Why Representation Matters

Written by on January 7, 2022

The definition of representation in Webster’s Dictionary is: “The description or portrayal of someone or something in a particular way or as being of a certain nature.” One thing a simple definition cannot explain, is how deep representation can truly affect somebody when they see someone who looks like them, has the same background as them, culture, and more represented in media.

Nowadays, we can easily go online and look up people with the same features, skin tone, culture, religion, you name it. But to see it without searching for it, that’s something truly special. We’ve gone decades with the similar-looking people being represented in the forefront of popular media.

THE DROP 104.7 was lucky enough to be able to give away tickets to see Disney’s ‘Encanto’. This movie is making headlines because of how it truly shines on just how important representation is.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CaimKeDcudo

The saying, ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’ is just that with the photo below:

 

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A post shared by Kenzo B. (@katchingupwithkenzo)

“I truly believe that he thought it was him,” said the toddler’s mom Kaheisha Brooks. “He kept staring at the screen and looking back at us and smiling.” Antonio in Encanto is Afro-Latino, which, in addition, shows representation across Latin America as well.

Watch the full interview below:

Many other Disney films take place in fictional places, Encanto takes place in Columbia. The movie celebrates Columbia and has topics that are both real and fictional with a focus on magic. A great movie to keep the entire family entertained, which this movie celebrates family as well.

In an interview with Variety, actor John Leguizamo said: “The fact that it was an all-Latinx Disney movie, “Disney’s 60th movie is all Latinx. I mean, I never thought I’d see this in my lifetime. We’re the oldest ethnic group in America, the largest ethnic group in America, and we’re virtually absent everywhere. But not tonight. Not tonight.”

The representation does not end there though, several people took to Tik Tok to show their likeness to the characters. One includes Luisa Madrigal aka “the buff lady”, a sister in the film. We’ve seen a rise in strong women being represented in media, but strong physically, and buff?

In this Tik Tok, she puts the text: “This song is more than just me looking like her, it tells my story.”

@maribelspiritualjourney

#luisa #madrigalfamily #encanto #wholesome #bodypositivity

♬ just eldest daughter and family therapist things – persephone ⚢

Local music artist and competitive powerlifter Nikki Giron said: “I’m a female powerlifter, and many times I am asked, but what if you get ‘too buff’? Oftentimes, I feel as if as a woman in society, I am still expected to be physically ‘weak’ and petite, I feel as if my arms need to be ‘feminine’ (whatever that even means) and that if I start to become more ‘buff’ I’ll be considered unattractive in the media. I feel Luisa in Encanto really made me feel empowered, and it was really cool to see a buff woman represented in media, especially in Disney!”

In conclusion, we know representation is important, but the why it’s important will give us a deeper understanding of what a positive impact it has on people.

 

 


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