The Beauty Myth: The Sexualization Of Women

1393 Words 6 Pages
“Inside the majority of the West’s controlled, attractive, successful working women, there is a secret ‘underlife’ poisoning our freedom; infused with notions of beauty, is a dark vein of self-hatred, physical obsessions, terror of aging, and dread of lost control” (Wolf 10). In today’s media, women are consistently sexualized and degraded through advertisements, music videos, movies, etc. and utilized to sell products and catch attention in the media. Black women, specifically, are sexualized and degraded in different ways and more often than white women. The media highlights women’s sexuality over the other important aspects and presents their bodies as objects to be consumed. Naomi Wolf in The Beauty Myth opens up this topic of how media …show more content…
Porn is another way that the media sexualizes and degrades women, and it works through placing women into submissive roles below men. Even in advertisements shown on television, “…the man in the couple is situated as upright, taller, stronger, richer, bolder, and colder” and the woman “often has glazed eyes and is unsteady, usually due to the shoes she is wearing and/or because she is tilting to one side, jutting out one hip…” (Caputi, 2015:374). Frequently in music videos, women are shown as the sexual object being centered on or as the sexy lady hanging all over the dominant male of the video. This happens most often in rap music videos, and it is most often women of color. Caputi also points out that “girl-girl” porn is created for the enjoyment of “homophobic, straight-identified men who want to watch women ‘degrade’ themselves by performing especially ‘dirty’ or taboo sex” (Caputi, 2015:379). In order to make women into a commodity to be consumed, women are “objectified” or “to treat that person as your property, to deny him or her autonomy and use him or her as a tool for your own purposes, to make that person into a kind of consumable object or replacement commodity” (Caputi, 2015:380). In popular advertisements today, men are often shown as dominating …show more content…
Women, in general, are constantly sexualized by the media, but black women are sexualized in a different way (Caputi, 2015:379). They are often placed in exotic settings, such as the jungle, and made to look animalistic, sometimes by wearing animal print and being posed in an animalistic way (Caputi, 2015:379). Caputi discusses Alice Walker’s observation that “while white women are represented as ‘objects’ in pornography, Black women are represented as ‘shit’” (Caputi, 2015:379). Women of color are often displayed in a “dirty” way that suggests that they are unclean in comparison to white women (Caputi, 2015:379). An example that Caputi gives is of Rihanna in her photo spread for Esquire’s “sexiest woman alive” (Caputi, 2015:379). Rihanna is posed outdoors and completely undressed and “dirt is clinging to her skin, and she is covered with sticks and other sorts of debris, even what looks like wet seaweed” (Caputi, 2015:379). She is sexualized, but at the same time made to look unclean (Caputi,

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