Gendered Media: The Journey to Gender Identity Essay

Gendered Media: The Journey to Gender Identity Essay

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In a study done by The 4Th Estate, the results showed men are quoted around five times more than women in stories regarding women (Pesta 1). With media being so male centered, it is not surprising that often women become the target of sexual objectification in all realms of media. With the concept of “Sex Sells” still holding true, many advertising outlets have continued to fund ads with sexually focused content. Whether you are listening to the radio, reading your favorite magazine, or just window shopping in the mall you are being targeted by media’s gendered advertising.
In 2008, Miley Cyrus posed for Vanity Fair magazine. Although the half nude pictures did not make the cover in the States, Italian Vogue featured then fifteen year old Miley on their cover. Just because the images were not featured on the United States’ cover did not mean she did not receive several full page spreads. The controversial photo showcased her uncovered back while the rest of her body was wrapped in some type of satin sheet. To any adult celebrity this would be a pretty modest shoot for Vanity Fair, but for minor Miley it created a whirl wind of conversation from the media.
Media is forcing today’s youth to grow up faster and faster. Miley Cyrus was unfortunately used as the poster child for young girls trying to be older. After the shoot, which was obviously not initiated by her, she had to come out and publically apologize. On top of that, Disney also threatened to void her contract if adult like behaviors continued (Toomey 1). With it being well known that only a few companies control most of the media we see, does it not appear ironic that Miley Cyrus was exemplified in such a negative light? From the time her publicist was con...


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...information I learned from this project was that awareness breeds change. If we do not recognize there is a problem, then nothing will be altered. But acceptance of gender stereotypes and advertising especially those involving our own gender identities will lead to a future filled with equality for men and women alike.





Works Cited

Ouellette, Laurie. "Inventing the Cosmo Girl." Gender, Race, and Class in Media: A Critical Reader. By Gail Dines and Jean McMahon Humez. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, 2011. 228-29. Print.

Pesta, Abigail. "Men Rule Media Coverage of Women’s News." The Daily Beast. Newsweek/Daily Beast, 31 May 2012. Web. 24 Nov. 2013.

Toomey, Alyssa. "What Happened to Miley Cyrus." E! Online. N.p., 27 Aug. 2013. Web. 25 Nov. 2013.

Wood, Julia T. Gendered Lives: Communication, Gender, and Culture. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Pub., 1994. Print.

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