Hollywood’s Sexualization: Industry Abuse

Hollywood’s Sexualization: Industry Abuse

WRITTEN BY: FAITH LAMPE

In an era of societal sexualization, there is still hope. It is 2020, and women are standing up and making their voices heard more than ever before. 

The #MeToo phenomenon set a precedent for women all over the world. This movement shifted this weight from women to the abuser. It taught women that this is not a burden for them to carry alone; it created unity and a pathway to healing. 

Although this movement has revolutionized how the world views sexual violence, there is still a vast amount of degrading portrayals of gender norms within modern media. The entertainment industry continues to sexualize women as objects. In all actuality, true change will reach the masses when the way equality is perceived is reformed. 

Women are making headway across the world, through achieving more leading roles as actresses, directors and producers. To continue this trend, they cannot take their feet off the gas but must continue to persevere. Two women were interviewed from different backgrounds, political views and religions. They both agreed that the face of the entertainment industry is changing, but not fast enough. 

Elaney Noe, public relations major, spoke on her perspective. 

“The #MeToo movement has redefined our voices, and with that I don’t want to sit back and not address the lack of deserving credit women deserve in the entertainment industry,” Noe said.

A positive concept to take away is that women within this industry are also taking a stand. Uniting with influencers in this industry and going hand-in-hand fighting this injustice is disturbing the manmade hierarchy. Another woman brought up an interesting point that women seem to have become numb to. 

Rillie Wax, UT student on the exploratory track, addressed the simple details within the industry that need reform.

“Have you watched an interview of a female actress compared to a male actor? The comparison will blow your mind. Female actresses are asked about their undergarments, their relationship status and their weight, whereas men are placed on pedestals and seen as real actors,” Wax said.

This statement conveys how much goes unnoticed. As viewers and consumers who control the media, we have become so conditioned to the discrimination and inequality that we have become unphased. 

Just as the #MeToo movement took charge on social media and created a domino effect that enhanced social media, the same must be done in all industries. It is important to understand that influencers adhere to what consumers want to see. The future is in the people’s hands, but we must reconstruct the social norms to revolutionize the industry.

This is not just about the inequality of sex, but the inequality of race, gender roles and sexualities portrayed in the media around us. It is time to uncover the underlying issues that have been unaddressed. 

Within the industry, why are 77% of actresses white? Why is the media white washed, and why are they creating a false definition of American beauty? This must be redefined. Why are women still seen as objects? Why is the image of a man made to be unemotional and distant and then calling it strength? It is no longer a flaw within the system, but the system as a whole. 

This research was furthered by surveying 15 anonymous women on cinematic preference. Below are the top 10 ranked movies that either align with feminist values and/or are directed or produced by strong women. 

It is time to recondition ourselves, not only for our future but for future generations. Beauty, strength and success must be redefined and reformed to fit the needs of modern society. The future is female. 

Top 10 Movies:

#1 On the Basis of Sex

#2 Hidden Figures

#3 Little Women

#4 Suffragette 

#5 Queen of Katwe

#6 20th Century Women

#7 She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry

#8 10 Things I Hate About You

#9 Miss Representation

#10 Daughters of The Dust

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