When you look at stars and what made them become so influential in the media, for most women you see a realization of sexuality. From stars like Miley Cyrus to Kim Kardashian, many popular feminine figures went through a phase in which they were overly sexual in order to gain attention. Many involved sex tapes (Kim Kardashian and Paris Hilton) while others involved sexual displays (Miley Cyrus). Although they did gain attention for these acts, most of this was negative and spurred a debate on their controversial acts. When being informed of these famous people’s actions, most people find that their displays of sexuality were not socially acceptable.
When Miley decided to step away from the Disney channel world, she did it in an overtly sexual way. Her performance at the VMAs displayed herself wearing limited amounts of clothing and dry humping Robin Thicke. Most parents were outraged that their children’s idol was now displaying her sexuality in such blatant way. Due to Miley’s whole demeanor has changed, she has now become an influential artist with her album 23 being a top hit. She still displays her sexuality upfront but not in such an extreme way.
Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian have been known to be “famous for being famous”. Their expressions of sexuality did not cause as much controversy because they were always seen as sexual. Their popularity has nothing to do with their accomplishments but rather has everything to do with their displays of sexuality. Paris Hilton may not be as famous anymore but in the early 2000s she was a big star just because of her family money and her sex tape. One the only reasons why people are still interested in Kim is because she still acts in extremely sexual ways to gain her even more attention. Paris has slowly fallen off the social ladder but with Kim’s newest photo shoot, she is right on top.
Kim Kardashian has gotten a lot of media attention for her “Break the Internet” pictures displaying her naked body. This is not the first time she has had media coverage over sexual displays. Most people state that her sex tape with Ray J, is the reason for her fame. All over the internet you can see pictures of Kim’s photo shoot attached to funny memes. She has sparked a huge amount of attention for just displaying her body. Most people are offended by the fact she is putting herself out there in sexual manner, when she is a mother. Society expects women to act in a nurturing and submissive way, so when Kim went against these norms by taking these photos, people were outraged. Do you think that Kim should be able to expose her body in an artistic way, such as the photo shoot, with out being judged by society?
Although these sexual realizations are highly contended by society, why is Beyonce, who embraces her sexuality seen as such a huge role model in comparison? Beyonce is known for encouraging women to embrace their sexual subjectivity while also being their own sexual objects. Although she does not objectify herself, she tries to get women to accept their sexuality by setting a good example. She is seen as different than these women because unlike them, she has always been a sexual woman and focuses more on females as a whole being sexual rather than just her. Society saw Miley’s innocence stripped away, which makes them uncomfortable because she is drastically shifting away from female gender norms. Beyonce also sings about women running the world and having control, rather than just focusing on her own sexuality. Because of that, she is seen as supporting women to take control over their own sexuality, rather than being seen as demeaning women.
These overly sexual acts cause young girls to think that to gain fame and attention they must be overly sexual. In the documentary “Sexy Baby”, we saw how Winifred began to dress in more sexual clothes as she got older. She and her friends would post pictures of then in high heels and short dress on social media in order to gain attention, especially from their male peers. As she got older, the more she was influenced by societies views and the mass media around her. When she was younger she talked about feminist in a play she did, but as she got older she started to become more like the teenage girls Tolman talks about in “Adolescent Girls’ Sexuality”. Tolman says that “to be popular, with girls and boys, girls are told to wear less and less to be more and more sexy, but girls who dress in skimpy clothes look like prostitutes” (NSS,153). It is hard for teenage to balance trying to gain attention from their peers and trying not to be harshly judged. But when they see famous stars using their sexuality to gain more attention, they in turn copy this behavior. The fact that more and more women, who do not have significant contributions to society, are using their appearance and sexuality to become famous makes young girls think that appearance is more important than intellect. Society states that children are becoming more sexual, but have we looked at why children think being extremely sexual is acceptable?