Wednesday, April 22, 2015

The Ideal Look

The idea of women in the media & art is a topic that I have always been interested in and has left me amazed in both positive and negative ways. It is a given fact that how women (and men) are objectified in the media and art, is getting out of hand. The number one message I received from Jean Kilbourne's Killing Us Softly Vol 4,  was that we must get involved in order for there to be change.
       I would have to admit that although I know that all the women we see in advertisements are photo-shopped, sometimes, unconsciously, I pay no mind to that idea and these images of "an ideal woman" are engraved into my mind. The before's and after's in Killing Us Softly, were SCARY. Advertisement companies are able to change a woman's face and body to the point where the model in real life is no longer the model on the billboard. This all leads to the objectification of women in the media and in art. Belle's presentation was a new area for me. Women were objectified in paintings all the way from the BC era. Similar to today's media, most of the time, the women's bodies are the focus of the image, while the face is never present. Why? Because the person or the face does not matter, only her body. That itself, speaks volumes about what young girls, especially, are receiving from the media. I loved when Belle spoke on the "Male Gaze". I have never heard of this but it makes so much sense. Whenever presented with media or art, one must think about how this is what is appealing to the typical white, heterosexual, male.
       Although Kings spoke on many of the things we see in the media today but do not acknowledge, it was important to go back to Jean Kilbourne's idea. I got the sense that Kings, Kilbourne and Struck all agree on involvement being one the keys to changing this awful representation of women and what it is doing to us, and generations beneath us. I am guilty of sometimes thinking I should act, eat, or dress a certain way because of what I have always seen growing up. However, I can not change who I am just because that's what society wants. If I change something about myself, it needs to be because that is what I want and what I would like for MYSELF, not any one around me.
As the actress at the beginning of Missrepresentation touched on, it is very scary envisioning my future with my future kids and having to protect and education he or she on the power of media and what it can negatively do to them. To be honest, I do not see how this problem can change unless EVERYONE gets involved. Issues like this is what drives me to become a business marketing major and also take on psychology, so that I can do my little bit in changing the way things are presented to the public.

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