Media and Gender

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MEDIA AND GENDER

Even though media continues to be a powerful tool to breakdown stereotypes, help educate, presents the truth and influence the public, there is also a disconnect in reality and ones ideal self. I have learned that we have three selves; public, private and ideal. Our private self is how we view ourselves, while public is how others see ourselves and our ideal self is who we want to be. Our ideal self is the most influenced by mass media and has a huge impact on ones self esteem. This generation media has hyped up the glamorous lifestyle; money power and fame. The people that fall under the hype are: celebrities, which range from actors, actresses, sports starts to reality starts. This lifestyle also represents perfection, which to the public eye can cause physical and psychological damage to ones perception. For example, woman in the media are viewed as objects. That all women are to have characteristics of a celebrity. Celebrity bodies are desired, both subjectively and objectively, they are attractive, and desirable. If they are perceived "good," then they become national symbols of these characteristics. Conversely, bodies that do not meet these criteria they, consciously or unconsciously, become stereotyped as "bad" or ugly. For the average woman this can alter ones self -esteem. Women try to look like the women on television and magazines. They believe that appearance is everything. where many women have compulsive disorders either eating disorders or plastic surgery. One woman, Cindy Jackson, was so heavily influenced by Barbie that she underwent 20 plastic surgeries (to the tune of $55,000) in an attempt to make herself look just like the Barbie body image.(Murdocca, Jennifer) Another example of media distortion is the Barbie Doll theory- If Barbie was a real woman, she would be 5’6” and weigh 120 pounds.  Her body fat percentage would be so low that she would not be able to menstruate.  Her measurements would be 38-18-34.  The average woman’s measurements, on the other hand, are about 41-34-43.  In the book “Ken and Barbie at Life Size,” author Kevin Norton states that only about one in 100,000 women actually match the Barbie body image.( Murdocca, Jennifer)_ Our society is heavily influenced by the hip -hop culture. Entertainers and music videos exploit women as ho’s or a sex object. Below is the lyrics to the song, Bad Bitch by Lupe Fiasco, showing multiple scenario of how media not only portrays women but how influential hip hop culture is to our society. I say bitch bad, woman good, lady better

Hey, hey, hey, hey
Now imagine there’s a shawty, maybe five maybe four
Ridin’ ’round with his mama listening to the radio
And a song comes on and a not far off from being born
Doesn’t know the difference between right and wrong
Now I ain’t trying to make it too complex
But let’s just say shawty has an undeveloped context
About the perception of women these days
His mama sings along and this what she says
“Niggas I’m a bad bitch, and I’m bad bitch
far above average”
And maybe other rhyming words like cabbage and savage
And baby carriage and other things that match it
Couple of things that are happenin’ here
First he’s relatin’ the word “bitch” with his mama, comma And because she’s relatin’ to herself, his most important source of help, And mental health, he may skew respect for dishonor
Bitch bad, woman good
Lady better, they misunderstood
(I’m killin’ these bitches)
Uh, tell ‘em
Bitch bad, woman good
Lady better, they misunderstood
They misunderstood
(I’m killin’ these bitches)
Yeah, now imagine a group of little girls nine through twelve On the internet watchin’ videos listenin’ to songs by themselves It doesn’t really matter if they have parental clearance
They understand the internet better than their parents
Now being the interent, the content’s probably uncensored
They’re young, so they’re maleable and probably unmentored A...
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