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Diversity: the media should reflect the full spectrum of diversity and experiences of contemporary Canadian society. Women and men, of all shapes, sizes, races, ethnicity's, ages, expressions of sexuality and ranges of physical capability exist and should be featured in non-stereotypical, non-racist media portrayals. A broad range of occupations, activities, and lifestyles for women and men should be represented.

Canadian MediaWatch Foundation

When you first start to think about media material in a more critical way, its natural to start by looking for fair representation of diversity purely in terms of numbers.

But the number of people or choice of people represented in media messages is only the beginning. Media representations can go a long way to promote positive or negative representations of society; consider the way that people are depicted and the relationships between people and products. It is as much about how the people are represented, as it is if people are represented.

Consider the following when critically reading media representations:

Are any of these trends present?

  • Male/Female Superiority and Male/Female Domination
  • Dismemberment: objectification of the body to sell a product
  • Clowning and Exaggeration
  • Coy Behaviour
  • The Voice-over of Authority
  • Irrelevant Sexualization of Women and Girls
  • Gratuitous Violence
  • Violence as Entertainment
  • Gender Stereotyping
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