Wednesday, November 24, 2010
The Shape of Women.
I had never really considered how the media portrays women. I know that magazines are full of skinny, large-breasted, tan women... I know that it's always been an 'issue,' and people have been talking about it for...forever. I know that the images presented in the media are, well, unrealistic.
Yet usually the bearer and driver behind the ideas is an over-the-top...feminist.
It's a little hard to believe a woman who walks around saying that we can beat these stereotypes and that this is a terrible, crying shame and the media is a hateful being.
But as someone who wants to be a part of the media, and someone who has seen different aspects of this 'situation,' I've got my own perspective.
I have a little sister who is thirteen and in the eighth grade. She's athletic, and is passionate about her sports. But at the end of the day, she's like any other thirteen-year-old. She's reading Seventeen magazine. She's getting on the Internet. She talks to her friends. She sees what is expected of her as she grows up.
Images of women: the shape of women. Ads that portray older, beautiful women that are skinny, voluptuous and in our society...perfect. This is what she is growing up with; this is what she is surrounded by.
As for myself, I have the similar experiences. As a budding communications major, I understand what works in the media, and everyone knows the basics of "sex sells."
But as a teen, I see how these things affect us.
My mass communications class discussed this issue after watching a video that featured one of the "over-the-top" feminists. I wasn't surprised when their reactions were less than...sympathetic. They seemed to brush off the idea that the way women are portrayed and represented in this country is silly and harmful.
But as a girl who started throwing away her lunch in the fourth grade... I know that they're dead wrong.
But what if the media isn't completely to blame, but rather the chain of events that occurs along the line?
I personally don't see myself being affected by the images of women in the media. Skinny girls in magazines has never affected me. But what if it's affecting the male population? What if it's setting their sights too high?
I remember boys calling me fat, and I remember not being "pretty" enough, simply dubbed as "cute." What if guys are expecting to find someone that fits these magazine standards, and they're taking it out on us "real women?"
I know that there's no "right" way to go about this situation. We can't be protecting our sisters and daughters from something that would hit them as soon as they leave the house anyway. We can only educate ourselves about what's realistic, what's not, and what's best for us.
As for me, I'm about to finish my big bowl of ice cream.
photo via (we heart it)