Are the media failing women? | English Coursework

Assignment 1: writing to argue (speech).
Are the media failing women? 

If one of your friends picked out your insecurities in the way you often do to yourself how long would you keep them as one of your friends?

Imagine yourself opening the newspaper or the latest edition of your favourite magazine to see a headline splattered across the page on the weight of your favourite celebrity. As a society the presentation of women on the web, screen, radio and paper is homing in on us with words of wisdom on how we should look, eat and act. We grow up surrounded by the pressures of the media. Those behind these papers and magazines shouldn’t have the power over us. Why do we succumb to their wishes and not only buy their products but aim for goals that are beyond the reach of any?

I’d like to draw attention to the fact that just last month The Sun published an article titled ‘Core blimey… Posh eats!’ accompanied with a photo of her eating an apple. The Sun then continue to write how “the size six fashion designer munched an apple” and described the fact that she was eating as something “we never thought we’d see”. Who are The Sun to tell us that eating even an apple isn’t normal? Recently The Daily Mail also published a similar article where a picture of Eva Longoria holding a newspaper is accompanied with the words “she has brains too” before it goes on to discuss her “tight white blouse”. Surely it must be damaging to these celebrities whose bodies are compared on a daily basis and weights splattered across the front page of best-selling magazines. The media are giving not only the public unrealistic goals but those in the public eye also.

Why do our whole lives seem to revolve around what dress size we are and whether our thighs rub together when we walk? When did it become the norm that 79% of girls who self-purge frequently read woman’s health and fitness magazines? Why are we letting ourselves become so obsessed with pursuing our goals to look like a picture in a magazine; a picture that is purely a creation of the computer? We are letting the monster that is the media get inside our minds and distort our thoughts. We are letting them tell us that how much we are worth depends on how similar we can look to images like those on magazine covers. We are letting them tell us that we should not be happy with the body we live in.

It’s not just via magazines that these unrealistic goals are formed. It all starts as a child. We learn to compliment children on being pretty and cute. Surely we should be teaching the younger generations to grow up striving towards attributes like being determined, brave or having a kind heart. You may be thinking that it is the fault of the parents for introducing them to the medias view on woman so young but however hard you try you can’t censor a child from these images as they are everywhere. The shops. The internet. Even on book covers. We are harming the confidence of young girls from such an early age by introducing them to this warped view of women.

But are the media failing men? Do they have the same pressures as women? Perhaps men are suffering just as badly as we are? I’m sure many have these thoughts lingering at the back of your mind and yes men do face pressure from the media to get their act together and maybe even have a rack of muscles to match. But to say that the media are failing them may be taking it too far. When you walk into a shop and see the shelf of magazines you are greeted by the edited faces and bodies of a lot of women. If a women isn’t being praised on a magazine cover they are being picked apart for having gained a few pounds. Yes, men may feel the need to go to the gym and build up some muscle or get abs like Channing Tatum but you hear much less of men taking it to heart and taking up desperate measures for this to happen. I’m not dismissing the fact that is this a problem, but is it really as out in the public as the problem with the presentation of women?

The media are also failing us through the sexualisation of women. With music videos like Robin Thicke’s blurred lines and Miley Cyrus’ Wrecking Ball it is clear that how women are presented as sexual objects is a weird yet controversial subject to many. In a lot of places it is illegal for a female to walk around topless; yet in the media these images appear all the time. The female body is treated so strangely. It seems as if everyone is longing to see it, but as soon as some skin is shown someone is given a name for themselves. Over the years the figures have soared and intensely sexualised images of women now cover magazines. A study revealed that the cover of Rolling Stone magazine was 89% more likely to be a sexualised image of a woman in the 2000s than in the 1960s. You are not simply there to aid somebody else and our duty as a woman is not to live to please men. This is not the message we should be putting out there.

Perhaps, if we stop defining ourselves by what we are not and start defining ourselves on what we are, the effect the media have on women will slowly decrease. I hope one day you will learn to fill your heart with love, love for those around you, but mostly a love for yourself and everything about you. As Sally Coulter said “we need to stop trying to find the forest and just enjoy the trees”. 

Pumpkin Carving and Autumnal Walks


With summer long gone and Halloween right around the corner me and Beth took it upon ourselves to carve some Pumpkins yesterday. I'm sure many of you, like me, have suddenly noticed a major difference in the weather and now as I wake up to find the sun still hasn't risen I've had to switch my summer attire for coats, scarves and boots. Oranges and browns are slowly but surely beginning to take over what were ripe green trees and I've finally been successful in persuading my Dad that yes, it is cold enough to switch on the heating! I do enjoy putting on my fluffy pj's and bundling myself up in quilts every night.

