Since some of our recent class presentations, I had been thinking about the line between women feeling confident and unrestricted about their bodies, but also only having a small range of body types that we typically see on social media with this type of #empowerment. Is it really empowered if only young women with small waists and large breasts/butts get to flaunt it? And, does being celebrated for their bodies yet again direct attention to “appearance matters” as a more important sign of value than their actual capabilities and character?
The New York Post recently ran an editorial on the Kim Kardashian naked selfies that stated, “Whenever a woman suggests, explicitly or implicitly, that her worth or value or power comes from her appearance, she loses. Women everywhere lose. And feminism, the kind that taught that a woman’s life is not about her body, loses, too.”
On the other hand, if we had more men, women, and people who are intersexed of all ages, shapes, sizes, and gender identities posting, and those people were celebrated instead of shamed, then perhaps the whole idea of “appearance matters” would lose it power for women. Because if everyone’s appearance was considered one of many interesting and unique parts of who they are, then we could celebrate the whole person.
Check out this Tumblr #redefiningrealness that is trying to do exactly this! I’d love to see that get as much attention as Kim Kardashian.
What do you think?
This is an interesting article about how a number of men and women celebrities who have been body shamed for both being “too skinny” or “too fat.” Prison Break star Wentworth Miller is particularly interesting because he breaks norms of masculinity described in chapter 7. He discusses his depression, an issue commonly faced by many men, but one that often is not talked about publicly.
Miller responds to a meme that went viral mocking his weight gain.
Of course, my favorite response is Amy Schumer’s! But, you’ll have to check out the article to get her take on it.
When scrolling through my Instagram I came across this post from American Eagle advertising their new product under Aerie. This is a store owned by American Eagle that sells pajamas, underwear, and workout clothes. I, at first, thought the long haired individual was a women but when he turned around I was surprised to find out that he was a man selling men underwear.
*click video to view commercial*
This video first caught my attention because Aerie is both advertising male and female undergarments, whereas many stores you can just find one for each gender. Another aspect of this video that caught my attention is the model in the video. In the TED talk “Looks Aren’t Everything: Believe Me I’m a Model done by Cameron Russell she talks about how she won in the genetic lottery. She also states that models are taught to be a sexy girl. She also states that we, as a society, has define beauty as being tall and slender. It was very refreshing to see an underwear model that was not the “typical” model. This model had a bigger butt, bust, and does not have a thigh gap. I know this commercial is about Aerie making men underwear and it’s great that this company is not just targeting women, but its also great that this company is using “normal” body figures in women and men.
What do you think?
We’ve talked recently about how it feels to be a woman walking down the street regardless of the time. It’s honestly scary and potentially dangerous because, well, I am woman. It would be unfair to claim that all men bark these absurd remarks and inappropriate gestures to women walking by just as it would be false to assume that all women find it attractive. Videos like these bring attention to the “silent” harassment that happens everyday and I say “silent” because harassment like this go unseen, and worse, unacknowledged. Or if it is acknowledged women are berated for “overreacting” and being “stuck up” or “too good”.
This video shows a woman walking through all sects of NYC for 10 hours not speaking a word, simply recording the reactions around her (the comments under the video are worth a read).
I believe that more videos like these should be created to show that cat-calling does not only happen in cities but in all environments. Maybe people would pay more attention and take an active stand if they knew that the clerk at the grocery store wasn’t just checking out prices.
Within an article found in People, a woman in NYC was catcalled, followed and told she had “good legs” when she was fully covered, wearing a long parka and tall boots. Her Instagram picture has gone viral as she highlights on the sickening perceptions that individuals place on a woman’s body, and their appearance.
Christen Brandt’s story, pleads for the realization that the female body is often assumed to be sexual and sensual, despite what the woman chooses to wear or how she wishes to look. Often times people attribute femininity to showing skin or wearing sexy outfits, however this article displays that a woman can still receive negative gestures even if they are fully clothed and not showing any skin at all.
There is no media outlet that is not discussing Caitlyn Jenner’s reveal. Its an inspiration and movement of acceptance for our society and the transgender community. The level of acceptance has been overwhelming. In this video I have found Jon Stewart breaks down the discussions about Caitlyn and realizes some deep issues for her and all women. People immediately began talking about her appearance using sexual words to describe her body and look. The media then went on to talk about how there must be Photoshop used and the outfits made her look better. They also compared other women to her, as well as talked about her appearance according to her age. Jon Stewart commented on this saying “of course people can not lift a woman up without tearing another down” and “yes go ahead and remind her she has an expiration date on her beauty”. He also compares how she was talked about before her transition, people use to talk about her accomplishments as Bruce, and now its her outward appearance. Here is a transgender individual opening up in hopes of raising awareness and being honest with her struggle with gender identity and the media has to analyze and comment on every aspect of the way she looks. There is an upside to this, she is being treated equally as a woman, the media does this for women left and right. They are depicted as sex objects or torn apart for their appearance not fitting the societal norms of physical attractiveness. Jon Stewart ended it perfectly saying, “welcome to being a woman in America”.
What do you all think? Did you pick up on this in the medias coverage? I did not, and enjoyed seeing this perspective. Do you feel this is how the media treats women in the media usually? Do you feel these pressures from the media or society? Were these the thoughts you had when first seeing her reveal?
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.
As I look through my Facebook news feed yesterday and today one of the popular things I am seeing is the Meghan Trainor video. Trainor has a song out now called “Dear Future Husband.” Within this song she is telling her “future husband” how to treat her right just by following a few simple things, like making sure that he gives her flowers every anniversary. The song goes on just listing things that he should follow so he can treat her like a lady. To me though she was a little demanding with all the things she wants just so that her future husband can treat her like a lady. Yeah it would be nice for those things but all females want their future husbands to treat them right in their own way. I also think that the way she is dressed and dancing shows a little to “sexy” for mass media. I thought that some of the outfits that she had on were low cut and tight which could be shown to be sexy during the music video. Also with this video it can be a little sexist because you have a woman her asking things to be treated right by her future husband but what about the men? They are also need to be treated right by his wife, so where is his video?
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?
One of my favorite collection of photos is by photographer Meg Allen, based out of San Francisco. The gallery titled “BUTCH” is described on Allen’s website as
“an environmental portraiture project and exploration of the butch aesthetic, identity and presentation of female masculinity as it stands in 2013-14. It is a celebration of those who dwell outside of the stringent social binary that separates the sexes and a glimpse into the private and often unseen spaces of people who exude their authentic sense of self.”
Meg Allen was one of the very first individuals that I thought of when I was first informed about the Gender Watch blog. There is something so beautiful and interesting about her work that allows us to step into the lives of the individuals represented in our discussions. I simply had to share and I hope you enjoy her work as much as I do.