Is the exhibition of women’s body a form of sexist exploitation?

Di Anna De Filippo

We are daily fuelled with naked female bodies or women who wear minimal clothes on television, ads, newspapers and magazines. This sentence could raise heavy criticism as many could argue that every person is owner of their own body and, hence, can do whatever they want with it.In fact, when talking about the woman’s body there is a clash between two main opinions: one in favour of its exhibition and another against it.

Some women think that showing off one’s body is a way of claiming the evolution of the woman, who as owner of her body can decide to do whatever she wants. Therefore, it is considered as a means to assert one’s independence.
Other women analyzes the issue from an opposite perspective. Exhibiting naked female bodies is a way of underestimating woman as she is considered as an object and means of exploitation, exacerbating, in this way, the problem of sexism and fulfilling the needs of man.

Everybody has their own opinion on the matter and obviously some will be in favour or against one of the two positions. The purpose of this article is not that of expressing ideas in favour or against one of the two opinions but rather that of debating about the female body when it is considered as an instrument of marketing.
However, the real problem is that the emancipation of the woman through an independent decision in the use of her body is not often spread as a message on mass media. Therefore, this lack of information regarding a new approach to the way the woman can dispose of her body can vitiate the way the message is received from the audience.
The body is, in fact, currently used more and more as a system of marketing with a view to increasing the levels of audience ratings on television and the numbers of readers for newspapers and magazines.

We are not only talking about a gender matter, but it is an issue regarding the dignity and independence of a person who should be the real owner of their body and not slaves of a market that demands more and more naked bodies in order to be enough competitive .
To which extent can the unconditioned use of body be considered a form of declaring independence if it is the media that dictate its use? Why are women asked to constantly satisfy the market of “naked body”? The ability of a person, no matter the sex, should go beyond a beautiful body but perhaps this opinion is not shared by the media market which demands certain requirements and many women who wants to take part in it have to conform with the rules of that market.

What is surprising about it is that this market is homologating every programme leaving no choice for the audience who adopts to it, ending up thinking that there should always be an almost naked body or a beautiful woman-object on what they are offered. If not so, the programme will not have the same success as those ‘offering’, talking in terms of business, a beautiful half-naked or totally naked woman’s body.

The opinion on the presence of female bodies on whatever media we are dealing with may change on the person but what is not changing at all is the approach of communication marketing to the way the female body is conceived: a mere good and instrument of business exploited according to the audience’s pleasure and approval. Perhaps this is what women should really think about!

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2 risposte a Is the exhibition of women’s body a form of sexist exploitation?

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