Sex Sells

Over the past five weeks this course has enabled me to compare fact from fiction in the media and determine my own judgement towards the stories that influence our culture. Several of the stories I have encountered did confirm my beliefs, but I was unaware of the boundaries that have been pushed within certain platforms, such as, sexual advertising.

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Sex sells! As Marina and the Diamond Song states “Nothing is provocative anymore even for kids, No room for imagining, ‘Cause everyone’s seen everything” and that’s exactly right. Take the music industry for example, when it comes to music videos artists do not shy away from sexual connotations; I mean “Blurred Lines”, come on people that was practically a porno, but throw some music into it and its “creative thinking”. But I must admit there isn’t much difference between “art” and “pornography”.

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Take Édouard Manet’s, 1863 painting, Olympia, for example. The young woman depicted in the painting resembles a 16 to 17 year old, but the painting wasn’t known as “provocative” because it depicted a young woman naked. It was the painting style that caused controversy, not the subject matter.

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Today, when it comes to the media two words that clash are “children” and “sexualisation”. Joanna Faulkner states, “The suggested danger is that sexual or proto-sexual imagery and signification viewed by children can lead to their ‘premature sexualisation”. From a young age, girls especially are becoming bombarded with images that depict the “perfect” female, take Barbie, for example, her unrealistic slim shape, large breasts, long flowing blonde hair and a face covered in make-up doesn’t really scream “acceptance” or “individualism” instead creating a false depiction of women within society. But BCM110 has shown me that our society is influenced by such control and manipulation.

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Unfortunately our world revolves around sexualisation. We cannot prevent children’s exposure to sexual images, but we can stop them from being the sexualised image.

Through BCM110 I can now understand the objective of the media and their control of censored items which has made me re-evaluate the way I consume media platforms, and look beyond the screen.

 

Reference:
Faulkner, J, 2010, ‘The Commodification and Sexualisation of Children in the Media and Popular Culture, The Innocence Festish, no. 135, pp. 106-117.

 

 

 

 

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8 thoughts on “Sex Sells

  1. Hi Amelia, I enjoyed reading your blog. You used some fantastic examples which really do highlight the idea that ‘sex sells’. I found your comment about ‘we cannot prevent children’s exposure to sexual images’ an interesting point. I think it depends more so on the age group and what media they are consuming. I would agree that media consumption is higher these days and it is a lot easier to access the media, however I’m not sure if i agree 100% with your statement. It would be hard to prevent exposure at some point in a child/teenagers life however I’m sure it would be possible to prevent such exposure for a certain period of time. Just my opinion though. Great work, you definitely have reflected well on the topics from BCM110 thus far! I look forward to reading more of your blogs.

  2. I understand where you’re coming from Charlotte but in our current society it is very hard to prevent children from being exposed to these sexual connotations due to the media, but I won’t completely rule out the possibility of mediating what they witness. Thank you for your feedback, I will definitely take it into consideration.

    Thank you Jess! Yes, that article was very interesting and it makes a valid point towards stereotypes amongst children’s toys, especially in targeting certain genders through objects and colours that supposedly scream feminine or manly. Thanks for posting the source!

  3. Sadly we can’t prevent sexual exposure to children’s but great post well said about how sex sells, and great examples it has made me realise that we are exposed to sex a lot these days.

  4. Interesting post. I think some measures can and quite frankly, SHOULD be taken to limit a child’s consumption of sexualised media.
    Particularly when you mention Barbie, there are a vast amount of conflicting opinions when it comes to Barbie, and whether she is too sexualised to be a child’s toy. It’s hard to ignore the facts that Barbie IS a depiction of an idealised woman, an impossibly proportioned idealised woman actually!
    I’m not exactly sure where I stand in the whole Barbie debate as I played with Barbies as a child, and i think i turned out okay. Well I hope..Oh Jesus i’m second guessing everything now D:
    Great blog post!

  5. Hi Amelia, I really enjoyed reading this post! I completely agree with you that our world is becoming more sexualised. It’s so sad to see that the iconic Barbie, is communicating negative body image issues, with her distorted, stereotypically perfect body type. I remember having Barbies myself when I was younger and I looked up to her immensely. I would think, “She has the perfect body!” and through the media’s constant influence of what is attractive, those thoughts originated at a young age for me. I recommend you check out this article on Barbie, and the long effects it is having on young girls. http://www.divinecaroline.com/life-etc/momhood/negative-effects-barbie-young-girls-long-term-results

  6. JamJam, thank you! We definitely are, it’s quite a frightening prospect actually.

    Ebony, I must say Barbie was my idol as a child. I loved her, and the millions of outfits to choose from, many of which were very provocative. But I turned out okay, and even now I still adore Barbie, but she does present a very unrealistic body image. From a young age we don’t realise it, I suppose, it’s just a doll to us. But as we get older and we start experiencing society’s views, our opinions start to change and become influenced by those around us.

  7. Veronica, I totally agree, I believed she had the perfect body when I was young too. She was my idol and everything about her lavish lifestyle, the cars, houses and even Ken! Influenced my ideals of life, I suppose. But unfortunately Barbie’s lifestyle is far from reality. I just had a look at the piece, I think it varies from child to child. I can agree that from a young age Barbie may be a contributing factor towards weight issues when a girl grows older, but it’s only one of many. We cannot just purely blame Barbie, it’s unreasonable. I suppose it’s up to the parent to make the final decision, as that article states, if they want their child to be exposed to Barbie or not.

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