The Student Newspaper of DePaul University

The DePaulia

The Student Newspaper of DePaul University

The DePaulia

The Student Newspaper of DePaul University

The DePaulia

Sex-crazed media culture

In recent years, the rapper Jay- Z has become one of the most popular and influential rappers of our generation. Not only have his products littered department stores, but his music floods the airwaves. And thus, his ideas are broadcasted for all to see.

Within hip-hop’s culture of big pimpin’ and sex crazed females, men are viewed as their masters and women are there to serve every need. Through salacious dance moves and threads of clothing, the female image has become objectified within multiple levels of media and society.

“I’m not necessarily offended as a woman, but I think it’s pathetic that video producers find it necessary to get a bunch of shallow women to make people interested in the video. At that point it’s not even about the lyrics, artist, or actual video itself. They’re just reiterating that sex sells and they have no originality,” said recent DePaul graduate Marty Watson.

Because of the damaging effects of Media Imperialism women have been forced into a static form of social subservience. This means that men have adopted a covert form of power through hegemony and discursive practices. From an interpretive perspective, this has diluted the image of femininity.

“It’s hard to walk down the street without seeing an advertisement that uses the body of a woman to sell things. A lot of times it’s not even the real body. They just use photoshopped images of what it means to be a woman,” said Franny Levin, a 21-year-old college junior at Vanderbilt University.

Media Imperialism is the root of the problem. According to, media imperialism is better represented on a cultural level. The over-concentration of American images has evolved on a capitalistic scale and the use of the images advocate production and consumption.

When applying media imperialism to the aspect of femininity, the female body has been raped of dignity and wholesomeness. Not only in rap videos, but in advertisements and general television, the female has become a sex toy designed for ambivalence and control. Snooki from the Jersey Shore is a perfect example, along with participants on the Bachelor and Twilight. “They make those girls look so dumb and there’s nothing anyone can do about it,” said Levin.

Even the majority of Disney films position the female in need of help from her fully clothed male counterpart. According to the reading of “Cultural Imperialism: What is the dominant culture?”, American posters, movies and pop songs have invaded foreign territory. This has caused an imbalance on a global level because other cultures have been forced to marginalize unique aspects like language and tradition that only pertains to them.

The article states, “In 1995, the government of France demanded that private radio stations must devote 40% of airtime to French language broadcasting.” This proves the American culture has extended itself beyond personal territory and invaded the lives of others. Due to images of American women in rap videos and advertisements, the hypersexualization of the female has been promoted on a global level.

Consequently, the female has been pushed into a static mode of communication with other members of society. According to the article, “How to Talk to Little Girls” written by Lisa Bloom, our culture generally refers to them as “cute, pretty, beautiful, well-dressed, well-coiffed.” The article highlights this tactic as a complementary icebreaker designed to increase a young girl’s self-esteem.

However, by incessantly referring to appearance, the child is raised to believe that her looks are most important and it’s all people will acknowledge. This claim is supported when the article states, “15 to 18 percent of girls under 12 now wear mascara, eyeliner, and lipstick regularly.” The article also states that 25 percent of young American women would rather win American’s Next Top Model than the Nobel Peace Prize.

“This is because preteens are more exposed to American’s Next Top Model’s marketing,” said Emily Barchus who attends Northern Illinois University.

The emphasis of appearance has encouraged women to deny multiple aspects of their personality and focus on enhancing a persona that is based on tight jeans, empty heads and lipstick.

A static position in society proves that the image of femininity will not evolve or change. One example of a static position is that of a stereotypical pop-star. People like Britney Spears, Katy Perry, Selena Gomez, Hannah Montana, Christina Aguilera, Jessica Simpson, and the Spice Girls perpetuate the image of brainless, scantily clad drones that need the validation of a man to prove they’re a woman. The message that they advocate forces women to believe that it’s acceptable for a man to hit his baby one more time and the attitude of a Vixen is something to be proud of.

Within a culture that promotes image over academia, a static position is inevitable. This has stunted the growth of aspects outside the female body like goals and achievements. A static position means that females will always be looked at as less than a man unless they actively engage in combating stigmas. Through this, women will be able to increase the diversity of their position in society by opening themselves up to new experiences and exercising their desire for change.

Still, all hope is not lost. Multiple counterpoints exist for each previous statement made. The majority of women have shaped their identity from meaningful experiences they have created by and for themselves. Some of these women maintain goals and aspirations that look beyond social barriers and challenge those around them regardless of gender, age or race. There is hope for advancement on an individual level, but the majority will never escape.

Mass media has created more advertisements, television shows, songs, movies, and paradigms than there are people on the planet. Just driving down the highway proves that demise is evident. Although the loss of a wholesome feminine figure is a deficit to the entire human race, perhaps its absence will provide a new space for change. It is speculated that by having the image of what it means to be a woman is harmful, and most conformity brings pain.

Regardless, the only way to escape the wrath of media imperialism is to look beyond it and create a world of practical knowledge and tangible goals. This can be done by becoming an active member of society who consciously disregards any limitations or stigmas.

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