January 29, 2007

negative and positive

I am not exposed much to the pop culture because my parents are very traditional and we don't get to watch and do things outside of home that much. But what comes to my mind as I was trying to think of something for the negative images of women I realizd that most women in the music industries from MTV that my brother watch a lot were images of women depicting as sexual objects. Because almost every women in the background of some sort of music films wear cloths that covers only the part that were not suppose to be shown such as their boos, and their private parts. Which makes me wonder how come male singers not wear what they wanted their background women to wear as well. Because I see a lot of singers wearing just regular casual cloths but the women have to wear skin showing cloths just to be in a music video or be in the music film industries. And so far I can not think of any positive images of women at this time that match the standard of role model or providing positive thoughs and images that the youngs and people like me can follow. PLus I have not used blog before therefore, it took me quite a while just to figure how things work in this site. Adios

January 25, 2007

Positive & Negative Images of Women

Positive Images
Madonna-she was phenomenal when she arrived on the scene in the early 1980s. She left home at an early age and headed to New York City. She struggled tremendously and worked really hard and finally she made it. She has totally evolved-her music, her style, but don't we all as we mature and grow?
Hillary Clinton-she was an accomplished attorney for many years. Now in the political arena and a Senator of New York state. She has worked hard and endured much to achieve the success she has. I think it's wonderful that she has decided to run for President of the United States. She could very well become the first woman President of this great nation.
Negative Images
Paris Hilton and Nicole Ritche-both were born with a silver spoon in their mouths. Both are extremely stupid and way too thin. Why do they think it's okay to be rude and disrespectful to other people? They are without a doubt the most hideous women in mainstream media today.

January 23, 2007

Negative and Positve Images

Mainstream media is bombarded with negative imagery of women. From music videos to reality T.V. shows, women are depicted in a negative light. I was shocked when on myspace, I found a photo of my friends 14-year-old daughter on her (the 14-year-old’s) page in a pose that was very similar to a photo one would find in Maxim magazine. Posing in a suggestive manner, she was no doubt mimicking poses she herself has viewed in one of the fashion magazines she is subscribed to such as W magazine. Fashion magazines distort young girls concept on what beauty really is and music videos give them the idea that it’s okay to dress (or undress) a certain way. Celebrities, such as Brittany Spears, warp their perception on how to conduct themselves in public, while reality T.V., such as Flavor of Love, teaches them that there isn’t anything wrong with doing what you need to do to compete over a man. I was shown this vlog on youtube that I thought was appropriate in that it shows how photos are manipulated in order to get the desired results. This brings me to the first positive image, which is Dove’s real woman campaign. I love these photos. These photos are awesome in that each one show’s a variety of natural women in different sizes, shapes, and ethnicities. Another positive image of women in mainstream media is Angela Bassett. She always conducts herself in a manner that reflects her self-respect, which is commendable in a time when a lot of women with celeb status no longer care.

Women in the media have a double Edged sword lifestyle

Women who embody a positive image of women in the mainstream media are few and far between because if a woman projects a certain persona that can be admired and revered, she is typically on the receiving end of ridicule and scrutiny. When trying to find different women to fulfill the two categories I found that the only women in the first category typically are not famous for their beauty, but rather their merit and talent. It is certainly a cliché, that for some people this makes those women more beautiful than any physical beauty can compare to. The singer, Sheryl Crow, is a woman who overcame breast cancer and then went on to speak out about it as well as fundraise. She contributes her own money to the cause as well as helps other women who are currently suffering from the disease. She has put a face to the disease and made it know that breast cancer can affect anyone, even celebrities. The late Princess Diana was a woman of grace, beauty, and good will. The sad part of this situation is that in the mainstream media she was considered a target for gossip, which may have even been a cause of her untimely demise. But she was certainly a woman who millions looked to as a positive image of women.
To think about women who have a certain lifestyle that reflects poorly on women in general is a lot easier. Sadly, the feminist movement that women have worked so hard for seems to have been turned around. The most important things in popular culture and media are focused on who a woman is dating, what clothing she is wearing, and how skinny she is. Some women are merely famous for being beautiful and their careers follow based off of the belief that the woman will sell records or movies based off her popularity instead of her talent. Women like Lindsay Lohan who is famous for who her friends are or Nicole Riche who is famous for her years of struggle with drugs, poor choice of friends/relationships, and a history of eating disorders. These women make millions of dollars every year and the only thing that they truly represent is gluttony.
The number of Angelina Jolie could be considered a positive and negative image at the same time. The two seem mutually exclusive but she certainly has both traits. She has a history of bad decisions and is a focus in many tabloids. But she also is a world wide philanthropist who has helped starving children and people in destitute situations around the planet. She has even adopted two underprivileged third world children.



