With women fighting for the equality of their bodies why are we still choosing to sexualize ourselves for views and likes? Why is it that the people seen as the top are mostly the stereotype of societal beauty norms? Why are we not asking more of our favourite companies? It is unfortunate that we live in a society where women must think about who will value their opinion depending on how pretty/sexy they are. It doesn’t help when you have people like the Kardashian clan leading the way to be “self-made” entrepreneurs who apparently “struggled” to get where they are. Now I do not want to down play the Kardashians in full because I am sure that they have done good things but, due to how I have seen how they decide to post about themselves all the time and they come from a higher class background they are not exactly self-made; and, Kim is known for her overtly sexualized body to gain likes and followers.
With women like Kim Kardashian we are consistently reminded that for the likes and comments we must perfect our bodies to get those likes. As pointed out by May Rose Somarriba (2016):
There is something to be said about how social media today has become for some people a means not just of self expression but of selling oneself. Women’s bodies are beautiful and should not be shamed as they are. Women’s bodies are so beautiful and amazing though, that they are often exploited, whether physically or digitally, for others’ pleasure. (Pg. 6)
I find a lot of the time that it leaves women endlessly scrolling through their social media news feeds and comparing with other women what their bodies could be. The things that the user can change about their physical looks to simply make themselves look better to society and creates a numb feeling.
Not only are we being perpetually sexualized in social media to be trying for the attention of not just other women but, men. If the “main consumer”; being white heterosexual men, are not pleased with the outcome of an image it is instantly ragged on. Whether we are being a tease and not showing enough or being too pornographic by showing too much. This showing too much could simply be a woman’s nipple which in my last blog I wrote about how female nipples need to be de-sexualized. A video made this year and posted by Girls. Girls. Girls. Magazine went viral because it points out so many truths about what women hear daily. I hear them daily and still find myself questioning what I am posting thinking wow this may be too much or too little. I put the video below with the lyrics, it does warn of sensitive content so if you feel uncomfortable to watch it’s okay.
I feel women are still not seeing themselves in the media leading to all these different eating disorders and body disorders. Women experience more depression and anxiety with having the consistent reminder of what a typical woman is “supposed” to look like. Hell, even lesbian women are even subjected to the stereotypical “hot” women who are making out for the pure pornographic pleasure for men. This quote from an article by Jenna Drenten, Lauren Gurrieri and Meagan Tyler I think says it all, “For the women who upload these self‐representations to social media, conformance to heteronormative prescriptions of attractiveness and femininity is fundamental in gaining attention (Duffy, 2017).” (Drenten, Gurrieri, Tyler, 2019. Pg. 4). It’s fundamental? To follow societal norms of female beauty to gain attention? This is really where we are at. Women no matter their sexual orientation are always depicted as something else in the media rather than what they really are. The next video breaks down the Instagram beauty standard and if you watch to the end the ending is sort of eerie with what is imagined to be of every woman.
So, I have nothing wrong with women being sexual I just want there to be a time where women can turn off the sexy like men and, not have to consistently feel as though they must live up to what other women are. Are you going to think more critically of the influencers you follow and what all they are putting out into the cyberverse? Are they adding to your life or making you want something that may be unhealthy for you?
Biogilates (2019, Sept. 16). Decoding the Instagram Beauty Standard [Video], Youtube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5HJ8du5i_rE&t=1s
Drenten , J., Gurrieri, L., Tyler, M. (2019, Feb 21). Sexualized labour in digital culture: Instagram influencers, porn chic and the monetization of attention. Retrieved from https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/gwao.12354
Somarriba, M.R. (2016, Aug. 18). Why Kim Kardashian’s Latest Nude Selfie Proves Just How Confused Our Culture Really Is. Retrieved from https://verilymag.com/2016/03/kim-karashian-nude-selfies-empowerment-sexualization-porn-0903
This is Majla (2020, Feb. 25). Be A Lady They Said [Video], Youtube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jvgvaFFZlZ0
Twitter: Let’s Throw Societal Beauty Standards Out The Window: https://bit.ly/2VchJI6
Facebook: Women’s Mainstream Beauty Standards Need to Change: https://bit.ly/2VchJI6