LAJ ARTICLES

Over Sexualization in the Media

Commercials, mass media marketing, over sexualization, and objectification are the words that seem to flow ever so effortlessly from my tongue when I think of turning on most things available these days on TV. If you google sexist ads in regards to super-bowl halftime commercials, the pages are endless. We all know that a busty blonde in a bikini isn’t necessary to sell a hamburger, nor are spandex shorts and bras in January, necessary for normal gym attire. Yet we have the few women who claim to be “confident” or “bisexual” who can chuckle and oogle along with the boys. Those same women, unknowingly are the butt of the joke itself, and as they think they are “the ultimate girl” handing their men single dollars at a strip club, they really just lost the last strand of self respect they had.

….As the guy is hot in “Grey sweatpants”

Also, on the contrary, by making women into super-feminist, corporate ladder climbing, crock wearing, single mothers with full time jobs “we do what men do” mentality while in heels and shooting their faces up with Botox fighting the clocks, all we did was wither away the beauty of femininity. The joy of childbearing is to have the time to raise them, not the money to pay someone else to, or shuffle between you and your “partner.” that then becomes a partnership, not a marital family unit. I don’t think all lace should also be leather or vice versa. Being black is just as beautiful as being white, and the contrasts create appreciation and the duality creates a harmonious union, not split combinations for success. 

Unrealistic Ideals

With that being said, why would a woman who in this day and age is in her thirties (once society says you have made it in your career and lifestyle etc) women are having children later. The effects of later childbirth are proven with added risks, energy levels, etc…..and imagine how “bouncing back” physically to compete with the 20 years being plastered everywhere in sight as “ being what is beautiful” by every bra ad or commercial. I find myself as a 5’8”, blonde, fit , ex model, who is educated and very secure in who I am and talents, morals, upbringing and social outreach, that I fear growing older.

I feel ashamed of being a woman when I see the way the world objectifies young women. I cant see ever being okay with it, unless i too was attracted and could objectify and enjoy seeing women portrayed that way myself. It really is a horrible thing that society today forces either that polyamorous lifestyle kind of open mind and appreciation for what should be sacred, or it creates the image of being a “bitter prude” or “insecure and jealous.” when really i think i should be able to watch “relaxing, mindless entertainment” which most TV is saying it is, but in reality, i’m watching 60 second ad after 2 hour movie with hotgirl1 as a character role, or women coming out of the water in slow motion for a perfume advertisement.

SEX SELLS….even hamburgers

I get it “sex sells” but men are just as sexual or attractive sexually as women, yet we don’t objectify them in the same way ever. Let alone to the same extent. The saddest part of all of that is this: to not feel less then and put down for not liking it, or not wanting to view/support it- it forces you to compete with it, or be bisexual in some way and like it yourself (or lie and pretend to cool with it) or there are those lucky many who are just too stupid to even read this. They see what it is and don’t think beyond it. The same people eat the same things, on the same trends, and wait in lines and live the same life as everyone they know and then die.

Desensitizing Society

 I do believe there are an exceptional 10-20% who are game changers. Life changers. Rule breakers. Risk takers. And cultural definers. The smaller elite group, I believe though, sadly most, have even been corrupted by society, to use their knowledge for evil, in the benefit of profits. To continue the general public on hamster wheels, persuaded by Calvin Klein models and indecent persuasions. I never understood why women’s clothes needed models to begin with.

Modeling for major clothing lines myself, I know that the garments are not the actual ones being sold most of time, and pins and ties are made to fit and hidden in shots, I also know that size zero, 14 year old me in any of the catalogues I modeled for, was not going to fit the general public and that it was indeed false advertisement, but nonetheless, followed suit for fame and money.

Digging Deeper from Personal Insight

What I gained from my experiences, was vast knowledge of the entertainment industry, marketing objectives and societal priorities as a whole. I’ve stood in a top hat and fishnets dealing cards to perverts in Vegas casinos until five in the morning, and in playboy bunny ears. I’ve been a marketing manager for Hooters casino, I was parlayed as “ambassador of fun” in Beverly Hills lounges. I’ve had “weigh-in requirements” bi weekly with a five pound fluctuation, due to my hiring term of “model server.” I’ve had an earpiece and hustled men for bottles, under a third party modeling agency three times a week at a prominent nightclub for years.

