As a society, we’ve come a long way in regards to representations; people have learned to become more inclusive. That being said, there is still much work to be done and that starts in the classrooms of the children. As Stack and Kelly mention in their journal: children are inundated by the media with all kinds of advertisements - good and bad. Media influences their ideas. Therefore, it is important that schools become the hub for informed representations that are unbiased.
“If we set as one of our goals the ability of our students to read the world in multiple ways – to see things through a variety of lenses – we need to acquaint them with the lenses of colonialism and postcolonialism.” (p.87, Columbus did What?)
As a student, I was not misrepresented. However, I do recall some of my classmates experiencing ‘different treatment’ due to their race and gender. “Girls have the tendency to be better in art, whereas the boys are better with math. White kids are the best students and the best at sports, anyone else, especially the black kids don’t compare. Black kids are the trouble makers.” (Excuse the language, but that’s what was heard)
“Although we are far from living in a truly participatory democracy, many everyday acts of resistance go unnoticed and unreported by mainstream media.” (p.11, Stack & Kelly)
Based off that quote, there could have been some students who tried to resist these misrepresentations in my school, but were censored.
Ironically, it is also through the media that we can learn the different lenses to view the world with. For instance, there’s a video on YouTube from a Ted Talk (a nonpartisan non-profit devoted to spreading ideas) called “The danger of a single story” (link below) which demonstrates the consequences of always promoting the same lens. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is a Nigerian immigrant who was frustrated from seeing all the literature showcasing the picture perfect Caucasian girl who was good at everything. She wondered about the African-American girl who was just as talented. This literature is so prevalent, that her university roommate was so concerned about Chimamanda being uneducated and always listening to tribal music. When really, she was educated at the top schools and shared the same taste in music.
To sum up, media may provide misrepresentations, but it’s important to constantly search for the right ones. We must put out critical lenses to view the world.