M is for Media Representation
I don’t understand the whole fixation on media representation.
Take me: Muslim Hijabi girl. Actually, forget the hijab. How about just Muslim girl? Of all of the groups out there who are upset about not being represented enough, I’m probably represented even less.
There isn’t Muslim representation anywhere in mainstream media unless you count the villains in some action movies or Sayid from Lost who didn’t even know how to pray – both of which aren’t really Muslim characters. *side-eye*
The point is that I’ve never seen anything in mainstream media representing a Muslim female, but I don’t have to. Do I rely on movies made across the country for my own inclusion or validation? No.
Every story needs characters that the audience identifies with, but who said it had to be based on outward appearance? You know who I’ve identified with? Harry Potter. Storm from X-Men. Cri-kee from Mulan. They are the ones who reminded me of me, not whatever societal groups I have been placed in.
I’ll admit, it does make me happy to see my Brownies in the media. Kelly from The Office. Mohinder from Heroes. It’s a cool thing to see. But I don’t allow my happiness to depend on whether or not those characters exist.
Because in the end, it’s still media. Fictional stories meant as entertainment for an audience and self-expression for a creator. That’s it.