On my mind constantly is how women are portrayed in the media and how it molds our thought processes and perceptions.
My heart breaks for our culture. It breaks for those women who think their worth is in their looks alone. It breaks when I recognize that pornography has become mainstream, Playboy is celebrated, and celebrities gain popularity through sex tapes.
It breaks when I read that the average age for viewing pornography is eleven years old. I am appalled when I read that the latest surgery craze is reconstructing the labia – to make it appear prettier. And you think we as a society are not affected by what is bombarding us?
Just the other day, I visited one of the leading women magazine’s websites, and flashing in the sidebar was “Sex Position of the Week.” This magazine is also known for providing the “latest” sex tips for every issue with a provocative (of course, digitally enhanced) celebrity displayed on the cover. Their cover girls are getting younger with each year and so are the readers. In August 2012, the star of Pretty Little Liars (a popular teen television show) and the third installment of Cinderella Story was seen on the cover. Beside her beautiful face reads: “25 Sex Moves.”
Unfortunately, sex sells, and it is being sold to young females – your sister, daughter, or friend. Do they even know how it affects their self-image? Do you know how it affects yours?
The United States is the only industrialized nation who does not teach media literacy in schools. Yet, we are the number one global exporter of pop culture. Children need to know how to filter through messages in advertisements.
Why rant? Why care? The media will continue to produce what sells. It seems like a war that cannot be won.
You may ignorantly think: “Oh, she must be bitter. She’s never received attention from a man.” Or worse, “She must not be very pretty.”
No matter a female’s age or size, they are affected. I simply want to create awareness and begin a conversation. I want to explore questions like: How do we balance the desire to be beautiful? What is my standard of beauty? What is a healthy perception?
I want to celebrate women who are stylish but who also have a beautiful story to tell. I want to learn about the newest fashion trends and makeup tips just like you. (Hey, I’m a woman, too!) But I also want some substance.
I want to know what’s going on in our world. I want to broaden my world view. I want to know the good things people are doing to better our community. I want to talk about real issues and sometimes talk about issues that are really hard to talk about.
And if I had my guess, you do as well.
- Brittany Windle
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