Blog 2: The portrayal of women

Wherever we look, we are bombarded with images of female bodies, women and girls – and their attributes – used to sell anything, from food to cars.

We could see how in our society, film and television actresses are getting younger, taller and slimmer. Women’s magazines are full of articles highlighting the urgency of losing those extra 10 pounds to finally reach happiness . Besides, did you realize how almost all of the models have the same type of hair and makeup?
How can we impose unattainable beauty criteria on young girls when the majority of them are nothing like the models we offer them? By presenting an ideal that is difficult to achieve and maintain, we ensure growth and the profitability of the slimming and cosmetic industry. (It is estimated that the slimming industry alone generates $ 60 billion (US) each year by selling sporadic slimming treatments , as a result of which 80% of people regain the pounds lost during this diet). Advertisers know that if girls and women are dissatisfied with their looks, they are more likely to buy cosmetics, new clothes, and diet products – so a huge media industry has been built by feeding, quite simply, this dissatisfaction that eats away at most women.

Overexposure to these images affects girls by pushing them to buy beauty products and slimming diets, but the consequences of this situation are even more serious. Research shows that when girls and women are constantly exposed to these images of young, slender, smooth-skinned women, they risk developing depression, low self-esteem, and poor eating habits: one of these studies show that half of girls between the ages of 16 and 21 say they want to have surgery to improve their appearance and almost half of girls aged 9 to 12 say they want to be thinner and have already followed a diet or know the principle of it . Poor self-image can have serious consequences, research published in 2009 reveals that girls who are dissatisfied with their figure are far more likely to attempt suicide – whether or not they are overweight

The consequences are serious and very real.Young girls must therefore be helped to acquire a critical mind but also to understand how a media representation of the female body is constructed and why these images make the headlines. Even better, they must acquire the strength to challenge these media images and demand a realistic representation of the female body. As young girls are exposed to these messages from an early age, we need to start media literacy much earlier, from an early age.


 The U.S. Weight Loss & Diet Control Market. Marketdata, survey May 2011.
Clark, L. & Tiggemann, M., 2006. Appearance culture in nine- to 12-year-old girls: media and peer influences on body dissatisfaction. Social Development, 15(4), 628-643. 
[6] Girl Guiding UK. Girls Attitude Survey. 2009. 

 Overweight status, self-perception, and suicidal behaviors among adolescents. Dhaval Dave and Inas Rashad. Soc Sci Med 68(9):1685-91 (2009) PMID 19297063) 

Blog 2: Stereotypes of feminism

To start the topic of stereotypes of feminism, we must take into account the actual definition of feminism; feminism is wanting political, economic along with social equality between men and woman. With that being said many men and women still don’t identify themselves as being a feminist as there are many stereotypes attached to that term. This is to show that many don’t truly grasp the true concept and definition of what being a feminist really is(“Myths about Feminism”).

There are many known stereotypes that can be attached to the term feminism, for example the most known one is women that hate men. This becomes a type of barrier that prevents men and women from wanting to be a feminist, as they say that it isn’t right to hate men. Although the previous statement is false, many people still believe that considering yourself a feminist it means that you hate men and you believe women are better than men. Also along with the misconception of the term, people believe that feminist can only be women, hence by the name, yet that isn’t the case as well. With those being the top two stereotypes that most people have on the topic of feminism, there are still many more stereotypes to add to the list which people still believe is the true definition of feminism(“Myths about Feminism”).

Along with the different stereotypes, I’ve learned that everyone should indeed be a feminist, including men. Which it has a misconception that if a man is a feminist he is less masculine than the rest. A man being a feminist is him believing that men and women are as equally to each other in our culture and society. This concept of men being a feminist has nothing to do with how masculine he is. Which is why all men should be a feminist because they all have women in their lives so why wouldn’t they want equality for them as well. To conclude, there are still barriers of stereotypes that the world views on feminism, which people need to be educated on to truly understand what it means to be a feminist and break these barriers, along with why everyone should be a feminist(“Myths about Feminism”).

Myths about Feminism. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Blog 2: How Women are “Supposed” to Look

A lot of women have an idea in their mind of how they are meant to look. Even if you don’t admit it, there have been times where you have compared your body to those of others and wished to look like that instead. Society sees beautiful as being, tall, skinny, having clear skin, nice hair and just overall looking “perfect” all the time. This is super unrealistic and toxic for women. This can lead to many women having eating disorders because they starve themselves and are malnourished in order to be skinny just all the models. “When young girls see these unhealthy messages, such as the need to have a thigh gap or flat stomach, it can increase their chance of developing eating disorder behaviors in order to obtain these body types.” (Gonzalez 2016). These beauty ideals often come from celebrities and models because these are the types of people that most men find beautiful. A lot of girls feel like they need to look pretty and perfect in order for a man to like them.  Magazines always use the pretty and skinny celebrities on their covers, and if they aren’t perfect enough the photos will get photoshopped to be more attractive. 

