The media has great influence and shapes attitudes about several things such as social issues and diverse facets such as gender, race, age, and sexual orientation. Perceptions have been influenced by the portrayals of diversity in movie characters that reshape realities and identities (Warner, 2017). The title of the movie to be discussed about media representation of diversity is “Hidden Figures.” The Hidden figures is a great movie that shows a clear representation of diversity in the media. There is a lot to learn about diversity through the movie. The movie is unique and inspiring for its racial and gender diversity and inspires the portrayals of women.
The hidden figure is a movie with a story of three incredibly significant African-American women at NASA, Dorothy Vaughan, Katherine Johnson, and Mary Jacksons, who contributed to NASA’s space program in the United States (Shetterly, Conkling and Freeman, 2018). This was happening at a time when racial segregation was still high and legally enforced. The film has outlined the stories of three African-American women as they navigate through the complexities of being women and African American mathematicians and engineers at one of the United States Government’s largest agencies.
The film shows how Dorothy had to work hard in a segregated area until she was endorsed to be a manager. White males dominate the NASA space program. The research center has black and white computers showing a systematic separation of the people concerning their racial identity. Mary is forced to work extra hard to prove her ability. Although the white colleagues used to despise her, Mary never concentrates with them and decides to continue working to prove them wrong.
Discrimination and segregation do not prevent her from making contributions to aeronautics and astronautics. However, despite Katherine’s capabilities and exceptional skills, the whites are still biased against her and the other two black American women, but this does not hinder them from working in the research center. The film has shown the situations that are applied to different cultures and minority populations working with majority groups and the complexity of diversity under unequal and unfair institutional policies. The movie has shown inclusion and diversity issues present in the professional environments and is still relevant in the current world.
The cast of characters in the movie is diverse since it includes the whites and blacks within NASA’s spaces program. The workplace includes white males and females as well as the three African American women. The movie has a diverse cast with more varied characters with the original storyline making the movie exciting. Diversity entails the non-visible and visible factors, including personal characteristics such as culture, background, work style, and personality.
The primary dimensions of diversity included in the movie include ethnicity and culture, race, sexual orientation, and capabilities. For instance, African American women are being discriminated against due to their race and sexual orientation. The white colleagues believed that the African women were not capable of the tasks in the research center, which led to them despising them and trying to prove their incapability. The cast is maximally diverse since it has celebrated the ethnic and black minority talent. The cast includes white characters and people of color who have been celebrated for their talent.
Intersectionality of characters is linked to social organizations such as race, gender, and class as they apply to different individuals regarded as creating interdependent and overlapping systems of disadvantage and discrimination (Collins, 2019). Characters within Hidden Figures have cut across different genders, ethnicity, and sexuality. However, a character such as the three African-Women have been discriminated against and disadvantaged due to their race and gender identity. Gender, race, and social identity have influenced the systems of power within the movie with oppression and discrimination of people of color. The white people are more privileged as compared to the black in the movie. Intersectionality of characters has created varying modes of privilege and discrimination at NASA’s space program in the movie.
I resonate with the three pioneering African Women that were integral to the various historic space missions. The characters are struggling with segregation and discrimination. Being the youngest in the family, one faces discrimination which makes it challenging to voice out opinions. Mary, one of the characters, shows that despite being a subject of discrimination due to certain factors such as age, gender, and racial identity, there is a need to stand up and prove them wrong. I like how the three characters struggle in the face of discrimination and oppression to prove their capability.
In summation, positive diversity focuses on representations that are fair, authentic, and have humanity. This is where the black identities are not the side script to the larger stories or seen only with the white eyes. Hidden figures have a positive representation of diversity since it brings to light three hardworking and high achieving African Americans, thus being portrayed as incredible characters. The movie has shifted to a diverse story considering the representation of diverse characters. Digital media, films, and television shows have influenced how people perceive each other. Positive representation can break barriers, bring new ideas, and be a great source of inspiration and diversification in society.
Collins, P. H. (2019). Intersectionality as critical social theory. Duke University Press.
Shetterly, M. L., Conkling, W., & Freeman, L. (2018). Hidden figures. HarperCollins.
Warner, K. J. (2017). In the time of plastic representation. Film Quarterly, 71(2), 32-3