Gender Roles Photoshoot

Recently in my Pop Culture and Mass Communications class taught by Paulette Moore, we’ve been discussing gender. This involves gender roles, violence, and how the media portrays each sex. Rather than focusing solely on how the media portrays women and how women are “stuck” in traditional roles, we’ve also been keeping an eye out for how this is pushed on to men as well. Men too are trapped in these gender roles where they don’t feel like they’re allowed to be emotional or sensitive because that’s a “female thing.”

While watching the movie “The Codes of Gender,” I was introduced to how images and movies from the media portray women in awkward and contorted ways that have started to seem normal and natural. A few ways that this is done is by women having their fingers in their mouths, always seeming dazed or confused, laying down, looking away from the camera, exposing their necks, looking over their shoulders, tilting on one leg, touching/comforting themselves, or holding items daintily.

We don’t necessarily see how these poses or roles are strange or unusual because they’ve become engrained as being normal. Once we reverse the roles, we can then see how these poses are actually quite unnatural. Below is the results of a photo shoot that my Pop Culture partners and I did.

As artists, one of our concerns needs to be making sure that we are portraying people properly and not in a way that is degrading or inaccurate. By doing so, we can commit to defining people by who they truly are, not by how society thinks that their anatomy should make them be.

-b.hench

-special thanks to my models and pop culture group

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