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Importance Of Media Representation In Media

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Media of all forms is extremely important in our culture today, with television having perhaps the most importance. Messages given by broadcasted shows can shape a young mind, offering a new way to look at things that may otherwise never be explored. In the same way, it can validate the fully formed opinions of an adult, further ingraining already held ideals. Media representation can do a great deal for marginalized minorities, as it may be the first or even only exposure an individual gets to that lifestyle. It can show them in a new, positive light, or it could disparage and farcify them in the eye of the public.

Whether or not one realizes it, if one has the ability to see oneself represented frequently on television, they possess a degree of privilege not held by many minorities. Being seen as the average, picture-perfect ideal is rare among marginalized groups, instead being drowned out by the sheer amount of representation received by a majority group. One of the easiest of these to observe, even in casual viewing, is the overrepresentation of heterosexuality- relationships between a male and a female.

The prevalence of heterosexual romance in media is immediately apparent. The extreme focus on straight relationships is referred to as heterosexism, otherwise known as heteronormativity- the idea that heterosexual attraction is the normal and thus the 'default' sexuality while others are considered deviant. Very rarely do you see gay couples in commercials, and when
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