2013: “The Year of the Very Visible Vagina”
Posted by Brandon Hedges & Matt Barker on Wednesday, January 15, 2014 at 12:00 AM By Brandon Hedges & Matt Barker / January 15, 2014 Comment
I am about to get on my soapbox here, so if you can’t bear with me, now would be the time to exit. So a few weeks ago I read an article. In my life, this happens often as I typically read as many things as I can get my hands on in a day. I read books, I read magazines, I read the news, I read manuals, I read charts, I read graphs, I read emails. I read. A lot. But a few weeks ago, I read an article that really got my gears turning in a way that they haven’t since I was working towards my B.A. in English two years ago. I read something that to me, spoke so much truth that I was shocked that anyone could disagree with it. The article was in Glamour Magazine and was written by Rashida Jones, an actress and apparently a writer (who knew?). In it, she discusses the “pornification of everything,” and how views on women and sex have been distorted by the media. This is a conversation that people need to be having today. We need to be discussing the role that pop culture and the media plays in our lives and how much the Internet has altered our views on reality. We need to engage each other in debates about these matters, and we need to create a dialogue about the difference between exploitation and empowerment. There has become an increasingly heightened interest in pop culture over the past decade, and much of this has come at the hands of the Internet. The concept of social media has blown up in the last five years, and all of a sudden celebrities are much more accessible to the general public. We are now able to see these people we love to hate and hate to love beyond the awards shows and the magazines. We can engage with them on Twitter and Instagram, and we can see hundreds upon hundreds of photos of them with a quick Google search. For many people, this constant bombardment of celebrity news and gossip has perpetuated an issue of infringement -- not just infringement on the lives of the celebrities themselves, but also on the lives of the people at home who are sick of hearing it. It becomes a concern when teens are made to feel that these are the images and ideals they are expected to live up to. Body issues are nothing new, and the emphasis placed on being “skinny” is something we are all now accustomed to. Now, however, there is just as much stress placed on being “sexy.” The definition of “sexy” is different to everyone, but the media typically displays sexiness in only one way. Rashida describes this as “lots of skin, lots of licking of teeth, lots of bending over.” This is the image that is sent out to living rooms across the world, and this is what we are telling young, impressionable girls that they need to be. essay. Photos via: Google and Glamour
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