By: Ines Zippe
For those of you that watch Gossip Girl, which judging by Twitter is a good 75% of HB girls, you know that the two main girl characters are Serena and Blair. Both are lovable and unique, but many of their personality traits are female stereotypes. For example, Serena is portrayed as boy crazy, going behind a friend’s back just to get the boy of her dreams. Blair is viewed as a natural leader, however the show also shows her as manipulative. This is just one example of the view that when a woman is successful she is bossy, but when a man is successful, he is strong and assertive. When looking closely, Gossip Girl is not the only show that gives women these stereotypes. In plenty of popular movies and TV shows, women do not have the same flaws as men. These traits are so common that they are often not even obvious, but when brought to attention, are clearly shown.
One movie that many of us know is Material Girls, staring the Duff sisters. In the movie, the girls are completely superficial, and only care about their next pair of shoes and hair appointment. This stereotype of women being obsessed with material objects is present in men as well, judging by the number of Instagramed basketball shoes that show up in my feed. So why are men not pegged down for being as complexion conscious as we are, when deep down they are? As seems to be the answer for everything, the media is to blame. It gives men an “I don’t care what I look like in my tousled hair” vibe, because the producers want them to look laid back. Unlike men, women are shown as anxious and caring far more about their outward appearance, when in reality this is not always the case.
Another example of a female stereotype portrayed in the media is how a woman is supposedly graceful, while judging by personal experience this is far from valid. Everyday I seem to skim the edges of death from falling off my chair. The truth is that in this day and age, women simply do not have time to look poised and elegant throughout every minute of the day. However, in Cinderella, a classic film in which millions of women, young and old, have seen, Prince Charming falls for Cinderella due to her gracefulness. In reality women should not always have to be graceful around men; they should just be themselves. Men are far less expected to act “gentlemanly” than a women is expected to act elegantly.
Finally, in Pretty Little Liars, Aria is obsessed with her male teacher. Oh wait a minute, that stereotype is valid.
For the most part however, thousands of false female stereotypes are concealed within films. They are so common that by now they are hardly noticeable, it takes effort to see how the media has put our gender roles into two different categories. Thankfully at HB, women are taught not to let these stereotypes block our path, and one day we will come into the world as confident leaders, ready to make a difference.