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Sexploitation the big seller in the mass media


“Oh me so horny, me love you long time”–from “Me so Horny,” a song by 2 Live Crew.

Sex, sex, and more sex is all over the television–in music lyrics, videos, magazines and all over the web. Wrapping almost everything up in sex has taken a tremendous toll on our society, and sometimes makes it difficult to differentiate lust from love.

When I turn on my television, it is a disturbing watching women of all ages portray themselves in such an artificial and promiscuous way to please both men and women.

In our society, sex is what sells and what draws attention. Should that be the case? What happened to drawing attention based on inner and outer beauty, or did that ever really matter? The sexualization of women in the media highlights the objectification of women. Posing with bottoms no top, top no bottoms, positioned in ways that are appealing to the male audience is not what women were created for.

Although provocative images of women partially clothed, or in some cases naked, is prevalent in advertising today. It causes women to become sexual objects because their bodies and sexuality are linked to products that are bought and sold. The disregard for women’s bodies brings us to the conclusion that they are being broken down into objects rather than whole persons. When viewers see women’s bodies being advertised in ways that focus on their breasts, legs, thighs, behind, or lips, it reinforces the objectification of women in the public mind.

In video games women are portrayed as strippers and prostitutes with little to no clothing and are usually used for the male’s pleasure and discarded afterwards.

Is that the way women want to be treated, knowing that they hold so much value and are worthy of so much more? It brings us to the question: why are women the ones chosen to represent these images? Is it because we allow it, or is it because males have always been viewed as masculine and dominant in society?

Laurie Abraham, executive editor of Elle magazine, warns that the biggest problem with women’s magazines is “how much we lie about sex.” Those “lies” continue to perpetuate the idea that women’s sexuality is subservient to men’s pleasure.

In her study of Cosmopolitan and Playboy magazines, for example, Nicole Krassas, an associate professor of political science and women’s studies at Eastern Connecticut State University, found that both men and women’s magazines contain a single vision of female sexuality–that “women should primarily concern themselves with attracting and sexually satisfying men.”

Media stereotypes can be misleading, which makes it difficult for young children, who are often tuning in, to be truly informed about sex and sexuality. How can you be informed about an issue that’s being portrayed from a stereotypical perspective? As younger teens become sexually brainwashed, the more corrupt their minds become, and eventually they are not be able to differentiate between the artificial and the authentic.

For example, many public figures and celebrities utilize cosmetic surgery, which creates an artificial image of beauty some young people may find realistic–Botox, breast implants, butt lifts, and liposuction are performed to create a look that isn’t already there. Those who are unhappy with themselves may look to cosmetic surgery, but often are not informed of the unhealthy risks involved as a way to become attractive and accepted by others.

Many researchers argue that the over-representation of thin women in mass media reinforces the conclusion that “physically attractive” and “sexually desirable” mean thin. Women striving to succeed in the film and television industry are constantly kept busy trying to make themselves sexually appealing for the cameras, and for men.

From personal experience I have discovered that you can’t change yourself to please a man. If he doesn’t accept you for who you are then you are probably barking up the wrong tree. Women are all created differently, and each of us has something unique that defines us and helps make us who we are. If we change who we are then we have subverted our identity to the identity of someone else.

Constant exposure to errant ideas can shape and distort our perceptions of reality, which the media constantly do in the minds of its viewers. In the music video “Monster” by Kanye West, women are displayed hanging from the ceiling by chains, lying around from a possible drug overdose, and dead, or at least looking lifeless.

Of course, with such negative and devastating content, the video did not air for long, but it nevertheless sent a message to viewers that sexual violence towards women is accepted and frequently overlooked, which may encourage an increase in the rate of domestic violence and sexual abuse.

Yet, young women line up to be video vixens, promoting their own objectification for five minutes of fame, and the ability to identify themselves in the latest work of “art.”

Women must hold on to their integrity and realize not all exposure is good. I’d much rather have my face exposed in a documentary about empowering women than to have my private parts showcased to satisfy the public eye.

Women complain about the disrespect they receive from men, yet they allow themselves to fall victim to the hype. When will women learn that it’s not always about pleasing others, but about doing what’s pleasing and satisfying for you? Our society has corrupted and brainwashed the minds of the upcoming generation.

If we as women want respect, we must discover how to obtain it without lowering our standards and going against our values to reach it. Before the mass media existed people relied on their own perceptions of what beauty is. It was truly in the eyes of the beholder.

The representation of women in the media lacks realism, because it only exemplifies the women they want you to believe are “perfect” and virtually ignores the image of real women who come in a number of different shapes, sizes and races.