The Fight to be Beautiful
Growing up we are surrounded by the media, and without acknowledging what is taking place, we are formed into gender roles that dictate our perspective and place in society. I remember opening my very first Seventeen Magazine. Flipping the pages I found images of beautiful girls, expensive clothing, and what would be, my very first diet plan. Headlines filled the pages on ways to improve your physical appearance, how to make all the boys want you, and what you would have to buy in order to make this happen. As a girl I did not question the path that these popular sources of media were leading me down. My friends and I would crowd around the television screen watching depictions of women that we envied. Beautiful, rich girls and the perfect romances they attracted. Now that I’m older and more aware, I sometimes question who actually lives like this? How can the media set a standard for women that the average girl can never achieve? The media is sending a negative message to young girls. Instead of trying to expand their knowledge and develop a superior sense of self, they are trying to fit into a size two pair of jeans. Young girls are being swept into a world of powerful messages telling them how to dress, how to act, and how to be, what they would consider, a woman.
The media comes in many forms, but the most publicized outlet would have to be the vast expanding movie industry. These well constructed films are developed for the purpose of entertainment and pleasure. Young viewers watching these feature films are not only gaining a sense of entertainment, but they are now consumed with the stereotypical roles of the actresses filling the big screen. When I think about beautiful, caddy, and the stereotypical girl, the film that comes to mind is the 2004 hit movie, Mean Girls. Not only did this film demonstrate what the popular girls looked like and how they acted, but Mean Girls showed what the bottom of the high school food chain looked like as well. The band geeks accompanied by their instruments at all times, the nerds consumed in large, glass frames, and the Goths that dripped black, industrial clothing from head to toe were just a few of the stereotypes frowned upon in this movie. Many young, impressionable girls fit the harsh characteristics of these so-called “losers.” Seeing the negative affiliation placed upon people similar to them delivers a negative message to these girls.
The main character of this 2004 classic is Caddy Heron, played by Lindsey Lohan. Caddy changes every aspect of her life in order to become one of “The Plastics.” She diverts her intelligence in calculus in order to impress the perfectly sculpted jock, her conservative wardrobe becomes minimal, risqué, and of course pink, and her once good-hearted nature ceases to exist. She loses many friends on her way to the top of the high school totem pole , but being popular is her only concern. The plastics consist of three...