Thursday, February 25, 2010
So I went to the movies today and tried to pick out some of the negative messages our media sends to us. This was most apparent in the trailers. I noticed a definite pro-patriarchy sentiment in a trailer for a movie called She’s Out of My League. In the trailer, the girl was relegated to simply her looks and the guy was actually given a personality. She was called a 10, an ideal woman, simply because she was skinny, white, and blonde. This furthers the notion that a woman is only good for her looks and it is okay for men to judge women on their looks rather than other elements, which helps men discount women as simple sex objects and allows the patriarchy to marginalize women’s achievements. It also seemed to be another film in a long line of film and tv shows where the homely guy gets the gorgeous girl. It never seems to be the opposite way. In this trope, guys can get the hottest girl because they have good personality, but it never seems to work the other way around, maybe reflecting an idea that women’s personality is second to their looks. This corresponds to my perception that male entertainers are given more leeway in the appearance department than females. Average looking males are allowed to play normal characters, whereas average looking females are relegated to character characters, not protagonists. I also was really surprised by the fact that the replaced Terrance Howard with another guy of the same race, who looks or acts nothing like him, in the new Iron Man movie. I suspect it was because he happened to be black. Maybe the producers needed a new actor or the show couldn’t go on or maybe it is an unconscious reflection of dominant culture’s views on the disposability of non-whites? I doubt they would replace Robert Downy Jr. with Stephen Colbert or Gwenyth Paltrow with Angelina Jolie.