Media and Women

Anjali - Geneva, New York
Entered on April 29, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
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Media has no doubt had a huge impact on women in the society. Even though media in someway affects the lives of everyone, women have been victimized by media in a greater extent. I feel insecure when I see the pictures of flawless, gorgeous women in magazines and the models on T.V. I somehow feel compelled to buy the cosmetic products, which I think can enhance by beauty.

Media has its own view of beauty. This idea has been brilliantly exemplified in the new Dove commercial. The new campaign has taken the initiative in helping women overcome their insecurities by celebrating differences. The ads portray that all types of women are beautiful. The cosmetic industry has been engaged in producing products for all types of skin color, hair types and much more. The new variety in the beauty products has enhanced the popularity of Dove products. I was surprised by the negative responses about this campaign.

The one particular video response on you tube, the most popular site to upload any types of videos, to the message of the Dove ad was the most shocking reply for me. This video followed the same concept of the Dove ad. However, instead of an ordinary woman being transformed into someone who was flawless and gorgeous with make up and editing, which ended with the quote, “no wonder our perception of beauty is distorted,” there was a skinny male model, who, by the end of the commercial was transformed into a fat male and ended with the quote, “Thank god our perception of beauty is distorted, no one wants to see ugly people.” This video made me realize that many people don’t want to change their perception of beauty.

Some people believe that the Dove campaign is interested in making money and getting attention from the media. I think that this is only revolutionary step taken to speak against the media’s distorted vision of beauty. According to media, beauty is defined by physical appearance. All the magazines are dominated with white, tall, skinny models. We get the message that being fair skinned and skinny is considered as being beautiful. Women who don’t fit these characteristics are pressured and feel obligated to do something about it.

However, media on the other hand takes advantage of that insecurity by launching new markets that will help them remove the distinctiveness. Dove is actually acknowledging the differences and raising awareness, which is a lot in comparison to doing nothing and advocating the distorted vision of the media.