Restrictions, restraints and limitations everyday scrolling through our Instagram feed watching as the stereotype of what and how a woman should be, unfolds day by day. How we have come to live in a world where women are being tied up, hushed in order to not show their true reality in order to hide behind their own true shadows, the shadows that they have long hidden not concealing to society afraid of showing too much. My name is Dima Sughair and I will be discussing what was previously mentioned while also taking a step further into the expectations that the media has built about a female’s body image, her mental health and role in society.
Have you ever felt the urge to post a photo of yourself and then noticed all the flaws found in your photo? Well I have we all have, its either our bodies are too thin or thick to please the several social platforms, as we have been fed the typical stereotype of how our bodies should look like throughout the years. Four studies done by Dr. Stacy L. Smith reviewed the appearance of women in variety of shows, animated and live action and found big breasts, small waists and generally unrealistic bodies. These tv shows we are exposed to change the society’s definition of beauty, they start making women believe that they should allow media to alter their own thoughts about themselves which then makes these women starve and choke on the salads they have been forced to eat seeking the appearance of a celebrity, and in order to be called pretty; because media has convinced us that if your waist was as small as Kylie Jenner’s then you are beautiful, if your stomach was as flat as Gigi Hadid’s then you are gorgeous, if your looks fit the criteria of beauty that media has placed for us women then you are accepted! We the society have been fooled into thinking that there is only one image expressing how a women’s body should be, not knowing the truth that we live in a world full of technology such as photoshop which is being used to manipulate our thoughts into believing the false images that the media only shows cutting out the unwanted parts which convey the truth, they hide the true reality of being a human, fooling us!
Moving on, we have come to live in a world where we have been taught to fake happiness just to please our surroundings and where social influencers are obligated to only show the what’s called perfect state of life which is nonexistent; because that isn’t human nature. We are swallowed daily by the posts on media, where people snap their vacations and post about their supposedly perfect lives, while we begin a competition where we thrive to be just like them believing that their life is the life we ought to live, and whatever is different than what they post is just wrong or unacceptable, not knowing that all that is being shown is only one half of the story it is only a slight part of the social influencers and celebrities lives, not knowing that they edit their snaps, tweets and Instagram posts so much where they become flawless, and then we by default are misled into believing that it’s the ideal life, that it is what their life is really like, little do we know they are suffering from the inside trying to only show the happiness they’ve got. Media puts pressure on celebrities and influencers to look put together and always delightful, even if they are not feeling that way. An example on that was the famous speech of Selena Gomez one of the very well-known celebrities and social media influencers, where as a speech to receiving her award where she says “I kept it all together enough to where I would never let you down” meaning the society where she this social influencer felt the restriction to only spread happiness where she couldn’t really unleash her true feelings and show the world what a real human is like. After the society falls into the trap of social media they expect each woman to live the same happy life most social influencers fake and believe our joyful and edited posts, stories and tweets describe our lives exactly full of happiness and the absence of negative feelings and issues.
As I was babysitting my little cousin one day, we watched some animated movies and shows for a long time. None of the females played a role being a hero being the one who saves the man. None of the male characters were shown crying or too emotional but the female was in addition, in one of the shows, the brother didn’t accept his sisters request to play with dolls saying “only girls play with dolls. “After this exhausting experience I realized that media portray women in a certain specific way, they suppose we are emotional, weak and dependent. Gender roles are growing in my cousin’s mind although it doesn’t exist in his house because media is incorporated in shaping us and changing our thoughts about certain topic. Beside shows and movies tv advertisements play an important role in changing society’s perception of women, any cleaning or house related products are advertised by a women facing a problem in cleaning the dishes, clothes and basically a house. Have you ever saw a man facing an obstacle in cleaning the dishes and advertising a product that solves it? Have you ever seen a man reviewing and advertising a vacuum cleaner? I haven’t. Some society’s perception about women is the same as the ones on media, some disagree with gender roles but their opinion changes as soon as media starts controlling their minds and thoughts about certain topics. Gender representation in media influence how society perceive gender issues as normal, allowed and accepted
Media became a drug we are addicted to and a poison for our thoughts. As I mentioned throughout my speech media has multiple negative effects on societies perception about a women’s body mental health and role in society. Making girls feel worthless because media thinks they are is not allowed, making females suffer from depression because they think they aren’t doing what were supposed to do is not allowed, allowing media to change our thoughts about women and put certain expectations for them is not allowed. Media is trying to change our society’s point of view about us, we won’t allow it. We will love and accept ourselves and lift each other up without giving media the chance to bring us down.