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The Media’s Portrayal of Women

How the media portrays women and its effects
Courtesy of HerZingdai

The media plays a big part in shaping the attitudes towards various groups, including women. While media platforms can be amazing in the way they promote empowerment and progress, they have often been criticized for feeding stereotypes and biases in the portrayal of women. One of the biggest things the media does while representing  women is making them seem overly emotional, dependent on men, or only focused on their appearance. Some examples are Cher in Clueless and all of the main characters in Mean Girls.

 The value of women is often limited to their physical qualities, which causes very unrealistic standards. One example of this is when you search school boy versus school girl, and the results are very different in comparison where the boy has a normal picture of a young man going to school while the girl picture usually has an inappropriate school girl costume.

 Another big thing the media does while depicting women is underrepresentation of different types of women especially women of color and others from marginalized groups. This underrepresentation can lead to the lack of diverse and complex female characters and causes reduced visibility and opportunities for real women to be shown. 

The media’s portrayal of women can also affect the self-esteem and aspirations of young girls and women; unreachable beauty standards and limited presentations of women in society can cause feelings of less self-worth and inadequacy. These feelings can lead to fewer career aspirations, because women may not see themselves in diverse and empowering roles in the media. 

If we have more women that have jobs such as Barbie in Barbie and Elle Woods in Legally Blonde it may show a young girl that she too can do whatever she desires. We can change this by aiming to promote a more realistic and diverse view of women and their lives instead of including a woman’s emotions or any unrealistic standards involved. Overall, women aren’t always portrayed in a good light in the media, such as creating false stereotypes that can alter the idea on how women should be. By changing how the media creates a woman, the way the world views them will change, too. 

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