I recently made my first contribution to the Wikipedia page “Feminism and media”. I chose to contribute to this specific page because I thought it needed some positive information. Under the social media section of the page you will find:
“In addition, celebrities such as Emma Watson have also taken a pro-feminist stance through social media. In 2014, the UN Women’s Ambassador stated,” I am from Britain and think it is right that as a woman I am paid the same as my male counterparts. I think it is right that I should be able to make decisions about my own body. I think it is right that women be involved on my behalf in the policies and decision-making of my country. I think it is right that socially I am afforded the same respect as men. But sadly I can say that there is no one country in the world where all women can expect to receive these rights.” Her speech also goes into depth about the negative connotation the word feminist has because of social media and how we as a society can take a stand for gender equality.”
Link to Emma Watson’s speech
I have always been an observer, I love looking at people and trying to understand what they are feeling and what made them become the person that they are. When I first created my Myspace page in the summer of seventh grade (under the watching eyes of my mother), I was hooked. The Internet soon became a safe haven for me, to me everything felt safer and the fantasy of the Internet soon overcame reality.
I started spending all my time on the computer, doing nothing but looking at pictures and social media. I have always been shy, so talking to people through a screen became easy for me. I would wake up and run to the computer, hoping to get to it before my brothers woke up to play a video game on it. It began to consume my young teenage life.
The fantasy land of the Internet is not always a good thing. The problem is not everything on the Internet is real or true. In addition, there are so many new ways to hurt a person. Girls on Instagram and other social media are constantly slut shamed for their posts, and even though it is behind a screen their words are destructive. Below is just one example that I was able to find immediately:
But that’s not forget about Twitter, where people can make accounts that focus on just slut-shaming women:
What a meninist is I’m still sure but in any case this Twitter account shows the Internet in its truest form. People can post and comment on anything and because people are not researching what is real and what is not they are believing it. Society seems to be making their own reality because new media has allowed them to lose contact with the real world in order for reality to begin imitating the model. No wants to really know the reality of the world because everyone would rather focus on their attention the fascination with their own reality.
Even today when I go on social media parody accounts like Meninist take up my entire timeline. It’s sad to me that people will blow up an issue just for the sake of it. Donald Trump can tell a woman that he would like to see her on her knees and implies that Megyn Kelly was on her period (Read article here) for asking tough questions during a debate and he’s still allowed to run for president? His face is plastered all over social media even though he is a bully in the presidential election.
These days it seems that it is much easier to hide behind a screen. People are bullied constantly online and what people are reading online are constantly affecting their own thoughts and beliefs. Although it is 2015, the word feminist still carries a negative connotation, even though it’s definition is simply to have equal treatment to men.
The problem with real life and photoshopped magazine covers is that many people can’t tell the difference. Women’s bodies and faces are plastered over these covers with headings that read something about pleasing a man and another telling the reader it will give the “real story” about the face on the cover. Although some magazines are really empowering, many show the same headlines:
The problem with these covers are the people who see them and cannot tell that these women and men are photoshopped and that these bodies and faces are not real, but edited and framed to fit the standard of beauty these magazines create.
As Jennifer Siebel Newsom states, “Exposure to celebrity drama and the implicit acceptance that this type of behavior is normal can have a real impact on the way girls behave and interact with each other in their own lives, It’s important that girls learn to recognize what’s real and what’s manipulated to attract eyeballs and viewers.”(Read more about Dove self-esteem project)
It is also important to take into consideration when distinguishing photoshop with reality is the standards and norms it sets up for young children. Young girls can look at these covers and want to look like these women because they have no other reality of what a woman should look like.
However, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Women like Jennifer Lawerence have spoke out against the amount of Photoshop and they all say the same thing: We are beautiful without it.