EXPOSE..a true representation of women

22 Nov

I spent some time looking for different media campaigns or organizations that counter negativity and I came across one called Expose. Expose is more of a campaign/project that addresses the issue of body image among women. They state on their website that media only represents beautiful, thin bodies with no imperfections, but never celebrates other body shapes or colors or skin types. Expose wants to change this image millions of women see daily. They want to show women all over the world that their body is not wrong, that their body is beautiful and it should be celebrated.

The two people that started this project are Liora and Jes. In 2013 they got together to do a  photo shoot of 68 diverse women, and not just in terms of skin color but also different body types and skin types (tattoos, smooth skin, wrinkles etc). The women were photographed naked and there was no photo-shop needed because Liora and Jes wanted to celebrate the beauty in all these women. After the first photo shoot, they wanted to do another one but make it even bigger. The second photo shoot expanded to 98 women. Currently, Expose has done three photo shoots and plan to continue this project.

The article Upward and Downward: Social Comparison Processing of Thin Idealized Media Images by Triggerman could be applied to this campaign. This article showed that when women are shown ads of other women in the media (with the thin idealized image) they reported more body dissatisfaction. This shows the upward comparison which is we feel less than others or want to be better. If this campaign becomes more popular women may become more satisfied with their bodies because they will see images of real, unphoto shopped women and realize that this is the norm. This article also demonstrated that seeing thin people all over the media affects how we feel and it causes disdain towards “fat” people. This can be combated with the Expose project. I think the project could add in the statistic that 50%-60% of women and men in the US are overweight or obese but only 10%-15% of women and men are overweight on television. This is also a good way to show that the bodies the media shows are are unrealistic and overrepresented.

Also, the idea proposed by Claude Steele that our performance is affected when a stereotype is made salient can be applied to Expose. The media creates stereotypes about women that are not thin and perfect. When we constantly see and hear these stereotypes repeated, we begin to believe they are true and that affects our own self image as well as how we view others. If we show women that we all have different body shapes and sizes, but that they are all equally beautiful, these stereotypes can diminish and we will see ourselves as more beautiful.

I think this campaign is a great idea, but I think it could be more effective. This is the first time I have ever heard about this campaign, and if it were not for this homework assignment I would still not know. I think they need to try and make themselves more known by being more present on social media or getting big time magazines or newspapers to feature an article or a picture that explains the whole concept of Expose. The website states that they have been featured in big time magazines like Cosmopolitan and the Huffington Post, but maybe they should try and be front page material. I love the idea of showing real women and the diversity and beauty of women all around us, but they need to promote this more. If promoted enough, I think it could have a huge impact on current media images of women’s body and it could impact individual women.

I think that prosocial media is very effective and could potentially change norms. The big problem is that the current media outlets we have are so prominent that it is hard to combat them. I think that if these organizations or campaigns keep trying to push to be seen and heard then there will be change. The only problem is that they have to somehow become mainstream and not just be a fad. For example, we hear in the media about race and why black face is wrong when Halloween comes around, but after that it goes away and we no longer see it or think about it. We need to keep putting these positive ideas into the minds of people in our society. If one week we have a campaign about women’s bodies being beautiful, the next week we need another one about why being so thin is dangerous, and then another one about how media images of thin bodies affects young girls and women etc etc. Although this may take time, I think that we need these prosocial media outlets because although they may not have as big of an effect on society as mainstream media, they still have an impact and help move us in a more positive direction

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