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Media Influences

The movie we watched in class today really irritated me and got me thinking about how much media influences young people, guys and girls alike. However, I was thinking of the different roles that are being enforced in the media.

Men hold positions of power and they often feel pressured to fit these roles of power or to have that good look to attain power. Although they do face pressures, my problem with that is that they are pressured to fit a powerful status. I’m not saying that they don’t feel pressure, but they are hardly given negative connotations. Women obviously are extremely objectified and hyper-sexualized, always focusing on their beauty. I scroll to see the top news stories on Yahoo! and the one’s about women are about their outfit choices, the latest beauty trend they followed, or the mistakes they have made. Women are hardly seen in positions of power, and if they are in power they are seen as bitchy or they hold power in a job that is “meant” for women. Young girls are being pressured everywhere through media that they need to have the perfect body; their worth is only found through the way they look, their brain or personality isn’t important. They shouldn’t strive for positions that society thinks men should have, they just need to wear the right outfit and not press their boundaries.

The main thing that bothers me is the message it sends to young girls. Girls are delicate and they take what the media portrays much more seriously than older women. If there is an ideal image that society paints for them, they will do whatever it takes to get there; whether that be through self harm, loads of makeup, or whatever. I wish that girls could see that their worth and their beauty doesn’t lie within what society has laid out for them. There are all different kinds of beautiful; there is no ideal beauty.


4 Comments

  1. abirh2013 says:

    I defiantly agree with what you have to say, we need to stop showing women as objects, and as some kind of eye candy for men, and we need to start seeing women as human beings. And normal people look nothing like these people in movies and television do, and the reason these women look the way they do is because they have an army behind them to make them look the way they do. but little girls don’t understand that, all they care about is to look like these women on television. I watch disney channel, and nickelodeon with my little my brother sometime and i am shocked on how much make up the actresses on there have, and how most of their clothes are just plain inappropriate and that is supposed to be a kids show.thats what girls are being exposed to, and thats who they look up to, and that is just not right, and something needs to be done about that.

  2. kimmiepie66 says:

    I would like to add another persperctive to your thoughts on older women being a bit more resilient in terms of the media. I am an “older” woman and believe me when I say that it has harmful effects on a different level. We are expected to look forever young: face lifts in a jar; magic, de-aging creams to diminish the signs of aging and/or to use at the first signs of aging. So now, not only do we have to deal with major life issues such as empty nest syndrome or mid-life career changes and even becoming grandmothers, we are expected to look like sisters when compared to our children as opposed to mother and daughter. Have some botox here, a nip/tuck there, keep our naturally greying hair a color found in nature. How embarrassed we are, or should be, if we cannot feel secure about the number of years we have lived. At a time we should be celebrating our accomplishments, we are bombarded with ways to achieve younger more youthful looking skin and ways to get rid of that embarrassing saggy neck or baggy eye lids. Our focus needs to be on how to erradicate these media assaults on women of all ages, ethnicities, and sizes. Lets celebrate who we are as women! More importantly, let’s start a movement! If we all made it a point to tell a female in our lives why they are beautiful in our eyes, what can be so simple for us could result in empowering/empowerment for the receiver. I will start by saying that I have so much respect for the younger women I encounter daily. They are rays of hope in a culture that is consumed in/by media and technology. I have found many of them to be intelligent, bright, articulate, and go-getters! Their confidence in themselves should be what we all strive for. You are all beautiful and none have been photo shopped!

    • pammiano says:

      Great post!

      Society is not necessary more accepting of older women because in many areas experience and personality are not the aspects that are revered. Because so much emphasis in put on how a woman looks, the standard of beauty has become women who are young, with unlined faces and firm bodies. There is a rather offensive quote that goes “Men age like wine, women age like milk.” That unfortunately sums up the typical value of older women in America.

      But that does not mean we cannot hope for, and work toward change.

      I like your positive comments. Women do need to support one another better and to accept individuality and imperfections (as deemed by society) without judgment. As with many women’s issues, change will come when women get fed up with the status quo. In addition to your suggested movement of supporting one another, perhaps we can stage national “Natural is Beautiful” no makeup days, or boycott Victoria’s Secret or say no to nipping/tucking and enhancing. Better yet, we women collectively can stop stressing about our outer selves and enjoy the other aspects of who we are. The time we spend on the quest for achieving societal ideals of beauty and youthful appearance is a distraction – a shiny object put in front of us by the media and marketing agencies which diverts us from real accomplishments.

  3. dsielski says:

    Society definitely does put a huge amount of pressure on women, usually concerning their looks. Most often, the only women seen on television or in magazines are the prototype “beautiful woman,” tall, thin, busty, and a gorgeous face to top it all off. However, the massive amounts of make-up for television and photo shopping for magazine pictures is never understood by the average girls in society and they will do anything it takes to look like this prototype. Sad, really, that girls think to be beautiful in society they need to spend thousands of dollars on make-up or diet until they’re stick-thin. Great post!

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