Feminism in Popular Culture and Mass Media

Published: 2021-07-06 23:08:38
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As far as Feminism in popular culture and mass media is concerned American culture illustrates domination of mass media where advertisements control the emotions of young girls. Young girls take inspiration from advertisements that encourage false image, feminism, anxiety and other psychological and societal problems. Feminism remains one of the popular aspects of mass media culture in modern countries like the United States that targets female consumers through the use of provocative techniques. The mass media and advertisements portray males as macho, strong and successful and females as beautiful, attractive and sexy. The advertisements adopt feminist consumerism model to target young girls. The more focus on feminism results in male gaze and double consciousness among young girls that generates psychological influences. The misrepresentation video highlights the role of mass media and television in the promotion of feminism and sexuality. The media misrepresents females and demonstrates them as symbols of beauty and attraction. The culture of media politics reflects the strategy to portray men as powerful and thinkers and females as only bodies and figures.Discussion Jean Kilbourne’s “the more you subtract, the more you add” (1999) discusses the feminist issues that result from culture and mass media.  She criticizes the role of mass media that influences lives of young girls as the current generation learns more from media than from parents. Young people and girls face vulnerabilities and threats of media. Girls that are confident and happy but when they reach teenage, they become self- conscious and face problems of anxiety, self- esteem, rage and eating disorder. Mass media also promotes teenage pregnancy, dates, rape, sexual abuse, and violence. The negative consequences’ of mass media influences lives of girls. Kilbourne highlights the advertisements of smoking and alcohol encourages such attitudes among youth and young girls. The author connects the impacts of mass media with the psychological developments and pathology of individuals. Advertising promotes negative attitudes that cause long-term side effects on girls such as eating disorders and toxication. The negative impacts of mass media also promote feminism among young girls that develop self- consciousness about their appearance and also encourages them to adopt false appearance. Young girls do many things to attract young boys and find themselves in competition with other beautiful girls. False self-results in a double bind that build consciousness about overt sexuality to become attractive to other girls and passiveness and vaginal (Taylor and Whittier).Girls that are unable to recognize the conflicting desires undergo pain, confusion, and restlessness. They are in a state of continuous struggle between consciousness and unconscious desires.  Girls from monolithic groups also face feminism that results in uncontrollable eating disorders and psychological problems. The issues are not limited to any particular group, but it influences the Native Americans, African Americans, Latinos and Hispanics more. The girls from such backgrounds suffer more complexities in addition to feminism due to racial and class differences. The American culture dominated by mass media and advertisements the main implications of advertising culture is on self- esteem of girls. Advertisements and mass media influence young girls more than men as they are new consumers due to the disposable incomes that they earn from work. The magazine is another effective tool that influences lives of young girls and the use of provocative logos such as “she’s the one you want. She’s the one we’ve got” develops long-lasting impacts on their memories. Girls desire for becoming beautiful, attractive, modern and sexy. Advertisements target young girls and tell them the importance of being attractive and beautiful as it is the only thing that brings them closer to rich and handsome boys. The advertisements use provocative texts that mention the use of perfumes’, clothing, tight jeans and proper shape panties. The advertisements that focus on extra thinness and flawless beauty results in depression and rage among young girls. Girls compare themselves with the models shown on advertisements and desires to become like them.Advertisements and mass media influences adolescence that results in self- consciousness, terror, and shame. Mass media increases vulnerabilities to self- obsession, thinness, flawless beauty and perfection. Women that are fat, too loud and heavy feels shameful under the perfection criteria set by media. Girls feel shamed for fat legs, and fat figure and the society and boys make them feel so. Evidence reveals that around 40- 80 percent of girls of fourth grade undergo dieting to reduce their weights. Advertising increases the habit of alcoholism among young individuals and girls. The study develops a link between media and eating disorder. Girls that find themselves imperfect and fat they suffer anxiety and develops eating disorders. Anorexia is a disease that develops from the denial of real self that young girl suffers due to mass media and advertisements.Kavin A Martin and Emilly Kayzak (2009) illustrates heteronormativity encourages heterosexuality