The issue of media impact on devaluing woman and influencing how females see themselves from a very young age is a very pressing one, as it chases us even in the tiniest details of our everyday life. In todays world, we get most of the information from the Internet, television, newspapers: and all seem to have a distorted view on what a woman is, considering her not a multi-dimensional human being, but rather a sex object, whose purpose is limited to satisfying men needs. Naturally, they spread this view, as it is what the media was created for – spreading data – to their audience, which comprises of both sexes of all ages. As a consequence, with growing popularity of media sources, that can even fit into our pocket as an application on a smartphone, we now have a growing issue with both young man and woman seeing a female figure as merely a body prop, which exists for the male viewer.
Let us think: how often do we see powerful women portrayed favorably by the media in comparison to how often we see objectified females, whose image revolves solely around their looks? Not often enough to be just, and the documentary “Miss Interpretation” tackles the media-related topic, illustrating it with bright examples and statistics. One of the examples concerns women being the leading protagonists of the movie. First of all, the case is rare, with only 13% of movies having a woman as a narrator. Secondly, if the woman happens to be a narrator, the chances are that a movie is about a female seeking romance, being a priori insecure and wanting a powerful man figure to take the primary role in her life. Even if there is no romance involved, it is most likely that a woman is still to be sexualized and conform to generally accepted standards of beauty. With such films being followed by an innumerable amount of other forms of conternt (music videos, advertisements, magazines, model shows etc.) featuring women as characters with no power or ambition, we can state without a doubt that the movie industry limits the role of a female greatly.
The outcome of this phenomenon is harrowing and immense. Having set the unattainable standards, girls and women develop eating disorders, depression, self-harm tendencies and, essentially, have lower confidence level, if any. They get distracted from pursuing comprehensive life goals, as stay focused on how they look. Instead of looking for leader positions (e. g. being represented in the government), educational growth, entrepreneurial activity or other, they are under pressure to spend time and money on beauty products and services. Thus, as mentioned in the film, “not only are girls seen as objects, they are taught to see themselves as objects” (Miss Representation 2015). Moreover, this picture does not only affect girls, as boys are also taught to see girls in a certain way, stipulated by the media. Being presented with a degrading portrayal of a woman, they deny to treat approximately 50% of the world population with due respect.
Miss Representation. Dir. Jennifer Siebel Newsom. Girls’ Club Entertainment, 2001. Film.