America's next top role model

Today’s society consists of countless negative depictions of women that are perpetuated by the media.

Reality shows such as “Bad Girls Club” promote cat fights and weave snatching between females, and music videos like “Pour it Up” by Rihanna tell women that it is OK to be half naked and spread your legs in order to make that bread.

With the media being the message and the messenger, we are bombarded on a daily basis with provocative and airbrushed images of women in advertisements, television shows, music videos, and video games.

We need more positive role models in the media today. We need women who encourage, empower and help each other rise above this discrimination that we experience in our society.

The pressure put on women through the media shows that we, as a culture, have a long way to go before gender equality is accomplished.

Chandler Le Francis, president of the Feminist Majority Leadership Alliance at Santa Monica College, is very concerned with the lack of female role models in the media.

“All kinds of women are just completely misrepresented, or not represented at all — even worse when we are talking about race, class and sexual orientation,” she says. “There are ways of progress, and it just reverts back to this terrible sexist portrayal of women.”

This generation is the worst in history because we are the generation without any privacy, and we lack boundaries.

Growing up as a young woman is not easy in today’s society, especially when women like Kim Kardashian, Miley Cyrus and Nicki Minaj upload provocative images on social media sites, unaware of the damage they inflict to the perception of the modern woman.

What celebrities need to understand is that they are role models with sizable fan bases. Their unscrupulous actions send the wrong message to the younger generations — that you should flaunt and use your body to acquire what you want.

These days, you do not need talent or intelligence to be considered successful.

Le Francis believes that we should focus on changing society before successfully changing the behavior of women.

“When we are looking at media, we should not examine a woman for who they are, or what they do individually,” she says. “We need to examine the system who forces women to do this.”

However, the change must take place within women first. We must take a stand and say no — no to taking off our clothes to get what we want, no to allowing men to rule us through sex and money, and no to fighting and tearing each other apart.

The documentary “Miss Representation” addresses important aspects of how our society and how the media manipulates and slanders women.

Jean Kilbourne, a feminist speaker and author, was featured in the documentary.

“Girls get the message from very early on that what is most important is how they look — that their value, their worth depends on that,” she says in the film. “Boys get the message that this is what is important about girls.”

Women play an important and pivotal role in society that should never be overlooked by our looks. Women need to lead the way and set an example by being our own positive influences and role models.

If you want to see true change in gender relations, then do not watch “Bad Girls Club” or listen to Rihanna. Actions speak louder than words, and women need to act differently if they want to be viewed differently.

With the media being so powerful and influential, women need to take advantage of it by making a change and empowering each other.

OpinionSumaya MalinComment