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June 1, 2011 10:43 pm / takingbacksingle

The bare truth

I was watching “Dancing With The Stars” tonight, and something that struck me, besides the fact that the show has gotten so bad that they only rejected two people during the entire hour I watched it, was the difference in the way the women and the men were dressed. Almost all the girls were wearing next to nothing, a sports bra and tiny spandex shorts or a bikini, while the guys were wearing pants and button downs or tank tops. It could be argued that showing off your body is part of the art of dancing and is not sexualized, but why then were only the girls baring skin? In addition, after many of the girls’ auditions, the judges usually mentioned her being sensual, sexy or cute, while for the men, the judges would say something like original, strong or enthusiastic.

This recently released study of top grossing 2008 films, found that female characters were shown naked and sexualized at a much higher rate than their male counterparts. Female characters were shown partially naked 23.7% of the time, while the number for male characters is only 8.2%. In addition, only 32.8% of speaking characters were women, further emphasizing that women should be sexy, not speak.

Even in shows and products catered to women, female characters are always attractive and sexual. In Gossip Girl, for example, Blair and Serena always wear short, tight clothing and are often filmed wearing lingerie to bed.

Why are women so sexualized in our culture? I cannot answer this question, but I do know that it influences the lives of many young girls and women every day, and is a (or the) reason why so many girls in this generation suffer from self esteem issues and eating disorders. I myself feel a tremendous pressure to look sexy and attractive to men, though that’s a topic for a different blog post.

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