The media is a powerful tool in modern society. At almost all moments in time we are consuming some type of media, in fact you are consuming media right now by reading this article. Believe it or not media plays an integral role in shaping our perceptions and beliefs. Representation is the depiction or portrayal of someone or something in a particular way and it's this that hand in hand with the media has the power to influence and shape society into either a more inclusive and welcoming space or a more exclusionary or prejudiced one. 


Media is a powerful tool that if used correctly can steer us towards a more inclusive society. If social media is used to reflect the diversity of the world it can validate the experiences of the people who have often been marginalised. Representation can be empowering and affirming, ensure belonging and tell people that their stories matter. On top of that, constant representation sends a powerful subconscious message that they part of society and can foster individuals to be more accepting of others. 


However, if not done right you don't unlock all the perks of representation as mentioned prior. In fact, you can have the complete opposite effect. Instead of fostering belonging you can fuel negative stereotypes. As shown by Precious Adesanya, she says,”As a black teenager I don't see myself represented realistically as shows depict us as “naughty” kids who take part in “debaucherous” and risky behaviour when that is the minority of black teenagers”. Its representation like this that incentivise prejudice and discrimination. When representation is done wrong it will not only stop progression but is regressive. 


Although representation is imperative it is even more crucial that we get it done right. Representation of varying sexualities, religions, races, genders, classes, disabilities and more should be regular so that it reflects the new normal in society.