Wednesday, April 22, 2015
Monday we had, yet again, an amazing presentation. I don't think this talk could have come at a better time. Prior to Monday's presentation, Mrs. Searles came to each of the dorms to speak about eating disorders and how they can emerge in young women. As she was listing off all the common eating disorders, she began to list all the new eating disorders discovered over the past few years. Along with stress and anxiety, many young girls experience pressure from school, family and the media. This, happening more often now too, results in an eating disorder or an unhealthy relationship with food. Belle and Mrs. Kingsbury's talk I feel is one that needs to be shared with the entire school. They began speaking about the role women play in media in a way that I have ever heard before; they began with the history of women's objectification. Being in AP Modern European History, I've always heard that women weren't in much position of power and had few rights to no rights, but it was never explained why that is. Women over the centuries have been looked at through white, male, heterosexual eyes. Which I find ironically, to be the same group of people through history that have oppressed and forced their views on others. This group of people also placed the ideals that a woman can either be nurturer, a virgin, or a sex object. These three Ideals may seem very one dimensional at first, but when taking a look at todays media, you begin to see that the vast majority of these ideals hold strong. Of course there a few shows that challenge these ideals, shows such as Orange is the New Black, but these same shows are almost never offered on public television for the general public. Why is that? Because the idea of a woman not conformed to the ideals set in place for her are the same as when woman being painted nude looks at the painter; its an obscenity. Women have been and to a large extent now, looked at as objects. Also many of the women being portrayed as such in media do not even realize that they are being portrayed this way because of the normalcy of this action. In the video, it said that teens consume up to 10 hours of media a day, I believe in the short time between that video being released and now, that amount has increased grossly. That being said, this makes teens, especially young women more and more susceptible to seeing themselves as inferior and lacking. We've all done it at some point, somewhere down the line, every girl or woman has thought that they don't look pretty enough or skinny enough, or whatever. The media has instilled this idea in teens that they are never enough just being themselves. And when someone feels they aren't enough, they adopt negative habits. The biggest thing girls also fail to realize, or realize but tend to forget, is that the models and ads aren't real. Whether its a tactic for companies to hold a steady consumer base or just our society's twisted habits, we fall in the habit of trying to reach an untenable, inexistent goal. From both videos though, both in and out of class, its up to us to see that these standards of beauty are 1) superficial and impossible and 2) sell us short as capable women. Like any and everything, in order to have change, we have to come together to create it.
Posted by Akosua Opong at 4:48 PM