Dissertation: Women and Media Stereotyping

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Dissertation: Women and Media Stereotyping

 

The process of stereotyping has become very common. It was previously done to reduce complications by categorizing people of similar characteristics, language or color into the same category. However, in the recent years it has become a rather negative term as it assumes certain people to act in a particular way. Basically stereotyping is done by generalizing a person holding similar values or opinions into a group. This is a threat to individualism. Every person is different and has the right to act in any way they want without being judged. The mass media has been the major source behind this unrealistic stereotyping. The mass media has been influencing the minds of people from a very long time. The increase in the viewership of television and increase in the activity on social media has led to the media becoming a strong entity. The values and opinions of the powerful people become the worldview as people are forced into accepting it. However, some religious fundamentalists and those who have no access to media, stay deterred on their own values. The media however creates unrealistic expectations for people of all ages. Expectations of beauty are created by models and celebrities who appear perfect on camera. The truth behind their perfection lays in cosmetic surgery and extraordinary Photoshop skills. Airbrushing is usually done on the cover pages of magazines, so that the celebrities can appear flawless.

This has resulted in women spending large amount of money on makeup so that they can cover their real skin and be more like what the society demands. Another example is of the Victoria’s Secret models. Not only are they gorgeous, but their body has unrealistic measurements. The way media portrays these women, such as Kim Kardashian (whose figure is the cause of cosmetic surgery and Botox); has created an inferiority complex among women. Women realize how ordinary they are and instead become self conscious of themselves.

The media is operated under a patriarchal system. Therefore, women are categorized into different types. If a woman spends time with men, she becomes a ‘whore’, whereas it is perfectly fit for a man to engage in such sexual acts. The men are then portrayed as ‘studs’ or ‘Casanovas’ which is portrayed as something very cool and powerful. On the other hand, women are insulted by being called whores as there is a social stigma attached to this. In a world where women empowerment and freedom laws are emerging, why are then such double standards experienced by women all across the world?

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