With some help from Beth's dog Ralph, we spent the morning carving what I have to say are the best pumpkins I've ever had any input in. I'm not much of an artist and I have to say I don't have a track record of making the best pumpkins yet these were pretty impressive in my opinion- nothing to uneven and no random chunks sliced out where I'd gotten over excited! My pumpkin is looking a little too jolly for Halloween though! We spread our stuff over the floor of Beths little pub room down on the way to her garden, connected our phones to the speakers and switched the fairy lights on which created an extremely cosy and warm, not to mention wintery atmosphere. I love Halloween- mostly because I know Christmas is very soon and we all know how much I love Christmas!! (only 66 days until Christmas by the way eee!!!!)

To thank Ralph for his input in our pumpkin carving we thought it right to take him out for a walk
(alongside Jock) and go an explore down through the tree's along the river. With a borrowed pair of wellies that were about 3 sizes to big for my abnormally small size 3 1/2 feet we ventured down a little path and into the trees. The river was flowing incredibly quickly and had been dyed a watery brown colour from the excess mud and leaves autumn had provided. It was still very photogenic to say the least.

I am very glad that I did go to Beths on Saturday because it's so much nicer to spend the day doing something very nice rather than spend the day moping around bored like I normally would have. This year I've had some great times with my friends and last year I was often reluctant to accept invitations and spent most of my time alone and inside. This past year I discovered that not only is there is nothing to be worried about, but that I have and could probably never had a bad day out with my friends. I've got less than a year left with seeing them as regularly as I do so I really hope that we can spend those months meeting up as much as possible because they really are the most fantastic people ever and looking back over the years at school fill me with warmth and happiness because I have formed so many unforgettable memories alongside them.

JAKE BUGG 05/10/14

With my Jake Bugg tee at the ready I spent Sunday morning waiting in anticipation as the clock seemed to reach 4 so much slower than usual. As I always seem to have the worst luck ever when it comes to standing whilst seeing someone live and I always end up with another persons hair in my face me and Ella decided to go for seating for a change- and boy was I glad. We were positioned looking straight at the stage, and we were 5 rows back which meant we were close but just high enough to look right over the crowds heads. The best thing of all being I had no hair in my face for the whole show!! It also meant that I could venture into the masses of people in front of the stage and push my way half way to the front for a song or two before I emerged back to my seat having trod in a lot of drink that covered the floor and jostled my way through groups of dancing boys who were much taller than me.

It didn't really hit me until Jake walked on stage what was actually happening, yet even before he began his set the room was brought to life by two support acts. It was Man Made who opened the show, closely followed by Hudson Taylor who I am surprised I had never heard of before as they were just the type of music I like to listen too. I already knew Jake would pick something different to the new day modern pop music and I really enjoyed their interpretations on what music is all about. I was also a big fan of the fact both bands played there own instruments that's always great to see.

In between acts, a variety of songs were played through the speakers. Can you really complain about waiting when you have The Stone Roses and Oasis to get you in the mood? Before Jake came on Champagne Supernova started playing but cut off just as the chorus began for Jake. Yet, the whole room seemed to carry on singing and it was quite magical.

Jake then emerged on stage to the screams of many emotional 12 year olds (yes- I am aware I was one once and I still have many similar attributes). His all black clothes almost made him blend in with the colourless background; his signature logo blown up in big letters behind him.

Opening with Messed Up Kids and Seen It All the whole crowd were on a high and his setlist was perfectly structured as playing Storm Passes Away after these two high tempo tracks really influenced it's meaning and the feeling behind it all. I was also quite impressed with Jake, as I was fully aware before even buying the tickets that his stage present isn't the greatest but he did put his all into all of his songs and thanked everyone for helping him get where he is today. After all it is all about the music for him and live shows and publicity is something that comes alongside it. Being the first show of his current UK tour we were fortunate enough to hear two new song debuts, Down The Avenue and Hold On You. Both hint to another promising album from him in the near future.

The crowd reacted well to most of his songs but it was disheartening to see a chunk of them were very unenthusiastic and it wasn't until his final few songs that they quit talking and got more involved. When Jake sang Broken, a track from his debut album Jake Bugg, it was the first song where everyone sang along and many held glow-sticks and phone lighters in the air. It was all complemented by low lighting and it made a very moving performance. It was the final song Lightning Bolt where everyone was practically screaming out the words and the whole audience was jumping about.

I normally find it quite easy to pick my favourite track of the night, but the setlist was so good I really am really struggling. Each song was approached so differently that is really difficult to state which one I enjoyed the most overall but Slumville Sunrise and Lightning Bolt were great in terms of the reaction of the crowd and he had the whole room shouting the lyrics back at him. I also enjoyed Slide and Green Man which were very well delivered. Simple Pleasures was also a highlight as it was the one song that I experienced in the middle of the crowd as close to the front as I could squeeze through the maze of dancing strangers.

Although Jake is well-known for not being the happiest guy in the world and for not being much of a performer I could tell he was very appreciative of everyone for being there and he had a very good reaction from all of the tweets and comments I've seen. As I left the room to My Brother Jake by Free with my programme in hand I yet again felt that feeling of utter disappointment that the whole evening had drawn to a close.