The Sun: Sexualised Media

Nicole NealThe Sun came to a shocking new low today with its ‘Under boob’ trend being modelled by Page 3 girl Nicole Neal, the trend like the ‘side boob’ sported by celebrities consists of part of the breast being exposed, in this case the curvature of the bottom of the breasts. The above look was described as being a festival inspired, personally I find it far too much and don’t see how anybody cause possibly leave the house so comfortably when showing off so much skin. As for ‘festival’ just because she has flowers in her hair doesn’t mean it’s a festival trend. also people usually go to festivals to see live music not women wearing very little.Miley CyrusIt come’s to no surprise that controversial stars such as Miley Cyrus is not shy of the side boob trend, especially considering that she wears very little on stage. But is the under boob and side boob really a trend that people should be following or is it just an excuse for females to be sexualized even more?

Gender inequality is certainly far from being solved when the media splashes images across the world of ‘side boobs’ and ‘under boobs’ like it’s a perfectly acceptable thing. Would you really want to see your children or relatives walking around like this because they’ve seen it in magazines or showcased by celebrities?

Considering The Sun is now linked to the breast cancer charity Coppafeel, you would think that’d be more respectful to the female body but obviously not, previously they held a contest against Ex Big Brother and Apprentice ‘star’ Luisa Zuissman and model Helen Flanagan to see who had better breasts. Is this really important and ‘news’ I think not but the paper is so misogynistic that it couldn’t possibly stoop any lower.

Helen FlanaganRather than showcasing women as just something that can be looked at The Sun should showcase talented women and show there is more to us than just breasts, rather than pitting two ‘celebrities’ together to see who has better breasts, fake vs natural, this is the kind of content you’d expect to find in lads mags, especially when they have their top lists to determine which female is sexier.  Page 3 is outdated yet they wont listen to the public and scrap it, instead it seems that more female bodies are showcased and very little news is actually reported so is this still a ‘family’ newspaper or just another lads mag that has articles in to deviate from the fact that often enough large images of bikini clad women take centre spread.

As young females grow up they shouldn’t feel like they are only worth what their body looks like, females should grow up not feeling like their body counts for everything and that boob fashion trends are the norm but with such sexualized content publically showcased then gender inequality is looking less likely.

*images from Google

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Check ‘Em Tuesday Campaign Controversy

check em tuesday coverPage 3 as we all know features topless models for unnecessary purposes, boobs aren’t news and shouldn’t be featured in a ‘family’ paper, a while ago now I signed the petition to have the Page 3 content removed as well as 161, 823 more people so I am quite disgusted and concerned as to why David Dinsmore has decided to use sexualised women to promote Breast Cancer awareness.

Check ‘Em Tuesday will now run every Tuesday to remind women to check theirselves for any signs of Breast Cancer, using a popular newspaper is a great way to promote cancer awareness but using sexualised images is not the right way to go about it! Coppafeel the charity working with The Sun feel it’s the best way to alert people of the dangers rather than aimed at sufferers.

I have nothing against the charity and hope it succeeds before I am seen as being against cancer awareness, I just feel that it seems like The Sun has used a tactical move, they know about the vast amount of support for no more Page 3, even MP’s want it gone, so promoting a deadly disease to keep the content in place is a disgusting move.

check em tuesdayThe above image has been used to ‘promote’ the campaign, had you not seen it before would you be aware it’s promoting breast cancer awareness? Breast Cancer is a serious condition and I personally feel that The Sun isn’t taking it very seriously, it’s nice that they want to promote it but they are going the wrong way about it.

Go CommandoGo Commando is the male equivalent of Check ‘Em Tuesday but there was a very large difference between the promotion of both campaigns, Page 3 models were given front page and a large spread in the paper, Go Commando used ordinary men and only had a small feature in the paper, the majority of the space on those pages was covered with advertisements. What does that tell you?