1. The Victoria's Secret ads for their P!nk Collection. This line of loungewear, pjs, and underwear looks to be aimed at teenagers, with the cutesy sayings and flashy colors, not to mention most of the models for this line don't look much older than 18.

I am convinced "pink" is referring to female genitalia, based on the sexual innuendo on some of the products. I remember being shocked by one of the sayings awhile ago, but of course can’t remember or find it now. I think they have since toned it down a bit, but here are a few examples from a recent catalog: "Love Pink", "True Pink Love", "Pink Royalty", "All I want is you", "I love kissing" (the latter two on panties). Another saying on panties was "you’re so forward", which implies that the girl wearing these panties is completely passive, and willing to go along with whatever her "forward" partner wants to do with her.

You could certainly argue with me that this is tame, Pink doesn’t necessarily refer to genitalia, and these products are aimed at college-aged girls. But you know that high school girls are going to be just as interested. And if an adult woman wants to flaunt her genitalia through innuendo on her clothes, go right ahead. Where I have the problem with it is when teenagers are doing it and not realizing what they may be implying. That is, that they are sexually available and they don’t know what it means.

I don't know whether this is the same thing that happens every generation, when the one that came before it can't believe what "kids these days" are wearing, or if the innuendo crosses a new line.

2. All of Hollywood seems to have come down with anorexia in the last few years. A few names that come to mind: Mary-Kate Olson, Lindsay Lohan, Nicole Richie.... I know there are many more. I am not blaming the individual women for having eating disorders, as no one with this disease has exactly chosen it. These women are just the byproduct of an appetite the media has developed for thinness, and also to some extent, eating disorders. Magazines are always speculating about who might have an eating disorder. Eating disorders sell magazines and Hollywood gossip shows. This only inflates the problem by giving more media real estate to emaciated women. The more images of this we are exposed to, the less shocking and more normative the image of emaciation becomes.


1. The band Le Tigre/frontwoman Kathleen Hannah. A fantastic role model for girls. She brings feminism back into style through punk rock. In her music she confronts issues affecting women today. Her words attack problematic societal conventions yet make the listener feel like a part of a revolution. Altogether, the music has the combined appeal of humor, intelligence, contemporary issues, cutting edge music, and great style. You should check out their website at

2. Kate Winslet has always been known for having a body type that doesn't follow the trend of wispy waif that seems so in-style today. She is more voluptuous, and I would say more sexy. Her prominence in many big movies helps counter some of the media real estate that skinny women take up. It’s ironic that the smaller a woman is, the more space she gets to take up in magazines.

Why Does Paris Hilton Get To Tell Us What's Hot?

As a psychology major with a particular interest in eating disorders, I often ask myself, why does the media show such negative images of women? If the images, shows, dolls, movies, fashion portrayed real life people we surely would see an increase in self-esteem and a decrease in eating disorders. But our relationship with the mainstream media is give and take. The media tells you what to think, what you should read, how you should look, and what you should care about and we, as the consumer, buy it. Please applaud the media for the growing popularity of cosmetic plastic surgery. For example TV shows such as the Ugly Duckling and Dr. 90210. . The media is teaching us that these "problem areas," which is code for areas of personal insecurity, can be instantly fixed or changed (that isn't to say that all plastic surgery falls under the category of superficial). It scares me to think that I might have to recite the phrase, "Well if she jumped off a bridge would you?" when I'm trying to convince my 12 year old daughter that it is unnecessary to get breast augmentation. What if society changed what was deemed as beautiful? What if Paris Hilton, (a rich, stuck up, dumb blonde and apparently a person that little girls want to grow up to be like), Jessica Simpson (same as Paris with a dabble of sweetness and a handful of ignorance), Brittany Spears (the media's girl next door turned sex appeal) Anna Nicole Smith, Pamela Anderson, Jennie McCarthy (names we know because of their breasts and body), Brittany Murphy, Hilary Duff, Nicole Richie (three girls that are media targets because of drastic weight loss) what if these women didn't spend 2-3 hours everyday in our homes. Would children start looking up to their parents as a positive image/role model? Why is the impossible image - 5ft 11 inch and 120 pounds- something that impressionable minds (for females both young and old) work so hard to obtain. The new slogans on how to look like a Model....
If you want to look like a model, Get On a Treadmill and Try to Run To The Closest City Near YOU!

