This gives us a little bit of insight on the large issue of gender socialization from the media. So many female celebrities, like Scarlett, are subjected to questions, interviews, and ratings about their appearance, rather than their talent. For example, when Ryan Seacrest was interviewing the Academy Award attendees last weekend, he asked most of the men about their careers, but he asked the women first about their dresses (since "that's what everyone wants to know about"), and then maybe about their movies. [see here] Why is this topic so important to touch upon? I'll tell you why. Because it's intended target eats it up.
Everywhere I look, I see ads for makeup, hair, clothing, weight loss, and modelling agencies. Teen girls see these, and they hear "You're not good enough, so buy this and you will be." I see interviews with beautifully made-up female stars, talking about their wardrobes. Girls watch these, and they hear "Talent isn't important, it's your outward appearance that really matters." I see magazine articles, featuring new mothers who lost their baby weight in four months.Girls read these, and they hear "Over-exercising to look good is more important than taking care of your baby, because who wants a fat mother?" Though all of these values are false, young girls (the ones who are being targeted) believe them, because these values define society's stereotypical, desirable woman - flawless, thin, with perfect hair, perfect teeth, and a perfect boyfriend. This belief transfers to their everyday actions.
Patricia Adler (1992) states that the extra curricular activities that girls participate in are focused around glamour and concern for their appearance. Her findings from her study show that one of the main causes for popularity in girls is physical appearance. The more popular girls have the nicer clothes, the nicer makeup, and the more attention from boys. But how did this become the definition of popular? The media. Girls believe that if they have all of these qualities, they'll be more like their favourite celebrity, and looking like a celebrity means you'll be successful.
Thinking as a feminist theorist, I believe that there is a huge problem in the media's portrayal of women. Men are seen as successful for their talents, and women are more so seen as successful for their looks. This causes young girls to have lower self-esteem if their looks aren't at that level.
What can we do to change this?