A Sum of Our Parts

I had a completely different post planned for today, but this is just on my mind. My blog is partly my opinions and observations, but some of it is just feelings and thoughts I need to get out. Like therapy without some frustrating (and expensive) therapist.

I’ve listened to this song about 50 times at least. I can’t stop. The video with it is amazing, and only after watching it at least 10 times did I finally see every part of it. After watching it so many times, you begin to see that the lyrics line up perfectly with each image shown, and besides being a great song, during the video I started to feel annoyed, angry, frustrated, and some emotions I can’t even define yet.

I took a Women in Film class in college. My instructor, Nancy Hellner PH. D,  was brilliant, and powerfully intimidating. I didn’t get to finish the class, I ended up dropping out mid semester (I was raped, had a full shut down, story on that another time). I never even told the instructor why I dropped, I was so ashamed she would think I was weak for just falling apart instead of rising above it. That’s my perception, I have no idea what she would have really thought. Her class really did open my mind to the world of the perception of women in media.

The things I learned in that class have stayed with me, and I’ve seen and heard more since then. It’s about how women are perceived, in media, in life, everywhere. It’s beyond taking those female archetypes, this is taking them to extremes, and then promoting them as role models for any female identified person in the world.

Whenever you see a woman in any type of media, you’re not just looking at a woman. What you’re looking at is her parts, look at the camera focus. If we’re interested in her singing why is the center of the shot on her torso, and her face at the top? Follow the lines. Where do they want you to look, and you’ll find, that’s what you see. Everything essentially is advertising, and its all shown with women who are in pieces, not a sum of their parts. What does Lady Gaga’s face look like? Do you remember what she wore more? What she wore in specific areas on her body, is that what you mostly remember? That’s my point.

Sum of parts, not a person

None of this means I’m against nudity, I was practically raised a nudist and when I’m naked it’s because I want to be, its my most comfortable state. I don’t begrudge people who sell their bodies in any form either. I have always been open that I was a stripper for around 4 years, and it had some great points and some really awful ones. What I’m talking about is whether we choose to take of all or some of our clothes, it’s the pespective of what other people are seeing.

I’m frustrated, with seeing these things that haven’t changed, with feeling like I’m part of a miniscule group that sees these things and knows it’s not right, it hurts the women watching it, its embarrassing, it’s so subliminal that female children are posting video’s asking if they’re ugly. What do the people who love women see during all this? Does it sink in subliminally for them to? Does it give them unrealistic expectations of women, does it make them feel justified in objectifying women?

This isn’t a call to action, I’m not asking everyone to stop what you’re doing and turn off the tv. This is a wake up call. Watch TV, watch movies, video’s, look at magazines, but think about it when you do. Notice the women there, not just the breasts, lips, eyes, ass, legs. There are whole people there just waiting to be seen.

PS: If you find that video on youtube of the woman giving the presentation about women in advertising, its long, and in 2 parts, could you post the link in the comments???

PPS: I know men have similar issues in media, so please don’t give me a rant about how I don’t care about how men are perceived.