Essay on Stylized Images of Women in Society

Essay on Stylized Images of Women in Society

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Stylized Images of Women in Society

Throughout time, the images of women have changed. Society would like to believe that we now are in a position to say that we live in a society of gender equality. That would be ideal, but that is far from accomplished as of yet. Mass media, such as television, movies, and magazines, not only impact the men who view them, but they also impact the women who view them. Fashion magazines are most notorious for the ways that they portray women. I chose a variety of fashion magazines, W, Allure, Elle, and Cosmopolitan (British Edition) to illustrate how women are portrayed to society.

Most of the advertisements with men and women found in all of the magazines held the same connotations. In W magazine, I found an advertisement for Chanel. The woman is wading in water, holding up her skirt, with a jacket with no shirt underneath it. Behind her is a man with tattoos on his chest and arms whom looks as if he is stalking her. She seems to have no idea that there is a man stalking her behind her. She appears to be an unknowing woman who is about to fall prey to a "strong" man. In Elle, there is an advertisement for Guess. The woman is in her bra and is being held down by a muscular and persperating man. She is in a very submissive position and seems to not be struggling with the man that is holding her down. Another advertisement is for watches from Cosmopolitan (British Edition). The woman is fully nude and facing fully forward.
Behind her there is a man who appears to also be nude. The woman is in a vulnerable position with the man behind her in the dominant position. She is the submissive party involved. The man has his arms wrapped around the woman and her hands are touch...

... middle of paper ...

...roducts via hints of physical and sexual violence against women, and women's vulnerability and submissiveness. The hints are both subtle and intense. Advertisement after advertisement of stunning photographs showing emaciated and pained looking women with black shadows around their eyes and cheekbones. The women clutch their bodies or look so vulnerable and hurt and thin that they could be war prisoners who have been so violated that they are now defenseless. If the goals of some of the companies which ran these advertisements was to find a publishable image that symbolized a rape or domestic violence victim, they could not do much better. In some cases, there are interspersed between these stylized images of hurt and vulnerable women are images of confident and powerful men. These men with their large hands and ample clothing are clearly victors, not victims.

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