A perfect woman? Impossible…

As a society, we love the media. Sometimes it seems like entertainment is the only reason to live. (Grey’s Anatomy…Hero’s…come on!) However, sometimes we have to question certain myths and stereotypes that arises that inevitability affect our society. Dr. Mary-Lou Galician’s text, “Love Sex & Romance in the Media,” once again focuses on a stereotype that has affected our society for ages.

“To attract and keep a man, a woman should look like a model or a centerfold.”

Courtesy from Maxim.comIn entertainment, there are beauties galore. From the fashion world, to movies, TV, book covers … even the hand models for lotion. It’s a huge stereotype that has affected real-life relationships and self-perception resulting in hazardous health and depression.

According to Dr. Galician’s text, “Unrealistic Playboy-style pictures of attractive women can have attitudinal and behavioral effects on men and on their real-life relationships. Real women can’t measure up to these seemingly real fantasies.” Unfortunately, this also affects young girls who feel they have to grow up to a certain irrational standard of beauty. On the flip-side, young males are also depicted as having to always have muscular body-builder bodies as oppose to feminized male physique.

Dr. Galician did a survey at Arizona State University on this particular question. Very few men or women agree that woman should look like a model or centerfold to attract and hold a man. As a result, within those small percentages men are far more likely to agree (around 15%-compared with only around 3% of the women).

Courtesy from USATODAY.com

Photo on the left by By Bru Garcia, AFP/Getty Images. USATODAY .com said the picture is of models who were to wait backstage during a Madrid fashion week. The Madrid fashion show, which ended Saturday, banned overly thin models, saying it wanted to project beauty and health. Organizers said models had to be within a healthy weight range.

USATODAY.com wrote an article asking if thin models warped girls’ body image. An excerpt from the article said, “The promotion of the thin, sexy ideal in our culture has created a situation where the majority of girls and women don’t like their bodies,” says body-image researcher Sarah Murnen, professor of psychology at Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio. “And body dissatisfaction can lead girls to participate in very unhealthy behaviors to try to control weight.”

For the folks that absolutely have to look like the cover model or the actresses on TV, there are actually self-help websites, blogs, books that say, “How to look like a Model.”

One blogger posted several pictures of celebrities without their make-up trying to prove how powerful make-up can be. This posted received a comment from an anotomyous blogger who said,

“Totally true. Plus a good hairstylist, good lighting, and good photography can make anyone look, if not glamorous, at least arty. When I was a kid, my father did some professional photography (really high quality stuff). He made everyone look beautiful or, for those with atypical proportions, visually striking. And I still use some of the tricks I picked up during a brief modeling stint 30 some years ago. Even now, I can look much “hotter” than I really am, though it takes more effort than I usually care for.”

Another blogger from NYC posts her own experiance. She wrote, “I wish I could believe that appearances don’t really matter, but we all know they do.” She goes on and mentions an encounter with a friend who constantly apologized for not looking as “hot” as she used to. She wrote, “After eighteen years of marriage, the wife of this ridiculously ripped man kept prefacing sentences with, “I know it’s hard to believe, but I was a catch when he found me” or “I used to be much thinner”. She felt like she had to apologize to the world for her appearance, even though she had found a beautiful man to love her. Now, no one rolls out of bed looking perfect.

Nicely put.

After the recent post, Cristina, a blogger, posted a comment in reaction to what I had to say:

Comment: “Gee, well…. it’s really hard. But I’ve started to accept my body, even though I can’t say it out loud, I just think I do. I’ve suffered from Anorexia since age 14 (I’m 27 now and recently entered treatment last June) and sure the media does tell women how they should look and how it will make them happy and crap. But it’s all a lie.”

Here’s my question to Cristina’s response:

Q: I’m glad you are in treatment and started to accept your body. If you don’t mind me asking, was one of the reason why you suffered from Anorexia as a young girl due to what you saw from the media?

America and the New Times … all rolled into one

Amazing how the last few weeks have been for the media in United States, huh? I would like to start off by saying I intern at the Phoenix New Times and am proud to see all this jazz go down in history.

