s stories and their truth is seen around them and validates them, rather than leaves them ignored or misrepresented. 

“In literature, representation is equally important. Literature allows us to escape into different worlds and experience life through the eyes of different characters. When we see ourselves represented in literature, it can help us to feel seen and understood. It can also help us to learn about other cultures and perspectives and broaden our understanding of the world. For example, the Black Panther movie, which featured a predominantly black cast, was a huge success because it gave a positive representation in mainstream media. It showed the world that black people can be powerful, intelligent, and heroic, and it helped to change people's perceptions of black people in society. 

“In conclusion, representation is essential in our society. It helps us to see ourselves in the world around us, feel heard and validated, and it creates a more inclusive and equitable society. We need more diverse representation in the media and literature to break down stereotypes, reduce discrimination, and create a more accepting and tolerant society. 

“Let us work together to create a world where everyone feels seen and heard, and where our differences are celebrated, not just tolerated."