Women Representation Essay

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Throughout this essay it will be discussed how female representations affects society, what has changed, if has changed during the years. Representations of women were a crucial subject of discussion especially in the concepts of the gaze that often refers to women as objects of the active gaze. The gaze establishes relationships of power, representing different codes such as dominance and subjugation, difference and otherness (Sturken and Cartwright 2009: 111).

Representation is the action of speaking or acting on behalf of someone or the state of being represented (ODE 2012. Sv “representation”). Females have been used as subjects of art produced by male artists. These codes of imagining the female nude (in painting, advertisements, films,
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Whereas men had a so-called “head-start” with painting and sculpture, photography was pioneered by and equally associated with both genders. Sexualized images of women circulated via mass media. Described as a voyeuristic medium, photography was a powerful tool in deconstructing the male gaze and bringing private moments into the public domain (Bonney 1985: 11).

In the 1970’s and 1980’s artist began to push at boundaries of representations in relation to race, sexuality and gender. Artists such as Mapplethorpen and Mendieta had an influence in the way people interpreted men and women sexuality (Sturken and Cartwright 2009: 129).

Media representations of women remain wrong. However, the status of women has changed significantly. Representations of women across all media tend to highlight the following: beauty (within narrow conventions), size/physique, sexuality, emotional (as opposed to intellectual) dealings and relationships (as opposed to independence/freedom).

Images that eroticism is implied tend to represent the availability of the women’s bodies, in the implication that they are objects of eroticism (Sturken and Cartwright 2009: 116), consequently affecting the way society views women such as illustrated in Figure
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