Miss Representation: the Persuasion Techniques Used in the Film

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Women have always been treated as second class in society. Equality between men and women has been skewed throughout history, and mankind never seems to get it correctly. Women have been fighting for decades now for the right to be equal members of society. According to, in the United States, women had to fight for the right to vote. white women voting rights were pasted in 1920 and for black women, they were able to freely practice the right to vote in the 1960s. According to The Irish Times, Saudi Aribia was is the latest country to allow women the right to vote. Saudi Arabian women were permitted the right to vote in 2015. Historically, men have never had to protest or fight for their rights as members of society.

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Jennifer Siebel Newsom, writer and a director of “Miss Representation.” In her documentary she argues that mainstream media and culture play a part to the under-representation of women in place of power, influence and leadership. The younger generation of girls is targeted audience. The documentary is attempting to persuade people to be impartial and examine how social media influences our understanding, judgement, and manners to women. Miss Representation begins building credibility with reproducing facts and statistics, and strongly utilizing emotions appeal; nonetheless, due to the documentary aggressive tone and style in the middle and toward the end of the documentary, the director’s credibility and argument are ultimately reduce.

Right of the bat you here a very touching story about Jennifer Newsom’s person story, of how she lost her sister, so she directed her pain in sports and academics, but no matter how hard she tried she felt incomplete. She explains how peer pressure and the culture of media was telling her that being strong, smart, and talented was not enough. she also needed to be striving in the beauty department and in approval in the eye of men. All this cause destruction in her own life when she was a young girl. Throughout the whole documentary, the narrator talks about her unborn girl and how she fears for her little girl growing up in world that is dishonorable and derogatory to women. She talks about how she found out that she was pregnant and that she was have a girl, is the very reason she started trying make change in the way that culture and media view women so her little girl and other girls will be emotionally healthy and fulfilled. This connects with a daughter, anyone who has a daughter, knows someone with a daughter, or someone who wants a daughter. Miss representation main form of persuasion is pathos. 

The documentary also uses ethos and logos to persuade the audience. According to the film, 65% of American women and girls have an eating disorder. The documentary interviews teen girls who instead of being worried with school and learning, they are worried about their weight and if they should be wearing makeup or not, they also talk about how that affects them mentally, emotional, and physical. One girl talks about eating hand burgers to gain weight, so people won’t think she is anorexic. These young girls are the producer’s way of placing a face to the argument or facts. The film also mentions how young women are acquired to see themselves as objects, because of recurring message on how the media portrays women. The media sees women as promiscuous and sex objects in order to sell products.

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