IT’S NOT ABOUT SEX DIFFERENCE

Point 1) Differences Among Women

The ways in which women are portrayed are due to their race, nationality and sexual orientation.  In this section of the text, the author relates differences among women to their body images.  Women might think that they all need to have the same attributes in order to be that perfect model (hence the body images).  However, that standard they think they need to be held to is not  all the same.  Magazine articles in different cultures have shown how beauty is represented differently throughout.  In the United States, people find in the media (through television ads, computer ads, etc) that women use their body image to promote a certain clothing line.  Most women used to represent the company for promos are the same structurally.  In the United States, women use their body image for items from companies such as Victoria’s Secret, Forever 21, Charlotte Rousse, etc.  Women in our country have the opportunity to flaunt their body image for the company they’re “repping”.  However, in other cultures like in Asia, there is a difference because women are not seen like that in their culture.  It has been researched that women in Asian cultures use only their face as their “body image.”  They use advertisements for promos for facial products.  They do not flaunt their body because in their culture, they are not viewed as a “sex object”.  The disparity is shown here.  In the United States, to get the most out of a clothing product, it needs to be put on by an attractive woman, who men and women can see in the spotlight.  Does this difference relate in any way to intersectionality, and also, how do differences among women affect femininism?

Point 2) Similarities Between Women and Men

Men and women both contain certain similarities when it comes to overdoing their body image through the use of the media.  In media forms such as magazine ads and television commercials, women make themselves less appealing to men because of extreme thinness.  The body image women portray when they exploit their thinness is more prominent in women’s magazines, rather than men’s magazines.  For example, in Sports Illustrated, men don’t find many women who are too thin.  The models that are in the swimsuit edition are well put together, the perfect body a man could imagine having.

Men do the same thing women do in regards to body image.  They overestimate the degree of muscularity that women find attractive.  In the text Frederick, Fessler and Haselton claim, “The ideal male body marketed to men is more muscular than the ideal male body marketed to women” (DeFrancisco and Palczewski 243).  I agree with this claim because men typically read body building magazines.  They don’t read them necessarily to become a body builder; however, they read them to know of what exercises to do in order to gain muscle mass.  The pictures identified in the magazine are of big, bulky, body-building men (something most women wouldn’t be attracted to).  The body that women pursue of men is one you would find in a Hollister or Abercrombie and Fitch poster.  Women love abs and a defined body.  A big, bulky body builder is too much for them, and some even find them gross.

How would the similarities among men and women differ if a more obese individual used their body image as a means of advertising?

MEDIA CONSTRUCT (AND CONSTRAIN) GENDER

Point 3) Women, Men and Violence in Media

Violence is everywhere in the media.  Women are usually in the defensive position of violence because it’s generally men who are the culprit.  After reading through this section, I reflected upon when I was a child and young teen and the amount of violence I had witnessed at that time.  Violence is drawn through many items such as reality shows, video games, movies, etc.  The one fact that I found interesting in the text was that violence in children’s programming has become a major concern.  I found it shocking that, in children’s programming, there is an estimated 7.86 violent acts per hour.  If children are viewing this kind of content, it is more likely they will perform acts like this of their own in the future.

I want to provide an example to what I stated earlier about how violence is drawn through reality shows.  An event, which will always be vivid in my mind and was nationally broadcasted, was from the first season of the Jersey Shore.  In one of the episodes, the Jersey Shore Crew was out for a night of drinking.  Things got a little out of hand and one man was saying hurtful things, maybe trying to show off his masculinity to reality stars.  One of the members of the show, Snooki, steps up and defends for the group.  Everyone was most likely of the drinking limit at this point.  Things got a little tense, and it ended with the man punching Snooki in the face, and she dropped to the ground.  This is a serious act of violence, and I was very surprised that MTV allowed this to air.

I want to know what men think of this act?  Does this act influence men to do the same?  I would hope not; however, there is so much violence in our world today.