ITS NEVER GOING TO HAPPEN and yet some people will die trying.
For the positive images of women in the mainstream media, I don't believe I have anything to give. I have seen so many people fall victim to trying to achieve a status, a look, popularity by attempting to become a mirror image of Hollywood that I, myself, have become so consumed in the negative that my eyes refuse to find the positive. Even if someone like Opera or Ellen are positive images of women, media is still that evil shadow that lurks behind these admirable people waiting for any opportunity to demonize, humiliate, and bully them.
I think that most of the positive people/images in the media mainstream are not in the mainstream at all. Everyone is so infatuated with the Paris Hilton's of the world, that people with real kindness and generosity get overlooked and cast aside (and yet I will point out my own hypocrisy as I am pointing out through out this blog all the negative people and failing at the task of finding the positive images/people).

Imagery in Music Videos

To limit my selection of images, I decided to choose musicians because images of them are easily accessible and because they have such influence on media. I searched for all of these videos, and it's free to watch, so do go to the site and 'search' these videos, because I'm afraid I'm not blog-savvy enough to post them directly!

Positive: Ani DiFranco! I watched the video which was from VH1 for "Little Plastic Castle." Ani DiFranco is a fantastic role model through her talent in writing and performing, business success and activism, just to name a few! I think what makes this clip fantastic is simply in the way she's DOing performance -- there is not the glitz and glamour, or, goodness, the gyration. Note her presentation of her body, as well as those of her band members. Also, the words of this song correspond to the topic of media hype, and everyday.
Positive: Pink. I don't know too much about her as an individual, but I have seen videos and heard lyrics of hers which challenge pop cultured women's norms as well as the media. I love her music video for "Stupid Girls" because it satires other women's roles in music videos. Also, I think the words of this song (as well as the images) really correlate with feminist issues (Pink Think, women in politics, cosmetic surgery), and the images especially, if only in shock value, say something borderline radical. I literally laughed out loud when I watched this video; I hope you all get a kick out of it too!
Note on negative images: watch the Pink video!! These following images were chosen especially because of Pink's satirical video -- you'll see why.
Negative: Women in 50 Cent music videos. A line in "Stupid Girls" goes something like, ' what happened to the dream of a girl president/ she's dancing in a video next to 50 cent.' After doing a little YouTube research, I sadly found that yes, women in 50 Cent videos are for show or gyrating. There's zero intellect value of women, and in one video I saw a woman seeming human for the moment for her emotional capacity, that is, her emotional capacity of comforting him. Any 50 Cent music video will do, or specifically "Candy Shop," which you'll actually need a log in to watch due to material inappropriate for under 18s. (Hmm.)
Negative: I picked Jessica Simpson's "These Boots Were Made For Walking" cover for my second negative image. There are hardly words to describe Maybe it's the horrendous realization that Barbie DOES exist in physical human form, maybe it's the grinding and pole-dancing moves she 'performs' as a "waitress" in a common southern "tavern," or maybe it's the "square dancing" which makes this as wretched as it is. But probably, it's the car-washing skit, which coincidentally is hilariously satired in Pink's "Stupid Girls." It's difficult to see a woman present herself in this way, with a smile on her face, especially compared with the presentation of, say, Ani DiFranco. I really wonder who wields the power in Jessica Simpson's career.

Positive and Negative Imagery of Women in the Media

Positive Female Role Models

Hilary Clinton- represents, in my opinion a positive image for women in the media and especially in politics. She supported her husbands political career while he was in office and is now taking time to concentrate on her own political agenda and if I’m not mistaken has expressed interest in running for president.