I’ve seen it all. From the old men trying to make me famous or make me their wives or etc. the difference in me is my intelligence, moral compass, spiritual connection with god, strong family backing and traditional old school beliefs that stopped me from ever being sucked down the rabbit hole. 

On the other hand, studying mass communications in college, film history and media programming and management, as well as my experiences across the united states working as a marketing puppet in one aspect or another, my wisdom is seen as being “tainted.” My need to be different and away and speak up or turn things off that are that way, ooze from my pores.

Makes an old fashioned girl want to run for the hills

I realize now that running away to an island and never thinking of all the life I’ve lived could be plausible, it is also not using all of this pain and knowledge to my utmost potential. But, letting these experiences, feelings and my pov out, could help other women and men understand what I’m sure many other women today feel. The ones who aren’t bi sexual or liberal feminists, the ones who don’t wanna be and have Dolly Parton or Marilyn Monroe as their best friend or idol. People could be individuals of substance and make their own fashion trends for themselves, not what’s being marketed, or restricted buying marketing scams.

We have lost the inventors, the dreamers, the out of the box thinkers, the get married and last forever live off the grid, create your own job kind of people. And that is the saddest thing to realize in society today. 

Gender-less society

Loss of gender roles for new gender roles of dual-genders with still the unfair advantages of being a woman. We now are expected to be beautiful, thin, yet curvy, yet forever young, always positive, never insecure or jealous, work and make money, bear and raise a child, and work and do it all forever until you can retire and get by, and be too old to actually enjoy it.

Kids grow up in day cares with tutors and grow up being ultimately parented by their peers, who are coming from the same if not worse situations. Look at the divorce rate, people now see marriage as a fleeting choice, conditional on feeling, and as dispensable as the paper is, so is the very commitment. Like a grain of sand in the wind, there are more women in man’s land than fish in the sea. 

I plan to age like fine wine

Growing old naturally and gracefully as god once intended, isn’t an option anymore. Anti aging, cosmetic surgeries,and implants, further perpetuate a falsely obtainable ideation of womanhood in entirety. To avoid “the ship passing” women turn themselves into monsters under the knife, are told to never reveal their true age, and would be considered “jealous” if they got upset at the babysitter dating the father or Hollywood norms of “dating half their ages.”

I’ve heard from men across the united states of their excuses, “I date someone half my age because I need a more active lifestyle than the women in my own age could give me,” or that they think money exchanges for youth and they are therefore entitled to their never-progressing age preference (even though they themselves grow old, that age number for women they fantasize about, never does.)

I have heard the common excuse of “women have curves, hips, breasts etc, and therefore their body type is more flattering and appealing to reveal, that is why men and women dress differently.” I’ve also heard the excuse from the man 50+ who played bachelor his whole life, and says he’s then ready for a family and needs someone younger “of child bearing age.” As if the woman who was there all along playing the “no real commitment game”, deserved to miss out on children of her own and be replaced later in life with someone who could be her daughter. (Because the man was focusing on money and sexual freedoms when he should have been focusing on having that family with someone age appropriate “before it was too late.”)

All of those excuses I’ve heard men say straight faced over the years, have begun to congregate and loom in a way that has told me to write this very article.

Call me old school…It’s a COMPLIMENT!

I know it’s a  very complex thought for most people to think of without a uniform wearing, gender neutral society or going back to the basics as far as 1950’s traditional kind of living. I’m sure that by this point in reading this you’ve guessed to which side my moral pendulum swings, but “being in this world but not of it” has been my life’s biggest challenge.

Such concepts have sent me for the past decade bouncing between hardened over-indulgent cynical career woman to subservient underappreciated housewife. How can a woman Balance feminine, primal instincts of gender roles such as being “care-taking, homemaking, a teacher, mother, wife, chef, coach, confidant”- and yet also the illusion set forth by modern media of being “sexy, young, fit, thin, rich or successful?” It’s too much to try to juggle. And why would we set that unobtainable superwoman goal when men, by mere genetic nature, don’t have monthly periods, breasts, bear children, or have the sexually objectified nature of the world breathing its superficial pressures down our backs every step in heels we take?  

