OWN that Woman!

A Call to Action to Watch TV

By , Columnist

Did you know that at age 7 the same percentage of boys as girls want to be president?  Only a few years later, the percentages dramatically diverge. 

I learned that because the OWN network is fulfilling one of its early promises to focus on documentaries. I currently have a deep new-found appreciation for them for two very special documentary reasons, neither of which were produced by OWN, but both savvy buys on their part. Hopefully they will re-run them both films forever. Or, at least until women are truly created equal and there is no more cancer.

The OWN network added Miss Representation to their OWN Documentary Film Club.  I think it should be mandatory viewing for everyone in the United States of America.  If you are a parent, please watch it with your kids, or go to their website (missrepresentation.org) and organize a screening in your community or school.   

miss representation.jpg

Director Jennifer Siebel Newsom uses a star-studded list of America’s most powerful women to show us how the media does radical damage to women’s self-images. Yes, radical, like double mastectomy radical. We all know about the unforgiving, relentless messaging sent to our young girls to implant unattainable physical goals. Newsom also gives us the pitiful facts and figures of how women show up in our society, how the media affects girls’ and women’s long-term goals, and ridicules the few women we do have in a place of power.   

In viewing this film, I am ashamed to say I saw my own culpability in buying in to the media messages. I imbibed them on a cellular level. Shame on me. Unless I pick up the gauntlet and start making changes in my own life, and in how I talk and think about women.  It’s as serious as a heart attack… or cancer.

The second documentary is the shockingly life-affirming, Crazy Sexy Cancer. Kris Carr started documenting her journey with a rare vascular cancer after her diagnosis in 2003.  You see the gamut of her emotions over several years, hear her doubts, fears and joys along the way.  It ends today where she is thriving, no longer trying to “cure” her incurable cancer, but successfully living with peace and joy in spite of it.

You will see the evidence on her website, crazysexycancer.com where you see emblazoned across the sky her quote “Why, when we are challenged to survive, do we give ourselves permission to truly live.” 

As she says in the interview that follows the screening of her film on OWN’s Super Soul Sunday series, Kristy Carr has accidentally, beautifully caused a revolution. 

Carr is on a mission -- not prevention, as are most that have battled cancer -- more like invention. She wants us all to live as healthfully, joyfully and peacefully as possible. The by-product of living full-out is hopefully you end up under the cancer radar: undetectable instead of early detection. The biggest win in creating a revolution in your own body and life is a truly crazy sexy life! (Download the “Crazy Sexy Manifesto” on her site.)

Please see both of these films. You will probably end up making the world a better place just by watching them. And, you will very likely end up finding some inspiration, and perhaps peace, about how you relate to others, your world and your Self.  And, if you don’t, be generous: pass on the recommendation to someone else!

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Bridget Fonger is the co-author of “The Lazy Woman’s Guide to Just About Everything,” a book that helps women become happier, more passionate and fulfilled by living the “Lazy Way,” aka with less stress and more joy! Ms. Fonger has been featured on HGTV several times with her home décor and…

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