Portrayal of Women in Society

December 15, 2011
By , chicago, IL
I remember my friends looking at themselves in the mirror in 4th grade, and they wondered why they didn’t look like Barbie or didn’t look like Cinderella. Today, I now realize that body image is a huge thing in America because of the media and because of America, body image around the world is huge. 80% of all fourth grade girls are on a diet. Why do girls care about what they look like? Everyone, especially women, should look at their inner beauty and inner capabilities rather than recognizing woman’s physical features in the media or things a woman is limited to doing.

The body image of women is very precise and specific. In almost every Disney movie, the main character that is a woman has a skinny waist, wide hips and a large chest. For example, in the little mermaid, Ariel the main character fits all of those characteristics. She was considered acceptable for society because at the end of the movie, she wins the man. Another example of this is when Ariel wants to fall in love with the man. She goes to the witch, and the wicked witch transforms her into a human. However, she has to lose her voice. On the human side of the world, she was only loved for her body rather than her personality. We know this because she cannot speak. Without her voice, Ariel is just another body. Finally, being large or different from Ariel is wrong. The wicked witch, who gave Ariel the ability to be human, was fat. According to society being fat is unacceptable because she was the villain. When the witch sang a song, she also stated that she helps the lonely and depressed. They showed a picture of what that was, and it was a boy who had a skinny, droopy attitude and a fat girl. Society can learn that being skinny is the only way to fit into society, and to be socially accepted. It is horrific because girls look at this image and feel that they are aliens because they don’t match what the movies show.

The media contributes to the many stereotypes made about women. One stereotype is that women do the cooking and cleaning, or basically the housework. One example of this stereotype in the media is in the movie Snow White. When Snow White goes through the forest with her animal friends, she comes into contact with what seems like an abandoned cottage. As she enters, she notices that there is a mess everywhere, and someone has left the place untidy. She then goes on to singing and cleaning the place. With the animals help, she manages to clean the house before the unexpected guests come home because of this, society can conclude that woman is good for cleaning. Another thing society can conclude is that woman love to clean. Another example of this stereotype is in the movie Beauty and the Beast. When belle arrives to the castle she is greeted by moving household objects and other things that aren’t usually human. All the household tools are women. A person can conclude those women are only here for cleaning and cooking.

Another stereotype portrayed in movies is that women are only good for their body. This means that they use their body to get what they want. It could be the simplest thing such as getting a dollar from your mother, or it could be the greatest task such as running for president. An example of this in the media is in the movie Aladdin. When Jafar is about to kill Aladdin, Jasmine distracts him with her body. She acts very seductive and touches him. Fortunately, it works, and Aladdin is freed. Eventually, he saves the day. A person can conclude that woman is not only good for housework, but also for their bodies. This is a bad portrayal of women because women do not use their bodies to get things they need. They actually need to work like everyone else in the world. Another example of the woman only use their body is in the movie The little Mermaid. When the witch sees that things between Ariel and Prince Eric are going well, she has to stop it some way. She decides to turn herself into a human, so she can woo Eric and win the bet with Ariel. In her human form, the Witch is skinny. She also has a tiny waist, large hips and a big chest. Why did the witch stay the same form she was? This is because a man will not accept a fat woman. She used her body to woo the man and to attempt to win the bet with Ariel. A little girl at home can conclude that a woman must be skinny and fit this body image. They can also conclude that women can use their body to get what they want.

Overall, the stereotypes and body images portrayed in the media are horrendous. They are teaching woman how to act and to be accepted in society. Why do woman care about their looks? A real woman doesn’t look like this. Women come in all body sizes, and it doesn’t matter because a woman doesn’t just have a body. For example, Adele is a great singer that is overweight. Her manager told her to lose weight, and she replied by saying that music does not have eyes. What she means by that is she just makes music for the ears to listen. You don’t need to have eyes to hear Adele sing. Music can only hear itself. To conclude, these stereotypes and body image plays a big role in the media. Despite the media, women are not close to these rumors and are still successful today.

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