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MAKERS Profile

Jennifer Siebel Newsom

Filmmaker & Advocate

More From Jennifer Siebel

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How is the misrepresentation of women in media connected to the underrepresentation of women in power? Jennifer Siebel Newsom answers this question in her film Miss Representation.

Jennifer Siebel's Biography

Three Words to Describe Herself: Sensitive, kind, and loving
To Her 15-Year-Old Self: Breathe more and don't take life too seriously.
Source of Laughter: "I turn on some music and I start dancing with my kids."
Message for Women: "You are better than you think you are. You're more capable than you think you are. You're smarter than you think you are, and we need you." 

Jennifer Siebel Newsom was already an accomplished women by the time she went knocking on Hollywood's door at the age of 28. She had graduated with honors from Stanford University with a Bachelor's of Arts in 1996, and obtained her MBA from Stanford in 2001. On top of her already busy academic schedule, she completed a certificate program at the American Conservatory Theater before leaving to work for Conservation International to do environmental work in Africa, Latin America and Europe. When she decided to pursue a career in acting, Newsom was confronted with an impossible dilemma. Already older than most actors vying for leading roles, her agent told her to lie about her age and level of education. Newsom refused, realizing her problem making it as an actor was not with herself, her age or education. It was the media's limited conception of women that prevented her, and other women, from breaking into this competitive industry.
This experience was the driving force behind her documentary Miss Representation, a film exploring the underrepresentation of women in positions of power through challenging the media's limited portrayal of girls and women. Following the film, she launched MissRepresentation.org, a call-to-action movement helping girls and women reach their full potentials. Newsom is now a nationally recognized speaker and an advocate for women in media. In 2012, she was named as one of Newsweek Daily Beast's "150 Women Who Shake the World," and in 2011 a "Power Woman" by New York Moves Magazine

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