Reading Analysis #3 How women are portrayed in the media

Corinne Anderson
Professor Tracy Penny Light
History 2480
September 17, 2017

Reading Analysis Week # 3

     While reading the articles, “Women’s Depiction by the Mass Media” by G. Tuchman and Susan Bordo’s “Never Just Pictures”, it got me thinking; The media is both obsessed and pretending not to care about how women are portrayed. Focusing on women’s body in fashion then turning around and shutting women down when they fight for accurate representations by shoving images of traditional roles of women down their throats on the TV.

Bordo zeroes in on the issues of the modelling world and the health complications that come with it, and how the fashion industry bringing thinner and thinner models has changed the average girl’s perspective of themselves; “If she can look like that, then why shouldn’t I?”  Tuchman on the other hand describes the media’s focus on making the woman be noticed only when needed, such as in housecleaning ads but not where it matters most, an accurate depiction of a woman in a non-traditional role, perhaps as a CEO of a sprawling company or a heavy-duty mechanic elbow deep inside an engine. Tuchman touches on that depicting women in office roles has happened but only in a manner that compares her to the man, where she wears a business suit and forcefully makes her way to the top instead of focusing on her character or her abilities and how she is a driving force behind the company.

Both of the articles bring up the issue of women in roles that do not accurately depict feasible roles for other women to follow suit. Not all women are models, but the media likes for us to think that we ( the average person) can be like the models on TV, and fit the clothes and fit the lifestyle. On that note, this issue brings up the problem with the influence on young girls. Girls as young as eight are doing their makeup like the stars on Instagram, wearing crop tops and tight clothes like their favourite celebrities and changing their personalities to better match like their favourite youtube stars. Is this just children being children and copying what they see or is this a deeper much more complex issue that should be addressed? How can children understand that it’s okay to be different when they’re being influenced by social media or even traditional media? I’m not sure of the answer, though I believe that there should be a boundary laid down as it teaches girls an unhealthy image of themselves to be something they are not.

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