Blog #5

Why do we hear so much less about men, body image and the media, than we do about women and these issues? Include at least three direct quotations from class readings (Harris and Kissling – and Friedman if you happen to have read it) to back your idea.

13 thoughts on “Blog #5”

  1. Generally women judge each other for their appearances and looks far more often than men judge each other on anything. Although men do have their fare share of body issues they do not make them as publicly known as women celebrities do. Women tend to look out for other women who they can look and be better than, to raise themselves on a pedestal and make themselves feel great. It boosts their ego and self esteem. There is a psychological difference between men and women that generate this behavior. To women everything is a competition and body image is just one factor that contributes to this competition. In Daniel Harris’ essay named ‘Celebrity Bodies’, he expounds upon the fact that women are more spoken about than men when it comes to body in the media. He writes, “Hollywood is about women looking at women, not as sex objects, as a means for fulfilling the species’s genetic mission, but as clothing hangers, as display mannequins for product lines.” The way some women, specifically celebrities, treat their bodies could be in an unhealthy manner which makes them appear emaciated and mannequin like with their clothing just hanging off them. It does not look healthy. In the essay, “I Don’t Have a Great Body, But I Play One On TV”, written by Elizabeth Arveda Kissling; she writes, “In spite of their stated intentions, celebrity authors perpetrate sexist standards of beauty and a destructive symbiotic relationship between self esteem and appearance.” Kissling brings in a point, on most people thinking that to have high self esteem one needs to look good. I presume from this quote that she means confidence is key, however, some people might find that hard when they do not find themselves attractive in anyway. And from this, adolescent girls, who do not think they are pretty, all over the world see their celebrity role model and think to themselves that they would want to look like that and be as skinny as them; which ultimately brings in the problem with eating disorders. Daniel Harris writes, “one hundred thousand teenage girls suffer from excessive dieting, two out of three Americans are overweight and an estimated sixty million, or 20 percent of the population, are obese.” Harris is saying that eating disorders are a real problem in American society. A girl may feel insecure about how she looks and feel as though she needs to go on a diet all because of these “celebrity role models”. They way men’s body image is portrayed in media is not as harsh as women’s body image is viewed.

  2. In recent discussion on the relationship between genders and their physique, we tend to hear more women’s issues with body image and the media compared to men. There are a few significant factors regarding this circumstance.
    First, the economic perspective by fashion companies. Harris in his article “Celebrity Bodies” states that female Hollywood celebrities are starting to detach from the point of view that a woman’s beauty is to attract males. They are not looking at themselves as potential sex objects anymore. Now, they focus more on their personal demands in enjoying their own look. However, this is influenced by fashion companies trying to convey an idea that women’s figure only looks good when they can be dressed up nice in their product lines. Harris says, “Hollywood is about women looking at women, not as sex objects, as a means for fulfilling the species’ genetic mission, but as clothes hangers, as display mannequins for product lines.” Hollywood no longer aims for women to look sexy but only emphasize on being skinny without taking their daily life into concern. Women’s figure shifted from fulfilling male’s desire to commercial purpose. They compare among themselves if they look good in respective outfits and whether they can dress up nicely in the available outfits.

    Second, women are taught to look at their body as object to utilize. Kissling in her article “I Don’t Have A Great Body But I Play One On TV: The celebrity guide to fitness and weight loss in the United States” proposed that a lot of famous authors on self-help book are trying to convince their readers, mainly women, to go on diet but in order to do so they must distance themselves from their body. They need to treat their body as a separable part by using their mind to control the food which they are eating. Kissling claims, “Diet books portray the body as an object that must be controlled, or even as an enemy that must be avoided.” By implanting such ideas into women, they will forget about their true meaning of life which is to enjoy it to the fullest. Instead they are being controlled by this ideology that their body is only a machine for them to perform daily task. Having such ideology will lead to women being anti-feministic. This is because women have their own choice of living and should not be controlled by any point of view of famous self-help book author.

