Entry 4: The beauty (booty) trend

Mass media easily reflect on beliefs, attitudes and values towards females. It can also frame the ideal of beauty. Framing refers to the ability of media outlets to shape the opinions, beliefs, and attitudes of media consumers through the selection and emphasis of particular attributes of media messages (Claes H. deVreese, 2005). The ideal face/body is based on what you’re exposed to, and throughout the years, we’ve seen countless beauty trends come and go. As Tina Fey wrote in her book, Bossypants, “Now every girl is expected to have Caucasian blue eyes, full Spanish lips, a classic button nose, hairless Asian skin with a California tan, a Jamaican dance hall ass, long Swedish legs, small Japanese feet, the abs of a lesbian gym owner, the hips of a nine-year-old boy, the arms of Michelle Obama, and doll tits.”

And now, we are living in the era of “the big booty”. Yes, it’s the massive trend that has taken over the world by storm and personally, there’s not a single day that I can go about without bumping into twitter posts, vines, songs on the radio, magazine trends that’s not about big butts. This trend has caused many issues among women, because apparently, having a large butt makes you more attractive. Celebrities like Nicki Minaj was more than happy to embrace in this trend, with the release of her song “Anaconda” which is purely about butts. Reality star Kim Kardashian has also joined the big booty trend with her attempt to “break the internet”.

The problem with our pop cultural fixation on female body parts isn’t which body part is being focused on — it’s the fixation itself. (N, Gloudeman, 2014). These songs which were supposed to celebrate the female form, has done a huge injustice and caused women all around the world to feel insecure about their bodies. More than a few celebrities have taken the liberty to speak up about this trend. For example, YouTube sensation Ryan Higa (known as nigahiga on YouTube) talked about how he doesn’t understand why people get so excited over big butts in his video “The Big Booty Trend!?”

In the video, he mentions how the lyrics in these pop songs worship girls with big butts and insult those who don’t.
“I think it’s wrong and unfair in the same way that ten years ago, people used to say that curvy people were unattractive, because you had to be skinny to be beautiful. And I’m all for team ‘be comfortable with how you look’, but this big booty trend is doing the same thing to skinny people what skinny people did to bigger people before – make them feel like crap for not being big enough, or small enough” says Ryan.

The point is, competition is ruling this whole beauty trend. And it has caused so many young girls to look down on themselves because what they see in the mirror doesn’t seem to match up with what they see in the media. All these songs, videos and trends in the media aren’t empowering women, but in fact, are against them.

References

1. Claes H. deVreese. (2005). “News Framing: Theory and Typology,” 

2. Fey, T. (2011). Bossypants. Little, Brown and Company.

3. N, Gloudeman. (2014) The Big Butt Trend Is Not Empowering For Women [Online]. Available at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/nikki-gloudeman/the-big-butt-trend-is-not-empowering_b_5960388.html. [Last accessed 17th June 2015]

4. NickiMinajAtVevo. (2014). Nicki Minaj – Anaconda [Online Video]. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LDZX4ooRsWs [Last accessed 17th June 2015]

5. PAPERMAG. (2014). PAPERMAG: NO FILTER: An Afternoon With Kim Kardashian [Online]. Available at: http://www.papermag.com/2014/11/kim_kardashian.php [Last accessed 17th June 2015]

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