American media has a history of ignoring the marginalized in our society, including America’s poor. “But wait! I can think of an example!” Perhaps you can. But unfortunately, media representation isn’t enough; diverse and accurate media representation is essential. Here are four examples of cliche representations of poor people that don’t fit that bill.

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With stories like The Hunger Games, Divergent, The Fault In Our Stars, and Bridesmaids hitting the market in the last few years, women and girls are finally being represented in media. While this is amazing, there are still groups of people who are underrepresented — including women and girls of color. This lack of representation does a disservice to everyone.

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In her coming out speech, Ellen Page confessed that she felt as though she was “lying by omission” in her failure to explicitly confirm her sexuality. The HRC posted a headline congratulating Page on her decision to “live authentically.” “Lying,” “omission,” and “authentically” all strongly connote deception. And that just doesn’t sit well with me.

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Tackling an issue near and dear to her heart, Everyday Feminism’s Editor Melissa A. Fabello discusses the media’s bad excuse for lesbian and bisexual representation in TV and film. More importantly, she talks about the ways that misrepresentation and sexualization can have negative effects on how the world treats queer women and ways that you can make change.

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Though this message is not promoted or affirmed within our society: Black women with dark skin ARE beautiful. Sadly, we have to combat a dismal representation of ourselves in the media and blatantly hateful stereotypes when we do get mentioned. But, the media is a lie! In this spoken word poem, Tova Charles affirms her beauty as a Black woman with dark skin.

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