among the young population that privileges’ the heterosexuals. Movies and media that portrays young love between men and women as the perfect life encourage sexuality among people of different genders. The hetero-romantic love encourages youth through the portrayal of exceptional relationships, power, and magic. The heterosexual exceptionalism promotes heterosexuality pervasiveness. The Disney movies influence children’s thought process, and studies reveal that elementary school children can understand heterosexuality. Heteronormativity involves mundane ways that reflect the overwhelming image of heterosexuality. Heteronormativity reflects represents heterosexuality as privileged sex. The motive pictures present censored content to children. However, the G- rated movies do not include elements of sex and nudity. The G- rated movies still promoted heterosexuality through hetero-romantic love and interactions of males and females. Online culture and social networking also play an effective role in the promotion of feminism and sexuality. Social networking influences young women and encourages them to take gender roles. Social networking has a useful role in conventional politics.Female chauvinist pigs highlight the model of perfection for feminists in American culture. The movie “Sex and the City” portrays the perfect feminism that includes a slim body, beautiful figure that grabs the attention of handsome boys. The television and media present women more as a model that acquires all possible traits of sexuality and beauty. The mass media portrays the wrong side of the story and ignores the right aspects that need concentration. Media is more concerned to show girls in fewer clothes than to highlight the societal issues that women suffer such as workplace harassments and gender inequalities. Nevins highlights’ the issues that females face due to the prevalence of double consciousness. Women encounter male gaze that wants to see the sexy and bold. The societal approach towards males and females is a depiction of status quo. She draws the line between the male chauvinist pigs and female chauvinist pigs.Male chauvinist pigs are represented more as enlightened rube and female chauvinist pig’s experiences exalted status. The media portrays males as machos and females as symbols’ of sexism. Nevins highlights’ that television does not present the women as success symbols that achieve status through their struggles but only focuses on the sexuality. The world is a representation of male dominance in career, politics and every aspect of human society. While women have to undergo more complications to open doors of career and presents herself as strong women. Mass media is also a depiction of gender biases as Nevins mentions the fewer existence of females at top positions such as only 17 percents women serve as executive producers, directors, writers, editors, and cinematographers. The male dominance over industries and media is a depiction of woman’s’ loophole that results in an unearned advantage for males of society.Judith Taylor (2005) illustrates misrepresentation in “feminist consumerism and fat activist” and compares the campaigns of Dove real beauty. The concept encourages the democratic vision of feminism and beauty. The dove beauty campaigns used advertisement tools that include billboards, television, and magazines that portrayed women as a fat lady with pregnancy stretch marks and achieved high sales. The marketing strategy became popular in many parts of the world. The media campaign involved huge money and challenged the hegemonic standards of beauty. The women develop feelings of self- consciousness and low self- esteem that find them fat. The feminist activist developed the PPO against such exaggerated advertisements that result in emotional and psychological disturbances among females of society. The popular queer activists that challenged the misogynists’ attitudes focused on the burgeoning politics of marketers to target females of society. The Dove beauty campaigns reflect the progressive women’s’ force that discouraged the use of the feminist concept to influence females and young girls. The assessment of the cultural politics in feminist consumerism illustrates the capitalist society that targets on maximum revenues and neglects the societal values and implications that it generates on society.ConclusionMedia consolidation promotes ‘feminist consumerism’ that disrupts the societal norms. The broader cultural ideology of consumerism represented by the Dove beauty campaigns that portray the negative role of exaggerated advertisements and provocative message. Media literacy movement is the result of feminist activists that recognizes the implications of the beauty advertisement. The feminist beauty ideology involves a combination of cultural politics, political economics and feminist awareness of social change. The beauty ideology highlights the counter-hegemonic actions that are against the oppression of feminist beauty standards. The political culture of feminist consumerism depicts the capitalist incentives to sell beauty products at the global economy. Corporate feminism and celebrity feminism are other effective tools adopted by marketers to influences salesBibliographyTaylor, Verta A. and Nancy Whittier. Feminist Frontiers. McGraw-Hill, 1983.

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