If you suffer from hearing loss or hearing damage, there are probably very few mass media icons that you feel you can truly relate to. There has been a continuous misrepresentation of hearing loss in mass media
Not only is hearing loss underrepresented in mainstream media, it is often misrepresented too. Movie, book, and television characters usually only suffer from hearing loss if they are old or disabled. This overlooks the many young, successful people who suffer from hearing loss but continue to live productive lives, despite the chalnewlenges involved.
Deafness is often represented more than hearing loss is, with television shows such as “Switched at Birth” and movies such as “Wonderstruck” giving the audience at large an idea of what deaf life may be like
“A Star Is Born” : Breaking Boundaries
“A Star Is Born”, starring Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper, was truly incredible for bringing awareness to hearing damage issues. Cooper’s character is a musician named Jackson who struggles with hearing loss, probably due to years of playing gigs in noisy environments. It impacts his self-esteem, and continuously puts off having his condition treated professionally. Even though Jackson is a famous musician, he is still a very relatable character.
Hearing loss and damage is something that is very common in the entertainment industry, but is hardly ever talked about. This subplot was a first of its kind, and we applaud the talented team of entertainers that brought this story to life.
Why Representation is Important
The frequency of individuals with hearing loss should be accurately represented in mainstream media. It is estimated that around 20% of American suffer from some sort of hearing loss, so where is that representation in pop culture? It’s important to normalise conditions such as hearing loss so that those living with it do not feel isolated and alienated, and so that the general public better understands hearing damage and what they can do to prevent it
If you ever need any further advice when it comes to hearing damage and how you can protect your hearing, don’t hesitate to contact our team at Hearing Aid Labs South Africa. We also offer free hearing aid screenings, and our branches are open nationwide!