Watching Oprah receive the Cecil B. de Mille Award was absolutely beautiful. The award is given to those who have made “outstanding contributions to the world of entertainment”. Oprah is the embodiment of that. She was daytime TV as far as I was concerned when I was growing up, she is THE AMERICAN DREAM! Her speech reminded me of how important it is to see ourselves in our entertainment. As a woman of color up until recently, it was very difficult to name a lot of actresses in starring roles who looked like me. Thankfully we’ve made some progress, but I still think we have a ways to go.
I personally don’t think that we should have our children look up to celebrities but the research is there and it proves that the media shapes our youth very early, if you have time I suggest you look up the black baby doll experiment, it’s truly heartbreaking watching the children react to the different skin toned dolls. If the only time they see black or brown people on television as the bad guy then they will believe that black and brown people are bad. Having positive representation of black and brown characters on television and in movies is vital and I am so glad that we’re moving in that direction.
Does it matter to you seeing yourself and your stories being told in the media? Let me know in the comments!