John Berger Portrayal Of Women Analysis

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John Berger suggests that the portrayal of women has been largely geared toward the male viewer – so much so that the way a woman appears in the eyes of men defines her (Berger, 49).
Emphasis is placed by Berger on the appearance of women, more so than their actions and discourse (Berger, 49-52). Berger also writes about the use of ‘visual cues’ in assisting with information interpretation and how we make sense of messages being conveyed to us (Berger,
49-52). The author argues that we rely on our sight to make judgements, and appeal to the sight of audience members to transmit ideas; he also posits that women have been largely objectified throughout history in the form of artwork, music, film, and other media (Berger, 49-52).
The popular culture
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One aspect of popular culture that Berger seems to overlook is its fluid nature; popular culture is constantly in flux and shifting along with the population it represents (Cocarla, “Foundations of
Popular Culture + Ways of Seeing”). There is hope of representations of women changing and social stigma around fat bodies being successfully addressed, challenged and overcome, however slim that chance may be – and this is what Berger fails to capture (Cocarla, “Foundations of
Popular Culture + Ways of Seeing”). I personally find his assessment of popular culture to be not only incomplete or misleading but also dangerous; while it may be true that, traditionally, ‘men act and women appear’ (Berger, 50) it is dangerous to portray this as a losing battle because then young people may lack motivation to address the shortcomings of society and fail to become activists in favor of positive change (Cocarla, “Foundations of Popular Culture + Ways of
Seeing”). As Lam notes, there are, against all odds, women brave enough to take on the judgement and scrutiny of society at large and challenge common notions of beauty, to

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