Women have been manipulated through the media for decades. Women have had to deal with sexism for hundreds of years but with the advent of television, the social quo has been able to change and adapt quicker than ever. Susan Douglas states in her book “Where the Girls Are” that women have been told by the media how they should act and what to do. That patriarchy is being reinforced and feminism gets a negative connotation. It’s almost as if the freethinking woman is an endangered species. After briefly looking the early days of television, all the way up to modern times, where as Ms. Douglas said “girls are defined by their bodies”, I found that not only is the media setting forth ideas of what women should be, but the problem is much more widespread than I anticipated. The media doesn’t discriminate against its target which is all women. It’s a bit disturbing to see young girls facing the same problems that grown women face. It’s a shame young people have to grow up today in a society that demands perfection and a media that exploits the anxieties of people especially women. Another aspect of the project that really had an impact was doing it as a video and looking at all sorts of footage. Its one thing reading an article or book with statistics but when you can put a face with the numbers and hear their stories it hurts. It was very difficult watching what is going in the world when it shouldn’t be happening. Also learning about the “dark side” of beauty pageants was an unexpected surprise but turned out to be very enriching to my project.
1. Susan Douglas, Where The Girls Are, (New York: Random House, 1995).
2. “Out of Wedlock.” Christian Century, April 17, 2013, 16.
3. Tiggemann, Marika, and Suzanna Hodgson. “The Hairlessness Norm Extended.” Springer Science. (2008): 889-896.
4. John Berger , Ways Of Seeing, (London: Penguin Books, 1973),.
5. Haas, Cheryl, Laura Pawlow, Jon Pettibone, and Dan Segrist. “An Intervention For The Negative Influence of Media on Body Esteem.” College Student Journal. : 405-415.
6. National Eating Disorder Association, “nationaleatingdisorders.org.” Accessed March 24, 2014. http://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/get-facts-eating-disorders.
7.= “Married… With Children,” Web, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=spIrhYfwi5c.
8. “Seinfeld,” Web, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hLSXjYKyGgU.
9. Rogers, Fred, “Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood,” It’s You I Like, Web, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3-DsZMKYXzI.
10. Threes Company
11. I Love Lucy
12. The Honeymooners
13. I Dream of Jeannie
15. Leave it to Beaver
16. All in the Family
17. The Jefferson’s
19. Charlies Angels
20. Murphy Brown
21. The Cosby Show
22. 2013 Miss America Pageant
23. The Big Bang Theory
24. Two and a Half Men
25. Gossip Girl
26. Big Brother