Cancer is deadly serious no matter what gender, age or ethnicity you are, yet The Sun seems to think that female models in their early 20’s is the way to promote it and older white males (with one exception of a 24 year old) will attract readers. In the article it has the cancer stories of the men who have suffered, and again Coppafeel features to the side of the story but to promote the symptoms of breast cancer rather than having a male guide on cancer symptoms.

If you don’t agree with Page 3 and think it is outdated then why not sign the petition? or follow the campaign on Twitter @NoMorePage3

https://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/david-dinsmore-take-the-bare-boobs-out-of-the-sun-nomorepage3

 

*images from Google

American Apparel: Controversal Campaigns

It’s no surprise that the store fronting mannequins with full pubic hair is a store that also printed a t-shirt of a menstruating vagina just last year, the store of course is American Apparel.

Controversy is the forte of this store, with previous advertisements bordering pornographic (photos to come shorty) Women are constantly sexualised by this brand so this latest stunt to grab attention doesn’t come as a surprise with the use of female mannequins.  The mannequins are fronting full pubic hair and realistic nipples shown in see through underwear, but what is the point to this campaign? Does it make you want to go in store? It’s certainly been a good way of publicising their selves as many stop and stare at the displays as well as talking about it worldwide.  

american-apparel mannequinsThe pubic hair campaign is for a Valentines Display, I fail to see it.

An advert which features a model wearing just sports socks with hand placements to look like masturbation is another example of an extreme advertisement they have previously used and had banned. You would think a clothes shop’s primarily focus would be to sell the clothes and not to sell sex.

american-apparel-ads-2011-mainAnother shocking advert for the company which features sheer pants showing off more pubic hair, why is this company so obsessed with pubic hair and vagina’s?  Personally I don’t find the adverts to be that clever or appealing but their sales tactics appear to be sold on controversy and shock alone.

american apparel store openingThe finally shocking advertisement is the one above which is for a store opening, funny how the store details are in small print and barely noticeable. The owner Dov Charney clear has no respect for women otherwise why would he sexualise them to such an extent just to ‘sell’ clothing although very little is worn in advertisements.  Another issue I have with all this is that the models always look quite young, sexualising young women gives off such a terrible impression, it makes them look like objects rather than human beings.

*images from Google

Miss Representation (2011)

Miss Representation is a documentary from 2011 exploring the media pressures put on young women in America, it more so talks about the limited political power that is given to women and how female power is under-represented in media influences. The documentary was quite a shock to how sexist the media actually is, it showcases women as being natural enemies to each other and generally bitchy behaviour, come on now women do get on with each other.

Jennifer Siebel Newsom narrates throughout the documentary the fears she has of her little girl growing up in the male dominated environment, if they aren’t subjecting women sexually they are undermining their intelligence. A wide range of shocking statistics are also used throughput to showcase how oblivious we may be to what is actually going on in front of our very eyes on a daily basis.

Shock Statistics

“Studies prove exposures to sexually explicit video games and music videos is linked to men’s acceptance of rape myths and sexual harassment”

“1 in 6 women are survivors of rape or attempted rape”

“It is estimated that out of the 8 million people with an eating disorder 7 of those million are women.”

“In 2011, only 11% of protagonists in films were female.”

“Women hold only 5% of clout positions in telecommunications, entertainment, publishing, and advertising”

Media influences may seem ineffective but they do shape how a society thinks, females are constantly sexualised which makes it seem that we are objects, in the popular video game Grand Theft Auto men can beat up female prostitutes and get their money back after ‘using their services’ it shows a complete lack of respect towards women and like this behaviour is acceptable and possibly even funny.

It may not be featured in the Documentary due to it being 2 years later but  Robin Thicke’s Blurred Lines is a primary example of how women are being overly sexualised constantly in the media. The models in the video are dancing around topless (explicit version) and the lyrics over exert sexual intentions and rape, the blurred line wipes out the answer no making it seem like the females are available and this is not acceptable, glorifying rape in popular culture formats will make it more accessible for audiences, women should not be portrayed as sex objects or even used just to boost a songs video hits.

