Representation is important.
I went to see Wonder Woman, and I loved seeing a strong, powerful confidant woman as the lead. But the character that resonated with me was Antiope.
You see, I’m an older woman. I’m over forty. I have wrinkles. I have scars. For years, women like me have been invisible in movies. If there is a woman over forty, she is invariably played by someone in her early thirties. She looks perfect. If a woman has wrinkles, or a less than perfect figure, she is sidelined, she is at best, someone’s mother, at worse, a joke.
But not Antiope. She has scars. She has wrinkles. And yet she is powerful and respected. For the first time in a very long time, I felt like it was ok to be me, age wrinkles and scars included. I didn’t need to try to be younger and perfect to earn affection and respect.
This is why representation is important. It’s not just that someone who is different from the usual movie ideal (young white men and women) is seen on screen. It makes the people watching it feel like they exist, they are important, they matter, they are just fine the way they are, they don’t need to change to suit anyone.
And this representation starts with the stories. The stories we write. The books and the screenplays and scripts. We have to put these characters in our stories and we have to fight to get them kept in our stories. It’s up to us to take the first step in making everyone feel that they matter, and they are important just as they are.
Sent from my iPad