In recent years, people around the world have quickly begun to realize the importance of media representation.

The media has played an instrumental role in shaping our ideas of society, including who can – or cannot – occupy certain positions within it. As an eager feminist myself, I must confess that I always felt a strange sense of anxiety whenever I thought about occupying an influential or powerful position. It seemed to make most sense to have my male colleagues take up those roles instead. The movies and shows listed below played an instrumental role in helping me change that and realize that the boundaries I had been subscribing to my whole life were meaningless.

Gangubai Kathiawadi

Released earlier this month, Alia Bhatt’s portrayal of the iconic 20th century philanthropist, activist, and leader, Gangubai, was absolutely phenomenal. Against stunning b see the darkest sides of a misogynistic society at war with the sheer determination and strength of its biggest victims – women. Not only does Gangubai leave you speechless with its incredible cinematography, dialogues and acting, it shows us a powerful brown woman. Seeing someone who looked like the women around me dealing with issues familiar to me made this movie more resounding and impactful than the other productions on this list.

Erin Brockovich

A single, unemployed mother struggling to make ends meet – but this doesn’t kill her spirits. This is not only an inspirational watch based on a woman proving that one can be a good mother while also being brilliant at her job, what really moves you is how she doesn’t bend down to the exploitative elements of society even on the toughest days. She knows her worth and shows it. Julia Roberts portrayal of the incredible woman who almost singlehandedly uncovered a corporate giant’s unethical practices is moving, to say the least. The movie also tackles the struggles of Brockovich’s then boyfriend, who found himself becoming a stay-home caretaker while she was busy at work. It shows his disturbance at the reversed stereotypes, which he eventually unlearns – a process which ultimately ended up saving hundreds of lives.

Workin’ Moms

A refreshing show based in Canada, Workin’ Moms follows the lives of multiple young mothers who are juggling their careers, social lives and motherly duties. What makes this show fun is that it acknowledges how difficult this process is. These days, women are expected to magically juggle all these areas – and be great at all. But no one really talks about how much it can take out of a person. This show, however, shows how many mistakes one can make along the way, but that this should never stop one from giving up on any of their dreams; that if you keep pushing hard enough, you can have it all.

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