Angelina Jolie- is doing an excellent job demonstrating for her fans and the media a positive image in society as a UN Ambassador and by taking an active position in charities that help underdeveloped countries. Angelina makes sure that people know her for her charitable causes and goodwill to others as well as an actress. Her adoption of 2 children from impoverished countries also makes her a positive role model.

Negative Female Role Models

Paris Hilton- she may very well be a good person and work very hard, however I do believe that she represents a negative image of women in the media, because she doesn’t seem to think about how the things that she does may affect her fans and admirers. Many young girls look up to Paris because she is pretty and famous, but her involvement in shows that make her appear dumb and senseless may give her young fans the idea that that is how women are supposed to behave

Kate Moss- is another female in the media that I think represents a poor image of women; she has had a lot of press coverage over her drug habits and has lost modeling jobs as a result of it. She has also defined a kind of sickly skinny models called the waif, and her unhealthy body image may affect young girls that aspire to be models. The fact that she also has a child that may have been exposed to her lifestyle is also a poor representation for women.

Positive/Negative images of women in pop culture

Positive #1: Ellen Degeneres. She came out on national tv in the 90's, and now has a successful daytime talk show that makes millions of Americans giggle like children. What's not to love? She's an awesome role model for gay and straight women alike, and her perseverance throughout the years (especially after her "Yep, I'm Gay" Time Magazine cover - quite controversial) is inspiring.

Here is Ellen on the phone with Gladys, on live tv:

Positive #2: Ilene Chaiken. She created The L Word, giving gay women the representation on national television that straight women have had for decades. Again, what's not to love? We may disagree with her about storyline and casting decisions, but really, we wouldn't even have the show without her.

Here's a link to Ilene's L Word blog:

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January 22, 2007

The good and the bad

Negative image #1: The Barbie
Barbie was one of my favorite toys growing up as a child. I loved to play with all the cool clothes, and the cars. Barbie had everything! They even made Vet Barbie's to help us girls believe we didn't just have to be stay at home moms, how exciting, until I started to grow up. That's when it really hit me...Barbie and all her friends had perfect hourglass figures. Barbie is a great toy, I won't deny that, it was always fun to play with. But once girls hit that age where looks start to matter...sure we're told that we don't have to look that way or dress that way, but how can girls not feel like they need to look like that? We grow up playing with these dolls, pretty much being indirectly told that they are the way women should look. They give this standard that can't be reached, a standard that only adds onto the rest of the perfect bodies thrown at us in movies, T.V., and music.

Negative image #2: Paris Hilton
We all remember the sex tapes, and how she used to walk aroudn town wearing things that could just barely count as clothes. That Paris was a horrible image for girls to look up to. Stick thin, tan, blonde, and not very bright, living off of daddy's money. What a great thing to want to become. Even with all those girls looking up to her, she continued to be this horrible stereotype of a woman. She went out to parties all the time, she never even hinted to any type of education, and she had no respect for herself at all. She's cleaned up a bit now, she actually wears clothes and on her reality show(I'll admit I've caught an episode or two) she at least tries to be a good person and not destroy everything. She's at least trying to make herself better and we do have to give props for that, but she's still not the role model I would want for my daughters.

Positive image #1: Christina Aguilera
I think she gives a very good image, she went from a teen music star to a music skank to a true artist. Christina has become a really beautiful woman. She wears make-up, but not in amounts that make you wonder what her real face looks like. She dresses very nicely, but still manages to be sexy and chic. She doesn't just write music to dance around and look good, she writes from the heart. She writes about pain and happiness that she's felt and she sings with emotion. She has a gift in her voice and she uses it. She keeps herself in good shape, but she's not a stick. She gives off the idea of "do what you want in life, do what makes you happy." She also shows girls that just because you were once seen in a bad way, doesn't mean you can't change.

