So I’m supposed to be funny, intelligent, attractive, AND successful?

Before I get into what my project will be, let me start by showing you some of the messages that my female peers and I receive everyday:

“The women who have managed to be both mothers and top professionals are superhuman, rich, or self-employed” – Anne-Marie Slaughter

“Except for one thing…she was not attractive. On a scale of 1 to 10, she should have hung herself. The pear-shape of her body was so pronounced she looked like a nesting doll made of owl pellets.”- Tucker Max

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It’s absolutely amazing how much material exists that tells young women how we should look, behave, and spend our time. It also seems like no one wants their opinion to be left out on the matter. Our wiser and older female counterparts try to provide us direction in the male-dominated workforce. Others tell us that it’s just not our fault that we aren’t economically equal to men. The media tells us that there’s only one “correct” standard of beauty. A select group of men tell us that we are nothing without our bodies.

What I’d like to know is how do these messages affect the experiences that a young woman has? Not just that, but what does she think about it? How does she act in response to it?

To do this, I’ll collect stories from the six women in my house that took place at some point during their college careers. I explained before that this is what I’ll be doing, but it is no longer purely for entertainment purposes. Instead, I am planning on generating some critical analysis on the stories to understand when outside messages come into play. The point isn’t to understand the sources of the messages, but instead to give a voice to the women to whom those messages are directed.

5 thoughts to “So I’m supposed to be funny, intelligent, attractive, AND successful?”

  1. As a guy, I think it’s disgusting how women are so bombarded with messages about how they should behave, spend their time, and especially look. By so objectifying the notion of beauty, the media especially seems to further the not-so-subtle message you brought up about women only being as good as their bodies.

    In fact, your mention of the “select group of men” who encourage this degradation reminds me of a quote made by Pope Paul VI during the heart of the sexual revolution. In condemning contraception, he warned of its risk to enable such men to reduce a woman “to being a mere instrument for the satisfaction of his own desires, no longer considering her as his partner whom he should surround with care and affection” (Humanae Vitae, 1968). This could be an interesting aspect to examine in your research as well. Like Katherine, I’m also looking forward to your final project!

  2. Katherine, I’m glad you’re excited! I was waiting on my final meeting before reaching out to him, so now that that’s complete, I’ll be e-mailing him either tonight or tomorrow 🙂

    Joe, that’s a good suggestion! I haven’t thought about it that way.

  3. Gabby (can I call you Gabby? Tell me if no!), I like this, like really really like this! (mind you, I’ve loved the idea from the beginning;-) I think the topic had a lot of depth to it and can be taken by so many different experiences that it’ll make your project so well-rounded, diverse, and open-minded. I also like the different forms of videos you’ve incorporated into your blog post here; they give a variety of perspectives that I’m sure some people have thought about in detail. Once again, I’m excited to read your final project and I may just download it for myself and have it hidden openly somewhere in my room so I can learn from it whenever I want. Looking forward to reading and seeing it evolve.

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