body image · media · objectification

Strong bodies and objectifying images

Cat Woman

This is one of  my favorite posts about images of strong women in the media: Hey, Everyone — Stop Taking This Picture! (No, I Mean It.

It’s got me thinking about the difference between pictures of strong women that show us as agents and pictures that show us objects. The Lean Eating program has participants get themselves photographed, and often participants choose photos that demonstrate their strength and their power.

Some of them work and others don’t (for me) and I’ve been thinking about photos and the relationship between strong and sexy and how the mainstream media sometimes gets it so badly wrong.

“So, the most recently released image of Catwoman in The Dark Knight Rises kind of got me worked up. The moment I saw it I think I said something to the nature of, “If I have to see one more woman posed with her behind in my general direction, looking smouldering-ly over her shoulder, I’m going to punch someone in the face. And you two [my officemates] should be worried, since you’re the closest people at hand.” My co-workers generally prefer a non-violent environment, so I decided to work through this the only way I know how: with lots of photographic evidence.It’s not that we all haven’t noted how prevalent titilation is where women in the media are concerned, but this pose in particular is everywhere. And why should that be?

Well, it typically does a good job of showing off all of a lady’s assets for one. And I’m sure if an actress isn’t quite so curvy, showing off her posterior (wow, how many synonyms for “butt” will I have to use in this?) sounds like a good way of ramping up sex appeal. It’s also a pose that tells you, in no uncertain terms, “I’m here for you to objectify me. It’s okay, you don’t have to feel bad about it.””

Go read the whole thing!