‘Her Story’, FAMU Women’s History Month Event, Touches on Stereotypes Through Media

Due to March being Women’s History Month, Florida A&M University is hosting a series of events to recognize the cause.

University president Elmira Mangum leads the sessions on every Tuesday of the month. The activities are aimed at highlighting the contributions of extraordinary women throughout history.

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

Preceding the start of “Her Story Behind the Lens,” an audience member came to the event with great expectations for the speaker.

Bettye Gilliam, a local resident of Tallahassee, stated, “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 in-depth discussions regarding the perception and impact of the way women are portrayed on screen 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.

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.