The media has an impact on all of us considering our inability to escape 24 hour exposure thanks to modern technology. Movies, television, and magazines are no longer the only place that is filled with ads: all websites as well as phone apps are littered with ads for all types of businesses. As I have mentioned in various other work for this class, women in the media is always a concern. The academic journal I have chosen (information listed in my Works Cited section) reflects on the media's impact on women, and how they interpret how the media displays women.
This journal involved the identification of how media defines itself as well as the women it portrays. It begins by addressing the fact that people often spend 53 hours per week being bombarded by or viewing media (Brinkman, Khan, Jedinak, and Vetere, 2015), revealing the possible impacts it may have those that consume media. The major issue for women in the media is their constant portrayal of being limited to their sexuality, in terms of what makes them appear to be powerful. This can be dangerous as it may appear to be a revolutionary portrayal, while it actually is drawing from traditionalist views (2015), making women more uninspired to fight for their rights elsewhere, as they believe there has been some improvement in society's treatment of women (2015).
When it comes to the media's portrayal of women in movies, only 11% of female characters were protagonists in 2012 (2015). When not starring in a main role, women are mainly love interests of the leading man, and nothing much past just that (2015). Although movies such as James Bond contributed to a new, independent version of female characters, their revolutionary developments often only attributed to how attractive they were meant to be (2015). This can be a major concern, considering constant exposure to such role models may leave a lasting impression on how women believe they should behave and appear (2015).
The media undeniably gives an insight into how it believes women should appear or behave, as it typically displays woman as being "sexualized, the emphasis of physical appearance emphasized over other qualities, the thin ideal, a heterosexual bias, focus on youthfulness, the portrayal that one’s financial status is important, and having a love of shopping." (Pg 7, 2015). These slim and direct ideals can make women that are outside of those categories feel less important, powerful, or desirable overall because of the constant representation of women fitting into these desirable characteristics (2015). In fact, some female students overlooked the media's negative portrayals as they believed there could be many interpretations of the material (2015). This may relate to how individuals' tend to ignore something that bothers them, and dismiss it as something they misunderstood (2015).
Despite the negative implications the media has on women, there seems to be a unanimous hope that it will one day represent more diverse and honest female characters (2015). This article enlightens the reader as to how media may be interpreted by many other females, but ultimately views the media as a negative role model for women, especially as it tends to bank on what it calls "empowerment" for women (2015).
Brinkman, B. G., Khan, A., Jedinak, A., & Vetere, L. (2015). College women’s reflections on media representations of empowerment. Psychology of Popular Media Culture, 4(1), 2-17. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/ppm0000043