Women Depictions

December 14, 2011
By Adilene_S BRONZE, Chicago, Illinois
Adilene_S BRONZE, Chicago, Illinois
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

It is impossible to get away from gender stereotypes because they surround us through shows, music, and toys. They shouldn’t be portrayed in this matter because the media has created an ideal that is impossible to achieve. The most common stereotypes that the media depicts are women being housewives, seductive, and having perfect aspects.

Television shows often depict gender stereotypes. Growing up, my brothers and I would watch Dexter’s Laboratory on Cartoon Network. Looking back, I have come to realize that this show depicts women to be the typical stereotype: a housewife. Dexter is a young scientist with a secret lab. While Dexter is in his lab creating new inventions, his sister is locked in her room, dad is at work, and mom is cleaning or in the kitchen. The mom is always seen wearing her apron and yellow gloves. In one episode, the mom is seriously ill, and instead of Dexter and Dee Dee, his sister, helping out with chores, Dexter decides to create a “robot-mom” that will do all the cleaning and serving. This suggests that the women are the one who should be serving the kids and the husband. Dexter and Dee Dee lack common sense by creating a duplicate of their mother when they could have helped out.
Popular songs are also guilty for promoting gender stereotypes. In most songs, women are viewed as seductive. A song that achieves this inference is “Naughty Girl” by Beyonce. The song talks about how a woman is in the mood to take home a guy. She sings “I know you want my body” and “I see you looking me up and down.” This indicates that she has the man hypnotized with her body. Not only are the lyrics in the song expressing the seductiveness of the women, but also the visual representation itself. In the video, Beyonce is wearing a short dress, her hair flying all over, and her eyes and body language stand out the most. The reason the director did this, in my opinion, is to catch the viewer’s attention and distract him/her from anything else. The director achieves this goal, when Beyonce is behind a curtain and her silhouette is the only thing seen, while she appears to be completely naked. This video was directed in 2004, and in today’s society, the media in music hasn’t changed at all. In fact, I believe it portrays women in a worse manner. A current “Quickie” by Miguel talks about how a woman is looking at him like another checking her out, and he says she’s right. It continues to say how “what’s in them jeans just got my mind hectic” revealing that his more into her physical appearance. The chorus goes to say that he doesn’t want to be loved and only wants a “quickie” in other words a “one-night stand.” Thus, referring women as a sex object.
In addition, toys also have an impact on how women are seen. At first, I didn’t understand how a simple toy might influence woman’s self-esteem. Now looking more deeply, Barbie gives young girls a sense of how their physical appearance should be. Many young girls playing with this innocent doll would want exactly what they have. They want the perfect body, hair, and materialist. From personal experience, I wanted to be the typical Barbie girl: perfect body, blonde hair, and luxurious vehicle. In some commercials, producers are having the young girl match with the Barbie doll which may significantly raise the number of young girls wanting to be just like Barbie. However, the body is impossible to accomplish, not only that, but also fatal. 1 out of 100 teenage girls would starve themselves to achieve this body and 18-20% would die.
What society needs to realize is that the portrayal that the media depicts of women can emotionally and physically hurt women. Women don’t want to be the ones doing all the cleaning while others are lazy nor do women want to be used for some “fun” time. Especially, women don’t want to worry about their physical appearance. All they want is to be equal, yet these views are never going to go away because the media has been successful at manipulating the future generations.

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