Devaluing an Image

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It is 2014, and mass media has taken over!

Now, 88 years since John Logie Baird transmitted the first image of a face on 22 Firth Street, Soho London, his invention has become a hallmark of almost everything the human race represents.

The television set has come to define the meaning of “globalization” through its vast, immediate and incredibly powerful reach. Generation after generation has been influenced by the moving pictures – secret after secret and song after song has been broadcast to billions of people worldwide, and more and more people are getting hooked on it.

The psychological impact of the television on society is one of the most-researched topics of the 20th century; people understand just how effective it is at swaying minds and opinions. So the question beckons: is it always used correctly?

The answer is a resounding no. Even if we take away all the other social complications brought about by mass media and focus solely on its direct implications about women, the effect it has had on our world is devastating.
Through absent-mindedness or downright carelessness, men AND women have contributed vastly to the demolishing of the image of a woman through television. Today, flipping through your unlimited number of channels will most certainly result in a pass by a music video or movie depicting woman as frail, brainless servants of many men’s utopian fantasy.

They’re over-sexualized a lot of the times, and the message being transmitted is generally that they’re just there to complete the heroic protagonist’s rewards ceremony.

It is true, there are exceptions – Lara Croft, Storm and most recently, Katniss Everdeen – who display power and a total awareness of their strength as females. But in general, we’re given Pamela Andersons, Rosie Huntington-Whiteleys and other silly women with great looks and no content.

The problem with these movies is that to an intellectual adult, they’re simply representations of fictitious events, but to a child or an immature person, they’re accurate and succinct depictions of what these women stand for and represent. And consequently, that must mean that ALL women can be seen through the very same camera lens. That kind of thinking endorses very dangerous ideas about women in general.
Intentionally or unintentionally, mass media has managed to systematically reduce the roles of most women to being voluptuous prizes given to the successful or charming men. And women have taken a crucial role in it, which has to stop.

By allowing themselves to be used and abused as sexual objects on television, many women have contributed to the chauvinistic view that, “Money= Lots of women ready to do anything for you”. Clearly, this is an incorrect and incredibly backwards view of life. So how are women supposed to tackle this attack on their image?

First of all, by decreasing their adherence to the status quo. One thing that we’ve already established is that it is mostly people who refuse to expand their horizons (or young children) that are being most greatly exposed to nonsensical thoughts. So it is quite obvious that they’ll draw direct comparisons between movies and real life without ever thinking about context.

In other words – by imitating the behaviour of the women you DON’T want to be associated with on TV, you are making it seem like you ARE one of them! I mean, we all know that these women are almost all paid actresses simply fulfilling a role. Many of them are not like this in real life, and many of them believe that those kind of women are silly and vulnerable to exploitation. However, they’re being paid to act out the characters and thus they do it to perfection. It is their job and they want to be the best at it.

We – as a global society – need to help our young ones understand that much of what mass media portray is either untrue or simply a fantasy brought to life by some who don’t really have everybody’s best interests at heart. Sure, being at a party having fun and going crazy is nice, but is it worth the innocence of our siblings or future children? I mean, for some reason, for many of us it is okay to let our young charges watch people going mad on television and do crazy things, but we always seek to hide it from them when it is US doing it. Why? Because we fear that such a knowledge will corrupt their young minds.

What we don’t factor in is the fact that kids can very quickly figure out that if they saw people who look and dress and talk like you doing it, you probably do it too! If this issue isn’t addressed, kids grow up thinking like that and morph into the chauvinistic men and air-headed women that expand the gulf between what women really are and what the media portrays them as.

Even if you think you’re not being affected, you should know that you are. Because we always complain that its difficult to find people who’re different out there, but when we present ourselves as the brainless dancing machines in a drug kingpin’s fantasies, we’ve accepted and embodied the role given to us by the media.

That can be rather fatal blow to your efforts to show how dynamic and diverse you really are, so make sure that you don’t allow mass media to dress, speak and walk for you.


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