As the third wave of feminism has grown and developed in our modern times, the focus has shifted to a greater focus on female portrayal in media, whether that be in advertising, news sources, or fictional television. The call for women to be portrayed more diversely, freely, and more as women and less as mothers is growing louder every day, and critics are beginning to respond. This documentary will focus on female perspectives of what motherhood is and observations in the changing of the portrayal of motherhood from as early as Leave it to Beaver to Bob’s Burgers. My intention is to focus on the changing of the mainstream idea of motherhood from a pie in the window to a fiery soul fighting for her individuality.
This topic relates to me because I am a Journalism major/Women’s Studies minor and have done a lot of research on ageism, which focused purely on retiring-aged women. However, this got me thinking about middle-aged women and how they are a strange mix between the wild youth of twenty-year-olds and the stern hand of older women. I am greatly interested in media analysis and want to use this opportunity to make noticeable the differences in attitude that women are given today in television.
The style of my documentary is a series of short interviews mixed with TV footage to further explain my point. It will most likely be filmed on my iPhone 6 with headphones-turned-microphones. Although female representation has a long way to go, I want to highlight the progress we have made towards female diversity in mainstream media and compare it to the more marginalized opportunities of the past. The point will not be to make a deep, depressing documentary complaining about the lack of proper feminine representation, but rather to give an outside, observational perspective on the progress we as a society have made. I will be interviewing between five and ten women, all being college students from a variety of different fields. If at all possible I plan to get an actual mother’s perspective on representation, as it is an experience I have yet to have. It will be somewhere between three and four minutes, and I plan to open the documentary with one-word observations from my interviewees on older representations (which will likely be more negative), and end it with modern ideas (more positive). I want to make this film easy to understand for people who are not so inclined towards social justice and diverse representation topics, or those who just may be entirely unaware of these issues.
Current Interview Questions (are subject to change/not be used)
· Describe typical motherhood in one word.
· Compare older portrayals of motherhood to modern.
· What is motherhood to you?
· Who is your favorite TV mom and why?
· Why is representation so important?
· What do you like/dislike about modern representations of mothers/middle-aged women?