Imagine sitting down for a couple of hours of TV viewing, and every commercial stars positive, non-stereotypical women (aka women outside of the home, in a role other than mother and NOT doing yoga). The shows feature women as the heroes of their own stories. Time after time a woman comes in and saves the day. The women are brave, smart, and funny, and while they may look great, they aren't there simply as sexy background to boost the egos of men.
You walk away from the experience feeling euphoric, relaxed, confident, and valued. Commercial after commercial, show after show, you think, "Wow, I'd love to be just like that character (her)."
This happens in the real world, like, never.
I was blatantly reminded of this in a conversation with a bunch of guy friends about how they all wanted to be James Bond. They asked me what female character all women want to be like. I couldn't name one.
This is why every year I go to the Athena Film Festival, a women's film festival in New York City. This year's festival is February 7-10. It's a weekend dose of films about women in leadership roles, inspiring those around them, taking heroic action, changing the world. Yes, some of these stories are heartbreaking, but every year I walk out feeling energized, and encouraged and have renewed faith in the world and the importance of my role in it.
P.S. Every year I've attended the festival I've found my favorite movie of the entire year. In 2011 it was Desert Flower. Last year it was Circumstance. Can't wait to see what gem I'll find this year.