Positive image #2: 'Izzie' Stevens
Okay...I know she's technically not a real person...but I figured with her back story she counts as a good image. Izzie is a doctor, not just a doctor, a surgeon. She's beautiful, she modeled her way through med school. She's pretty much amazing. She's a positive image because she breaks the mold of the dumb blonde model. She's smart and has a great job. People spend so much time telling us that you don't have to be pretty and thin to be smart to be successful, but I think some people forget that you can also be pretty and thin and smart. So many people stereotype women by how they look, even other women, if not especially other women. I have had so many of my, 'average' friends look at my 'supermodel' friends and complain about how stupid and bitchy all the 'pretty girls' are. It really sucks because I know that's not true. So many people expect the really pretty and thin girls to be dumb and ugly on the inside, its not fair because a lot of them aren't. I just feel that Izzie represents success for women on all levels

Positive vs. Negative Images of Women

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Positive can it be possible?

In today's mainstream media women are degraded to the lowest degree possible. Media often portrays negative images of what women should look like, how they should dress and how they should speak. In cycle 5 of America's Next Top Model (ANTM) Danielle Evans, a 20-year-old baby sitter from Little Rock, Arkansas spoke with a Southern accent and during judging she was constantly criticized about the way she said things. Her Southern accent was not what helped her win, her glamorous photos, passion for modeling and her unique personality made it possible for her to be announced America's Next Top Model. Can it be possible for women to be portrayed in a positive way in mainstream media. Two images that portray positive images of women is of Oprah starting the school for less fortune girls in Africa and the other image is Angelina Jolie and singer Madonna adopting. More wealthy women should give back to the less fortune if its just donating money or through adoption. Also, my cousin is a dancer in Lupe Fiasco's video "I Gotcha" and our family was worried about her being in a rap video because of how the women dress and dance, but fortunately all of the women in the video was fully clothed. If more rap artist and video directors have dancers in appropriate clothing then maybe female viewers will stop feeling obligated to wear clothes that expose our bodies in non-conservative ways.
The negative image of women that has bothered me the most lately is the way African American women (famous) mostly have Korean, Indiana and etc. hair extensions added to their hair to make it look longer. I am starting to understand now that it is easier to style long hair than short since I recently cut my hair and its hard to style sometimes. I don't understand the big booty image either why would I want the worlds biggest booty, so men can look at me, whistle and honk their horns as I walk pass. I can do without the extra attention. We as women need to understand that the way we are makes each one of us unique and the styles of women in media are often depicted by what men think of women.
This is the "I Gotcha" video by Lupe Fiasco my cousin is dark skinned and she has on a white top with red sleeves. Check it out when you have time. Enjoy!

Positive and Negative images of women in media

There are so many women in the media today that have positive and negative influences on our society today. Girls, teens, young adults, and women all look up to women in the media, I know I do. The first person I thought of for a positive influence was Oprah Winfrey. Oprah rose above her bad childhood to become a successful woman. Oprah has used her own earnings to help those in need. She has lots of organizations, charities, and events that she works on for the benefit of others. Oprah is one of the most influencial women of today, and more celebrities should be like her. Another woman who is a positive influence is Tyra Banks. Tyra was a supermodel, adn has since created two television programs. She created America's Next Top Model and The Tyra Banks Show. Tyra has always been a woman who has encouraged women to be happy with their bodies, telling women that you don't have to be thin to be beautiful. She also promotes and supports good causes that help people and makes people aware of issues.
There were many women in media today that could be negative images in media today. The firs person I am going to focus on is Nicole Richie. Nicole is the daughter of Lionel Richie, the famous singer. She was adopted and raised in Beverly Hills. Since Nicole has become a celebrity, she has changed. Nicole is driving around drunk, using a lot of profanity, and has shown problems with an eating disorder. These are negative things that can have a bad influence on young women who want to be just like her. I think she is trying to clean up her act, which would be good for her image and her fans. Another person i think is a negative person in media is Britney Spears. Britney was our Pop Priincess for a number of years. After she turned 21 she changed dramatically. She goes around wearing barely there clothing without undergarments, she is on tv a lot drinking, and smoking. She also has two children and Mother's shoudl not go out every night of the week drinking and partying. Also, Britney recently got a divorce and is now running around town with other guys. I don't think that is quite appropriate right after a public divorce. She has many young fans and she is not being a good role model for them.

