Objectification & The Media: Blurred Lines of Advertisement

I don’t write these types of post. So, please bear with me for a few minutes. My young sister showed me a video yesterday. In this video, a group of teenagers watch the music video for the song, Blurred Lines.

I know the arguments about the “Blurred Lines” video are exhausted. However, I felt compelled to write after watching these kids react to the video and add to the conversation. Firstly, I would like to praise the creators of  “TheFineBros” for encouraging young people to become aware/conscious of the messages in the media.  I was able to find many interesting videos on their Youtube channel.  Secondly, the Blurred Lines song is catchy, but I’m not a fan of the song or video. Similarly, I do not intent to demean the video neither defend it. In fact, this post has nothing to do with the song or the video. My intention is to highlight the “blurred lines” of female and male objectification in the media. How do we decide which images right for ? How do they make us feel and/or react? 

Yes, I believe we can use the “blurred lines” phrase to describe the role of women in media advertisement.

Here’s where things get complicated.

This      and  this   

Can you tell the difference? While these two images are representing only one type of body image, these images have different connotations. The victoria secret ad sells sexiness, which seems fitting for a store that sells underwear to women. However, the conflict arrives when these images are overly photoshop, creating unrealistic expectations for men and women. This happens often. I also take issue with the lack of diversity in the fashion world.

The second picture is a problem.  Well, I don’t understand what that’s selling.

In some instances,  the images in certain advertisement seem to glorify (for lack of a better word) violence against women.

Dolce & Gabbana ad.

The picture has a BDSM feel in its composition. The female model seems forced into a vulnerable position. All four men desire the same woman, while one man pins the woman down in what appears is against her will. Granted, my problem is not BDSM. My problem is with the “against her will” emotion this image evokes. We see these types of imagines every day on television, on billboards, and shopping malls. We see it so often that we might become uncaring about how people perceive these images, especially children.

American Apparel is known for using provocative pictures for advertisement. The positions of the models are too suggestive for me to focus on the clothes alone. Am I supposed to ignore he’s holding her legs like that? Are these pictures selling sex or clothes?

These types of ads make me feel a little devalued. No, this is not me feeling victimized. I’m making an informed comment, based on observation and research. In media advertisement, the body of a woman often equals her value. If the female body fits the standards of beauty, then the body becomes more  profitable/valuable. Ultimately, that is the message women and men everywhere receive.

Let me be fair. It’s not as popular, but men’s bodies are also objectified in the media. The response is usually the same. These images raise unrealistic expectations about how women’s and men’s bodies should look like and how they should behave according to their sex.

 

I hope I’m making sense here. The objectification of bodies in the media is hardly a secret. Nonetheless, the discussion  is still relevant. If we ignore the discussion, then nothing will change. We might become desensitized to these images and how we see them… The discussion about it will continue. These images set a standard for young boys and girls. It’s the reason posts like this one continue to exist. I would love to hear your thoughts on their matter.

Thanks for reading.

Best,

Steph

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Best of Nalini Singh’s Psy-Changeling Series

Recently, I became obsessed with Nalini Singh‘s Psy-Changeling series. If you are familiar with the series, then you might know how difficult it is to describe them to your friends. This is because the books explore the obstacles and dangers of a complex society of shape shifter, humans, and the powerful “Psy.” The Psy-Changeling is an adult paranormal  romance series about an alternative society, in which three different races find themselves at war.

1. The Psy own gifts of the mind. They are able to use their minds for telepathy, telekinesis, to cure people, and even to stop or start wars. Recognizing the dangers of their own powers, the Psy conditioned emotion out of their lives. In turn, the conditioning made them even more dangerous.

2. The changelings are shape-shifter, half human and half animal. They belong to a variety of species, wolves, leopards, falcons, sharks, ect. The changelings’ lives depend strongly on emotions, family, and affection.

3. Humans are perhaps the less powerful, but the most influential race of the Psy-Changeling world.

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Oscars: Bridesmaids


The Academy Awards announced  the 2012 Oscars nominations last Monday. I wait for the announcements every year, hoping to recognize some of the nominees. This year, I’m quite happy to say that a comedy written by women and about women made it to the list.

Directed by Paul Feig, this film received a Rotten Tomatoes rating of 90 percent, and an audience rating of 76 percent.

Bridesmaids will always bring good memories to me because I was fortunate enough to see it with my friends during my last year of college. Bridesmaids was the last movie we watched together before going our different ways.

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Music and Feminism- “The Man of her Dreams”

Hello!!

So, a few days after the holidays I started sorting out the playlists on my Ipod. In the process, I noticed something interesting about some of my music. I was randomly selecting songs that I like and putting them in my “on the go” list. These songs have something in common, the female experience. I had about seven songs that could by some women’s standards be considered feminist (there are many kinds of feminism, but that’s for later). These particular artists have transferred the female experience to their music. Lily Allen, Shakira, the famous P!nk use their music to convey their ideas on social issues, gender standards, sex, and female stereotypes. Who can forget “Stupid Girls” by P!nk, a song praised by many of us. Recently, I stumbled onto Lily Allen’s 22, a song about a very common female stereotype. The one that raises the fears of reaching thirty and single. Women expected marry by the age of thirty, have a career, and be “settled.” Shakira has talked about this before, referring to it as limitations set by our own culture, our society. I do realize that these three woman and kinds of feminist, social and cultural.

Now, I like this trend. It reminds me of Billy Holiday, Alanis Morisette, and many others. I’m personally very touched by Lilly Allen’s 22. Why? Well, I’m feeling the pressure. I feel the pressure to get married, have the perfect career, and live it all before I’m 30. I know that women are getting married later in life now at days, but my Dominican family doesn’t seem to see that as a good thing. I don’t even believe in marriage actually, not now at days. Well, they wouldn’t hate me for not accomplishing those things, but they would probably still judge me. It’s kind of sad. I’m just one hundred percent sure that life doesn’t end at 30. The idea of being “settled” is also put up for interpretation. It means  different things to different people. Therefore, let’s not worry about time. It will never be too late for anything.

Luv, Steph