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Models and feminism

(8 Posts)
Dazzler159 Wed 06-Mar-13 23:33:39

Regarding objectification I found this rather interesting.

A new scientific study shows that both male and female brains process a human image differently depending on whether the image is of a man or a woman. The new finding gives insight into why women are often victims of sexual objectification.


AbigailAdams Wed 06-Mar-13 09:25:36

The modelling industry isn't the cause or the reason why men objectify women. It is a symptom. Objectification happens outside the modelling industry and before men's magazines and the like even existed. You only have to be in the public eye as a woman to get judged for your looks by the media. So basically women would have to withdraw from public life altogether and in fact withdraw from men altogether so that they couldn't objectify us. But obviously that is placing the onus on women for men's attitudes. Women withdrawing completely from men would probably work (and sort out oppression as well). But women refusing to model isn't getting to the root of the problem although it would raise awareness. And there would probably be a backlash.

HairyHandedTrucker, the men's behaviour and attitude is oppressive to women. Women's behaviour isn't, it is a reaction to oppression. So that's why men should bear more responsibility.

Object have several campaigns going about the sexualisation of women including for lads mags

babanouche Tue 05-Mar-13 21:06:21

That's funny, Hairy - I think of muse as a source of inspiration. That's not to say there's not sometimes a sexual element but I don't think that necessarily negates artistic properties. We've got loads of old paintings of nude women, for example, that are admired for the skill involved in creating them, or for how they make us feel when we look at them. Same applies to photography. Of course that's not quite Page 3 I'm referring to here!smile

The pressure should be on the 'demand' side - men - the consumers.

To do otherwise is to blame women for their own oppression. It's a system and a set of values not of our making and women internalise that oppression and believe that their value lies in how they look and in being a sex object - they come to believe it's 'empowering' when really it's playing straight into patriarchy's hands. That's not women's fault - we've been sold a lie, compounded by the fewer and lesser choices women have for alternative careers, especially at the lower end of the socio-economic spectrum.

sorry I'm a bit hmm about the word muse when used on an actual person. as far as I can see it just means sex object people write songs aboutabout

babanouche Tue 05-Mar-13 18:44:28

Nope, it could never happen. But I think there's no problem with celebrating beauty - we've done that for hundreds of years. It's the marketing that's the problem. In order to sell, they have to convince us we're not good enough and should be aspiring to something that's extremely unusual and just completely unattainable for most us.

Also, a lot of models are extremely intelligent. They have to have languages for travelling the world, for instance. A lot of them are arty, are muses for designers, photographers etc.

Glamour modelling - well, for a lot of girls they see it as their best way to make money. Plus, our society kind of fetishises the glamour industry - see WAGS et al, so glamour modelling doesn't have the same stigma it did. Look at people like Katie Price - made a millionaire of herself - so it's seen as a genuine career path now.

I do know that people have tried to protest what you're complaining about before and the fashion industry basically ignored them.

I have a hard time blaming some of the women as they usually start when they are very young and I think also if they look a certain way it's possible they have always learned that the only thing they have of value is their looks and dont know better. but then if I give them a free pass can I blame the men who see them as commodities, they've been brought up that way too. so pressure to both sides? as for proper modelling (not glamour ) I blame the editors and fashion designers for forcing women to emaciate them selves. women buy the paper and the clothes because we haven't many other options but I think we would all prefer they look at least a little bit human. are their any fashion magazines that only use healthy models, not ones with eating disorders or that are 13 but dressed as adults so women aspire to be a hipless child?

kim147 Mon 04-Mar-13 23:00:20

I apologise if this has been done before - I'm guessing it probably has. But some interesting points have been made on other threads and it's something that I'm still not sure about.

In an ideal world, there would be no men's magazines and no objectification of women by men who use those magazines.

But we don't live in an ideal world. We have a world where men buy these magazines and women pose for them.

Is it possible to ask women to stop modelling for such magazines as they lead to problems? Or is that "blaming them" when really it's the men who should be blamed for creating the demand?

I don't think I've ever heard a feminist criticising women for posing for magazines. I've heard the argument about it being their choice in a free world.

Would it be a pivotal moment if models said they wouldn't do it because of the effect on how women are viewed? Or would it never happen because someone else would step in and take the money?

Where should the pressure from feminists go to prevent objectification?

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