Becoming the women we didn't see in magazines

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We all know the power of representation. The importance of seeing someone that looks like you. The conversation about diversity and inclusion is being talked about more especially in countries like the US and the UK. Mainly because the media produced and those in power were not reflecting the people in these countries. Things are changing for the better. It is a slow change but it is change nonetheless.

I spent most of my developing years out of the United States. I am Nigerian American and currently live in Atlanta, Georgia. I grew up in Nigeria until I was 11 then in Malaysia until I was 15. Therefore the media I consumed was very different from my peers in the US. I was exposed from an early age to publications, movies, and much more with people that looked like me. More importantly, the people shown were multifaceted and had many layers to their personalities. Unlike the mainstream media produced in the US that didn't always portray minority groups in a positive light or beyond a stereotype.  

When I moved to Malaysia that was my first taste of not seeing people that looked like me in Ads or shows. When I did see people that looked like me it was from western media. It was in media such as hip-hop music videos. That was also the content Malaysians were consuming about black people. Even though my experience living in Malaysia was amazing, mainly because I attended an international school with students from all over the world. This was not the case for many others. This is why the media produced should represent the people in a country and give diversity to the characters. Two individuals may be the same race, which gives them similar experiences but many factors create different personalities. 

One of the reasons, I am fascinated by telling stories and sharing experiences is I see the need for representation. I am blessed that I grew up in an environment, I didn't have to question my value. My parents made sure to let me know, I am special and loved. Many people do not have that therefore they seek their value from the outside. I will always be an advocate for finding your self-worth and loving yourself regardless of what the world is telling you. Although, that is easier said than done. Thanks to the internet you can find media produced that uplift and share diverse stories of people that are not usually shown in the mainstream. I urge you to consume media that makes you feel seen. As well as support media produced by people from different backgrounds from yourself.