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Thursday, June 13
The Indiana Daily Student

opinion

'They're there to be objectified'

Jennifer Siebel Newsom’s documentary “Miss Representation” states that the average teenage girl absorbs 10 hours of media per day, and yet women occupy a measly 5 percent of clout positions in the industry.

Since the beginning of time, men have dominated the entertainment industry, from magazine advertisements to public television.

In retrospect, the female population has been objectified by participating in scantily clad photo shoots and trying to achieve the epitome of “sexy,” ultimately for the sake of men.

The constant power struggle between men and women has proved to be a losing battle for females in not only the media industry, but in our society as a whole.

Women who work the same hours and positions as men receive less pay.

Most college degrees in the United States are earned by women, but women occupy less positions of ?leadership.

Several male news anchors have publicly bashed iconic women for being too fat, too ditzy or too powerful.

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has been one of the biggest victims, as countless news networks labeled her a weak candidate for the vice presidency because she was involved with her family and was considered to be stupid, unqualified or both.

Ultimately, her selection as Sen. John McCain’s vice president is pointed to as the signifying moment of his loss in 2008.

This generation has manipulated themselves into believing women are less capable than men, and they end up looking irrational for even trying to appear equal.

Additionally, it seems a woman is only featured in a magazine or on television if she has the ideal, picture-perfect body. The media has instilled that if you are not a size two, you are not considered beautiful, and that is the problem.

Take, for example, Esquire editor Alex Bilmes speaking about the women featured in his magazine in an interview with the Guardian.

“The women that we feature in the magazine are ornamental, that is how we see them. I could lie to you and say that we’re interested in their brains as well, but we’re not. They’re there to be ?objectified.”

He continued to defend Esquire by saying that they feature “many shapes of women.”

In reality, there is not much physical difference between Megan Fox and Mila Kunis, the only two women to appear on the magazine’s cover in the past year.

Women can’t get by without being held responsible for trivializing men as well.

For example, Vogue wouldn’t be half the advertising success it is without the aesthetically pleasing men in their boxers advertising new cologne. Sex sells.

The problem with society is there is no effective effort to ensure that these aspects of media don’t negatively sway upcoming generations into thinking they’re inadequate.

Being bombarded with the images of what a girl is expected to look like sets young girls up for failure when they are faced with the reality that Photoshop and unhealthy habits are the reasons why cover models look the way they do.

Women are not incapable. Women are not stupid. Women are not meant to be objects for society.

Once we realize this, maybe we can truly see how far we’ve come.

snvanden@indiana.edu

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