    Third, appearance becomes the most essential element of a woman. This affects their mental health because women who are fat and unattractive will be looked as pathological. Kissling in her article “I Don’t Have A Great Body But I Play One On TV: The celebrity guide to fitness and weight loss in the United States” contextualized that only women who exercise and have a good physical appearance should be attractive. She also mentions that women are expected to go on strict diet to achieve their body goals. For those who aren’t able to withstand their temptations will be considered as pathological or even immoral. Kissling says “The path of righteousness and redemption is denial of hunger and discipline of the body through exercise.” This is totally unacceptable because moral values and attitude of a women should be prioritized, but appearance as first judgement has become a fad. Exercise is the only path shown for women to become attractive and boost their self-esteem. On the other hand, women who are not determined enough for exercising frequently and strict dieting will be shamed.

  3. When you hear about body issues in the media, most of the time they are referring to a female figure with these issues. Not very often do you associate men with having these issues. This could be because of a few reasons. One, females are more judgmental of other females, rather than males with other males. It seems that males don’t really care about the appearance of other males, and if they do they don’t make it known very often. Overall, females are very competitive and sometimes want to look better than the other person. If you are a model, for example, the so called “prettier” model will book the bigger deals and work with bigger companies. As Kissling said in her article “Celebrity Bodies”, “Hollywood is about women looking at women,…as clothes hangers, as display mannequins for product lines”. If the model on the advertisement is “pretty”, most likely it will sell better because people will think using the product or wearing the same clothes as the model will make them be pretty like them. Another reason why, is that men in the media often are seen talent first, and then looks. Whereas women in the media are seen vice versa. As Kissling says in the article “I Don’t Have a Great Body, But I Play One on TV”, most people “urge women to trade on their looks”. She makes a point that says “women often feel they have little choice but to be concerned with and continually working on their looks”. Many people place emphasis on women keeping up with their looks rather than men. If a man in the media gains a lot of weight for example, it is not seen as a big deal. Women, however would be seen as letting themselves go or just being lazy.

  4. The reason we hear so much less about men and so much more about women in the media when it comes to body image, is because women depend on their looks more than anything else. Kissling reveals in her article “I Don’t Have a Great Body, But I Play One on TV”, that “attractiveness is not only the criterion by which men evaluate women, but is a defining criterion of self-worth for women themselves”. This implies the idea that women should gain self-esteem only from their appearance. Kissling further discusses body image when she says, “most women know their appearance affects their self-image, and in our society looking good means looking slim”. Several celebrities are shamed in the media due to weight gain, for example, Kelly Clarkson, Christina Aguilera, and Mariah Carey. These women have fluctuated their weight during their career. Even celebrities will be shamed on losing weight, for example, Miley Cyrus was called anorexic when she dropped some pounds. On the other hand, men are not discussed when it comes to body image. One celebrity that is an example of this is Jonah Hill. This celebrity also had fluctuating weight during his career but was not examined for this. Harris in his article “Celebrity Bodies” announces that “the typical American woman is 5’4, weighs 140 pounds, and wears a size 14; the typical fashion model is seven inches taller, twenty-three pounds lighter, and twelve to fourteen sizes smaller”. A model’s career depends on their body, so the result of this is many are malnourished and don’t provide their body with the foods it needs to maintain a healthy lifestyle. In our society, women have more expectations regarding body image than men.

  5. When talking about body image and media, majority of women are faced with these issues rather than men. This is because women are more judgmental and competitive when it comes to looks. Women are like this because of the society that we live in where “women are judged and valued first for their appearance, women often feel that they have little choice but to be concerned with and continually working on their looks” (Kissling- I don’t have a great body, but I play one on tv). As a result, “the relationship between self-esteem and looks induces self-hatred and woman because they cannot live up to that unrealistic ideals of beauty admired in North American culture” (Kissling). Man aren’t pressured into looking a certain way as much. Men don’t look at each other in competition of who looks better than the other, the way that women do. When celebrities who are men gain weight, it’s not such a big deal, however; when a woman celebrity gains weight, it will be very likely that she will be criticized for it all over the internet.

