Body and gender representation Essay
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The general public is also the intended audience for this movie. Here, woman is represented as a jobless, single mother, a situation that many women in society find themselves in. Out of desperation, Brokovich presses her lawyer to give her a job in his firm and was given a clerical position. However, she was not treated with seriousness because she did not conform to the dress and manners required of an office employee. In the course of her work, she came across information about a company depositing toxic chemicals that polluted the local water supply.
She takes an active role in building a case against the company. Gender representation is consistent with cultural norms in that women are mothers whose role is to nurture their children. However, the strength, assertiveness, intelligence, efforts to control and direct life and active involvement in social issues portrayed by Brokovich departs from cultural norms which dictate that women be passive, dependent or should focus their time on domestic affairs. This female representation is very positive. Les Miserables (1998) An adaptation of the French classic novel, the movie is again for general patronage.
In line with the novel, the film portrays an ex-convict Jean Valjean who commits crime but soon establishes a new life under a new identity. He builds a business employing the poor and disadvantaged and upon the dying wishes of a prostitute whom he defended from unjust imprisonment and whom he took care of while sick, raises her daughter as his own. He does everything to ensure her safety, education, home, social standing and financial security. Gender representation in this film is positive. Male representation moves away from the cultural norm of detached and not domestically inclined father.
Here, Valjean takes on the nurturing role, selfless with a strong stance against the oppression of both women and men. However, this was not carried out in the traditional manner of knight in shining armor or as a male holding a position of power but rather as a struggling person helping his fellow poor. The representation of women was through Fantine, an unwed mother whom poverty forced into prostitution and her daughter who was enslaved and abused by the family to whom she was initially entrusted. The woman in this family was particularly cruel.
This portrayal of women as traditionally helpless, discriminated and taken advantage of but who can also take on the role of oppressor provides a realistic view of the variety of roles that women take on in society. Pictures 1. This photo in a magazine’s swim suit edition portrays femininity in terms of physical beauty. This is defined as flawless hair, clear skin with an excellent tone, slimness and curves. This representation is consistent with society and male’s standard of femininity and beauty to which a woman’s worth may be judged.
Because women’s bodies are different and the average woman does not look like her at all, its impact on women is negative. It leads them to become dissatisfied with their bodies which results in a poor body image and low self-esteem. It also reinforces women’s gender roles of preoccupation with beauty. In regarding themselves as defective and in cultivating the desire to attain the model’s looks and body, women will spend much time, effort and money. The target audience of the magazine includes teen-agers and young women who are potential buyers of the product being advertised. 2.
The strong, muscular and aggressive stance of the male in this photo, which appeared in a magazine for women, represents current cultural norms regarding masculinity which encompasses male gender roles of taking the active part, dominant, capable and powerful. It reflects traditional views that men cannot be soft, weak, puny or vulnerable. Men are affected negatively by this representation because it also establishes a standard that they have to conform to. It establishes that these physical characteristics are what women would find appealing but like women, men are also different.
Hence, those men who do not possess the physical attributes portrayed by this model will feel insecure and would also attempt to build their physique and the matching attitude. 3. The intended audience for this picture is also women. Aside from portraying femininity in terms of beauty, femininity is also represented as youth and sensuality. The dress, the body parts revealed and position of the model are both sexy and seductive. It reflects the traditional view of women as sex objects and their role as a source of male sexual fantasy and satisfaction.
Similarly, this representation is negative because it implies that in order to be desired by men, women have to have the proper physical attributes of breasts, legs and buttocks such as portrayed. It impacts most especially on the self-esteem of older women since age diminishes the physical characteristics perceived as desirable. Wrinkles, age spots and decreasing muscle tone, which occur within the normal course of an older woman’s life, are now regarded as their adversary.