FEMME FEED | AN INSTALLATION OF “OF THE MOMENT”
STORIES FOR GIRLS IN THE KNOW.
These days media is imbued into our everyday existence, it feels like we can’t go a minute, hour, or much less day without interacting with some form of media. Whether it is TV, Google, or scrolling through a plethora of feeds — we have a symbiotic relationship with the media. In mirrored consistency, we are stunned by the unfair and downright ridiculous way women are portrayed in the media in the ripe year of 2016. Popular media is so geared towards limiting women and pitting them against one another, emphasizing their looks or personal life. Who wore it better? Who cares!
We see this magnified as a woman runs for office, battling the brigade of fabricated noise to fill air time on nightly news. A prime example, many outlets focusing on the *shocking* choice of Hilary Clinton’s $12K Armani suit worn to speak about inequality in April. This taking up ample news space that could have been dedicated to, we don’t know…her actual speech?
This mass machine of content’s vast pull on our generation proves powerful even in subtle ways, even sometimes on the flip side of that same coin. There has been a flurry of speculation of whether Google altered their search engine results surrounding Hilary. Executives at Google are among Hilary’s biggest supporters and their actions to portray Hilary in a glorified light, although may be unethical in the censoring kind of way, must be looked at as a real manifestation of clearing a woman’s negative and unfair media criticism, along with maybe a few scandals. Is the search engine manipulation sketchy with a touch of eerie censorship? Yes. But is it possible that the experts at Google who support Hilary are trying to even the playing field because they, more than most, understand the massive imbalance in the portrayal of men and women in the media.
You don’t see many men in the media being scrutinized over their looks or their personal relationships or how they wear their suits. Therefore, we wonder why women should be? As we learned in the powerful 2011 documentary Miss Representation, there are very few women still in the highest positions of media, giving us very little control over the way we are portrayed.
These factors are so frustrating because we live in a generation in which women are seeking to make supporting one another cool and seeking to banish the competition, and rather empower one another’s unique essence. The young slew of supermodels attempt to promote supporting one’s local girl gang. However, with the recent Stephanie Seymour debacle in which she calls the new crew of Supermodels “bitches of the moment,” revealing her lack of respect for the social media stardom that leads young women into the roles of today’s mega-influencers. Receiving a barrage of backlash Stephanie then clarified that the media had twisted her words and that she supports the women who work hard in the modeling industry and emphasizes that her intentions were not malicious. A perfect example of the media dramatizing women’s relationships with one another, in this case former supermodel with younger budding ones — one that the media wants to make a competition of scorned elder and rebellious youth.
These ridiculous depictions of women in the media shift the focus from what we know and can accomplish to what we look like and how we interact with one another, in order to subtly infuse girl drama into popular culture. In a trickle down affect, it teaches our young girls that it’s okay to act this way toward one another in school, social, and even virtual settings. Pop culture is increasingly important today and we must actively recognize and seek to alter the media driven culture of comparing ourselves to each other. That’s why we have all the feels for the rejuvenation of the #GirlGang, and things like Michelle Obama’s killer campaign for The United State of Women, sending the message that together we can create a new, beautiful world.