Ethnic Studies Final
Ethnic Studies Final
Women and the Media Long before beauty pageants, Barbie dolls, and extra-ordinarily beautiful girls, came the idea of the female body to be naormal. Whether you are a believer of creationalism, scientology, or evolutionism, somehow we all came about with the perception of the “perfect” female. Women have always been seen, and portrayed as a sex symbol, and usually the disobedient one. Dating back to B.C and the story of Adam and Eve, Eve was the naked one who bit into the fruit that god told her was forbidden. Why couldn’t it have been Adam that caused such scandal, and was the cause for destruction, and crime in the world, and not Eve? From the believed beginning of time, to present day, women have really only progressed a small amount up the social ladder. Today, women are looked down upon, if they are slightly more over weight then what is considered “normal,” if they are “underweight”, “darker skin color”, too “pale”, “flat chested”, big boned, “thick,” or because of their ethnicities and backgrounds. So what exactly defines the “perfect female?” Is it the girls featured on “Girls Gone Wild” in Cancun, or the half naked models posing for Victoria’s Secret? Or is it the perfectly put together “Miss America” pageant queens? Or is it the Hollywood actresses with billion dollar dresses, and priceless jewelry? Or the well toned, well defined professional team cheerleaders, and dancers we watch? These women, among many others all contribute to the foundations, of media, public relations, and entertainment sectors. Women are usually seen as the sex symbol in the media world, and do whatever they have to do, to earn and keep their image, and title. Media is generally defined as the means of communication, which reaches out to people widely. Everyday of their lives, people are bombarded with advertisements pushing to sell them something, or broadcasting a new and upcoming television program. The average American sees as many as 300-500 advertisements per day. Some see as many as 1,200 a day. General media is tied with public relations, and has become a source of entertainment. Women are usually seen as eye-candy, to attract the male heterosexual audience. Men and woman are usually portrayed in different ways, on national television, and Hollywood films. Men usually play the tough guy, macho man roles, while the women are predominately represented as white, young, glamorous, heterosexual, and less influential then men. Attractive women are usually displayed in both male and female advertisements, and play a double role. Women will think that if they purchase this product, they will resemble the model advertising the product, and the men are tricked to think that if they purchase the product, that they will attract women like the ones advertising the product. This is the “sex sells” propaganda tactic. Models in the advertisements aren’t supposed to look like the “average,” ordinary people. To sell products, advertisers use computer generation tools, to erase any “flaws,” to appeal to a consumer.
The goals of print media are usually reached, and out to target the younger audience. According to a survey conducted on mediaandwomen.org, teenagers ranked television, movies, and other forms of media as a leading source for information about sex. (AAP); According to another online survey conducted on teenwire.org, about sixty percent of females between the ages of fourteen, and eighteen are having sex, and at the same time are uncomfortable about their body image. This is probably due to a lack of sex-education in the schooling systems, and excessive media influence. Female teenagers, especially, are the victims of most magazine columns, and television commercials which pressure them with the idea of “The perfect look.” This misconception of a “perfect” body image has had too much of an impact in women’s body dissatisfaction. Eating