Satisfactory Essays
In this modern era there is no avoiding mass media. Its everywhere. We are bombarded everyday by it in the form of advertisements, magazines, television and more. It tells us what to buy, what to wear and even what we should aspire to be. Needless to say it plays a very important role in our lives and helps shape our perception of the world. While society has benefited greatly from the introduction of mass media there are times where it is harmful. Women constitute a large demographic and as such are portrayed greatly in the media. The problem is that mass media often stereotypes women into the roles of sex icons and housewives. This stereotyping leads to low self-esteem, body issues and can make it difficult for women to advance in academia and careers.
Women have always been depicted in the mass media but usually stereotyped to their detriment. Stereotypes aren’t necessarily bad, they’re a simplified image of something. Whether that image is good or bad depends on the stereotype. They’re a necessity, we live in a increasingly complicated world and need these shortcuts so we can react quickly various situations. The problem is that stereotypes may not reflect reality. This becomes an issue when stereotypes are applied to groups of people. Specifically women who are often stereotyped in the media. The most common and usually harmful stereotypes about women in the media are, women are homemakers, that they do not make important decisions, are dependent on men and that they are sexual objects. While we like to think of these stereotypes in media as being mostly relegated to the past and that they are less common today, these stereotypes are still prevalent. In fact in magazines alone 78% of images depicting women are stereotypes (L...

... middle of paper ... leads or provides. In fact many careers seem to be either feminine or masculine. A doctor is often portrayed as a male career, while a nurse is usually a female. In many advertisements women are shown in ways that indicate subordination or helplessness. In a research article by Stankiewiez and Rosselli they looked at the images of women in magazines from 1955 to 2002 they found that women were often depicted as mentally drifting and vulnerable to the environment. Also that women were shown as adopting postures that indicate submission to control by others (8). One would imagine that these images would have changed since the 1950’s but they haven’t. In many of the categories that Stankiewiez and Rosselli used in their research “revealed that the extent to which women were shown in stereotypical roles has remained fairly constant throughout the years” (11).
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