Intro to Women's Studies 2010

etsu: 2011-2014

Killing Us Softly

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After watching the video “Killing Us Softly” in class I realized just how much women are objectified in society. I found this to be the most interesting topic so far because I am completely guilty to falling under the spell that media has over women. I am subscribed to every Glamour, Elle, Cosmopolitan, and Fitness magazine that has come out in the past couple years, and half of my bathroom cabinets are filled with makeup.

Women are shown by the media at a young age that their value depends on how pretty they are. The media makes it seem that unless you have bones bulging through your body, you should not be wearing a bikini. And if you have acne? There’s makeup for that. However, having a pimple or curves is not only perfectly normal and natural, but it is real. The media raises the bar at a far more unrealistic expectation for girls to have which is to be someone with no flaws. Just like the lady in the video mentioned, sometimes the people being portrayed as perfect in photographs and magazines don’t even look that way. This teaches women to mask themselves with makeup or starve themselves until they’re skinny otherwise they’re not good enough. For generations women are told that if they’re unhappy with their boob size, skin complexion, etc. there are ways to fix it. Women no longer feel beautiful in their own skin unless it is someway “fixed” or manipulated through tanning or foundation.

What is worse is that the women that are selling these products are not even a real portrayal of the object being advertised. By adding a woman who is easy on the eye in a magazine, girls get swayed into buying that product being sold. I know I’m guilty of it. I’m forever thinking “well that girl in the picture has perfect skin, so maybe if I get the skin product being advertised…” But that image is unrealistic because almost all of the ads are edited to be something they’re not, specifically so people will buy it. It’s easy to link a woman displaying some sort of sensual behavior as to being sexy. All men want sexy, and women are taught to be what men want. There will always be a cycle of this which is sad.

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