Stereotyping In Popular Culture

Words: 1980
Pages: 8

According to Stuart Hall (1997), stereotyping is used as a method of representing various forms of difference (p. 225). In his text, “The Spectacle of the ‘Other,’” Hall (1997) states that race is a socially constructed concept (p. 225). As such, the racial identity of an individual can vary across place and time. Due to the indefinite nature of racial identification, Hall (1997) suggests that stereotypes are used primarily to maintain the boundaries between different groups (p. 258). Hall identifies three cultural strategies which may be employed in order to combat stereotyping.
The first strategy is to reverse the stereotype by altering the way in which the stereotype is perceived (Hall, 1997,
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There appears to be an utter lack of ambivalence; representations of women in popular culture predominately reflect the perspective of the ‘male gaze.’ Some individuals may argue that females in the media today are proudly choosing to show their body as a feministic stance of empowerment. However, I believe that there has simply been a shift in power. In this regard, women are not objectified by a third party, rather, they choose to objectify themselves. This self-objectification is positioned as liberating but it is really no different than previous forms of objectification.
To further illustrate this power shift, consider L’Oreal’s advertisement campaign for cosmetic products. The slogan repeated at the end of every commercial and written in nearly every print advertisement is: “Because you’re worth it.” L’Oreal capitalizes off of positioning their products to be used as a “pampering treat” for women rather than tools to beautify and glamorize oneself for male admiration and attention. This advertising technique is difficult to criticize because it appears as if companies are empowering women. In reality, women continue to be objectified and extorted for the ‘male