Media youth, sexuality and beauty rather than her

Media Woman Over the course of history, women have become synonymous with terms such as gentleness, sensitivity and physical beauty. They are almost always seen as objects of beauty rather than beings that are capable of holding powerful positions in life. We are exposed to these ideologies through the media. From a young age, children observe how women are depicted in the media as being weak and simple minded creatures. The media is selling the concept that the value of a woman lies in her youth, sexuality and beauty rather than her intelligence and strength. In many advertisements women are not only objectified but are seen with incredibly unrealistic characteristics. This includes an extremely thin waist, long silky hair and a face with soft feminine features and no blemishes. These false representations go on to shape how people view and treat women in society. The average American consumer sees over 3,000 commercials messages every day. In the majority of these messages women are being depicted as sexual objects. Not only this but they are seen as weak minded beings that lack the capability of a man and this is an ongoing issue. Women, Action & Media (WAM) is an independent North American nonprofit organization dedicated to building a robust, effective, inclusive movement for gender justice in media. Their former president Shari Grayson argues that women’s bodies are sexualized in media to attract the viewer’s attention.When the sexuality and bodies of women are linked to products that are bought, they are seen as sexual objects. Media activist Jean Kilbourne agrees. She notes that women’s bodies are often dismembered into legs, breasts or thighs, reinforcing the message that women are objects rather than whole human beings. Betty Friedan, a respected feminist and activist, spoke heavily on the misportrayal of women in advertising in her book titled The Feminine Mystique. Her critique led to numerous organizations, feminist groups and journals to research and reveal the discriminatory nature of women’s images in advertisements and films. Among these groups were The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. After closely examining how the media objectifies women they releases this statement, “taking into consideration that TV programs give information and reflect on gender roles in real life, it must be stated that women’s images are distorted and unrealistic in these programs. All kind of entertainment programs portray women in a dual image… they are decorative objects… they are passive individuals in the household and in marriage who are dependent on men for support.” This claim demonstrates how the media has created the image of women that is simply false and demeaning. These depictions of women play a key role in how they are viewed psychologically. A study conducted by Sarah Gervais and published in the European Journal of Social Psychology, found that the way in which our brains process men and women is extremely different. When looking at an object, our minds either perceive it in its entirety or as a collection of its parts. When presented with images of men, participants tended to rely more on “global” cognitive processing, the method in which a person is perceived as a whole. However images of women, were more often the subject of “local” cognitive processing, or the objectifying perception of something as an assemblage of its various parts. “Local processing underlies the way we think about objects: houses, cars and so on. But global processing should prevent us from that when it comes to people,” Gervais said. “We don’t break people down to their parts – except when it comes to women, which is really striking. Women were perceived in the same ways that objects are viewed.” These findings strongly confirm that in society women are seen as objects, this is largely due to how they are continuously objectified in the media. According to a report released by Senate Joint Economics Committee Democratic Staff in April 2017, on average, a woman earns 79 cents for every dollar a man earns. This may not seem like a large gap but when considering median annual earnings,  a woman make approximately $10.800 less than that of a male. The main reason behind this wage gap between genders is because many women become the primary caretakers  of their children  In eight countries polled by The Economist and YouGov, 69-73% of women with children living at home said they had scaled back at work after becoming mothers by working fewer hours or by switching to a less demanding job, such as one requiring less travel or overtime. Only 27-31% of fathers said they had done so. The media has conditioned women to be domestic creatures whose main focus should only be raising a family, rather than developing a successful career.  Many argue that as a society we should simply stop listening and believe the media. However the media doesn’t create these standards from thin air, but perpetuates them by sensationalizing them in the same way they do with celebrities or news story. Even if everyone can achieve “media literacy” and realize that what they see in the media is not real, that understanding won’t invalidate the root, the already existing standard the media maintains and promotes. This is an issue of how much power the media has over all of us and how it’s one part of a destructive, systemic cycle in which certain people profit from women’s bodies.A society in which men and women are truly seen as equals is possible and the solution does not lie with simply ignoring the hundreds of advertisements the public sees. Instead misleading and sexist depictions of women in the media needs to be stopped. creating commercials where they are seen with incredibly unrealistic doll-like bodies, corporations need develop an image in which they are intelligent, capable and strong humans.