I’ve spent a lot of time this week thinking about our discussions about how women are portrayed in media. And I want to be insightful, but it’s a really tough issue. From overt sexism to this kind of ubiquitous gender bias, women are just depicted differently than men. I spent the whole week looking at this from this broad angle – how the media make women feel about themselves and about each other. I was looking at these huge, societal impacts of the effects of gender inequality in media. And my head spun like an owl and I exploded.
I am healthy. I am physically, cognitively, and socially healthy. I wouldn’t mind being a bit tanner, but being pale is a great source of self-deprecating humor for an otherwise perfect human. I just checked my BMI and it’s all good. And I don’t dislike my body. Even as a tween, I didn’t hate my body, I didn’t go through the debilitating emotional trauma of hating my growing body (which is tragic and, as we know, common.) Fortunately, I’ve never had a negative self-image.
Even though countless studies, and our conversation in class, prove me wrong, I still had a little bit of doubt that media could be so influential on over half of our population.
So I looked at myself as a case study. (Everything comes back to me.) I tried to break it down by looking at how I felt when I spent a couple days really tuning into how the media depicts women. And it came back to Hardee’s commercial we watched on Tuesday.
I made a couple of awkward jokes about it in class and then I forgot about it. I looked at it again today in my quest for insight. And this is what I got:
I would trade my body for hers in a heartbeat.
My body – which is healthy, which I exercise for and eat well for. I would give away my body, my face, my skin color and everything because she is more attractive than me.
Those studies may be onto something after all.