Illustration By Paige Gaskins
Dear women in the entertainment industry,
It is not your fault, and it has never been. I allowed your portrayal by the exploitative media to affect how I perceived you. Many of us wrongfully let this happen.
If you had boyfriends and wrote songs about them, like Taylor Swift, I did not respect the privacy of your love life and wrongfully judged you as promiscuous. If, like Miley Cyrus, you were in a bad mood and did not smile and wave at the paparazzi that harassed you, I judged you as unpleasant. If you stood up against harassment by fans that invaded your personal boundaries, like Gigi Hadid, I misjudged you as ungrateful. If you were relaxing at the beach, comfortable with your body, like Selena Gomez, I judged how you looked. If at any time you showed yourself as less than perfect, I and every other teenage girl judged you. I am sorry I reacted completely differently when you did something compared to when a male counterpart did the same exact thing.
I am sorry, but see, every time I read a teen magazine while growing up this is what was presented to me. Every time I went to see celebrity news on YouTube this is how women were portrayed. It is a double standard rooted within this industry, as it is profitable because there is a cycle of consumption of this type of content.
From the male gaze sexualizing female bodies in movies to the lack of representation in awards to successful women being thought of in any way besides how great they are in what they do to being belittled and reduced to their relationships or their bodies – all that while men are valued for their talent. Just as we have all seen with the many interviews where Scarlet Johansson was sexualized due to her Avengers character, while her male counterparts such as Robert Downey Jr. and Jeremy Renner were just asked about their roles in the franchise.
Women deserve a break! This general lack of caring for women’s self-image and how they might feel has gone too far. This could be traced back to sexism and misogyny, and we should all be trying to put an end to this constant pressure in your lives.
None of you deserved the treatment that you got and continue to get. This harassment, this invasion of personal space and boundaries, is dehumanizing and targeted. I am deeply sorry for ever partaking in this culture, and I will fight on your behalf to do what I can to put an end to this by educating others on this matter, letting them know the reality behind the pictures.
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Hi, I’m Holly Liptak, a senior journalism student from Akron and the editor-in-chief of The Burr this semester. My staff and I are committed to bringing you interesting, humorous and hard-hitting stories that tap into current events, trends and the lives of those who have made a home in Kent, Ohio. We are full-time students and hard-working journalists. While we get support from the student media fee and earned revenue such as advertising, both of those continue to decline. Your generous gift of any amount will help enhance our student experience as we grow into working professionals. Please go here to donate.
Julia Duanetto is a non-binary, Brazilian, sophomore neuroscience major currently pursuing an associate’s degree in liberal studies. A first semester writer, Julia’s motivation to take part in The Burr was set in motion by their favorite types of writing, which include feature stories and opinion pieces. In addition to The Burr, Julia is a writer for Fusion Magazine and the secretary for the Thirst Project at Kent State. Outside of university, Julia enjoys practicing yoga, reading and spending time with their dog, Styx. Julia is very passionate about social justice and environmental awareness, which you can check out in their future writings. To follow Julia’s journey, you can find them on Instagram @jds.xv.