Lisa Ling, Margaret Cho, and Jan Yanahiro Speak Out in 'Miss Representation'

Some of Hollywood’s most well-known stars, including actors Lisa Ling and Margaret Cho (as well as journalist Jan Yanehiro), have teamed up to speak out about the media’s negative portrayal of women in the new documentary, "Miss Representation."

As seen in a recently released trailer for the film, despite representing 51% of the US population, women are portrayed either as sex objects or perpetual bitches. And the few women who have made it to the top, such as Condoleezza Rice or Hillary Clinton, are constantly harassed by the media about how they look rather than the message they are trying to send. Because they are powerful women, they are seen as dominating, overly aggressive, and anti-feminine. On the other hand, men in positions of power are generally looked up to and regarded as positively ambitious and sexually attractive.

Sadly, this information isn’t news, but the stats and sexist images in the documentary do bring the point home that the media’s misrepresentation of women has gone overboard. The documentary warns that these messages are sending the wrong ideas to kids and teens (and adults for that matter), and that the media's biased coverage needs to be stopped—by the media itself. After all, as Katie Couric said, “The media can be an instrument for change; it can awaken people and change minds. It depends on who’s piloting the plane.”