The Egyptian series “Ella Ana” on DMC is currently airing its new mini-story “Lazem A’eesh” for Jamila Awad, and it tackles the Vitiligo disease. Finally, some media practitioners had considered reality while doing their jobs. Actually, it’s a big step that we are happy with, but that’s not at all enough when it comes to representation.
Researchers found that seeing yourself “on screen” is beyond important as it raises your self-esteem. Sadly, several categories in Egypt are being marginalized only because of the underrepresentation practiced in media projects. These categories include:
How often do you see a Christian protagonist? Or even as the main character? Not much. The fact is that Egypt has 18 million Christians according to 2018 data. However, media people don’t believe it’s necessary to get them included in movies or series unless when being a Christian is vital for the events like in “Wahid Sahih”.
People With Special Needs
In real life, you see many people with special needs around you everywhere. From down syndromes, blindness, deafness, muscular dystrophies, and even people with prostheses. They just seem to be invisible when it comes to writing stories.
If the events are not taking place in Cairo, then it’s definitely going to be in Alexandria. People living in other cities are rarely represented even though they have much of daily life activities that deserve to be shown to the audience. I imagine a kid asking his mother why actors never lived in Beheira or Ismailia, for example.
Curly Heads and Hijabis
Despite the nature of most of the Egyptian girls having wavy or curly hair and with the vast majority of women wearing the hijab, movie makers insist on having all females on screen unveiled with straight silky hair as if they are reflecting other people from another place.
Different Types of Beauty
Egyptian cinema follows the international standards of beauty concept which we are strongly opposing as well as being very out of date. It’s very rare to find an overweight actress, someone with glasses or braces or a girl with acne or scars, and many other different characteristics that real women actually possess.
Undistorted Conservative Characters
Of course, people are not necessarily equally religious, some take it to another level, but that doesn’t have to be a problem. Whether it’s an agenda related issue or just unacquaintance, it’s unacceptable that religious people are only represented as hypocrite, deceptive, ignorant, unfashionable, and/or weak personalities. Conservative people are normal characters living among us and deserve to be fairly represented.
The average age of any protagonist usually starts from the college period till the forties, and what’s below is totally neglected. Teenagers represent a huge number of the population, they are in every house and their problems and topics need to be more discussed in media whether for educating parents or just for the sake of making them feel heard and seen.
If cinema and drama are allegedly representing life and reality, they must make sure they are making everyone included.