Courtesy from Phoenix New Times The media are all around us, and most of the times we take the media for granted. One example of a medium would be the press. Just recently, the Phoenix New Times published a cover page article titled “Breathtaking Abuse of the Constitution” last week on details from a secret grand jury proceeding, knowing full well it would be illegal to do so. (The title says it all, doesn’t it?)

Writers and founders of the Phoenix New Times, Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin wrote in the beginning of the article, “It is, we fear, the authorities’ belief that what you are about to read here is against the law to publish. But there are moments when civil disobedience is merely the last option. We pray that our judgment is free of arrogance.”

In a nutshell, Sheriff Joe Arpaio sued the Phoenix New Times for publishing his home address in 2004 online since it is illegal in the state of Arizona to publish a law enforcement officer’s address Web. Since then it has escalated to both executives Lacey and Larkin being arrested after publishing details of a grand jury investigation, including a subpoena demanding information about readers of that paper’s Web site going back more than three years.

What’s interesting is the response our society has to this case since it was made public.

According to EditorandPublisher.com, “Many member papers of the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies (AAN) are now providing links on their Web sites that inform readers to online sites which list the home address of Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio. They say they are doing this in solidarity with the Phoenix New Times.”

Every news medium is talking about freedom of the press, and interestingly enough, those who have never read, or have not supported the New Times have shown their opinions too.

Courtesy from courier-journal.comSome comments from the New Times article were:

“I was never a loyal reader to New Times, but this whole issue will make me the most loyal reader you have. I’m going to spread the word!”

“I support New Times 100% on this, and I am a conservative Republican. …. I was never a loyal reader to New Times …”

This reader has officially changed his political party (almost):

“I am a Republican and past supporter of Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Sadly, I also voted for Andrew Thomas in the last election. Sorry. (Voted for Dan Saban for Sheriff, though, phew!) I think the song from The Who best describes how I feel right now: “Won’t get fooled again”. Who am I voting for in the next election??? Anybody but Joe Arpaio and Andrew Thomas. That’s who!”

It’s interesting to see some people actually change their views based on one article they have read and from what they have learned from the news and online.

One blogger agrees how our society revolves around the media. She wrote, “We live in a fascinating world. It is a world of constant technological innovation, a world where the culture is created by creative advertisements and information is accessible with the click of a button. Media drives our economy, provides entertainment and supplies access to information. It plays an important role in our daily lives and influences the choices the make in whatever we do or buy.”

Love at First Sight … is it really?

Oh media … how I love thee. *sighs*

It is the oldest love myth we’ve all come to love and question.

Is there such a thing as “love at first sight?”

I’ve come to love Dr. Galician’s research and once again, she nails it on the head. The media in all forms likes to convey this myth to the popular culture. Why? Sex sells. Emotion sells. Excitement sells. Plus they’re far easier to portray and for the audience to follow then the slow progression of love.

A university survey towards men and women asked if there is such a thing as “love at first sight.” Half agreed and the other didn’t. The point is HALF did believe in the myth. On Bizjournal.com, they took an excerpt from the book “100% AMERICAN” by Daniel Evan Weiss and published by Poseidon Press. From that book there was a question of “love at first sight” and the statistic showed 57% women believed in the love myth.

Dr. Galician mentions how the media would convey this myth by camera angles, panning in and out on the character slowly making the scene dramatic with emotion. Course we can’t forget the multiple books, movies, music and shows on TV that has helped society underestimate what love is.

Courtesy of cartoonstock.comHere are some examples of “love at first sight” courtesy of the text “Love, Sex, & Romance in the Media.”

