Presentation Title

Women's Body Image: Hypersexualized Femininity at the Met Gala

Faculty Mentor

Daniel Gardner

Start Date

23-11-2019 10:30 AM

End Date

23-11-2019 10:45 AM

Location

Markstein 211

Session

oral 2

Type of Presentation

Oral Talk

Subject Area

humanities_letters

Abstract

Within critical circles, fashion shows and events tend to be treated as promotion mechanisms that convey contemporary ideas of beauty through the objectification of the female body. The star-studded Met Gala has been a pop culture phenomenon since Anna Wintour, the editor-in-chief of Vogue, chaired the fashion event in 1995. In the early years of the gala, the female body on display was slender and dressed in high neckline circle dresses, but today the Met Gala’s red carpet promotes a markedly different hypersexualized body that draws upon the pop ethos of the female celebrities in attendance. Yet, many of these celebrity attendees, such as Rihanna and Beyonce, use their vastly popular platforms to advocate “body positivity,” a term connected to the female body empowerment movement that encourages women to embrace the diversity of their bodies. The hypersexualization of femininity has been well documented as an effect of porn culture, a current phenomenon, as claimed by Gail Dines, where in a woman’s value derives solely from the spectacle of her body’s conformity to a particularly limited and uniform set of physical criteria. Various studies have been conducted and exhibit the negative consequences of hypersexualization in mainstream media. My research demonstrates that despite the rise in female representation and female body empowerment, various sectors of the entertainment and style industries implicitly propagate the idea that female objectification is a consequence of hypersexualized representations, thus indicating that a woman’s power and influence is limited by her body’s conformity to the standards of porn culture. Additionally, my research, sourced from the Met Gala’s self-promotion and alternative media outlets, analyzes the type of celebrities who attend the Met Gala, the various fashion and media practices deployed to frame the female body, and responses to the products of those practices as well as the practices themselves.

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Nov 23rd, 10:30 AM Nov 23rd, 10:45 AM

Women's Body Image: Hypersexualized Femininity at the Met Gala

Markstein 211

Within critical circles, fashion shows and events tend to be treated as promotion mechanisms that convey contemporary ideas of beauty through the objectification of the female body. The star-studded Met Gala has been a pop culture phenomenon since Anna Wintour, the editor-in-chief of Vogue, chaired the fashion event in 1995. In the early years of the gala, the female body on display was slender and dressed in high neckline circle dresses, but today the Met Gala’s red carpet promotes a markedly different hypersexualized body that draws upon the pop ethos of the female celebrities in attendance. Yet, many of these celebrity attendees, such as Rihanna and Beyonce, use their vastly popular platforms to advocate “body positivity,” a term connected to the female body empowerment movement that encourages women to embrace the diversity of their bodies. The hypersexualization of femininity has been well documented as an effect of porn culture, a current phenomenon, as claimed by Gail Dines, where in a woman’s value derives solely from the spectacle of her body’s conformity to a particularly limited and uniform set of physical criteria. Various studies have been conducted and exhibit the negative consequences of hypersexualization in mainstream media. My research demonstrates that despite the rise in female representation and female body empowerment, various sectors of the entertainment and style industries implicitly propagate the idea that female objectification is a consequence of hypersexualized representations, thus indicating that a woman’s power and influence is limited by her body’s conformity to the standards of porn culture. Additionally, my research, sourced from the Met Gala’s self-promotion and alternative media outlets, analyzes the type of celebrities who attend the Met Gala, the various fashion and media practices deployed to frame the female body, and responses to the products of those practices as well as the practices themselves.