The tagline for the documentary Miss Representation says, “You can’t be what you can’t see.” I think about this a lot, as I think about the representation I saw for myself when I was a kid, and the representation other little girls might or might not see for themselves in the media.
The thing is, seeing yourself represented in the media is hugely impactful, especially to young and impressionable girls, something that society doesn’t always realize or tends to not prioritize.
What am I getting at here? It’s important for little girls to see themselves represented in media. It’s important for little girls of color to see women of color in TV shows, in movies, in magazines, on YouTube. It’s important for girls who don’t meet societal standards of beauty to see themselves represented.
And it’s important for queer girls, even if they haven’t quite figured out their sexuality yet, to see themselves represented in media. My life would have been drastically different if I had seen people like me represented in the media when I was a kid. I know they existed, I know they were out there, but they weren’t in the mainstream media, and they sure as hell weren’t anywhere I would have seen as a chubby, insecure, gay little girl growing up in Chile.
So the fact that a beauty vlogger, someone who thousands and millions of young impressionable girls have been watching every day for years, is a step in the right direction.
Ingrid isn’t doing anything other than to be truthful to herself, and in that, she’s helping hundreds of people accept themselves and who they are by inspiring them with her story. I can only hope that people have been supportive and that she hasn’t received any hate, but I’m sure she has. To that, I’d just like to say: fuck the haters, we don’t need them anyway.