Books – Gone with the Wind, Romeo & Juliet

Movies – Red of Roses; Cinderella; Snow White … Bambie…etc; City of Angels; Coming to America; Footloose; The French Lieutenant’s Woman; Moulin Rouge; Notting Hill; Out of Sight; Romeo & Juliet; South Pacific; Serendipity; Titanic; Wayne’s World; The Wedding Planner; West Side Story

Recorded Music – Bewitched, Bothered, & Bewildered; I Love You; I Saw Her Standing There; Just One Look (That’s All It Took); Lady in Red; Love at First Sight; Love in the Library

Television - 90210; Dharma & Greg; Family Matters; Full House; Mad About You; Melrose Place; Saved by the Bell; Sex and the City; Passions; Grey’s Anatomy

Here’s a blogger who as absolute faith in “love at first sight.” This blogger has been hearing “lust at first sight more often but won’t deny that she still has faith, in fact she says, “I don’t see why you can’t fall in love at first sight. I guess I’ve always been a believer in it and no one has been able to change my mind about it.”

There is one blogger who absolutely thinks “love at first sight” is a “crock of poop” in fact she says, “love at first sight is a shallow statement and should honestly be erased from the world’s vocabulary.” Gotta love that.

Male superiority is reinforced in the media…

 

 

To reflect on our society’s couple relationship is to see the new modern era of equality, open mindedness and communication. But with the new will always come with at least some of the old.

Dr. Mary-Lou Galician at Arizona State University also stated another common stereotype in her textbook, “Sex, Love & Romance in the Media,” that said:

“The man should NOT be shorter, weaker, younger, poorer, or less successful than the woman.”

A quote Galician pulled from Late Nite with David Letterman:

“Well, I can wear heels now.”

-Nicole Kidman, discussing her split from Tom Cruise

Galician speaks of the myth for male superiority in romantic relationships and how in our mass media, the myth is reinforced even in nonfiction entertainment forms like the news: A news anchor “couple” is practically always an older man with a younger woman. They’re hardly ever the same age, much less an older/younger man duo.

Interestingly enough, Galician did a survey with her Love Quiz with male and female university students and by a 4:1 ratio (80% disagree/20% agree) both sexes deny they believe in male-female inequality in relationships.

Typically as the sand in the hourglass fades away and new ideas and thoughts are brought up, old traditional views, such as the male superiority would fade and equality would reign.

Surprisingly, it’s the opposite.

Based on Galician’s survey, she found that the Generation Xers were more likely than the older Baby Boomers to believe in the stereotypical myth. She gives credit to our current forms of music videos, which tend to portray patriarchal couple ship and objectified females.

Male donmiance? This picture is just a photo I found. By analyzing the photo, the couple seems happy. To look closer, the male is sitting higher than the female, holding her all while looking straight at the camera. As for the female, she is crossed leg with her arms crossed and looking up at him, almost for approval. It’s just a photo, but these are the types of pictures in our media that displays male superiority instead of the ever searching equality.

This photo is actually from someone’s photo album (who I believe is a photographer) and purposefully posed this couple to show male dominace.

The photographer, Andre, wrote, “This is a great photo of social commentary. Its a classic pose, one that shows male dominance over his woman and that the woman knows her place. The man with eyes looking forward, arms around his property, tells others to back off. The woman, whose head is tilted up and eyes gazing on her man, shows that she is OK with being the subservient one. If nothing else, the artist has suggested his view of Man as King is alive and well in today’s society.”

How Real Is “Reality” TV?

Reality shows are one of the major TV shows Americans run to their TV set for their regular guilty pleasure fix.

But how real is reality TV?

Courtesy from prblog.typepad.comThere are so many different types of reality show it’s actually kind of funny. The thing is, the only way these shows are created is if there will be a high rating of viewers.

What’s interesting is that some reality shows are a release for some viewers as a way to escape their daily lives. For some, these reality shows are a way to connect with the outside world and realized that their own lives aren’t as dysfunctional as they thought.

Not to mention the shows that is about self-improvement, such as “What Not to Wear,” or “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy.” The viewers that watch these shows may want to take the shows advice or change how their house looks from the show, “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.”

However, a lot of the shows undergo tons of editing and in order to make each episode stand out, the editors would have to edit the reel enough to make it dramatic … making the end result manipulative and … not so real.

If you do like reading about the current going-ons in reality television, here’s a blog that is dedicated to just that.

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