Unformatted text preview: The Media....... We are constantly bombarded with media images of what it means to male and female in our culture The costs are great- they come at a price and limit men and women to behave in specific ways Gender, race, sexuality and class portrayed in narrow and limiting ways What does Advertising Sell? Advertising sells a great deal more than products It is the foundation of the mass media It sells values, attitudes, lifestyle It tells us who we are and what we should be One of the culture's most powerful socializers Ads have a cumulative effect All forms of popular culture continually impact
the way we feel about ourselves and what we learn about gender and the body Objectification One of the major effects of all popular cultural forms is to "objectify" both men and women Objectification is the process of turning humans into things or objects This dehumanization can lead indirectly to violence Commodification Not only are men and women turned into things in advertising, they are often turned into commodities or things for sale In ads, women's bodies are often interchangeable with the products they are purporting to sell How are men and women
typically portrayed in popular culture? SAME MESSAGES ARE GIVEN The same messages are given to men and women in all forms of pop culture For men the emphasis is on performance, being strong and able to perform physically For women the emphasis is on appearance, focused on the way women look We see men posed like this: And women posed like this: Men like this...... Women like this......... What about Race?
Whitewashed images dominate the media. When we do we see women of color in the media they are portrayed in very specific ways. Women of color are shown disproportionate in relation to white women
They are shown in very narrow, limited ways both in terms of the body and sexuality What about se xuality? We get most our ideas about sexuality
and how partners should act in relationships The Media & Sexuality Heterosexist images are usually the only images we see The media implies real women need real men and vice versa and that is the only acceptable option Constructs of sex and gender are connected to sexuality Women are given mixed messages in terms of their sexuality they are to be both sexy and virginal all at the same time And although women are the target audience of women's magazines
They are seeing themselves as men might see them And sex is used to sell everything Sex is used to sell everything We have the highest teenage pregnancies in the industrialized nation High rates of STD's and other transmitted diseases No focus on relationships or commitments High rates of sexual crimes against women What messages about the body do we get from the media? Women should be thin, young, beautiful Men should be tough, strong Women should look sexy but be innocent Women's bodies are constantly dismembered, objectified and used to sell products they have nothing to do with Women are constantly shown as sex objects in magazines set up for the male gaze MALE GAZE JOHN BERGER WAYS OF SEEING "Men Act and Women Appear. Men look at women.. Women watch themselves being looked at." Art from Renaissance onward depicted women as being "aware of being seen by a male spectator" The ideal spectator is always assumed to be male and image of the women is designed to flatter him Males do the "gazing" and females are objects of the gaze Women receive the gaze, return the gaze, but never act on it Men = active vs. Women = passive Spectator is not only assumed to be male, but also heterosexual and white Although women are the target audience of women's magazines they are seeing themselves as men might see them they imply a male point of view Women's bodies are culturally constructed They are more controlled More emphasis on diet and exercise More restrictions less movement, good posture, more circumspect, not take up space, graceful Viewed as less competent More ornamental body displayed as an ornamental surface jewelry, fashion and makeup No wonder our image of beauty is distorted The Beauty Myth Theses images are not real These models are genetically thin, long legged, big breasted Their pictures are then airbrushed and computer enhanced These images of beauty are unattainable they don't even exist We measure size and beauty by models who are 23% thinner than the average woman And this will continue..... Advertisers believe that thin models sell products Only thin models spur the sales of beauty products Researchers report that women's magazines have ten and onehalf times more ads and articles promoting weight loss than men's magazines And over threequarters of the covers of women's magazines include at least one message on how to change a woman's appearance (diet, exercise, cosmetic surgery) The average model is 5'11" and weighs 117 lbs
The average woman is 5'4" and weighs 140 lbs It's everywhere...... Studies of TV shows show only about 5% of characters on TV are overweight Shows are almost always comedies More male characters, shown in the kitchen more, shown eating more Less dates and love interests than thinner counterparts Our Obsession with Thinness 4 out of 5 women are unhappy with their bodies At least 1 in 5 young women in America today suffer from an eating disorder The number 1 wish of girls 7 & 8 years old is to be thinner Eating Disorders: Extreme Body Dissatisfaction An estimated eight million people in the U.S. have eating disorders, including 10% of high school and collegeage youth, 9095% are female. Severe Physical and Mental Effects High Death Rates highest mortality rates of all mental health disorders Long and Difficult Recovery Disordered Eating There is a difference between disordered eating (a strategy of femininity) and true eating disorders as defined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, a handbook for mental health professionals. Eating disorders are situated in 2 aspects of women's traditional sphere: food and the body Since the 1970s, sex/ lust have switched places with food for women Before the 1970s, sex/lust had "sinful" connotations, but today food is often portrayed as "sinful," "forbidden," or guilty. Eating Disorder Diagnosis Anorexia Nervosa Refusal to maintain weight Intense fear of fat Body image distortion Starvation Absence of 3 consecutive menstrual cycles Bulimia Nervosa Recurrent episodes of binge eating (23x/wk, 3 months) Loss of control around food. Purging Eating Disorder Diagnosis
Binge Eating Disorder (Compulsive Overeating) Other Disorders Muscle Dysmorphia
Bigorexia Reverse Anorexia Adonis Complex Recurrent episodes of binge eating (at least 2x week, 6 months) Loss of control around food Does not purge Compulsive Exercising Appearance Obsession Eating Disorders affect Energy level Mood, attitude, behavior Mental ability Relationships School, career Dreams, goals Spirituality Finances Lifestyle Physical Health Food, eating, hunger Weight Causes of Eating Disorders Psychological Factors Low selfesteem Feelings of inadequacy Lack of control in life Depression, anxiety, loneliness Obsessivecompulsive disorder Interpersonal Factors Troubled family, personal relationships Difficulty expressing emotions and feelings History of teasing, abuse, trauma Causes of Eating Disorders Social Factors Cultural pressures Glorifying thinness Narrow definitions of beauty Valuing appearance over inner qualities and strengths Additional Factors Coping Behavior Genetics Biology Dysfunctional Eating Weight Loss & Dieting Why might eating disorders be so problematic to treat?
Eating disorders have been labeled one of the hardest mental illnesses to treat because the causes are usually multidetermined and depend on a person's biologic vulnerability, psychological disposition, and family and cultural context. Beauty in our culture is less about what you are
...and m about what ore you areNOT Femininity=Beauty
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- Body dysmorphic disorder