  6. Human kinds adore beauty, which is the universal theory that is adapt to every corner in the World. Most of the time in famous European Paintings in the Renaissance era, artists tended to portrait beautiful women to express beauty and desire. I believe that the society is more judgemental toward women in terms of body image is because human race believe that body images and external appearances is a tool to define female. According to Kissling writing: “ Brooke Shields(1985) straightforwardly proclaims that what is inside is important “but looks do count. Why else is there so much emphasis placed on fitness, health, and beauty?”(p.57, emphasis original).”” This statement represent the social influence on female. It was not only an individual who defines the beauty of female, it was the whole society that decide the beauty. Another text evidence that support my thesis is that : “ In an intriguing correlation, as women become more powerful politically and socially, the idealized female body size in America grows ever slimmer.” This evidence shows, as women becomes more outgoing and dominant, they are most likely to look for a skinnier body. As women wants to get involved in a larger role, or broadened her path to the society, she will seek to present a better image of her body by losing weight. Besides the assumption that women tend to seek a better body image when they are successful, they also tend to improve mental health in order to strengthen themselves. In Kissling’s writing, she wrote: “Beauty is achieved through health and physical fitness; mental and physical health come from beauty. Raquel Welch(1984) proclaims that “glowing health is the best beauty treatment” (p.259). “ This text statement expressed the idea that not only losing weight is the goal for women to present a better self-image, but it also help them to promote mental health and becoming more confident. Some female were defined to be “beauty without brain”. Women strive hard to become both beautiful and intellectual so that they will be entering an elite class in the society.

  7. In the media we tend to hear less about male gossip in general. This is especially prominent when it comes to the subject of body image in media. Women are always looked upon when this issue comes up and it also effects them the most. Women are more interested in looking good than men, from makeup to weight-loss. They are not only very rough on themselves when it comes to their body image males and other females also subject females to the way they are expected to look. In Addition when it comes to celebrities this look is to be very feminine and thin. In the three readings we did by Harris, Kissling, and Friedman they all talk about the fact that males are not affected by this sense of body image as women are. “I Don’t Have a Great Body, But I Play One on TV”, states that “…attractiveness is not only the criterion by which men evaluate women, but is a defining criterion of self-worth for women themselves”. This backs up the statement mentioned earlier in which I exclaimed, “males and other females also subject females to the way they are expected to look.” Kippling also exclaims, “the relationship between self-esteem and looks induces self-hatred in woman because they cannot live up to that unrealistic ideals of beauty admired in North American culture.” As one can see men are never mentioned thus it is fair to say that women are more subjected to these beauty standards especially by the same gender. Lastly the writer states, “celebrity authors perpetrate sexist standards of beauty and a destructive symbiotic relationship between self esteem and appearance.” Thus also supporting my claim.

  8. In today’s society, we tend to hear more about female celebrities having issues about body images from the media. On the other hand, not much from male celebrities in comparison. The reason is because female celebrities tend to focus more on their appearances than male celebrities most of time. It’s due to the fact that the society and female celebrities enjoys being good looking at their own perspective of beauty. In the article, Harris states that “In fact, however, Hollywood is about women looking at women, not as sex objects, as a means for fulfilling the species’s genetic mission, but as clothes hangers, as display mannequins for product lines.” This quote justifies that even though women claim that the beauty standard was based male’s lust. However, today’s beauty standard was basically judged by female themselves. It also brings people to notice that fact female celebrities tends to engage more into appearances than male celebrities. In the reading, Kissling states from a celebrity that “ I considered my body my most valuable possessions- a machine if you will- and thus the food I put into it has to be the best…” this quote gives a example of a thought from a female celebrity’s book. It gives us a understanding of how most female celebrities in Hollywood thinks. While the male celebrities does not have as much of persistence on appearances. This results people in today’s society to hear more about female celebrities to have issues about their body image than male celebrities.

  9. It is believed that men do not care about bodies or their image as much as women do, it is said that women pay closer attention to the way they look, the clothes they were, their bodies and the way other people perceive them. This is mostly due to the fact that from an early age, women are taught that they have to look good in order to get a partner, this is taught by their parents at home, by their teachers in school, on tv, and now even more in social media. Everywhere they turn, women are told that they need to be skinny in order for them to be healthy and feel happy. “In spite of their stated intentions, celebrity authors perpetuate sexist standards of beauty and a destructive symbiotic relationship between self-esteem and appearance” Kissling, Elizabeth A. “I Don’t Have A Great Body, But I Play One On TV.” Self-help books written in that format engrave that message in the readers brain, making them believe that they have to be skinny so they can be healthy and considered beautiful, the problem is that most of these women would not be able to meet those unrealistic expectations that have been engraved in them, causing them to feel even worse about themselves. What these women fail to realize is that being as skinny as they are told they need to be is neither healthy nor good looking “It has been almost entirely detached from the biological function of beauty, that of attracting males.” Harris, Daniel. “Celebrity Bodies.” The reality is that men do not find women who are extremely thin attractive. But that is not what women are told by the celebrities that they so highly praise, therefore they continue to starve themselves and feel bad for the way they look, “As many feminists contend, in a patriarchal society where women are judged and valued first for their appearance, women often feel they have little choice but to be concerned with and continually working on their looks.” Harris, Daniel. “Celebrity Bodies.” Despite that they do not look good a they try to starve themselves, that is what they have been told their whole lives, and what their favorite celebrities tells them is right to do.

