So many people tell me that they aren’t affected by media images…of course, often these same people are wearing Dolce & Gabbana sunglasses and sporting a Louis Vuitton bag. The truth is that we are all, if not consciously then at least subconsciously, affected by media images. Girls and women are especially barraged by images of frighteningly thin women in print and television ads. Often only portions of the bodies of these women are focused on: breasts, lips, buttocks, bodies chopped off at the neck or waist by the camera angle. In a very large number of print ads women are portrayed in a subordinate role to men with the men frequently positioned in a threatening manner or suggesting physical violence toward the women. Why? And how does that sell products? And what mark does that leave on the psyche of girls who may know intellectually that this is fiction, but learn in a rather subliminal way what our culture values? What is it teaching them? The most pervasive communication women receive from the media, that is educating another generation of young girls, is that a woman’s primary value is in her looks, her youth, her sexuality–and not in her capacity to be successful in other areas of her life. I’d like to hear your comments on this topic. For further information, check out Jean Kilbourne’s YouTube videos entitled “Killing Us Softly.” And the documentary, “Miss Representation.” What do you think? What can be done?
April 13, 2012
What is the media teaching girls about their value in our society?