Not only are beauty standards about having the ideal body but it is also about race. Going into a makeup store or pharmacy, a white person will have no problem being able to pick out their right shade of foundation. Contrarily, if you are a person of colour and need a foundation, the selection is much smaller and the chances of finding a shade that is right for you becomes very slim. “The reason it is difficult to find beauty items for people of color is because the standards of beauty are discriminatory to anyone who isn’t white. Any face that represents anything relating to beauty is white, and if there is a person of color representing a certain beauty product they often are light skinned.” (Mattimore 2017) This may cause people of colour to not feel beautiful because they aren’t represented a lot on magazines and in fashion shows because the majority of the time the beautiful people that you see walking the catwalks are white. 

Something else that I found was interesting was beauty pageants. You hear stories all the time of young girls competing against each other to be the most beautiful contestant. This is really bad for girls to do because if they don’t win they might begin to question their beauty and wonder why they weren’t good enough to win. You shouldn’t be judged based on the way you look. Girls are put up on stage and are voted if they are pretty enough or not to stay in the competition.  It isn’t right that these young women are being pinned against each other based on what they look like. “ Countless people argue that they teach young girls that they have to aspire to arbitrary beauty standards.” (Mantai 2019) I believe that women shouldn’t be judged on how they look because it can lead to many problems that aren’t just insecurity. Health problems can develop due to feeling imperfect in their own body. What some people fail to understand is that everyone is built differently and just because someone looks a certain way doesn’t mean you have to. 

It isn’t right that women should feel like they have to be a certain way. What people fail to understand is that every individual is unique and that there are no two same people in the world. If all women looked the same, wouldn’t you agree that the world wouldn’t be an interesting place?

Works Cited

Gonzalez, Felicia. “Media Today : Unattainable Beauty Standards.” Girls Empowerment Network, Girls Empowerment Network, 27 July 2016,

Mantai, Joshen MantaiJoshen. “Argument in the Office: Are Beauty Pageants Feminist or Flawed?” The Daily Nexus, 15 May 2019,, Dylan Megan. “The Problem With Beauty Standards.” Medium, Gender Theory, 25 May 2017,

Blog 2 – Society’s expectations of women

Historically, women have practically always been put under the power of their male counterparts and that, in every and any spheres of their lives. Whatever their social status, their ethnicity and their age, the role of caregiver has always been expected to be taken on by them and that, as well as the expectation of constantly being accommodating and submissive. As years have gone by, change has occurred, and women have been gaining in freedom and power, but some harmful gender norms have kept on strong and ultimately stayed embedded in our way of living.

When it comes to women’s appearance, it is still subject to restrictions, judgment and unattainable standards and has made more than one feel trapped in a box that did not match their inner-self (The Value of Women, n.d.). Defying the norm would lead one to be looked down upon and not to be appreciated at one’s fair value. This need for approval has recently generated a kind of fear within the population and, ultimately, has led to the arrival of a new beauty-based culture. With skincare routines, laborious regimes and cosmetic surgery evolving and taking over our society, the focus has been put on this rigid idea of ultimate beauty and has led to the creation of a race for who can exceed society’s expectations first. Its rules require one to be cautious not to be too manly or too feminine and to carefully balance every aspect of their looks – because God knows that only one false move, one crooked tooth, can create madness over which everyone will talk about and cause one to reach the bottom podium of the race.

As for society’s expectations of women’s behaviours, it is relatively similar. They are to act in ladylike manners and not to let their emotions take over their decisions – because it is known to all, of course, that women are predisposed to dramatic and irrational personalities. They are, instead, to take care of household chores and to please their husbands’ needs and wants at all times, because that’s what they do best. Everything is based on how one’s family, self and life looks, and not on how one feels. As mentioned before, luckily, those kinds of expectations have slowly died down over the years. Only, the world we live in still refers to those times and refuse to grasp the fundamental idea that women are equal to men and have the same cognitive abilities. Also, I am not stating, per se, that men have it easy compared to women when it comes to social standards, but women are to constantly run after this image of perfection, to carry it even through the roughest of times, all while fighting to get more of that freedom that men have. Yes, change has occurred through the years, but a lot is still to be made if we want, one day, for all to be considered as equals.

The Value of Women. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Blog 2: Fashion and Feminism

     As early as I can remember, girls have been told what they should or shouldn’t wear. In elementary and even in high school we are told not to wear spaghetti straps because god forbid anybody finds out girls have shoulders. Fashion is often seen as something that is regressing the feminism movement when in reality it is having the opposite effect. Young boys and girls should not be taught that a woman’s worth can simply be determined by judging her based on what she is wearing. After all, we’re taught to never judge a book by its cover, whats the exception here?

