Founded in 1974, the Women’s Center was established to:
Dismantle, from a feminist perspective, all forms of oppression, including but not limited to those based on ability, age, class, ethnicity, gender, race, and sexual orientation.
Advocate for an equitable environment free from violence and harassment based on gender, race, and sexual orientation.
Create an anti-racist, non-sexist, queer-affirmative space where all people can feel valued and safe.
Facilitate and strengthen connections among people across lines of difference through programming and educational campaigns.
Integrate an appreciation of Women's Gender and Multicultural Studies across the disciplines.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Media Portrayal Betrayal

Media plays a massive role in the way people observe themselves and others around them. It can be destructive to those whose reality is based in the media, and based on what they perceive and how they interpret messages hidden between the lines. The majority of advertisement for products is transmitted through the media. On television, and billboards everything is promoted, with women normally being the ideal image of products. They are often seen in a sexual, passive outlook. Media’s portrayal of women is generally limiting: women are expected to have the perfect body, skin, and hair with specified emphasis on being sexy. In the world of advertisement sex sells, and woman’s sexuality is often the focus.

This message of woman’s sexuality in the media subliminally teaches girls that they are valued in life by their bodies. Media deliberately portrays that to be recognized (or even admired) in life you have to have sex appeal. Body dissatisfaction is common for teenage girls and is associated with dieting and unhealthy weight-control behaviors. The glorification and pursuit of “thinness” are seen as the main drivers of body dissatisfaction, with the media primarily setting thin body ideals. Men are victims of this media mental brutality as well because it forces men to accept as true that they have to be strong and buff to be considered “manly” as well as only be interested in this notion of an “ideal woman”.

When girls begin to view fashion models and celebrities as icons, it is called media internalization. This internalization refers to the significance to which an individual dedicates to societal ideals of size and appearance. Looking at magazines and commercials of women can be very depressing and lead to low self esteem forcing insecurities in women. A study was done to analyze how much time is spent looking at TV and the average person spends a minimum of three years in their life watching television commercials. 3 minutes alone looking at models in fashion magazines caused 70% of women under the age of 30 to feel depressed, guilty, and shameful of their own body.

Media portrayal is a betrayal and can lead to unhappy, unhealthy women depriving themselves to be the “ideal” image of a woman, but the problem is this image is unrealistic and impossible to fulfill. The ideal image of a woman is the woman we see in the mirror, the workplace, the library, in class, etc. The ideal look of a woman is me, you, our mothers, our sisters, and women across the nation. There is no limit on the way a woman should look nor should she be judged on her sexuality, but on the quality of her character, intuitions, and self-expression.

_ Ash Mash_

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