Saturday, February 27, 2010

Eye Candy

Mulvery tells us that the male gaze is when a woman is not seen as a human being but rather an object which needs to be observed. There is clear evidence of this in popular culture; movies, music videos and advertisements all play their roles in portraying woman as sexual objects and nothing more. For any product there is always a target audience, you find that targets weakness and you expose it to entice them purchase from you. The media found what makes men spend, sexy women. What do they do get custumers? Budweiser’s ads are a wonderful example, along with the trademark name they throw in a voluptuous female wearing only a bikini, in the ad above they improvised but read closely on her leg, it says "You can twist anything into a swimsuit." In the ad along the side, the womans make the label, symbolizing that they come as a package deal. So Budweiser, are you telling me that if men buy your beer, woman in bikinis will come running to cater to the big spender? No! Budweiser if they can’t get woman like the ones in your ads when their sober, a beer will not change their luck. “…the woman is blamed and is punished by being made subservient to the man.” Now what if Budweiser hired me to make an ad for them, I’d expose reality. There would be a before and after: man sitting at the bar, across from him sits an average woman he pays no mind to her, after a few beers he gazes over at the same female and now she looks like the girl in the ads.

Sex will always sell! Men are not ashamed to gaze and woman as well are conscious and also judge the woman in the eye of media in one way or another. We are so exposed to sexual images we don’t even think twice about the who, what or why. A woman would think: Who is this woman? What are her interests? Why did she make this career choice? For men only the physical is relevant: Who are you and where have you been all my life? What do I have to do to speak to you? Why do you not want me like I want you! The 1988 film Who framed Roger Rabbit stars Jessica Rabbit who leave both men and cartoons in a trance. She is a sex symbol in the animation industry and children are not even aware that they are being exposed to the beauty of a womans body.

The gaze is a way of making someone else ashamed, Bell Hooks in Oppositional Gaze tells how white slave owners would use the gaze to punish by instilling fear into the African Americans. “Afraid to look but fascinated by the gaze. There is power in the look.” There is deep truth in this. I work with children and I always give them “the look” as a warning and it always works! For me the gaze is the power of the eyes to communicate through unspoken words. Every day I am exposed to the male gaze. I get on the train and there is will some guy that is violating me with his eyes. The funny thing is they want you to see them looking at you, they show no shame. Even our president was caught gazing at something that he could not have, its human nature to feed into something as intising as "eye candy." These silent words speak to me every day and they make me want to be invisible. I am aware of the male gaze, before it would make me feel shameful but now I use it as power. A man can no longer hurt me with their gaze because I know I am not an object. Men will always look and I have seen myself being looking at. I feel as though I am rambling so I am going to let Hooks speak for me, “… I thought again about these connections, about the way power as domination reproduces itself in different locations employing similar apparatuses, strategies, and mechanism of control.”

1 comment:

  1. I like how you used some good examples from both general and your own experience to support "the gaze" discussion.
    I laughed at Obama's picture! It's awesome and actually it really works to prove "the human nature".