Cultural Norms Of Gender And Sexuality Essay

Cultural Norms Of Gender And Sexuality Essay

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Celebrity has invaded every part of our contemporary Western cultur, this infliltration is closely tied to new communication technologies (Meyers, 17-18). Within this culture the problematic cultural norms of gender and sexuality are perpetuated; young female celebrities are held to an entirely different expectation to their male counterparts. These discussions of celebrity in contemporary culture have found their way into New Zealand, take for example the gossip around TV3’s the Bachelor NZ, that has ensued even after the series has ended.While audiences may be familiar with the celebrity as a highly constructed commodity, in contemporary culture, the line between a celebrity’s personal and private self is blurred (Meyers, 10). The representation of Naz, of the latest The Bachelor season, in particular is key to how this and similar programs reaffirm cultural norms around gender and sexuality. As Negra suggests, “Women are the test subjects for referenda on popular morality, not men.” (Negra).

The entertainment-news media are key to forming and maintaining the celebrity industry (Negra) This also exists for the purpose of strengthen its economic and perhaps more significantly, its cultural reach (Meyers, 260). The modern celebrity is therefore a product of the media that blurs the line between public and private environments (7). Gossip columnists, despite considering themselves journalists often subtly or overtly shape the reader’s perspective of the celebrity being covered (Meyers, 25). This form of media invites the observer to “root against” toxic, train-wreck, female celebrities, it is dismissed that we root for their male counterparts (Negra). Audiences, through this kind of representation, disidentify with famous wome...


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...n. Naz’ celebrity is both the cultivation of her persona as reality TV star and the ideological context within which that persona could develop (7).

As Negra discusses in her article, “the Feminisation of the Crisis Celebrity”, the good/bad girl categories have structured women’s representation in popular culture for years, Naz of the bachelor has been pitched to fit within the latter. Negra goes on to discuss how the categories of problematic female representation are intensifying within our own cultural moment. The crisis celebrity is supposedly unable to maintain a work/life balance or maintain the “cherished set” of cultural ideals/myths described as family values. She also suggests that with women, unlike their male, celebrity counterparts, fame uses up women while it energises men. Women are the test subject for the discussion of popular morality, never men.

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