  10. I believe we don’t hear much about men and body image in the media as much as women simply because the media likes praising women for fulfilling the expectations a woman should based on our visual, shallow society. Yes, it’s true that anybody from either gender will gain more popularity and success if they have a nice face, but Women are expected to look ‘pretty’ all the time and because this is such a widespread expectation, other women simply feel less when they don’t live up to it like others can. Kissling writes, “in a patriarchal society where women are judged and valued first for their appearance, women often feel they have little choice but to be concerned with and continually working on their looks (Wolf, 1991).” This says to me that women often determine their self worth by the validation and acceptance they get from men based on their looks, encouraging to conform to the beauty standards. Men don’t have this issue because they’re not expected to, nor are they pressured to. In this society, it’s evident the genders are not perceived as equals and that some may say they are naturally given different roles to play to. Men are associated with hard working, bread winners. Nowhere are they expected to look pretty while doing so because it’s the woman’s job to look pretty. Therefore, the media love to praise women for fulfilling that role and pertaining to the audience of women who want to Look like them and men who want to Gawk at them. “Attractiveness is not only the criterion by which men evaluate women, but is a defining criterion of self-worth for women themselves” is another quote that make women look for validation from men and the media as well and themselves. Lastly, Harris says, “Hollywood is about women looking at women, not as sex objects, as a means for fulfilling the species’ genetic mission, but as clothes hangers, as display mannequins for product lines.” This has been the norm in hollywood for too long and won’t change anytime soon.

  11. In today’s society, there is a lot more pressure for women to have a perfect body than there is for men. This is because of the simple facts that men don’t care as much about body image as women do but only because women are expected to meet a certain standard of beauty, which most people think is to be skinny. The reason for this is because even from the early years of a female life, they are exposed to the media who praises women with a skinny figure. They then go on to believe that if they don’t live up to this goal of being skinny, that automatically makes them unappealing and their self-confidence plummets. For example, in Kissling’s article she states that “As many feminists contend, in a patriarchal society where women are judged and valued first for their appearance, women often feel like they have little choice but to be concerned with and continually working on their looks.”. This highlights that women give in to this pressure of trying to have the perfect body so that they can please society, which in some ways is understandable because no one wants to have a drop in confidence because of the way they look. In the article “Celebrity Bodies” by Daniel Harris, he expresses that “We seek to contain the influence of this new master race, to alleviate the sense of belittlement we experience from living in the shadow of its inconceivable affluence of glamour”. In addition, women feel insecure and can sometimes even get bullied if they don’t live up to the goal of being “beautiful” in the eyes of their peers and society in general. Lastly, Harris also states that “Beauty is not democratic. It is unjust, distributed inequitably according to the luck of the draw”. This shows that that having a certain standard of beauty is corrupting many women’s morale and that it is not right to expect women to have to go through all of this pressure just to please the eye of society. Every woman is beautiful and they should not have to go through such obstacles and hardships in their lifetime just because people think that they should.

