In a society where media is the most persuasive force shaping cultural norms, the collective message that young women and men overwhelmingly receive is that a woman’s value and power lie in her youth, beauty and sexuality, and not in her capacity as a leader.

The documentary Miss Representation explores how the media’s misrepresentations of women contribute to the underrepresentation of women in positions of power and influence.

The Women’s and Gender Studies Program is joining the Bloomington-Normal Soroptimists for a showing of Miss Representation at 7 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 23, at the Normal Theater.

The event is free, and there will be a panel discussion after the film.