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Worst of Both Worlds

April 30th, 2008     by Allison Martell     Comments

“Are you trying to find naked pictures of Miley Cyrus?” asked my girlfriend yesterday, glancing at my Google image search results. Needless to say, I wasn’t. I was trying to find those Vanity Fair photos to judge this ridiculous controversy myself.

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p>Today I think I’ve got a better handle on the whole thing, thanks to Nancy Gruver’s post on Stockholm Syndrome in the Media. Gruver has done a lot of thinking on girls in the media. She’s the founder and CEO of New Moon, a fabulous feminist magazine for girls. Here’s her perspective:

Girls are barraged by sexualized images all around them and everyone they come into contact with in daily life is also surrounded by those images. The images viscerally teach “the importance of being sexy” if you are female. The images teach all of us that acting sexy is how girls/women can have power without being rejected as domineering or bitchy (see media coverage of Hillary Clinton for the way “non-sexy” female power is conveyed). Now imagine the extreme confusion girls feel when they are surrounded by images promoting the power of female sexiness and at the same time are told that it’s bad for girls to be interested in sex, to act sexy themselves, to dress sexy, etc. The real message being conveyed, of course, is that girls shouldn’t want to be powerful.

Usually, I barely follow this sort of stuff. Bubblegum pop stars are well below my notice. But if I have to watch another young woman be eaten by the celebrity gossip/entertainment industry machine, I might just cry.

Tags: media savvy

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