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Gender and the Media

Uploaded by KyraDean on Oct 29, 2002

For decades, the improper portrayal of gender in the media has changed peoples’ perceptions of one another. These depictions have brought degrading, stereotypical and idealized thoughts of the opposite sex, whereas these representations are not true at all. The negative portrayal of gender roles in the media can be seen in television, movies, music and advertising, and the repercussions of such are exhibited in actions and thoughts of individuals within that society. Many authors and journalists show us how the media disciplines members within our society to show appropriate gender roles. “It is my contention that this mania, this explosion in glorification and objectification of women’s bodies, promotes unreal images of women, distorts physical reality, creates an obsession with visual stimulation, and trivializes all other natural features of a healthy psychosexual relationship” (Brooks 440). The media overload of degrading and objectifying women is the cause of society thinking that this practice is acceptable and right, when it, in reality, is an outdate practice that needs to be corrected.

In Gary Brooks' “The Centerfold Syndrome”, he tells how the manner in which men relate to women’s bodies is known as the Centerfold Syndrome. This creates “unrealistic fantasies and expectations, imposing profound distortions on how men relate with women and to women’s bodies, and in turn, how women relate to their physical selves and with men” (439). When men realize that the majority of women in our “realistic” society don’t have these perfect bodies and element of mystery, they feel inadequate, as if their manhood has been attacked. Likewise, when women are unable to live up to the grotesquely thin vision of today’s “beauty”, they suffer from the pressure of being unable to satisfy their partners, and too feel inadequate (442). “During the past decade, women breached the power structure; meanwhile, eating disorders rose exponentially and cosmetic surgery became the fastest-growing medical specialty” (Wolf 429). The media is attacking the newfound vulnerability of women that arose with the feminist movement of the 1960s and 70s. Even the most independent of women has these taught feelings of inadequacy and objectification, which have been instilled by the media (Wolf 429).

A myth is something everyone thinks is true, but in reality, is not. In “The Beauty Myth” by Naomi Wolf, she defines the beauty myth as the thought that beauty is universal, time transcending, and that women have to be beautiful to be socially accepted....

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Uploaded by:   KyraDean

Date:   10/29/2002

Category:   Social Issues

Length:   5 pages (1,034 words)

Views:   1919

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