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The ways in which the media portrays gender and helps to shape our perceptions about physical beauty, especially as it relates to women, is the subject of a film, The Illusionists, to be presented and discussed in the Lee Auditorium of the Missouri History Museum at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, July 26. Rebecca Dohrman, PhD, assistant professor of communication, will moderate a Q&A session following the screening.
The film screening is free and open to the public.
“The Missouri History Museum is an incredibly robust institution in the St. Louis area and I’m proud to be a part of their screening of this movie, which will prompt discussions about the important issue of gender and the media in contemporary society,” Dohrman said.
The film is being shown in conjunction with “Little Black Dress: From Mourning to Night,” a current Missouri History Museum exhibit. The museum describes the film this way: “The preoccupation over physical beauty is as old as time. What’s different today is the central role that the pursuit of the perfect body has taken: It has become our new religion. A beautiful body is seen today as key for personal and economic success. Multibillion dollar industries saturate our lives with images of unattainable beauty. Their target? Women, and increasingly men and children. The Illusionists turns the mirror on media, exposing the absurd, sometimes humorous, and shocking images that seek to control us.”
Dohrman, who teaches in Maryville University’s undergraduate communication program and the master’s in strategic communication and leadership program, is also an extension services consultant with the National Center for Women in Information Technology.