10er - Jessie Mattern SOC 111-01 Tough Guys and Sexy Girls...

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Jessie Mattern SOC 111-01 Tough Guys and Sexy Girls According to a recent study done by the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty, 90 percent of women worldwide ages 15-64 would like to change at least one aspect of their physical appearance. Does this mean we live in a world of ugly women, or does it mean that the world is gaining a more precise definition of what beauty is? This study proves that almost every woman in that specific age range is unhappy with themselves and don’t feel that they live up to the standard to which society expects them to be at. The question is from where did this standard develop. Who decided what is beautiful and what is unattractive? There is no denying the fact that beauty stereotypes exist, but beauty is only one aspect of a much more complicated system of stereotypes. Although there is no one that can be specifically blamed for these stereotypes, but nonetheless everyone is influenced by these stereotypes. Many of these stereotypes are generated and fueled by the media. Communication and media are a central part of everyone’s lives. In modern societies people are exposed to the media everyday whether they like it or not. Typically, people consume hours of television, listen to the radio, surf the internet, pass by billboards, read magazines, and even watch the advertisements on buses passing by through the city. This tends to be a lot of information going into people’s heads, even if they are not voluntarily consuming this information. If this is true, it seems inevitable that people will be affected by all the information being thrown at them. According to Gauntlett (2002), “The media shows us situations and relationships form other people’s points of view – indeed, it is part of the eternal fascination of drama that we can see ‘how the world works’ in
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Mattern lives other than our own” (p. 2). This paper is intended to show the power that the media has over society. There is a very strong relationship between gender and the media. The media has created certain stereotypes and roles that all people feel they are expected to live up to everyday. This paper will explore the way the media has classified gender and why this is considered a social problem. The expectations of men and women have been developing since the beginning of time. People are now powerless over these stereotypes and the true identities of men and women are being forgotten. I will show the ways in which this powerlessness affects men and women and also explore the options, if there are any, to help fix the problem of gender roles in the media. A social problem can be defined in many ways. Sullivan describes that a social problem occurs when “an influential group defines a social condition threatening its values; when the condition affects a large number of people; and when the condition can be remedied by collective action” (p. 2, 2006). This definition can be extremely subjective depending on how it is interpreted. How do you define exactly what an influential group of people is? What is
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10er - Jessie Mattern SOC 111-01 Tough Guys and Sexy Girls...

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