How Women Are Portrayed in Media Essay

6776 Words Jan 27th, 2013 28 Pages
Common female stereotypes found in the media have a powerful influence over how society views women and how women view themselves.
What is the media portrayal of women today and how does this impact how young girls perceive themselves? With programs such as The Bachelor and Flavor of Love showing a dozen women competing for the attention of one man, often using their sexuality, magazine ads displaying a half-naked female body to sell a fragrance or cosmetic product, and television commercials highlighting a woman's thigh and butt to sell sneakers, it may be difficult for society not to be influenced by the overwhelming message to objectify women.
Negative Female Stereotypes
Female stereotypes in the media tend to undervalue women as a
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In commercials directed at young girls, half mentioned physical attractiveness. As a result of these and other similar trends, both boys and girls describe female characters as "domestic, interested in boys, and concerned with appearances." Both young girls and teenagers are increasingly concerned with their weight and unhappy with their bodies.
Stereotypes in the media inevitably affect our culture, especially the young. As Susan Fiske, professor of Psychology at Princeton University and researcher of stereotyping and discrimination, says, "stereotyping exerts control or power over people, pressuring them to conform; therefore, stereotyping maintains the status quo." To help combat the influence of negative female stereotypes in the media, and therefore help not only girls, but all of society transcend these limiting expectations, it is important to expose our children to positive role models and to let young girls know just how amazing they are and always will be.
Sources:
"Media and Girls." (Media Awareness Network).
"Sex and Relationships in the Media." (Media Awareness Network).
Durik, Amanda and Janet Shibley Hyde. "Psychology of Women and Gender in the 21st Century." (University of Wisconsin).
"Media's Effect on Girls: Body Image and Gender Identity." (National Institute on Media and the Family).
The role of media is crucial to the issue of violence against women, both in terms of how media cover (and often distort) the issue, and how media may be

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