Media Images of Women
The creation of woman according to a Hindu myth:
“When Twastri came to the creation of woman, he found that he had exhausted his materials in the making of man and that no solid elements were left
After profound meditation he did as follows: –
He took the weeping of clouds and the fickleness of winds,
the roundness of the moon and the gaiety of sunbeams.
He gathered the elegance of the deer, the vanity of the peacock
and the softness of the parrot’s bosom and the sweetness of honey
and the cruelty of the tiger and the cooing of the kokila
and the tapering of the elephant’s trunk
the hypocrisy of the crane, the fidelity of the chakrawaka.
He ...view middle of the document...
With the developments of the latest technologies - news, views and live images are seen as they happen anywhere and everywhere on planet earth. The newer, colourful technologies in photography and printing, contribute to the attraction and glamour of media. Along with progress there is also the use, misuse and abuse of resources for profit and popularity. In particular, the images of the human female form through various media are often misleading, misguiding and disgusting. The created, concocted media images have wide and wild influence, deep and metamorphoric impact particularly on the vulnerable sections of society.
Most of the newspapers both broadsheets and tabloids – national and local - carry all sorts of images of woman in the tiniest and scantiest outfits. The woman’s magazines are flooded with fashions, lifestyles, beauty aids, fit regimes. The pull-out sheets of some of the national dailies deal only with (FEST) fashion, entertainment, shopping and travel attracting the readers’ gazes to colourfully over-dressed or under-dressed women.
Media images have created stereotypes of men and women – men as confident, strong, brave, daring, independent, handsome and women as ‘plastic dolls’, tall, lean, fair, with glowing skin and flowing hair. The fabrication of these images is to generate a consumer society to accelerate profits and establish a mindset in the audience “to be ideal like these models I need to buy the product”. Mass media alter people’s attitudes, beliefs and prejudices to a large extent.
In a recent telephone poll, People magazine asked women about how the images of women in the media influenced their self-esteem. Eighty percent said that they made them feel insecure, 93% tried to lose weight and 34% said they would try a diet even if it could endanger their health. ( quoted by Nivedita).
Advertisements: Advertisements and commercials are very carefully planned to appeal to the target audience of a particular radio or television programmes. Ads in magazines and newspapers are also strategically placed enticing the reader to stop and read. In most of the advertisements women are featured as desiring to be desirable by men for marriage and/or for employment. On a daily basis the media bombards thousands of messages digitally perfected examples of women setting standards for other women. Quite a few of these show women and housewives pre-occupied with cosmetics, adornments sometimes even appearing as stupid and superstitious.
Very often women are shown as “soft toys” for the men, the way they are positioned emphasizing their subservience and dependence. They wear revealing clothes and take leaning and yearning postures all these to grab the attention of men. These are signals of incompleteness or lack of security. Women and their body parts sell everything – food, clothing, cars, computers, men’s shaving lotions and underwares. Models as glam dolls in ads and films work their magic in front...