Blurred LinesWith women’s small contribution to media services it means that the patriarchal society will continue to grow, males will continue to undermine a females persona and focus more on her looks, with the over exposure of slim models and celebrities and shaming those who gain weight then it will make it seem like your looks are the most important factor of life.

Jennifer Siebel Newsom illustrates that when auditioning for roles she was advised not to mention her educational achievements due to it being potentially intimidating, what’s wrong with having a degree? Women aren’t dumb which is constantly a media stereotype e.g.’dumb blondes’ but it seems that if you do have good educational traits then you are an outcast and you should focus more on your looks rather than studying. A good example of this is Mean Girls, this isn’t mentioned in the documentary btw, it’s a film that everybody has either heard of or seen, when Cady remotely shows any intelligence she is instantly looked at like she is a freak by the ‘Plastics’ but then you slowly see her consumed by the beauty obsession and bitchy personality.

If more female power was allowed in the media then changes could be made, young girls wouldn’t feel self conscious about their looks at such a young age and the ever growing increase in depression and eating disorders wouldn’t be such a high risk. Everyday females aren’t like those constantly showcased in music video’s, Miley Cyrus may walk around in next to nothing and twerk but it doesn’t mean that every girl wants to act like this.

2013 MTV Video Music Awards - ShowMore statistics and information for the documentary can be found on it’s official site, it can also be viewed on Netflix (UK)

http://film.missrepresentation.org/statistics

*images from google

Women Get Real: The Ideal Body Shape

Balloon chests and tiny waists are now being rejected by women for a softer curvier body shape, gone is the idealistic ‘porn’ body favoured by men, women still favouring this look are models such as Katie Price and Pamela Anderson, who we all know have had a lot of cosmetic surgery to achieve their look. 

Women now feel that model Kelly Brook has the ideal shape, a soft body with curves and no enhancements, gone is the reality that being as thin as Kate Moss is the shape that must be achieved and attained by women, personally I’ve never found her that appealing and don’t see her as a good role model for young women. Have you ever thought that being skin and bone is attractive? Well not anymore as the rise of curves is coming, move over size zero.

Kate Moss“However 92 per cent of girls  reported they felt ‘under pressure’ to keep up with the latest body shape ideals, despite many women once again embracing a more natural look” Ladies should feel comfortable no matter what their size is! Don’t follow the trends or worse the silly celebrity diets such as ‘The Maple Syrup Diet’, embrace your body and dress to accentuate it. If you constantly worry if your the right shape or size then you wont be living your life to the full.

Marilyn Monroe was a healthy size 14 and im sure she never worried about being a size 6!  So whatever your size feel comfortable in your own skin or if you wish to lose a tiny bit of weight do it in a healthy way and not starve yourselves purposely or consider surgery because you feel its a quick fix.

Although the porn body may seem like every guys fantasy do you really think they’d want to settle with someone obsessed with their looks and surgery? Barbie is a doll for a reason she can easily be manufactured differently and women shouldn’t even try to achieve that ‘perfect’ plastic look.

marilyn_monroehttp://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2451153/Porn-body-backlash-Jordan-pornstar-look-womens-desired-shape.html

*images from Google

Short Skirts: Short Fares

Amy ChildsBrentwood Council in Essex are considering a move to see females on a night out receive cheaper taxi fares if they are wearing revealing or short clothing, this is due to being more at risk if they cannot safely get home or afford the current taxi fare. The move is considered to come after individuals are inspired by the programme Towie, personally I have never seen this programme so aren’t familiar with what it is inspiring, a assume it is something to do with an active nightlife…. Amy Childs has also been named for blame but she has hit back claiming it’s unfair that individuals could be more at risk for wanting to look ‘glamorous’. 

This kind of thing subjects females into a ‘victim’ category based on what they are wearing, it shouldn’t be assumed that women who wear little clothing are automatically going to be a victim of a rape crime, not all men are going to rape someone on a night out.