The good, the bad and the heinous. Kelsey Kehrberg

As stated by many previous blog entries, it is far more difficult to come up with a healthy list of positive role modles for girls/women these days. After reading through others' entries, I found myself really impressed with the answers and was kicking myself because I hadn't thought of them first.
The Good:
As cheesy as it is the character Rory Gilmore I find to be of a high positive influence. I'm not too familiar with the show but I think I have a sufficent understanding of what she represents. On one of the only episodes I've seen, she wore a t-shirt that said 'Reading is Sexy,' which is something I really agree with. She's not body obsessed or fashion driven. She is intellegent and interesting.

Another positive role model to me is Ellen DeGeneres. She's open-minded and has earned her money an honest way. Again, she's not a label pusher or bone skinny. She's a woman that is easy to look up to.

The bad:
My first negative is Madonna. I say this for many reasons but will outline one. My mother got free tickets to her show at Madison Square Garden during her 2006 tour (there's no other reason she would've gone). My mom said that she was seated next to about eight 11-year-olds, with one adult. She felt absolutely embarassed when Madonna (as old as my mother) began to girate on stage wearing a dominatrix outfit. She hit her dancers with whips and chains. The 11-year-olds responded quite excitedly. That made me ill.

My second, which has already been stated by someone else I just agree so strongly that I'm seconding it. The video ladies. I don't watch a whole lot of MTV or BET or really any music videos. But it seems that everytime I do pass one of these stations Fergie is shakin her stuff and moaning (which I guess to some people is singing...). Perhaps this is a bit judgemental, but the way she acts is so outrageously filthy. She seems used and disrespects herself while singing about her body parts in such a grotesque manner. If I had a daughter, I would be sure to let her know Fergie isn't the average woman and not one any girl or woman should idolize.

Negative and positive images

Negative image 1. The soccer mom
I wasn't sure whether to put this under the positive or the negative image. After much thought, I figured that it was a negative image, since you reduce a human being to only having one goal in life namely, holding oneself back so as to further one’s husband and children’s well being. They make sure everybody gets out of the door fed and washed in the morning. They drive the kids around to various activities throughout the day. And by the end of the day, supper must be on the table. Now, I know that many choose this for themselves, but one cannot avoid the fact that these people are living for their family and family only. They set aside their own needs and even careers to serve their family and this seems almost acceptable in society since it is self-inflicted. However, I am quite sure that others are like this because they feel they don’t have a choice.

Negative image 2. The ditzy girl
The two main examples of this are Paris Hilton and Jessica Simpson. “Is tuna chicken?? "I don't eat buffalo" "I don't know how to clean, 'cause I never had to do it myself" “Wal-Mart? Do the sell walls?? are just few of the many stupid things they have said in public. It is not to say that being ignorant is something that should be punished, however the fact that it is almost glorified is just plain wrong. These are the two of the most popular and talked about girls in the media today and for what? Yeah, they look great and yeah, they’ve made great choices in furthering their careers but other than that they don’t offer much. They do not advocate intellectual or academic values at all, which is important to do, I think, when you are a role model to little girls all over the world.

Positive image 1. Christie Hefner
Christie Hefner is the chairman and chief executive officer for Playboy Enterprises Inc. Not many would classify anyone who has anything to do with Playboy, a magazine that many consider oppressive towards women, as being a positive figure in the media. However, Christie Hefner is just that. She advocates the freedom of speech and shows great management, marketing and advertising skills. Since she took over the enterprise, it has been steadily growing and branching out in other merchandise. When her father was in charge, he managed to branch out also, but never to the extent that she has done. She managed to get Playboy TV running, establish a very profitable webpage and even run a successful clothing and lifestyle brand. Christie Hefner is a smart, able, independent and well-spoken woman who has managed herself very successfully in a male dominated sphere.

Positive image 1. Natalie Portman
Natalie Portman advocates intellectualism and has a very vast social consciousness.
Not only does she make good choices in movie roles (chooses parts that do not compromise her integrity) but she also puts her education first. She will not take a role if she thinks it will hinder her in focusing on her studies. She has done this since high school, where she maintained a 4.0 average even while she was doing a Broadway show 6 times a week. She now studies psychology at Harvard. From an early age she has done her share of advocating animal rights and has been a vegetarian since she was eight years old. She was also a member of an environmental song and dance troupe at age 12. She even neglected to smoke in front of the camera as she felt she would set a bad example for children watching her… and this was when she was only 12 years old.

