Hypersexualisation is to make something sexual in character or quality, or to become aware of sexuality; especially in relation to men and women. This concept is important to grasp in order to understand the rest of this blog post.
Wherever you look in the media, whether this be movies, magazines or shows, women are hypersexualised in majority of media outlets out there. An example of this would be the Cosmopolitan magazine, which is one of the top selling magazines amongst young women in the Western World. A study done on the readers of this magazine showed that readers were more likely to believe that women should use their appearance to attract male partners compared to less frequent readers.
Whilst many may not see the issue behind all this, it is important to realise that by teaching young women that things such as intellect, creativity and ambition are not as desirable as good looks, you begin to create a society of self-conscious women who feel that looks are all they have to offer in order to attract males. This is the wrong message to be sending to women, and more should be done to empower young women to not be sexualised by the media or be portrayed as sex objects because women are worth more than that.
It is not just women that are hypersexualised but also men, albeit to a lesser extent. All over the media, “desirable” men tend to be tall, muscular, and a particular skin tone. It is the notion of being “masculine” that is used to hypersexualise men.
Again, this sends out a message to men that women are only interested in you if you are tall, muscular and masculine, but this is not the case. Women want things in men such as ambition, generosity, intellect, creativity; perhaps not all of these apply to all women as choice is subjective; but on the whole both men and women want similar things in partners, yet we are faced with a media who want to hypersexualise individuals and create a generation and world in which looks are the decisive factor when it comes to dating or love.
This again leads to a generation of young men who feel pressured into becoming “masculine” and this is most likely a huge factor behind toxic masculinity. The idea of being masculine is not just physical, but also a mental state in which you don’t show emotions because “men” don’t do that. We recently did a blog post about toxic masculinity so check that out if you are interested in reading more about the issue.
Who are you? Are you who the media wants you to be or are you who you want to be? You are you. Our message at Break the Chains is simple: do not let the media sexualise you and do not feel pressured to look like the people you see on TV or any other media/social media outlet.
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