Gendered Media: The Journey To Gender Identity

1624 words - 6 pages

In a study done by The 4Th Estate, the results showed men are quoted around five times more than women in stories regarding women (Pesta 1). With media being so male centered, it is not surprising that often women become the target of sexual objectification in all realms of media. With the concept of “Sex Sells” still holding true, many advertising outlets have continued to fund ads with sexually focused content. Whether you are listening to the radio, reading your favorite magazine, or just window shopping in the mall you are being targeted by media’s gendered advertising.
In 2008, Miley Cyrus posed for Vanity Fair magazine. Although the half nude pictures did not make the cover in the States, Italian Vogue featured then fifteen year old Miley on their cover. Just because the images were not featured on the United States’ cover did not mean she did not receive several full page spreads. The controversial photo showcased her uncovered back while the rest of her body was wrapped in some type of satin sheet. To any adult celebrity this would be a pretty modest shoot for Vanity Fair, but for minor Miley it created a whirl wind of conversation from the media.
Media is forcing today’s youth to grow up faster and faster. Miley Cyrus was unfortunately used as the poster child for young girls trying to be older. After the shoot, which was obviously not initiated by her, she had to come out and publically apologize. On top of that, Disney also threatened to void her contract if adult like behaviors continued (Toomey 1). With it being well known that only a few companies control most of the media we see, does it not appear ironic that Miley Cyrus was exemplified in such a negative light? From the time her publicist was contacted by Vanity Fair to do the shoot, everyone was fully aware of what was going to take place. Once society’s calls to act older were answered, she was then scorned for giving into media’s desires.
The magazine cover reminded readers that sex will always be important. In particular, it reminds women that if they are not considered sexy by men, then there is something wrong with them. Media wants women to be sex objects; to have this double standard of slutty yet virginal. It also places stress on women both inside and outside their home. Young women are forced into achieving effortless perfection (Wood 201). They have to succeed in all aspects of their lives without any visible signs of struggle. While trying to be successful, their professional lives are also degraded due to pink-collar sexuality. This idea puts women in mediocre jobs that fit the stereotypical role of an overt feminine woman (Ouellette 228). Women are not only having to combat the opinions of those of their own gender but from the male gender as well. With this cover showing such a young girl, young men are now taught how they should want their women to be from a very young age. But just when you think it cannot get any easier for young...

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