In our cafe discussion group we talked about hyper masculinity, a theme that was presented upon in class. We talked about what it means, and how the current culture we live in addresses it. This theme of hyper masculinity caused a lot of debate, and led us to ask a lot of questions.
We have grown up in an age where the media tells us what to think and believe about ourselves. For example, television, adds, and magazines tell us girls how to dress, act, talk, look, and behave constantly. We also live in a time, where we spend most of our time online then anywhere else. For example, when you pull out any magazine, you see images of girls in seductive and helpless positions. And without thinking, this gets imprinted in our minds. And we began to define these characteristics as that of women. In class we saw the GQ magazine, one where Ryan Gosling is in a strong/manly position, while the other was of Rihanna looking helpless. This is a perfect example of the representation of women in the media. Even men are presented as this highly masculine, strong, and buff individual. So it is not only geared to women. For example, Abercrombie, Armani, and Calvin Klein use these over the top, highly maculated males in their adds. This sends a message to young men growing up, on what is considered attractive in society. Yet we talked about how this is just constructed by us, and can change. And as global studies majors we have to be aware of this.
Yet this led our discussion into that of the “never ending cycle”. That, although these women are portrayed in these helpless ways, they themselves chose to be portrayed that way. Those women were not forced to model in seductive poses, or wear the clothes they did. They made the decision to be portrayed in that way. And obviously there may have been alter motives for that decision. Some of these alter motives may be money, fame, and the desire to obtain that “celebrity status”. So this representation of women in the media will not be able to change, if women keep putting themselves in those situations. So in this way it is kind of like a viscous cycle. Further, if we as consumers purchase certain brands, and items, we are only further initiating the cycle. For this industry, and representation of women in the media will not stop, if we buy into it.
This led our discussion into the end result of this awareness of hyper sexuality in the media. For being aware is one thing, but actually not buying this brands and magazines is another. We all realized how hard it is as consumers to not buy into this. We talked about how we study this, and can analyze the media culture, yet at the end of the day we go back to our old habits. We came to the realization of how hard it is to actually stop. Yet as global studies majors we want to try or best to be not only aware, but act on what we preach. For actions speak louder then words.