The “standards” of beauty and our self-perceptions are heavily influenced by pop-culture itself. On screen, for many celebrities they have to meet high expectations but off screen is a different story for many celebrities. This blog will uncover the various ways the media has a direct and indirect influence on femininity and exploitation of women in Hollywood during third wave feminism.
Third wave feminism focuses entirely on individualism and sex positivity. Wearing tight clothes and wearing bright color makeup became normalized in Hollywood in the mid 1900’s. Expectations were high for women at this time; they felt as if they had to excel at their career, relationships, self-presentation, domestic chores, etc. Third wave feminism sprouted amid a booming economy; thus glamorizing products and advertising cosmetic surgery. Some celebrities became popular during third wave feminism, like Britney Spears. As most of you may already know, Britney Spears is an iconic singer, dancer and actress of the late 1990’s and the early 2000’s. She is the ultimate Princess of Pop and she was an idol for many young girls, including me!
In most recent news, New York Times released a documentary on the life of Britney Spears aired on Hulu. The documentary investigates a conservatorship, owned by Jamie Spears, Britney’s dad. In this case, Britney is the conservatee, who has to abide by the rules of Jamie. Moreover, the conservatorship allows Jamie to have complete control and authority on Britney’s finances and life choices, due to Britney’s mental state. As a result, the Free Britney Movement started because fans of Britney believe she is being held against her will under the conservatorship and she is crying out for help in discrete ways on her social media accounts. Not to mention, the media has also portrayed Britney in a negative light and has ridiculed her of everything she has been doing and wearing. Unfortunately, Britney is not the only female celebrity to be scrutinized and under surveillance from the media at all times. The breaking point of Britney Spears proves the damaging repercussions of constant surveillance and objectification. Thus, demonstrating the mistreatment of pop culture.
One particular tv show I would like to narrow my focus on is Sex and the City. Sex and the City depicts a whirlwind lifestyle filled with romance and adventure of four adult women in the heart of New York City. I admit, I am guilty of indulging the series, as well as both of the movies on my free time! However, there has been recent controversy over this show due its narrowed vision on glamorizing the life of New York City as well as neglecting marginalized groups. Thus, HBO Max has just announced they will be producing a re spun of the show to reshape the original piece and incorporate more diversity.
Overall, I hope you can take away and understand the unbalanced power of high authority figures over individuals, like Britney who most likely feels powerless at this time. Acknowledging the absence of marginalized groups in Sex and the City can promote intersectionality and it is one step in the right path. Therefore, the first step of making change is to become aware. Especially becoming aware of the objectification and exploitation happening to women in Hollywood. Becoming aware and watching documentaries on these pressing issues takes you one step closer to understanding what is happening behind the scenes and providing equality for all women.