Art free essay: Positive and Negative Effects of Media on Women
Positive and Negative Effects of Media on Women
The media, just like any other modern business in the market today, has evolved as a market responsive industry where commercial success is measured in terms of revenue. Oblivious of the social roles that the industry plays in a direct manner, the influence it has created has changed perceptions of many regarding various topics touched (Lambiase and Reichert 173). Both positive and negative contribution can be isolated from the industry which has grown to be one of the most influential in the current civilization. With the advent of information technology, the media has particularly made huge steps in thumping its authority as a powerful social tool. Among the most important trajectories of direct interaction with the human society, gender issues have been brought out in the limelight, likewise in both positive and negative ways. Portrayal of women on the media is a theme that can conspicuously be established from the industry, with women falling on both extremes of the experiences created by the media. This discourse isolates the effects of media on women through various channels of the industry such as the television and the internet among others.
According to the Media Awareness Network (1), it is clear that the economic benefits that the media makes out of the use of the woman’s body has been strong to overshadow any resistance from pro women rights groups. Commercialization of the female body across the industries has converged at the media which has in turn made great strides to avert criticism thereon. Contempt of the human female has not only portrayed her as an object for use by the commercial sector but has also represented her as a business player through the media appearances. These mixed reactions have left the audience in a divided front, torn between the image created of the woman’s body use and economic benefits for the women.
On a positive note, television and magazines have influenced the perception held about women regarding beauty (Lambiase and Reichert 145). Magazines for instance produce high quality images of women to highlight a rare aspect of beauty either naturally or artificially (54). Through such media tools, perception of women as beauty agents cannot be changed in the current civilization to be replaced by the other gender. The most powerful influence that the woman’s body makes is perhaps that representing her as a beautiful creature, making magazines and television to replace any other way of representation of beauty with beautiful women images. Such image enhancements represent any woman, however ugly, as beautiful as beauty itself. Commercial adverts usually attach such media beauty to most of their projects where beautiful women appearance dominates.
Television and magazines representation of the woman as an ideal fact of beauty has a negative impact to the perception generated thereon. The attachment of descriptions such as sexy has extrapolated the beauty notion to a depiction of women as sex objects. In nearly all of the appearances that these beautiful women make on these media platforms, revealing dressing and some suggestive language also accompany the portrayal. Even if the general female population might respond in a positive envious commercial output as intended by the media, the social impact generated is negative by all reasonable standards. Besides corrupting the minds of their male counterparts by generation of erotic stimulation, the rest of the women population also gets affected upon realization of how ideal and unachievable that image represents the woman’s body (Nascarbabe 1).
Cases of women fighting their natural body shape to fit into the ideal woman represented on the magazines and television have been reported. This has attracted the attention of scholarly input to the extent that objectification theory was developed; women personalize the opinion of their observers and internalize it on themselves (Greening 1). Eating disorders have been reported in young women who want to emulate the image of a woman as represented by the media. Skinny women are generally used to depict beauty and the standard is erroneously used by some sections of the population to force the ideal beauty only to end in adverse results (McCarter 1). The author (2) describes magazines as idealistic than realistic with women images headed towards representation of complete nudity. Celebrities who belong to a class of extraordinary women featuring the most in magazines are an illustration of how idealistic they have become.
Alternatively, the internet on the other hand has taken over pretty quickly, the role of the ordinary media with a slightly more vigor than before. Continued innovation of the digital age can guarantee the media of an ever increasing enhanced portrayal of whichever topic that appears on the internet (Lambiase and Reichert 248). The convenience that the internet contributes to the media today is a transcript of the share that gender topic gets today. Internet depicts the image of a woman on one hand as a powerful figure with unlimited influential value while a picture of ridicule and objectification outfit ironically stands consciously on the other hand. The internet is perhaps the most instrumental in representing women openly as objectified gender than any other media platform. The greatest portion of commercial adverts appearing on the internet seems to portray women bodies as commercial tools. Negative extremes of nudity and pornography on the internet clearly present women as victims of manipulation and abuse by their male counterparts.
Additionally, nearly every billboard on the roadsides today contains gendered images, with women also portrayed as influential media personalities of the platform. In Lucas (1), the author presents several photographs of billboards erected on various locations in Los Angeles, Las Vegas and some from the internet. From the author’s collection of photos, it can be said that the billboard as a media platform also depicts women in a certain way. Eroticism and objectification as depicted on various images can be said to contribute to negative portrayal of the woman’s body on the billboards (Lambiase and Reichert 118). Moreover, the author presents other several ways in which the media adversely taints the status of women in different scenes such as politics, socialization and sex among many others. The notion that women appearance on male products improves men’s appeal to women illustrates how adverts on the media can manipulate the woman for commercial gains.
“Media Portrayals of Girls and Women: Introduction” Media Awareness Network, 2010. Web. http://www.media-awareness.ca/english/issues/stereotyping/women_and_girls/ (accessed 26 March 2011)
Greening, Kacey D. “The Objectification and Dismemberment of Women in the Media.” Capital University, n.d. Web. http://www.kon.org/urc/v5/greening.html (accessed 26 March 2011)
Lambiase, Jacqueline & Reichert, Tom. Sex in advertising: perspectives on the erotic appeal. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc., Publishers, 2003. Print
Lucas, Scott A. “Genderads: Females in Ads; Gendered Billboards.” n.d. Web. http://www.ltcconline.net/lukas/gender/pages/billboards.htm (accessed 26 March 2011)
McCarter, Kathleen. “Negative Effects of Media on Women.” associatedcontent.com, 2 Dec 2009. Web, http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/2444226/negative_effects_of_media_on_women_pg7.html?cat=5 (accessed 26 March 2011)
Nascarbabe, “The Media: Distorting Our Perception of Beauty.” mattbarton.net, last modified 27 November 2006. Web. http://www.mattbarton.net/tikiwiki/tiki-index.php?page=Effects+of+Media+portrayal+of+women (accessed 26 March 2011)
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