Discussion on Chapter

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How do these women’s bodies serve as constructions of gender according to the textbook/ lecture definitions?

First of all, the images in the pictorials create false expectations of women’s appearance. Women look at the images and strive to be accepted by the society, which perceives women from the advertisements. Second, the commercials construct the gender expectations of both women and men, attributing them particular roles. As for women, they are perceived in the commercials as having four main roles in the society: a household wife, a housekeeper, a dumb blonde, and an independent business lady. In such a way, these roles imply that all women belong to either one of four categories and perform the tasks, which suit best their gender role. For instance, letting the society agree with a creation of false expectations from a woman, who is a great housewife and crate the atmosphere of coziness in the house; a housekeeper, who has always had straight A’s in Home-Ec class and knows how to keep the house impeccable; a dumb blonde, who seduces rich men with the power of her sex appeal; or an independent business lady, who is career oriented and knows how to multi-functionally deal with business affairs. Nonetheless, there is another collective image of an attractive super-lady, who finds time for everything. As a result, a vicious circle is formed. The society creates false expectations for gender construction, which women have to abide in order to be accepted by the society and become successful in life.

Are these images pornography according to the textbook/ lecture research definitions- why or why not?

In overall advertising is a creative and innovative sphere of commercial approach, whose main objective is to sell the product. Since the sexual revolution, the female body has also become the part of commercial approach helping to the development of all sorts of industries. Hint on sexual elements was found to be very effective, as it appeals on the emotions, and along with it, awakens the desire to buy specific product. Nonetheless, appeal to sexuality on television and press for commercial purposes cannot be considered pornography. First of all, the goals of these different types of industries do not match. Pornography seeks to satisfy the sexual pleasure of the customer, whether advertisement is more production oriented. In other words, the commerce creates the need of the customers to want to buy a particular product. So to speak, the aim of the advertising is to make people want to buy what they need to produce, in order to earn more money. Second, pornography shows sexually aggressive and dominant behaviors of the nude individuals towards each other for the satisfaction of sexual desire, whereas advertisement controls viewer discretion. Also, contrasting with pornography, the advertising industry is very discriminating, including racism, ageism, faceism, gender discrimination, etc.

Does this video support or refute the textbook/ lecture research discussion on diversity in the media- explain in detail?

According to the lecture, women and men are both shown in the media. Nonetheless, female gender is underrepresented on the television. According to the findings in the recent study, there are twice more male characters taking part on TV, in the movies, on the shows and advertisement. Albeit, the only sphere on television where women outnumber men is the beauty and health product promotions. It was also found that, comparing to 1980s ,the number of women on the screens had increased as much as by 0,4%. However, it seemed in the video that women are more numerous in the TV industry, and men seem to enjoy the advertisement depicting female body. According to the marketing research most customers are women, and for this reason the advertisers utilize men in the advertisement. Nevertheless, in order to grab the attention from the male audience, the advertisers use female images. According to the survey of 8000 illustrated magazines, males and females represent also different roles. Male oriented magazines show men at work, but never as caregivers, or doing chores, whereas women’s magazines depict men in the families and fathers. On the contrary, one can see the images of women, as housewives and housekeepers in both types of magazines more often than men.

How is the concept of facism, as discussed in the textbook/ lecture research applicable/ not applicable to this video clip?

According to the lecture, the concept “Face-ism” (facism) is “the relative prominence of the face in the portrayal of men and women.” Basically, it defines the way women and men are portrayed and, as a result, are expected to look like in real life, therefore, influence significantly on the individual’s social perception of others. Interesting findings had indicated that the appearance influences our perception of individual’s personal traits, such as the level of intelligence, health and physical abilities, ambitions, etc. Also, the comparison of the results over different time periods and cultures had depicted that the facial prominence has been found to be higher in men than in women. This is due to the fact that today’s commercial industry is more interested in showing more of female bodies than faces. One of the studies has shown that from 1700 magazines and newspapers, there were 65 photos of men and only 45 photos of women. Portrayal of men is usually attributed to visualizing the qualities of the person, such as success, intelligence, physical qualities, whereas women’s body is used as a tool to portray other products. The videoclip underlines this problem, by showing a male representative who is interested in collecting the cut outs of female bodies from the magazines to contemplate them on his wall. The other representatives in the video had shown very small interest in the faces of women, but indicated their joy regarding their “wet dreams” about the female bodies they see every day on television and in the press.

What impact could these images have on women's own appearance schematicity and social comparison- according the textbook/ lecture research?

The television and press have a few stereotypical images, which they depict as the prototype of female gender. These stereotypes are the complete extremes of a collection of female traits, which are subjectively perceived by the society. The negative side of such images is that they create unrealistic expectations of appearance and behavior from women, but also offend women in many ways. In addition, the absence of group minorities also poses a negative effect on women. Old people and large people are not popular for the commercial purposes, therefore, are not used in any advertising projects, leaving only the “perfect” images of young, skinny, healthy, with smooth skin. These characteristics are not only rare for the common social circles, but also represent the minority, posing the majority of people under a pressure of low self-esteem and social comparison. Women see these images and pertain themselves as ugly or underprivileged due to their appearance and imperfections. For this reason, they start to follow the artificial stereotypes of role models and beauty etalons subduing to the commercialization of the female body cult. The main problem with such is that women feed the commerce with their compelling emotional character, allowing the industry to force them follow these artificial examples, which hurt and abuse them. Today, many corporations have finally refused to mock the causes by accepting the natural beauty, whether it is skinny or plum, young or old, freckled or smooth by starting to glorify it as it is in real life.

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