Objectifying women in entertainment media has been prevalent for quite a few years now. Objectified images of women are found at every step in our day to day life- TV, newspaper, movies, advertisements etc. Objectification, in the broader sense of the term means, regarding a person as a commodity or item while disregarding the personality and dignity of the individual. Media tends to sexually objectify women in order to create a larger viewer base for their products. Although many magazines and advertisements claim to celebrate and respect the beauty of a woman, they tactfully disregard the major population of women and carefully focus on a very small portion of the feminine gender. This population of women mainly comprise of very beautiful and sexy ladies, chosen with care so as to be of the maximum possible appeal to the male audience. This sexual stereotyping of women proves to be detrimental to the society as it plays a major role in shaping the culture prevalent in a society. Sexual objectification of women also leads to another major problem plaguing our society, that of, gender inequality.
There are several detrimental effects that objectification of women by media has on a society. This objectification shifts the focus of young girls from personality development to treating themselves as sexual objects as they concentrate more on looks and sexual appeal. This results in serious health issues like depression, low self-esteem and eating disorders. Our society needs to realize the fact that the women being portrayed in various forms of media represent a very minor portion of the female population and that too the objectification reduces women to mere objects as their dressing style shifts the focus from their personality to certain parts of their bodies. The failure to grasp this fact causes women to try and emulate the women being objectified by media. Everyone strives to achieve the perfect figure of the model being portrayed in the advertisements. Thus objectification of women by media can be defined as the depiction of women as objects and items that are to be used, ogled, touched, tried and discarded only to be replaced by a better and younger version, that is, never to be treated as an individual with dignity and equal rights as all others. This result in the development of negative self image among a large mass of women as they feel that their worth and competence will go unnoticed by the society owing to the lack of outward appeal. But, since the objectification of women continues to profit media, this objectification persists.
Objectification of women results in an environment of violence where exploitation of women is tolerated as well as encouraged tactically. As the society learns to treat women as objects, their regard for the women population reduces as they start treating them as one would treat an object without any or less regard. It is thus the mental frame of the society that needs to change because till the time that man enjoys depiction of women as sexual objects, this objectification of women by media will continue. This degrades the all around development and progress of a society as women lose their individual identity and is solely recognized by the physical appeal of her body as this form of recognition is only used to bring pleasure to this male dominated society. This objectification of women by media plays a major role in depriving women of their rights as women are not taken seriously by the society and thus continue to be deprived of their rightful place in the society.
We reside in a world where the achievements of women are hardly recognized compared to those of men. The biggest irony of the situation is that, although women scientists, writers and philosophers struggle to find a place in media, we are flooded with pictures of barely clad women, in our day to day lives, trying to sell commodities by attracting a large viewer base comprising of the male half of our society. Unless the male population of our society comes to a consensus about respecting women and putting a stop to such cheap methods of advertisements, the development of the society will continue to be hindered because this sexual objectification of women deprives women of the opportunity to be respected for their individuality and personal qualities. The invariable impact of this objectification is that we compel humankind to view society and the women residing in it from the eyes of a man. As a direct result of this, only men are regarded as complete human being whereas women serve the purpose of bringing pleasure to the minds of men.
The objectification of women thus enforces the fact that women are looked upon only from the outside whereas their individuality, personal qualities, abilities and traits are completely overlooked by the society. A major revolution to stop this objectification of women by the media needs to be brought about in order to build a suitable society for the future generations but it can be done only if the first step is taken by the male half of our society.