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The Female Body and the Female: Contrast between experience and visual representations in photographic editorial - Research Paper Example

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Running Head: VISUAL CULTURE The female body and the female: Contrasts between experience and visual representations in photographic editorial The female body and the female: Contrasts between experience and visual representations in photographic editorial Introduction The female body has been used in the popular media as a form of sexualized object from which the power of that sexuality is conferred upon the product that is being sold…
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The Female Body and the Female: Contrast between experience and visual representations in photographic editorial
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Download file to see previous pages The human body has been an object of sexuality that confers power, which in turn has become associated with wealth. The focus of sexuality as it relates to power has become focused in visual culture on the female, the experience of viewing images now easily commuted into messages that can be read by the average viewer. In looking at photographs of female bodies, one can begin to understand the process of transferring messages onto the product that would be the focus of the image. The problem that emerges from this objectification of the female body is that it is often confused with becoming female and living within that gender. The experience of being female sometimes mimics that which has become the use of the female body, but that mimicry is an illusion and being female becomes a separate, often private, experience. In looking at the experience of being female in contrast the image of the female body, the conflict that is prevalent within society among women can be understood and put into context. The female body is an object within popular visual culture that provides meaning on different social concepts. The objectification of the female form is different than the experience of being female, thus the imagery that the visual culture cannot be seen as the same as the concept of gender. The Human Body According to Bryson, Holly, and Moxey (1994) Foucault argued that “every society produces its systems of marriages for the reproduction of bodies and the transmission of money” (p. 33). This argument objectifies the human being, voiding the development of relationships and ascribing to the event of marriage the purposes of both the procreation of more humans and of more money. Foucault focuses on sexuality as it is “tied to the emerging devices of power, that the intensification of the body is linked with the exploitation as an object of knowledge and an element in the relations of power” (Bryson, Holly, & Moxey, 1994, p. 33). Therefore, the development of sexuality is linked to the development of the class system. Power is within the bourgeoisie and the proletariat is only granted the identity of the body as sexualized when it is under the guise of protecting the bourgeoisie, thus creating a classed specification in which the power of sexuality is assigned. In other words, those who do not meet the requirements of the sexualized body are only addressed for that value when it is in the interests of the upper class to protect itself from the sexualizing of the lower class. The connection, then, between money and the sexualized body becomes defined by the creation of class as it is assigned to image. In looking at photographic images of humans, the first most common element is that the male, if he is in the picture, is the frame and the female is the focal point. Therefore, it can be assumed that the female body is the object upon which sexuality is focused. Within that indication of sexuality is found power, whether it is the power to oppress, to own, to buy, or to create. The power of commerce becomes symbolized by the ownership that comes from buying a product as it has conferred through some sense of sensuality upon the female. The power of money and the representation of the female form become connected through advertising, which has then become a ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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