The Portrayal of Sexual Objectification in Popular Media
In recent years, the way that popular media depicts the sexual objectification of individuals has become a pressing issue for society. Popular media includes the mass media of television, radio, newspapers and magazines, as well as streaming video and the internet. It is evident that sexual objectification has become an increasing aspect of popular media, with a significant social and cultural impact.
Definition of Sexual Objectification
Sexual objectification is broadly defined as the perception or treatment of people or their body parts as objects with no regard for their identity, dignity or autonomy. It is often focused on people’s bodies rather than their personhood, and can be either due to a portrayal of people as sex objects or the use of sexualized language to describe a person rather than their true qualities.
Impact of Sexual Objectification in Popular Media
The frequency and intensity of sexual objectification in popular media contributes to various negative outcomes, such as:
- Sexual inequality – as women are often portrayed as objects rather than individuals it reduces their recognition as equal members of society.
- Unrealistic body image – unrealistic portrayals of body image leads to others believing that this looks are the norm to strive towards.
- Self-harm and low self-esteem – for those unable to achieve the perceived ‘ideal’ body, it can lead to self-harm and low self-esteem.
- Sexualization of children – objectifying children or making them look or act sexualized can have a great impact on their psychological and physical development.
Combating Sexual Objectification in Popular Media
In order to combat the sexual objectification in popular media, more must be done to tackle the underlying structures and attitudes that contribute to it. It is important that action is taken to ensure that popular media stops perpetuating this issue and encourages more positive representations of individuals. Here are some actions that can be taken:
- Encourage more positive and realistic representations of body image.
- Engage with media outlets to ensure that the sexual objectification of people is not tolerated.
- Encourage people to challenge offensive content, rather than simply ignoring it.
- Raise awareness of the impact of objectification in popular media.
It is essential that the negative impacts of sexual objectification in popular media are addressed, as this can be incredibly damaging to individuals and to society as a whole. It is our responsibility to combat and tackle these issues to ensure a safer and fairer society for everyone.