Sunday, January 29, 2012

Thoughts on Miss Representation

     I enjoyed the documentary Miss Representation because I thought that it brought up some issues that we have been discussing in class and took them to a much deeper level. Yes we are aware of gender stereotypes in movies and television but why does it matter? Miss Representation discusses the affects of these pressures that are placed on children. Multiple interviews with high school children reveal that themselves along with their fellow classmates are constantly aware of the importance of their appearance. So much so that it takes away from the effectiveness of schools because a girl has to "go to the bathroom between classes and put on like 10 pounds of makeup."
     Although the documentary brings up these very convincing points, I still have to remember one of the fundamental rules of research: correlation does not equal causation. Yes gender stereotypes in media have increased and perhaps weight or appearance issue have increased for younger kids, but we must remember that we can't assume that one caused the other. That might've been the only part of the documentary that I didn't quite agree with. It seemed that the movie made a few assumptions of the effects of media on viewers. I agree that there is a problem with the stresses on young children but I don't know that you can solely credit that to media, whether or not it has played a role in the lives of children.
     Another critique that I had was the mentioning of women super heroes in movies being overly sexualized. This is obviously true, however I don't know that it is solely women that are being objectified in these super hero roles. Take some of the more recent super hero films, Thor and Captain America. Each casts a young attractive male who is ridiculously muscular that coincidentally has his shirt off for portions of the movie. The outfits for these male super heroes have to be at least close to the same level of sexuality as those of the female super heroes. Perhaps it's simply the genre of movie that sexually exploits all genders.

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