Let's Create more Diversity
It is alarming that female physical representations aren’t only unrealistically portrayed among one medium but throughout pop culture as a whole. In comparison to reality, most women aren’t stick figure thin, have perfect sized breasts, barbie-like proportions or have an overwhelming amount of sex appeal. Similarly, popular media hardly portrays women being of average or plump size and if these representations are present it is only in a comedic way. Furthermore, women (the unrealistically ‘perfect’ female character) are usually wearing sexually revealing clothing. Race also plays a part in this. In many music videos, black female artists are portrayed as being animalistically sexy whereas white females (Kylie Minogue) are virtuously and untouchably sexy.
In comparison to men, women in film and television are mostly better looking than their counterpart. For example, we see countless “average joe” male characters that can be a little overweight whereas his wife, daughter, or sister still falls under a certain perfect image. Although male bodies are also hypersexualized in advertisements, there seems to be a double standard when it comes to representations of certain gendered bodies.
There must be a way in which the media can present the female body in a much more realistic light instead of simply objectifying women or setting impractical physical standards for girls. It is important to incorporate a variety of different body types in music, film, television and advertisements in order to prevent eating disorders or low self-esteem in female viewers. As mentioned before, these issues are less present when women are in charge or have a large say behind the scenes such as female screenwriters and producers. When these women take charge, inspiring female characters with a larger focus on personal and diverse traits rather than sex appeal, such as Merida from Brave or Lisbeth Salander from The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (pictured above), will occur more often than not.