“What ever happened to big girls and masculine guys on television? Nowadays we’re stuck with pencil-thin females fawning over the effeminate male, and for what? If we want to find a masculine male on television we have to watch them brawl it out on MTV’s Real World/Road Rules Challenge and even then, the intelligence of the male is degraded to that of a 15 year-old boy.””
What ever happened to big girls and masculine guys on television? Nowadays we’re stuck with pencil-thin females fawning over the effeminate male, and for what? If we want to find a masculine male on television we have to watch them brawl it out on MTV’s Real World/Road Rules Challenge and even then, the intelligence of the male is degraded to that of a 15 year-old boy. Females are portrayed with stick-figure actresses who look like they should be in line at an all-you-can-eat buffet. Where has the concept of beauty gone?
Today’s media appeals to the high school crowd, forgetting that our generation still exists. Most television shows, music videos and advertisements portray beauty with fantastical proportions. Beverly Hills 90210 has made media headlines lately as the actresses starring on the remake have become deathly thin. US Weekly states that 21 year-old Jessica Stroup weighs in at 105 pounds at 5 foot 8 inches while 18 year old Shenae Grimes is a horrific 90 pounds at 5 foot 3 inches. Is it reasonable for people our age to be as underdeveloped as the next freshmen entering high school?
The original 90210 became a pop culture phenomenon of the ’90s while focusing on individuality and diverse characteristics of the average female. Women were portrayed as voluptuous, curvy individuals who covered up instead of dressing down. Today, we’re lucky if they remain fully clothed for one hour of airtime, and even then they possess the bodies of pre-adolescents. The concept of feminine beauty has drastically changed over the years from portraying strong, intelligent, independent intellectuals to the concept of anorexic sex symbols, pink handbags and cliche lines that scream that’s hot! The depth of females has drastically declined in today’s media.
While women have become thin in the eyes of the world, men have become less masculine. Gossip Girl stars Chase Crawford and Ed Westwick are seen pouting in every scene, as if intellectualism has suddenly been defined by how far one can stick out their bottom lip while romanticising their next victim. The show, which contains storylines of an unbelievable and exaggerated world of youth, portrays the two men as brash individuals who are more pitiful than attractive. Co-star Penn Badgley shoots many scenes with his also too-thin love interest Blake Lively, in which Penn is portrayed as a soft, romantic boy ripe with emotions. Rather then strengthening the masculine side of its actors, the show portrays a more emotional, romantic and effeminate male. Where have the agressive men gone? Have they been replaced by boyish good looks and emotionally irritable egos? With tacky and tasteless storylines that remain hardly entertaining at face value and characters who are nothing more than the cookie-cutter version of every teenage girl’s dream, Gossip Girl does little to portray the reality of today’s world as well. In all of this mess, is there any hope for realistic approach to portraying society in the media?
Mark Schwan, creator of the CW’s One Tree Hill, has been fighting to keep the show on the air for the past six years. While the show still appeals to the younger audience and at times exaggerates story lines to entertain, the concept of reality and depth far outshines the glamorous intentions of its competition. Sophia Bush, Bethany Joy Galeotti and Hilarie Burton appear on the show with a sense of class and realism that is hardly seen elsewhere. Retaining a healthy lifestyle that doesn’t allow them to drop to anorexic proportions. Chad Michael Murray and James Lafferety, although teenage heartthrobs, also retain a masculinity that is common among men their age. The show chooses to portray characters that are real, with story lines that possess meaning and heartfelt intention, and yet it’s left out of the limelight. The CW spends more money advertising beauty than depth, as Gossip Girl has twice as many advertisements as One Tree Hill. Are we willing to settle for the shiny metallic objects of the entertainment world instead of enjoying the works of art that possess intellectual depth?
Entertainment seems to be focused on the younger generations, and that’s fine, but do they have to portray society as a shallow world? The media would rather display shows that contain unhealthy actresses and illogical fallacies than try to portray reality in its entertainment. Entertainment today has lost its depth, finding solace in a world that is defined by money and good looks. Though beauty will always be an important part of society, will we ever begin to grow comfortable in our own skin instead of seeking pleasures in a false and unhealthy world?
Entertainment as we know it seems to be doomed, and as long as the media focuses on sex, processed beauty and irrational characerization, we’ll have to grow comfortable with the mind-numbing realization that today’s world has become a shallow place. Be prepared to be brainwashed by the sick fascination of teenage hearts and deathly good looks.