  12. From the society at today, we may always hear about or saw a lot pictures at magazine there about some female celebrity’s body image. The media been having more focus on the women’s body shapes. Such like weeks ago the paparazzi has catch that Kylie Jenner may get pregnant because her belly seems like drum up. So somehow, I think for the reason why we always hearing about women celebrity’s body image news at social media it’s because the public or fans often trying to figure out what happened on their idols relationships, and, the media have catch that point. Once they’ve find out the female getting fat or getting skinny or what, they will have posted them out and writs something like whom been fatter or become skinny then now before it’s may cause she broken up with her boyfriend lately, or she may get pregnant or else mentally issues. etc. Something like that. Because we all knew that women usually been more emotional than mans. Also, for the man about the body image we didn’t see much than women on the social media I guess that’s because sometimes the male are not really care about the body image at most times, and we did put more attentions at them it’s like how much money they can make or powers what things they had down before, and whom was dating with them at public. For whom been dating with male celebrities this one that’s exactly why we always trying to check that girl isn’t have a good look or not that’s also included her body image.
    Beside I think the most important thing effort to female’s body image is because people’s judges, we always hear about the media said that some females of celebrities may too fat or may too skinny or that’s unhealthy diet for human body etc. Therefor those female celebrities were too care about what the people did said about them just because they are public people. Then makes some change take the advises from the public. Which I think that’s kind irony, because we shouldn’t put the most focus only for the body images. Every woman is beautiful, they should not change who they are for someone else they need to live for themselves.
    Base on the reading “I Don’t Have a Great Body, But I Play one on TV” by Elizabeth Arveda Kissling, Kissling has point out that ” Argument for a unified, inseparable mind/body are continually subverted by the discourse of control in these celebrity diet and fitness books. Bodies must be controlled through diet and exercise, to be pretty, to be thin, to maintain a positive self-image, to win others’ praise, and even, ironically.” Which means women always been control by eye of society, just for pleas people. That’s such ironically things happening the world. Because all the women are beautiful whatever how they body images looks like. Also from the article “Celebrity Bodies” by the author Daniel Harris, ” In fact, however, Hollywood is about women looking at women, not as sex objects, as a means for fulfilling the species’ genetic mission, but as elongates hanger, as display mannequins for product lines.” Base on this point Harris has point out that women at Hollywood now become more like as “sex objects” because they don’t need to be looks sexy anymore they just need to be skinny as a wearer of commodities, a pretty face stuck on a stick. In the early women trying to be beautiful or rather did anything for their appearances that’s to attract males cause men like women whom have sexy bodies and cute face of women. But not now, female lives at now are more feels like they should live for themselves that’s base on Feminism.

  13. If one were to ask the question “Why do we hear so much less about men, body image and the media, than we do about women and these issues?” the answer is quite simple: objectification, competition, and sexualization. As much as men are known to be naturally competitive, the competitive nature of a woman is much more intense and only intensifies as society embeds the image of a female being a wife rather than being a woman. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, a Nigerian novelist, even states that “We raise girls to see each other as competitors, not for jobs or accomplishments, which I think can be a good thing… but for the attention of men.” For this same reason, women are often objectified as sexual beings instead of actual people especially when portrayed on TV as having perfect bone structure, plastered with makeup, and emancipated with unnatural extreme bodily curvature. Women see how female celebrities look and, subconsciously in even the slightest way, will attempt to mold themselves to be more like these famous women. Beyonce Knowles Carter, Kylie Jenner, Naomi Campbell, Rihanna Fenty, and many more female celebs have put a toll on the average woman that see them in the media and create an idea of how they should and should not look. In Elizabeth Arveda Kissling’s article “I Don’t Have a Great Body, But I Play One On TV” she points out the extremities of the objectification of women. She speaks about the torture women put themselves through following the guidance of fitness trainers and diet books because they are told that their bodies are separate objects that can be a burden, rather than a part of them. Kissling even quotes fitness trainer Victoria Principal, “I consider my body my most prized possession- a machine, if you will” (Kissling 552) used to be an example for women to follow in order to lose weight. In Daniel Harris’ article “Celebrity Bodies”, he explains how the media objectifies women even when the idea of impressing men is not apparent. He worded graciously that “Hollywood is about women looking at women, not as sex objects, as a means of fulfilling the species’s genetic mission, but as clothes hangers, as display mannequins for product lines.” (Harris 136) Although Harris continues to say that women are not sexualized through the media because of their “lack of sex appeal” via the eyes of a “man”(Harris 136), he failed to recognize that the definition of sexualization does not rely exclusively on the man but rather a gender-neutral generalization of the sexual quality. Women can be found sexualized by all categories of the human race: fat-fetishes, anorexia, LGBTQ, etc. Sexualization is also found in all fields of the media from sports to entertainment; therefore, the truth remains that it IS apparent in the media, regardless of Harris’ anti-feminist opinion.

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