Hyper Sexualization Of Women In The Media

1024 words - 4 pages

All cultures have ideas and standards of what is deemed acceptable and even desirable for women. In ancient China, tiny feet was considered the epitome of beauty. Little girls were forced by their mothers to have their feet bound, so they would be more likely to find a husband. It didn't matter that the process was excruciating and led to deformities and disabilities of many little girls. Some conservative Muslims believe women must cover their bodies and most of their face with long pieces of clothing in public places as a form of modesty as required by their holy book. The pressure to look a certain way is deeply ingrained in all cultures, including Western culture. Our society is mirrored in all forms of media. The internet, television, magazines and even video games reflect what society thinks of women. We see thin, Bo-toxed women with large breasts and narrow hips. They have no visible cellulite. It doesn't mean it's not there, just that we don't see it. Thighs are air brushed and arms are slimmed. Women's bodies are made to look unnaturally perfect in the media. Perfection isn't enough. The media hyper-sexualizes women. It turns ordinary situations, such as cleaning a kitchen, purchasing a car, dancing and singing into highly sexually charged situations. While watching a television commercial or viewing a print advertisement, it is often difficult to determine what product is being sold. It's very apparent that sex, specifically by hyper-sexualizing women, is to be seen first.
In one study, Rolling Stone magazine covers were analyzed from 1967 – 2009 to look for changes in the sexualization of men and women over time. University of Buffalo researchers studied over 1000 images. They used a scale to rate the amount of sexualization in each image, then compared them by each decade. In the final analysis, 44% of women were found to be sexualized in the 1960's decade and 83% in the 2000's decade. This is an increase of nearly 90%. So not only is sexualization very common, it is becoming much more common. In fact, by the 2000's there were very few Rolling Stone covers without sexualization. The authors commented that “popular media outlets, such as Rolling Stone magazine, are not depicting women as sexy musicians or actors; they are depicting women musicians and actors as ready and available for sex”. This distinction is very important.
Examples of hyper-sexualization of women in Hollywood and music videos are numerous. Newspapers, magazines, and entire television programs devote large amounts of time and print space to the coverage and critique of female celebrities' appearance. Speculation and/or photos of whether they are wearing panties is included in the comments about celebrities on the 'red carpet'. Women wear body-hugging gowns with plunging necklines. Most remember Jennifer Lopez's sheer green gown that plunged past her navel and had to be taped to her breasts to prevent them from being completely exposed. Further, many music...

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