Perceptual expectation is when you hear something through your ears and it begins to make you see things that aren’t there. When you cross blend that, with imagery of sexual enticement, the narrated “hot, juicy, sexy” with any product, unknowingly to most triggers excitement and the perceptual expectation of something sexual.

press 1 to opt OUT

As humans we have two types of reasoning skills, one being systematic and logical and the other being unconscious and emotional. And although presenting actual, factual, real depictions of products and verifiable statistics proving its worth, we as a fast, indulgent, manipulative species, more often than not, choose to target consumers with music, images and unconscious, emotional swaying. Such as the cinematic music playing with the slow motion run of the Baywatch swimsuit, or lip licking and ice cube sucking lips for Disaronno ads, with a smoky, sexy humming voice.

FYI: A report by the american psychological association (APA) on the sexualization of girls in the media found that girls are depicted in a sexual manner more than boys; dressed in revealing clothing, with bodily postures or facial expressions that imply sexual readiness. 

Somebody had to say it….

One thing that really bothers me is the concept of “well, she self objectified HERSELF, or allowed herself to be, so therefor i can or the rest of the world” by saying that it’s okay, with or without the woman’s consent, it is condoning dehumanization basically, with the excuse of blame shifting with a “she did it first” type of mentality.

It’s important to lay out in a Wikipedia formatted explanation, the real definition of sexual objectification. It is the act of treating a person solely as an object of sexual desire. Sexual objectification more broadly means treating a person as a commodity or an object without regard to their personality or dignity. Objectification is most commonly examined at the level of a society, it can also refer to the behavior of individuals and is a type of dehumanization.

Sexual objectification

Although both males and females can be sexually objectified, the concept is mainly associated with the objectification of women, and is an important idea in many feminist and psychological theories derived from them. This contributes to gender inequality, and many psychologists associate objectification with a range of physical and mental health risks in women. 

Two men pour ice water onto a wet t-shirt contest participant during Spring Break in Daytona Beach. (Photo by �� Steve Starr/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)

Now, back to the idea of women objectifying themselves and therefore it being “OK” for society as well……Ariel Levy contends that some women see self objectification as empowerment and how it has led to greater emphasis on a physical criterion or sexualization for women’s perceived self-worth. Aka ““Raunch culture” Levy discussed in his piece called “female chauvinist pigs.” In this, he followed the camera crew from girls gone wild. He argues that contemporary America’s sexualized culture, not only objectifies women, but encourages women to objectify themselves.

In today’s culture, participating in a wet t shirt contest or being comfortable watching explicit pornography has become a symbol of feminist strength, yet also in irony, making more women self objectify themselves.

The alternatives being the “jealous one” or “prudish one”and any lingering psychological effects from that are dismissed. Wendy Shalit proposes an interesting concept to combat this very idea, with the concept of advocating a return to pre-sexual revolution standards of sexual morality, aka the “return to modesty,” serving as an antidote to sexual objectification. I wish we could implement a lot more of that into society.

The real problem is that there is injustice, but women are handling it in all different and often conflicting ways, diluting the severity of the issue. Like mentioned above, we as a society even motivate, perpetuate and glorify self objectification. 

Doing something by NOT doing something about it

The problem really lies then in this, with this conscious knowledge of the issue, yet the mass division of reaction to it and subconscious “can’t figure it out entirely so oh well let’s keep doing it and stop thinking about it because for most people it doesn’t directly affect them, and even brings pleasure.” I don’t see the issue ever getting better, until all the women to say the least can get on the same page with it. Or else women in society today are just running a race even the “hired” models can never win. No one can stay young, thin or new enough to sustain forever. The true epitome of an unattainable ideal. 

 It scares me to think of being old or having an unforeseen physically impairing accident or becoming large in pregnancy and not being able to know inside I could compete and wasn’t jealous, even if I didn’t act on it. I’ve never not been the best, or alongside the best, or striving to win first place. I don’t mean that narcissistically but, I can’t imagine if i was obese or with missing or crooked teeth, short, bald, not intelligent…etc. Most people look at me, thinking that because of my entertainment past that I would never feel this way. Maybe, exposing my real feelings on this matter will help more people realize their commonality on this subject.

With the media, and products for women’s “beauty” and unrealistic trends- like gluing individual eyelash extensions that stay in until your actual eyelashes fall out for temporary aesthetic pleasure is just wrong. The argument is easy, its marketing ploy claims to make the ugly feel more beautiful, or make the already or semi beautiful more beautiful or etc. the entire concept proposes that women can’t age naturally. Or be beautiful as they are. Society as a whole has gone far beyond a lip or cheek tint, to almost the point of making a person unrecognizable.