Its a strange thing for the council to consider but if it becomes possible then could it not mean that girls will purposely wear little clothing so that they to can have their fare cut? It wouldn’t be fair otherwise if someone has to pay full price because they are deemed to be wearing more clothing that doesn’t see them at risk if alone at night.

Surely ladies going out think ahead to ensure that they can get back home, it could also be seen as sexist, why should it just be females that get taxi fares cut? It would cost £3000 to put the scheme into action and local people believe that if people can afford to go out drinking then they can afford to get their selves home, they do make a far point

Would it not be better to put a policy into practise that meant ladies had to wear a certain length of dress or skirt when clubbing? im not saying it has to be below knee length so legs are completely covered but maybe not short enough that the whole world can see up it if you were to bend down as this could give off an ‘easy’ impression, or maybe taxi ranks could be closer to the nightclubs so people aren’t walking alone in the dark, either way I think another solution could be put into action rather than costing the taxpayers £3000 for a scheme that seems over the top.

Sexualised Dolls: My Little Pony

Once an innocent past time to a now sexualised toy, the transformation of My Little Pony has now reached new levels, Equestria Girls is a humanised version of the ponies, the girls are symbolised by their trademark ponytails and colourful skin but each girl has something in common, they’re all slim with short clothing on, like any of doll on the market it is providing an unnatural body image to children and the short dresses can be seen as far too sexy and inappropriate for children.

Original My Little PonyThe original My Little Pony as pictured above is long overshadowed by the new design, although the original isn’t as colourful it keeps its design simple and allows children to enjoy the simplicity of it rather than the new slim versions which have much more make up on and are slimmer.  Why have Hasbro only just decided now to humanise the ponies? It will no longer be a niche product compared to all the other dolls currently on the market such as Monster High which like the Equestrian Girl Character above has a character called Frankie Stein which also has the blue skin colour.

Frankie SteinIn a society where there is a high pressure to have the ‘perfect’ body image it doesn’t seem right for little girls who love to play with their dolls to be subjected to ones with a sexualised appearance, near enough all the dolls on the market have a similar body, always slim, make up and short clothing, it isn’t going to give off a good impression to young minds who could think that being slim and perfect is the right way to be. Could it possibly lead to subjecting choices down to beauty, If a girl starts off by wanting the prettiest doll and rejecting one because it isn’t good enough could it lead to future choices with their friendships? It could be possible that they pick their friends based on looks alone and not whether or not they are nice people to be around.

jade j'adoreWhilst researching the dolls market on the Toysrus site I came across the above doll known as Jade J’Adore from the Bratz dolls range known as Bratzillas. It states  “Jade J’Adore loves everything about love and has the power to heal a broken heart!” personally I find this doll looks far too provocative with the way it is posing, Bratz dolls are recommended for ages 8 and older, it seems odd to me that an 8 year old would know much about love and broken hearts.

If all future dolls are made to look like Jade J’Adore then I worry about the minds of those who have to grow up with them, they wont know that body image is fine in any size, they’ll just assume that you have to be stick thin to be beautiful and wear lots of make up.  I feel that the environment you grown up in contributes to the way you feel and act about certain subjects so an environment filled with pretty dolls is only going to put emphasis on vanity and body image, children should be carefree and confident, when they are older if they don’t have the perfect body or make up they could feel self conscious and the need to achieve the unrealistic vision of beauty, if they grow up with unrealistic role models and toys representing an unrealistic image then they could wonder why they aren’t so slim or why they didn’t grow up to look so perfect.barbieIm not sure as to whether or not Barbie is still as popular as she used to be but her appearance doesn’t seem as sexualised as the other dolls included in this blog post, sure she still have her perfect blonde hair and make up but her outfits are much more appropriate and don’t sexualise her body. I quite liked that with the Spa Barbie play set she has a facemask included as it has a sense of achieving her beauty rather than just having it.