Hollywood Women: Positive and Negative

When we think of images of women, we tend to think of musicians, actresses, or the women we are used to seeing/hearing about in the mass media. Of course there are powerful women in literature, politics, and so forth, that create a positive and strong rearing woman image in the face of our society. However, it is easy to be distracted by what is more easily accessible, what is, in a way, "given" to us. So, given this, I am going to focus on the positive and negative images of those women in our pop culture, the pop media, the pop world, we see almost everyday.

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Images of Women in the Media

I have to agree with Jenevieve when she said that it was harder to come up with two positive images of women in the media, whereas the negative ones flooded my mind when I started thinking about this blog. So I'll start there. For negative images of women in pop culture and our society's mass media, I'm going to focus largely on the portrayal of the "damsel in distress". The "damsel" being a woman who has completely lost it, and is shown to be out of control or unstable. This is an all to common character to be portrayed by women in American movies especially, furthering the notions that women are weak and need to be taken care of. We also see this "damsel" in print ads, especially in high fashion magazines, where the model looks depressed, staring off into nothingness, seemingly void of thought.
Some examples of these women in movies are Winona Ryder and Angelina Jolie in Girl, Interrupted, Helena Bonham Carter in Fight Club, Penelope Cruz in Blow, and Christina Ricci in Prozac Nation. The list really could go on and on. Some print ad examples would be the Prada campaigns, and countless others that really just depend on the season.
As for positive images, for some reason the first thing that came to mind for me was Gillian Anderson in X-files. Her character, Scully, struck me as a very positive model of a woman, as she was smart, capable, and an equal to her partner, Moulder.
Another positive image of women in the media would be Glamour magazine's new addition to their news section, columnist Mariane Pearl. Her monthly column is called Global Diary, in which she enlightens readers about women's problems around the world, such as child prostitution and sex touring in Cambodia, or the treatment of immigrant women in Paris. This is such a positive direction for a women's beauty and fashion magazine to go in! Because sure, we're all guilty of flipping through those magazines when we know there are more important things to worry about, and finally one magazine is making a continued effort to meet us in the middle. Its the bee's knees.

January 21, 2007

Positive and Negative Images of Women

There are so many negative images of women in the mainstream media, it's difficult to choose two. It's also difficult to find two positive images.

1. The fashion industry. The beauty ideal of a size zero woman. Shows like America's Next Top Model do nothing but empower this negative image that many girls strive towards. The show pits women against each other in a competition that expects the women to not just be perfect in their physical appearances, but in every aspect of their lives.

Continue reading "Positive and Negative Images of Women" »

Positive and negative images of women in media....

Positive Images of women in media? It seems like finding positive women in media this day in age is like finding a needle in a haystack. I've been sitting around trying to think of a really good, well-rounded character or individual in the media within the last couple of years, and I end up at a loss. Probably the last time I saw strong, independent, well-rounded women on tv was the show "Charmed." In fact, it seems that most of the positive images of women I can recall were characters of the '90s: Scully, Buffy, Willow, etc. etc. With the influx of characters like Britney Spears and Paris Hilton in this decade, I think positive female imagery has taken a downturn. Now, for negatives:

1: The spoiled rich princess who is famous for being famous: Like Miss Hilton, it seems that materialism is what is "cool" for girls. Wearing the right clothes, being seen with the right people, and acting trashy are the prescription for a successful life, apparently. It's kind of sad when one realizes that little girls might actually look up to these people.

2. Professional Wrestling: I remember seeing this ad back in November and just being floored. Women, apparently, are meant to be controlled:

Portrayal of Women in Today’s Society

Female characters in cartoons are the among the first exposure young girls have to “what it means to be a female in society?; you would think that with this, cartoon creators would aim to express better values. Take, for example, Jane Jetson from the cartoon, The Jetson’s. She is very, VERY petite, wears skimpy dresses, loves to shop, loves to nag George and the children, and she is always beautifying herself. This image portrays the stereotypical cartoon woman; what are we doing to America’s young girls?!

And, second, as a huge fan of Disney movies, I cannot help but notice how poor the Disney women portray women. Disney princesses are VERY petite, have large busts, are always being rescued by big strong men, and are more often than not spoiled rotten. Young girls strive to be their favorite Disney princess; the women of future America are growing up idolizing FAKE women – no pun intended!

