Sunday, October 18, 2015

Sexism and Gender Roles

Sexism and Gender Roles Depicted in the Media 
Unlearning Myths that Bind Us

   Although over the past 100 years the standards of beauty have changed one thing hasn't. Boys and girls are told at an early age that they are supposed to be beautiful in order to attain success. Christensen feels that Disney movies, cartoons, fairy tales, and romantic movies all make girls think that their objective in life is to find a man who is not only attractive but also makes a lot of money. In order find that man the girl must be beautiful. She is expected to be thin, have beautiful hair, nails, and teeth, she has to smell beautiful and wear pretty dresses. Girls also are expected to have nice jewelry. All of these things force a girl to be what she may not necessarily be and makes her have to become an avid consumer.
    These unfair expectations are also present for boys. Boys are expected to be strong, handsome, smart, masculine, as well as wealthy. Boys are taught to play with Tonka Trucks and just like how girls play with Barbies, boys play with action figures. Boys and girls are strongly influenced by the toys that they play with. Most children depict what they aspire to be through toys. Boys play with GI Joes and a lot of the time they want to look like a GI Joe or pretend they are in the military. Girls play with Barbies and dream of being as beautiful as Barbie.
    After children are done playing with toys they begin to be influenced by the media as they become adults. Teenage girls start reading Cosmo and see these beautifully photoshopped photos of celebrities with captions underneath them telling the reader that they too can be beautiful. The truth is that not everyone looks like Jenifer Aniston or Kim Kardashian. In fact, the pictures you see on the magazine covers are merely representations of the people they are portraying rather than real photos.
     Men start to try their best to emulate their idols as well. Boys often times will try to look just like their favorite football player, or maybe they want to look like their favorite body builder, or action movie hero, or their favorite actor. Boys will begin to have body dysmorphia issues just like women do but in a totally different way that is completely misunderstood. Men are expected to be confident, masculine, and strong both physically and mentally. However, not all men fit these norms. Not every man is going to be strong, not all men will be wealthy and they obviously aren't all smart. Yet we are not supposed to talk about our inadequacies because we are supposed to be mentally strong as well.

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