Everywhere we go, we see magazines, books, and flashing billboards with models plastered all over them. We're made to believe that the women we see every single day of our lives are the beauty standard in America. It is very rare that you'll find an average looking woman gracing the covers of Vogue or on a New York City billboard. However, literature, magazines, and the internet portray women very differently from each other.
Literature, magazines, and the Internet have one specific goal when it comes to women: to make everyone acknowledge that the female body is a piece of art. Women are portrayed to be sweet, kind, nurturing, and kind-hearted. They are stereotypically shown to be what a sexist would want a woman to be; submissive. Too often we see women trying to live up to the standards of airbrushed models on the magazine covers, and they fail to realize that that's exactly what those models are, completely airbrushed and photoshopped to perfection. In Greek Mythology, women were seen as sex objects, not individuals (Krivis, Regueira, Calhoun, DiMuont & Ulivari, n.d.). In a documentary on YouTube titled, Killing Me Softly by Jean Kilbourne, she explains that the media tells us what's important is how we look. She goes on to describe what the ideal beauty looks like, according to the magazines and ads that we see. The internet is a very popular source for oversexualizing and dehumanizing women. There are many websites dedicated to degrading women and treating them as nothing but objects. Unfortunately, we are told to believe that the women we see on the internet represent us as a whole and that makes some women imitate what they're seeing, even internally (Hirsch, 2011).
However, sometimes, the way women are portrayed are also different depending on what you’re reading. You’ll find that the internet is very against body shaming women. Now, there are many articles about fat shaming and anti body-shaming such as a couple of articles written by employees of The Huffington Post titled, Taking the Oath Against Fat Shaming, 'You Are A Fat, Ugly Human' Cards Handed To Women On Subway, and 4 Tips to Stop Holiday Body Shaming Now (Lewis, 2016). In Literature, the authors make women seem more sensual; while they’re still looked as a sexual but it’s in a more non-offensive way. Magazines are starting to take a stand against body shaming and the way women are perceived. There are definitely still model looking types that grace the covers of the magazines we see every day, but they are also starting to look more normal.
Fortunately, I do not know of any family members who believe the messages that the media is sending out about women. We've always been taught to love our bodies and love who we are and being without flaws is literally impossible. My mother, as well as aunts and cousins, have spoken to all of us about what we see on our screens and they always remind us to stay true to ourselves and never try to change our bodies to fit the image that the media has portrayed of us.
Hirsch, Ann. "Women, Sexuality and the Internet." Pool. Pool, 6 June 2011. Web. 02 Feb. 2016.
Krivis, Jessica, Eva Regueira, Brian Calhoun, Paul DiMuont, and Eddie Ulivari. "The Role of
Women Throughout the Ages of Literature." The Role of Women Throughout the Ages of Literature. University of Florida, n.d. Web. 02 Feb. 2016.
Lewis, Al. "Fat Shaming." The Huffington Post. The Huffington Post, 2 Feb. 2016. Web. 25 Jan.