and specific occasions in which women have been featured in the media with their bodies and their athletic abilities both coming into play. Chapter 4 provides images of the referenced instances and authors use these images to answer the “paradox” posed at the start of the chapter. Are bodies still objectified if women are supposedly claiming them for themselves? By claiming their bodies for their own use/portrayal/etc., women are promoting their own ability to make decision for themselves based off of their bodies, which essentially did not belong to them. But with this reclaiming, the authors bring up the issue of the “babe factor,” which refers to female athletes posing nude/in little clothing for men’s magazines or for marketing/commodification purposes. Overall, the authors look at what exactly images mean in our modern day society and how they affect how female bodies are viewed, especially in the world of sport and the area of sport media. Journal Reflection for Built to Win , Chapter 4: Bodies, Babes, and the WNBA
For some reason, I felt like the discussion in class over female sports images was a little uncomfortable. Maybe that was because of the even distribution of males in our class and their discomfort in not knowing what they could and could not say. Maybe it was the overwhelming female response. But, either way, I’m not sure as to how to get to the bottom of the issue of women owning their own bodies but still potentially working backwards. With the exercise that we did in class that involved pulling up images from the Internet that supported our claims, I was not surprised by the images that my group pulled up. We specifically focused on a campaign promoting women’s tennis, but every single image aside from one or two totally lacked anything having to do with tennis. A couple here and there had tennis rackets in the image, but the women were holding them in unnatural, unathletic ways. There was actually nothing to do with tennis in most of the images. Instead, the women were covered in glitter and flowing, beautiful gowns and silky, revealing shirts. There were no tennis balls, no nets, no powerful, striking poses… their bodies did look toned and athletic, but I wouldn’t have known they were tennis players. I still don’t know how to feel because on one hand, if a woman wants to partake in a marketing opportunity like that where she can feel strong and beautiful and get recognition, then go for it. But I’m still questioning if we are making progress.
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- Journal Reflection