Women Studies Paper on Sex Objectification
Sexual objectification is a phrase used to refer to the act or practice of treating and envisioning others as mere objects, tools or instruments for self gratification of sexual pleasures and desires. In society today, there exist stereotypic ideas that postulate ways of defining and organizing genders so as to easily predict what to expect them as well as understanding the kind of opportunities that are accessible by either males or females. This culture of gender association often outlines differences in male and female roles and societal expectations of each gender and more so emphasis is put on biological traits that are characteristic and natural for men and women. This paper purposes to highlight the idea of sexual objectification in society, drawing motivation from media attention and personal accounts.
There is a developing trend in the entertainment industry aimed at objectifying women in society. This is a dangerous path to tread as the media is developing social stereotypes that could end up in unhealthy social and physical habits. Back in the 1950s, women were stereotyped as belonging to the kitchen and inferior to the male. Most television and commercial advertisements of the time pitted women standing next to fridges, cookers and kitchen equipment. These advertisements were not only meant to market the goods, they also left impressions in society that a woman’s place in society was the kitchen.
Today, sexual objectification in the entertainment industry has surged to alarming levels especially in music lyrics, music videos, TV drama, magazines and movies. Most music artists today feature almost nude girls in their videos with their bodies either wholly naked or only partially covered. The videos pit men as superior, dancing and partying surrounded by many girls and emphasizing the notion that women are nothing but sex objects to be used by men. Ironically, the more the videos expose the sexuality of women, the more views they get and the more sales they make, this serves to tell that the society has been greatly influenced by sex objectification.
Commercial advertisements have also veered towards sex objectification, a classic example is the marketing of alcohol where alcohol pictures are placed against women photographs that depict only selected features but no face showing. What does this tell? It shows that women bear less significance in society, rather what is important is their bodies that ought to be used for satisfaction of men’s sexual desires. One afternoon, as I patiently sat in a salon waiting for my turn to be served, I saw a group of college girls going through magazine pictures and remarking, “oh my God, she looks amazing” “I just want to be like her,” taking a closer look, I noticed they were looking at a picture of girls dressed in one of the trending fashion dresses and being pinned on a car by a man.
Images of women being objectified in the media are having significant influence in society today. Girls want to dress up like the models they see in movies, music videos and magazines. The pictures of models with slim and perfectly shaped bodies in advertisements are also having health implications mostly for ladies. I am a victim of this as I once was diagnosed by Bulimia in my teens due to starving myself with aim to achieving the perfect curves and shape of Alicia Keys, my favorite artist and idol. Sex objectification in the media does not depict females alone as there are calendars and female lotions branded with pictures of masculine men just to entice women to buy them.
Sex objectification in the media today has hit alarming levels, this practice is not only creating negative stereotypes of women but also encourages unhealthy behavior and immoral practices. This paper has highlighted some forms of sex objectification in the media today and based on a few personal accounts.