I recently came across an article on Buzzfeed that was titled “21 Real Men Who Will Make You Believe in the Power of Makeovers”. When I read the title I glazed over it and started looking at all of the photos that truly did make me believe these men needed a makeover. However, after thinking about the idea of men getting makeovers I almost laughed at how easy it was for them. Most of the guys got a hair cut or shaved; but being a woman who puts makeup on, does my hair, and picks out a cute outfit everyday I found most of these makeovers to not really qualify when it comes to the work some women put into their “makeovers” everyday.
I was just curious how some of you felt when it comes to the role of makeup and getting ready in women’s lives compared to men.
What Would You Do is a show with hidden cameras that use every day scenarios to capture people’s reactions. This episode is about a parent and child in the costume shop deciding what to wear.The boy wants to be Belle and the girl wants to be Spiderman. They are trying to break gender norms, but everyone is siding with the parent.
Most reactions are about finding other costume ideas and sticking to gender “appropriate” costumes. The last person was the only one who sided with the child. What would you do in this situation?
They now make costumes for girls such as Spiderman and Batman, which include tutus and more feminine pieces. But what about boy princess outfits? They are expected to be tough and strong; an alternative might be to dress as a prince.
What do these reactions say about our society and the costumes that are “appropriate” for girls and boys?
Tis’ the season, award season that is! Each year around this time people all over the globe anticipate the fashion that will strut down the red carpet. This is a time when men are expected to break out their tuxedoes, and the leading ladies to model the latest gowns from today’s hottest designers.
However, this year Emma Stone rocked the Golden Globe Award’s red carpet earlier this month wearing pants! PANTS?! And don’t you know it she looked stunning! At first I had to take a moment because I wasn’t sure what to think. Shouldn’t she be wearing a full-length ball gown? I realize now that I was so shocked because this went against what I had viewed as “normal” for a woman to wear on a red carpet.
Emma Stone’s fashion risk paid off and fashionistas everywhere were applauding her decision to wear pants in a sea of gowns. One article by MTV even headlined, Emma Stone, Hero, Wears Pants to the Golden Globes.
Emma Stone’s look challenges the idea of what the “ideal woman” should wear and look like.
From the excerpt ‘Redefining Girly’: Reconstructing the gender norms of society on the Today Books Website by Melissa Atkins Wardy, it discusses a portion of her book, Redefining Girly, that focuses on how the media influences our societal opinions on gender.
Quoting Wardy, “Media greatly influences children, taking a role in shaping their perceptions and behaviors, and toys are a form of media. Just like the healthy foods we feed our children, toys, too, should be “nutrient rich,” allowing free play, creativity, and exploration in order to boost brain development and self-esteem through play. There should be no room in the toy box for gender stereotypes and sexualization.”
She continues to talk about how it has influenced her own family’s life such as her daughter and son. She says, “Toys are not meant to teach children about gender. They are meant to teach children about life.”
I decided to post about this because it reminded me a lot about our trip to Walmart and how the toys in the aisles have a sense of definition of gender for children today.
Recently, the prestigious Loyola Law School issued a memo to students including a statement about how female students should dress when clerking.
As is often the case with professional dress codes, women’s clothing choices were addressed, with no suggestions about what is appropriate for men.
This gets at the double bind faced by women in something as simple as choosing what to wear to work. On the one hand, women are encouraged to look beautiful in their work appearance, as traditionally defined in our culture. On the other hand, often women are judged for looking too “sexy.”
Ultimately women’s job performance should not be evaluated on their appearance. It is an example of how “appearance counts” as a theme of femininity affects women in their professional lives in a significant way.
As Drexler argues here in a CNN editorial about the memo what should matter most is, “how women perform their jobs, and not which shoes they happened to choose that morning.”
Earlier this month I ran across a video that was both hilarious and true but also raised a couple of questions regarding men and how we perceive women’s dressing. This article posted by the Huffington Post shows what happens when men wear leggings, also known as “yoga pants.” It is hilarious but also shows how as men, we have to do better. The fact that a woman is wearing form fitting clothing doesn’t mean that we have the right to look at said woman with sexual intentions and if you choose to do so be prepared for any and everything that could follow.
Here’s an example of what Barbie would look like if she reflected average measurements. The creator of these photos asks, “If there’s even a small chance of Barbie in its present form negatively influencing girls, and if Barbie looks good as an average-sized woman in America, what’s stopping Mattel from making one?”
The article draws from a blog published by artist Nickolay Lamm – another example of an “everyday” person bringing national attention to a gender-related issue via social media.
Here is a link to an article about the young boy who decided to dress as Daphne for Halloween one year. The blog the mother wrote about it is also very interesting – both the blog and the comments responding to her give insight into how closely many people believe gendered norms should be followed, as well as the assumptions people make about sexuality and decisions to act outside of gendered norms.
After reading about parenting and nonverbal forms of communication, you all will appreciate this funny video of a little girl discussing her opinion of the way toys are marketed to girls and boys!
This is a great example of how people can challenge gendered norms and how parents/other significant role models can help shape children’s gendered identities. I’m sure that someone had been talking to little Riley about playing with different types of toys before this video was shot! It’s a great example of how we can make differences in children’s lives.