Wednesday, February 1, 2012

What a girl wants. What a girl needs.

In class we have been discussing post feminism and the complications that accompany it. In no way is post feminism, and its relation to the media, and a cut and dry thing. Gill further expands on this notion in our most recent reading from her book. In this section Gill discusses the complex nature of media studies and feminism. Much like a cultural studies scholar will answer “it’s more complicated than that” to many queries about the relationship between media and society, Gill explains that in many ways the same response can be shared about many questions concerning the mediation of feminism.

This point is further supported by the NOW articles that show a range of activities being conducted by the National Organization for Women. While this Organization may present a more unified front, they are not immune to the idea of not always knowing the best way to go about doing this.

One of the NOW article addresses media’s unrealistic portrayal of women and the female body. This reminded me of an article I read about Adele.  A sensation in both Europe and the United States, Adele has broken many stereotypes that tend to plague the scene of female pop musicians. The article discusses how the journalist was surprised to find that Adele so thoroughly broke from the mold of the typical female artist, not just in shape but also in her attitude and drive. In many ways the article is arguing that Adele represents a positive mediation of women, she represents an image of the female body that NOW makes itself so opposed to.

However, nothing is as simple as that. Much like cultural studies, postfeminism, and the relationship between media and feminism are complicated entities, Adele as a pop icon is not simply breaking the mold of the typical woman. Another article discusses the way her smoking habits have impacted her tour and that she may potentially be ruining her career over this habit. When I went to the Adele concert in Chicago this past summer one of the things she said that surprised me is that smoking is one of her favorite things in the entire world. Yet she is still being criticized for maintaining a (legal) habit that keeps her happy (and that brings harm only to herself, not others)? It seems that women are still dealing with having to navigate a media that is telling them what to want and what to need. However, icons like Adele show that the mold is slowly changing…though really it’s more complicated than that.

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