FAMU Presents ‘Her Story Beyond the Lens’

President Elmira Mangum will lead sessions every Tuesday of the month. The activities will be aimed at highlighting the contributions of extraordinary women throughout history.

The “Her Story Beyond the Lens” event was held today, Tuesday evening in Lee Hall. The guest speaker for this event was Arian Simone, a FAMU alumna and celebrity publicist.

Bettye Gilliam, a local Tallahassee resident said, “I’m here to gain knowledge on how it really is behind the scenes of reality television shows because the way people portray women to be on TV can’t be all true.”

There were  discussions about the perception and impact of the way women are portrayed on television and Simone shared her thoughts on the matter.

“Some of the most popular television shows like Scandal, Being Mary Jane, Empire, The Have and Have Not’s, to name a few all have women playing roles that can give off a negative image to viewers,” Simone said. “This is where people have to know the difference between real life and what’s showing on TV for entertainment.”

“Characters have to have flaws, if they don’t then they are not relatable because everyone has flaws, no one is perfect,” Simone said. “Also, writers sometimes have to step outside of their boundaries and alter their stories to get more viewers.

Actors have to be able to take responsibility and find a balance because lack of balance is the bigger issue with why women are being portrayed in such a negative way.

“Stay true to yourself and don’t compromise,” Simone said.

Octavia Bennett, a senior public relations student, is neutral on the way women are portrayed, but understands the potential issue.

“If you're going to show the bad, at least show the good as well, especially when it comes down to black women because people have the most negative things to say,” Bennett said.  

The concluding event, Extraordinary Reach, will be held March 31 in Lee Hall at 4 p.m