When I think of a positive portrayal of women, the first thing person that comes to mind is Oprah Winfrey. Oprah is a woman that came from a poor background, had a trouble background, and worked hard for all she has. She is an example of a hard-working woman who proved that even women from disadvantaged backgrounds can achieve just as much, and even more, success than women from advantage backgrounds. Oprah is also a positive portrayal because she is a philanthropist; she donates her money to fantastic causes and strives to make the world a better place. Why more girls do not group up striving to be similar Oprah is beyond me!

Finally, positive images of women come in many forms but who could surpass women in politics. I do not follow politics as it does not interest me in the least, but our country has come a LONG way from the days of women not even being able to vote. Women in American have fought long and hard and have not only earned the right to vote, but have earned the trust and honor to represent communities in the US Government. Yes, there is a lot of dirty business in politics, but if you look at where the country has been and where it is now, female politicians are definitely positive images of women in society.

Positive and Negative images of Women

There are so many negative images of women in the media today, that it is hard for me to select the two worst offenders. However... I'll have a go at it.

1. The Music Video Vixen:

This title applies to any woman in a music video who appears nearly nude, heavily made up, writing to the music in any variety of sexual fantasy situations. This is commonly seen in but not limited to hip-hop music videos. This image of a highly sexualized, uninhibited woman, freely rubbing herself on a man is not only unrealistic but also very harmful to women. This image perpetuates the "bitches and hos" view of women, where women are sexual objects to be used and abused by powerful men. This also gives the impression to viewers that if one acts in ways similar to that of the video vixen, life becomes a barrage of swimming pools filled with champagne and Bentleys on parade.


I don't believe there has ever been a less intellegent, more self-destructive, startlingly famous person who literally has no talent of any sort beyond mugging for the paparazzi. Paris freely flaunts herself in the media as a party girl, and has been photographed and videotaped in a variety of compromising situations. She is famous simply for the reason that she can say "that's hot", and the fact that she is by Hollywood standards, quite beautiful. Sadly, she has become a rolemodel for girls and women who aspire to live that sort of lifestyle. She has made playing the dumb blonde party girl status for women to aspire to. She's a complete train wreck, and no woman or girl should be attempting to "be like Paris".

Lucky for us, there are a few women out there in the media that are positive role models for women.

1. Oprah:
Although sometimes I think Oprah can be annoying with her endless attempts to "fix" people's lives and give advice she has no business giving, (example: she has been known to give marriage and parenting advice, not having ever been married or had a child) however she is a woman who grew up in poverty and faced adversity throughout her carreer only to rise to become one of the richest women in the world. She has made a career of trying to help people live better lives, and many women in this country and others look up to Oprah as a role-model, sort of like that best girlfriend who always knows what to do in any situtation. She is extremely philanthropic, most recently comitting 40 million dollars plus of her own money to build and fund a girls leadership academy in Africa. She is a women with great power, who uses her status to help build the lives of others.

2. Jennifer Hudson:

After American Idol and her recent award winning performance in "Dream Girls", Chicago native Jennifer Hudson gave hope to women every where who are sick of the "pin-thin" trend in Hollywood. She is a rare talent, both vocally an in acting, and she proves that you don't have to starve yourself to fit an unrealistic standard of beauty in order to be successful.

positive and negative imagery

To start with the positives- I think that the Dove campaign within our culture is amazing for an ad in the cosmetic industry. While the women are undeniably models, they still present a diversity that is uncommon. The only negative thought I have on it, is the sexualization of the women in their underwear, and their positions amongst each other.

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January 19, 2007

negative and positive. image heavy.

Personally, I define a negative influence on women as something or someone that is a bad role model.
( I guess most people do...)

1.Photobucket - Video and Image HostingAnna Nicole Smith

where do we start with her? I don't even know. She lost weight and now she has a career again. ?
Here's her website for your viewing

2. American Apparel Ads, How I loathe thee let me show the ways...

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add for underwear? porn? Hiking?
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is this advertising the couch? her shirt? her socks?

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this one speaks for itself... :\

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In comparison, for the men's ads the men are typically clothed. At least the ones I saw...

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