Parent, Teacher, Author
Since this blog has attracted a lot of new readers lately, I thought it was important to go back and revisit the idea of sexualization. I talk about it a lot, but new readers may be wondering, “Exactly what is sexualization anyway?” I hope this answers some of those questions.
One of the concepts I’ve been discussing is that of sexualization, which is treating other people and oneself as an object of desire, with their value primarily from sex appeal and physical attractiveness.
Another idea that I discuss frequently on this blog is self-objectification. This is where one learns to think of and treat their own body as an object of other people’s desires.
It’s important for us to be on the same page with these definitions for a couple of reasons. The first one is so you understand that when I talk about the media sexualizing women, I’m not just talking about promoting beauty. When I talk about girls and women sexualizing themselves, I’m NOT talking about enjoying looking nice, coloring your hair or wearing make-up. I think that is up to the individual. In fact, I enjoy looking my best, with the emphasis on MY best. I know I can’t look like anyone else, so I’d like to embrace who I am today.
What I AM talking about is the point that girls and women get to when they no longer see their own value outside of their ability to attract men. The idea that frightens me is that girls are learning to value themselves only as they can be viewed as attractive to the opposite sex. And then, they begin to see themselves only as objects of other people’s desire, rather than someone who’s beautiful and valuable in and of themselves.
So, that’s what I’d like for us to think about combatting, the depiction of females as only valuable for their sexual attractiveness. It’s time for men and women to say, females are more than that. They are valuable for their kindness, compassion, intelligence, etc. Help me make a difference. It’s time to take a stand.
Gender and Media Talk podcasts focus on hot topics and cutting edge research in the areas of gender and media.