Spa BarbieIt cant be predicted what future dolls will have but it is most likely that they will remain to be manufactured with the slim body, short skirts and dresses and overly done make up. Would it be so wrong for a doll to feature a curvier body or natural beauty with no make up? Introducing dolls with all sorts of body shapes, ethnicity, and sizes could cause a new shift in the body image stakes and lead a childs future to believe that they don’t have to be stick thin like dolls and models and they can be comfortable in their own skin.

*images from Google

Toddlers & Tiaras

Toddlers and Tiaras is a programme following the lives of young children who compete in beauty pageants across America. Along the way tantrums are brewed as well as the child’s need to win and to be the best, its more so about winning than having fun.

It seems it is unacceptable to be a runner up and the stakes are high when each girl is subjected to a makeover that makes them appear to be a replica of Barbie.

One little girl Kayla who is 3 years said that the other girls were ugly and another girl Desiree who was 10 years old had ordered ‘flippers’ which was a false set of teeth similar to dentures because her teeth were slightly crooked, she also made to put in contact lenses which she didn’t seem happy with, it just proves that every part of you has to be manipulated in order to look perfect.pageant+girlBeauty pageants for children are quite controversial, some see it as harmless fun and others see it as children being sexualised and forced to grow up too fast in a vanity culture. Personally I find it strange to see a child covered in fake tan, make up and with false nails as it appears to take away their innocence but as these pageants aren’t common in the UK this could be why.  Im not sure young girls should be showing off swimwear and wiggling their hips so maybe the age group should be capped for that or just left to the adult pageants maybe as it does appear to sexualise them especially when theyare pulling poses and blowing kisses.

It would be much better if it wasn’t such a strong competition with pressure added to the girls and more so as a fun competition to be apart of, when a child starts getting upset and not wanting to do something they aren’t comfortable with e.g. having false lashes put on, then it should be time to reconsider that decision.

“Tori Hensley from Lampasas County, Texas, was  seen combining Mountain Dew, Sweet Tea  and Pixie Stix and administering it to her daughter Alexa in a sippy cup.  ‘I want cup,’ the youngster  demanded. Mrs Hensley also explained that her toddler  starts out every morning with a large cup of coffee topped with powdered cream,  which has been a daily ritual since she  was just nine months old.”

It’s taking it too far when a child is given caffeine at such an early age especially when it could potentially cause diabetes when the child is older and lead to a caffeine addiction, it should be a high priority to look after children’s teeth until they are old enough to care for them theirselves, the high amount of sugar will be leading to problems early on.

pixie stix

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2337447/A-caffeine-addiction-TWO-Toddlers-Tiaras-mom-sparks-outcry-giving-child-soda-tea-Pixie-Stix-breakfast-cocktail.html

*images from Google

Hairy Tights: Would You Buy Them?

A bizarre trend has sparked from China, women are purchasing tights which make it appear that they haven’t shaved their legs in months, why you ask? Simply to hoard off unwanted attention from men peering at their legs.

J.Crew have a lace design (as pictured above) to give the hairy legs appearance but would you personally purchase a pair of these?.

It sounds like such a strange and unattractive product to own let alone wear…. 

Amy Jones modelled the tights in varies situations “I explain that they are tights intended to fend off men. Ollie, an engineer,  makes a helpful suggestion: “Just wear trousers. You look weird.” (Full story on The Sun link)

Ollie makes a good point, why should women go to the extremes of purchasing hairy tights just to put off unwanted male attention? Just because a female has her legs on show does not mean that it is there for the purpose of men to look at her.

Why should women constantly have to maintain theirselves in order to be considered sexy? A lot of woman feel the need to shave regularly as it’s considered abnormal not to.

Would leg hair put you off and is this trend going to take off?

Personally I feel its a waste of money unless you intend to wear it for a Halloween costume. If you don’t mind the look of hairy legs then just throw away the razor instead of throwing money at a gimmick.

http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/features/4980425/Hairy-scary.html

*image from Google