A more serious tone compared to my other posts but I felt it was something which needed to be written!
After watching a video by Laci Green about this topic, my mind was exposed to the overwhelming reality we actually live in. For clarification, the definition of objectification is “the viewing or treatment of people, usually women, solely as depersonalised objects of desire instead of as individuals with personalities and desires of their own.”
The more I thought about it, the more I began to realise the extent to which society depersonalises women and the inevitable negative effects this has. One example of this is on TV shows, be it The Big Bang Theory, How I Met Your Mother or Two And a Half Men, where it is the norm for women to be portrayed as something pretty to look at or something to try and have sex with. Laci also pointed out that in many of these TV shows (and even movies) men of all different body shapes date women of just ONE body type.
As stated above sexual objectification can also be seen on the front of women (and men’s) magazines, which are littered with airbrushed female celebrities pouting provocatively, with their cleavage screaming for attention while wearing shorts that barely cover their derriere. Even TV adverts can’t resist selling yoghurt, perfume or jewellery without somehow incorporating a woman’s sexuality or body into the mix – sometimes it’s hard to work out what the product being advertised actually is!
This constant portrayal of women as sex objects is something which is very much manufactured and is not without consequences; Laci says that we’re so heavily exposed to this imagery that scientists have found that both men and women see women’s bodies as a bundle of sexual body parts while we see men as whole people.
One issue we’ve probably all heard about is breastfeeding in public; on the one hand we are bombarded with ‘sexy’ cleavage from magazines, films, music videos and posters, but on the other hand we have people saying that breastfeeding in public is obscene and that those mothers should be ashamed.
Due to the fact that females are subject to constant thoughtless criticism, they learn at a young age to self-objectify. The American Psychiatric Association reports that self-objectification results in low self-esteem and anxiety towards body image which could go on to result in to depression or an eating disorder.
It’s strange to think that we live in a society where sexual objectification is so normalised that until it’s pointed out that women are treated so differently to men, we aren’t even aware of how bizarre and unequal society can be.
What do you think?