I'm Sexy and I know it!

Topic: Sex

Source: Viewing overly sexualized ads not only in America but also across the world. Also pages 124-126 in the text, analyzing sexual themes and motifs seen throughout the world, and how “sexy” plays certain roles in different cultures.

Relation: “The themes sex, love and wealth are pervasive in American life…” (Robbins PG 124).  North America is such a dominant voice throughout the globe, that many cultures have adapted some of our culture. One of the major western influences we see through out the world is the mythical ideal of “sexy” women.

Description: Flipping through a magazine, I cannot help but notice the hot celebrity picture on cover. “ The women is white, skinny, scantly clad, blonde, and posed sexually. It is the newest cover of “Sports Illustrated” and the female in it is Kate Upton. Some celebrity that I had never heard up, but apparently she is the “ideal” sexy. Random pages of the magazine show more white women with blonde or light brown hair, wearing bathing suits or other form fitting outfits. There is even one woman of color in the magazine…probably to show their “diversity.”

Commentary/Analysis: The North American view of “sexy” is perverse and unfortunately influential.  If you Google sexy you will see images of North American white blonde or brown haired celebrities or models, all women showing off some form of sexuality or femininity. In fact just this past month tabloids were raving about how proud they were that Snooki met her goal weight of 95 lbs (no seriously Google it!). The way sexuality is seen in this culture is the same (almost) as with the Ju/wasi, where a woman who is not sexually active is looked upon negatively (as a prude etc). However men also view women who are overly sexuality active negatively as well (as sluts or “loose”). Similar to the manner of the Ju/wasi where men view sexual women as dangerous, but non-sexual women are not normal. 

In North America we view overly sexual images, clothing, and life styles as “sexy.” All females must conform to the ideal sexy look, which is white, blonde hair, blue eyes, and unhealthily skinny. This ideological myth of beauty is very infectious, causing women of many different cultures and countries to adapt to this same idea of beauty. An example of this adaptation can be seen in Japan. There is a new trend in Japan where women are trying to make their hair blonde, they get blue contacts, and they are getting breast augmentations to try and have the “western look.” This idea of western beauty is so influential that women are altering their natural body type just to appeal sexually to men. For example, there was a culture (I cannot remember the name I apologize) that used to value a huskier woman, who had big hips, and was (as our society now calls it) “fat.” However, this society eventually got television that streamed American television shows. Not long after they were subjected to these TV shows, the women of that culture started having eating disorders where they would be anorexic or bulimic. 

This idea of beauty is sickening, and yet we as a culture still accept it. Yes there have been recent movements to amend this monstrosity by putting healthier women in magazines, but for the most part it is this super skinny women. Also regardless of the size of the women, they are always portrayed as sexy, scantly clad, or in a tight form-fitting outfit. 

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