Come on barbie you’re still grandma at the party

Bake the skin, bleach the teeth, bleach the hair, fill the face, weight train the body to sculpt, and what you cant you go under the knife for, to become more alike the next, and still later in life after all of that, stand next to your daughters friend or someone younger, and still not be able to compete anymore. Or to sit back and have your TV, the gym, workplaces, parties, magazines etc filled with it, but, age naturally and have to look at those naked, primped, desperately seeking affirmation- women- like a subspecies.

Some, admire it almost as a different creature, to not seem “jealous.” When really its just about RESPECT. Respecting that some things are private or shouldn’t be exploited, and respecting yourself enough not to further support it by being part of it.

What is the world coming to?

The entire cycle is a lose-lose situation no matter how it’s looked at. I never realized how bright the simplest phrase is, “It’s a man’s world.”Don’t you think as a society we shouldn’t be at the point where it’s second nature to “appreciate” women’s exposed bodies in everything we do?

Perhaps there is a simple part of me who truly wants my naked body only seen by the man I love, and therefore other women not doing the same for him and the rest of the world. It’s likely a man could do that and promise that, in his baggy grey sweatpants or jeans or knee length shorts, without push up bras and crop top tops hair extensions contouring makeup and stilettos. And to not feel the need to compete with that everywhere else around and on TV, it’s impossible.

It’s really voluntary self exploitation, and feminism removed. You can taste the oppression in saying that. Maybe life would really be easier with a dress code. But then again there is no real dress code let alone basic code of ethics for anyone in the world, unless they have respect for absolutes. Absolute right and wrongs, such as in the form of law or religion. Up and down like in physics, Woman and man, and Hell and heaven.

I believe in SUBSTANCE

Let’s be real, the people we are talking about have acrylics the size of my pinkie finger and buy knock off Louis bags (as if the real ones in caca brown with a logo that looks like Las Vegas, and by the way, is now as commonly tacky as a coach bag.) I think I’ll leave that right there, because I could write a whole article on just superficiality, and the depth-less person who feels whole by having “things.” it’s not what you have, it’s who you are. 

One thing I heard a few years ago while working in timeshare sales is no one ever on their deathbed looks back at their life and says, “I wish I had bought another purse or had another syringe of lip injections or added another garage and sports car.” The number one thing people regret is not the things but it’s time spent with loved ones. And then if you look deeper within that, the people living their lives to compete with unattainable superficial ideals are spending their precious time doing just that.

Wasting their lives on what never really mattered, and being who they really weren’t meant to be anyways, with people who never really liked them for who they really were. All of the cliche sayings spring to mind like, “for the love of money,” “or money is the root of all evil” so is fame, chasing fleeting visions of beauty, title climbing, etc. and after about one hundred foreheads stepped on, the desensitization period steps in.

Look, There’s nothing wrong with looking your best, being healthy, aspiring for success, embracing your beauty or sexuality with your significant other, but there’s a whole different thing I’m talking about here. The thing I’m trying to say is, in the end you don’t take your house and car to heaven, or your wall of degrees, and youth is fleeting, beauty illuminates from the soul, and protecting what is good should mean everything. Beyond things, looks, possessions, collections, titles, or anything else for that matter.  

My conclusion……

So what do I plan to do about it you ask? After all the references, opinions, be it mind opening or taken merely as another hormonal woman rant, there must be a strong conclusion to any great piece. My conclusion is this: I cannot change the world, or people in it. All I can do is live my life and be and act how I believe is right. Speaking my truth, yet having happy tranquility in my personal well being. Prayer for the world, and doing as much good as I can Is better than trying to change this stubborn world.

There are different strokes for different folks, but just like the political elections, or reading the national enquirer, I choose not to pollute my mind with manipulation driven marketing through the media. I can recognize injustices and not further perpetuate or give anyone the impression that it’s acceptable to me. There is no need to picket and social media blast these injustices but I don’t need to grit my teeth and smile and watch silently either. Its mature to have allowance of other people who condone it, even if I don’t. And, instead of it upsetting me, I can just have a different opinion of that person in regards to those injustices and reactions, and gage my loyalties accordingly.

I do sadly admit that I need to be more tolerant and patient with men who haven’t and will never see it from my perspective, and even at the aspect of sheer numbers, the few in opposition to the injustice, are pale, to the comparison of the mass marketed injustice proposing popularity.    

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