Female Stereotyping in the Film Industry Essay

Female Stereotyping in the Film Industry Essay

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Films have been in the forefront of perpetuating female stereotypes not only in the recent past but also throughout the history of filmmaking. Stereotyping refers to thoughts or expressions that specific type of individuals behave in a particular way, which is not necessarily true. The film industry for a long time has depicted the behaviors and roles of women in a negative way thus contributing to retrogressive beliefs about women in society. Various theories have been proposed to explain why personalities behind film making create female stereotypes. This essay contends that female stereotyping has been a central theme of the film industry throughout history.
Filmmakers create female stereotypes in many ways. According to Marcia, many filmmakers stereotype women’s appearance as more valuable than their intellect (290). Females are also depicted as helpless humans who always need a man’s protection. Additionally, many stereotypes refer to women as domestic beings whose value in life is to marry. Concerning big-bodied women, filmmakers stereotype them as unpleasant, single and ugly. In some film sequences that require older female characters, such sequences are usually small and two-dimensional (Gaines 66-67). Such stereotypes portray women being of no value, and lacking or attracting little interest, individuals whose opinion does not matter a lot in society.
The female body has always been a major subject of stereotyping in an attempt to explicate the ideal woman. In depicting the ideal female body, filmmakers display female main characters with long legs and tiny waist. The ideal female beauty is the one whose facial features are delicate and feminine. Such characters usually have long hair, nice designer clothes and fla...


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... objects. People obsessed with Scopophillia can easily subject others into control and curious gaze. The relationship between Scopophillia and stereotyping is analyzed further by Mulvey, who quoting Freud’s Instincts and their Vicissitudes, argues that the desire and pleasures to look are transferred to others through analogies. In their extreme form, analogies are stereotypes or obsessions of the female as an object or any expressions that arouses the male ego.
In conclusion, the film industry has been core to the continued stereotyping of women. This has arisen from the focus of the industry on women bodies as the expressions of femininity, whereas disregarding other aspects where women have been able to match and exceed men’s capabilities. The effect of this has been the entrenchment of stereotypes about women in regards to aspects such as beauty, and roles.

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