Yes she does.
And she had the confidence to talk about it on a widely publicized interview with Oprah on March 7, 2021.
She gets that representation is important – representation of women, persons of colour, LGBTQ, and persons from all cultures and walks of life.
We all need to see others like us, at school, at work, in health care and in the popular culture and media that is all around us. This is what representation is all about. When we see examples of who we could be, we can start to dream and one day become like the examples we see.
“Girls with dreams become the women with vision” Dzung Vo, Girl’s Education Program Graduate
Representation helps people feel less alone and less invisible. People need to feel validated and to feel that they matter. With this validation, they can feel more confident to play an active role in our ever changing society. We need contributions from people with a wide variety of talents and experiences to share.
As Meghan said in her interview with Oprah, “if we can see it, we can be it.” Such a pithy phrase says a lot.
This idea of has been gaining ground for several years now. It is a core value behind the the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media. Their actual tag line is “If she can see it, she can be it“.
I also love the name of the Institute’s website, seejane.org. It’s perfect.
The Geena Davis Institute has done several studies documenting the underrepresentation of women and other disadvantaged groups in mainstream media. The numbers are quite striking and show that we have a long way to go.
Geena Davis, an Oscar winning actress, started to document the patterns of underrepresentation many years ago. One of her original studies was the Geena Benchmark Report, 2007-2017.
Geena Davis gets it as you can see in the following interview.
Representation is especially important for children because it affects how they grow up and affects who they might become. The early experiences of children shape what they imagine to be possible. Children determine what they can be based on the examples they grow up seeing around them and in the media.
I hope I conveyed these important ideas correctly and fairly. These are fast-changing times and I am trying to catch up. I am still learning and want to keep learning.
Prince Harry says he is still trying to learn. So I guess I am in good company.
Until next time.