     This past weekend as many of us know was the Super Bowl, more importantly the Halftime show featuring Shakira and Jennifer Lopez. Whilst most of us recognized their performance as amazing and most importantly, empowering some saw it as degrading. Why? Not because of their lyrics or the message they were telling the viewers but by their outfits. Instead of shaming these talented artists for their performance some people could only focus on what they were wearing. It’s quite ironic in more ways than one that people are criticizing both Shakira and Jennifer Lopez for their outfit choices when they were the same people who said nothing regarding Adam Levine’s halftime performance. In 2015, during the halftime show Adam Levine decided to tale off his shirt during his performance which no one seemed to have a problem with. Yet here we are, five years later and the double standard between the genders is more evident than ever. This year’s Super Bowl performance is seen as inappropriate and too revealing yet the 2015 performance was seen as unproblematic. A woman’s worth is not determined by her wardrobe and she should be able to freely express herself without others trying to diminish her success.

In the end, our choice of clothing is merely one of the many ways that we, as people decide to show who we are. Whether it be by wearing skirts or sweatshirts, the freedom of wearing what makes you comfortable should not be taken from you, as you are the only one who has control over that. This should be taught to all alongside the principle that both women and men should be praised for wearing what they see fit. Rather than being shamed for their own personal style as long as it does not harm anyone in anyway. Fashion may be the way we show to people who we are, but is should never be the judge of our worth.


Agar, Jerry. (2020). AGAR: Was the halftime show objectification or empowerment?. Toronto Sun.

Blog 1: Feminism

When you hear the term “Feminism”, you will probably think that it is the urge and desire to gain rights for women. While that is true, it does not describe feminism in its entirety.For Valentini for example, feminism is something you define for yourself. It’s about finding the cause that works for you and makes you happy. For Hook, feminism is a movement to end sexism, sexist exploitation, and oppression. Even if those two definitions seem a little different, they both have the same objective: To create an equal world and to feel good about ourselves. Valentini’s definition was based more on doing what makes you happy and move on to dismiss someone and their opinions,meanwhile Hook’s was more based on the importance of male involvement in the equality movement, stating that for change to occur, men must do their part. Both of the authors are trying to make us understand how feminism isn’t about divisions but is a blueprint of a political movement for everybody.     

Although the two authors have a bit of two different definitions of feminism, after reading both articles I had understood that feminism is very important. Feminism not only allows you to see through the critics that would make you think there’s something wrong with you but also makes you feel good about yourself and to have self-respect. It is also important to them because it is what brings us together, it is where we stand. Feminism gives males and females the chance to be able to create a beloved community, to live together, to live in the truth, to live in a world that is “created equal”.     

  “Most young people are feminists, but we’re too afraid to say it —- or even recognize it. And why not ?“     

This had made me stop and think. After taking a couple of minutes thinking, I had realized that the author was right. Nowadays, most girls don’t always see sexism as a problem, they think it is just something they shouldn’t take too seriously and that is just a joke. Girls are less likely to call out boys for their sexist behavior. They do not want to appear bitchy or outspoken or unsexy. It would make them look like a feminist, and that for them it is too many implications: since you are most likely going to be considered that you were a prude, that you couldn’t take a joke, that you were a “man-hater” or a “bitch.”        

For me, feminism it’s equality for everyone. Let women have the same rights and be seen in the same way as men. All women, without exception, without barriers due to race or sexual and romantic preferences. Let there be no more injustices due to the gender of a person. It should go without saying, but it isn’t. Even if we evolve, we have not yet returned to this equality. We have to fight and defend our ideas until the end. For me, everyone can be a feminist and that’s a good thing, it shouldn’t have this false-negative connotation that I sometimes see spreading on social networks. We have to see it as a beautiful united movement. For me, feminism is knowing our history and being grateful for the struggle that has been waged and the best way to do it is to continue! Even though i always had my own opinion about feminism, these articles had helped me develop my meaning of it by seeing different definitions and opinions about feminism!      

Blog 2: “Take the B out of LBGT!”

It’s no surprise that the LGBT community faces stigmas, hate crimes and other general negative attitudes and comments. In Britain, hate crimes committed against LGBT people have increased by 78% since 2013. We all know there’s external hate, but do you know of the internal issues some members face? Bisexuals sometimes face discrimination as they’re “too straight” for the community, and yet, they’re “too gay” for heterosexuals. This hatred is so present that it’s been classified as a phobia. I found this quote on Wikipedia: “Biphobia is aversion toward bisexuality and toward bisexual people as a social group or as individuals. It can take the form of denial that bisexuality is a genuine sexual orientation, or of negative stereotypes about people who are bisexual (such as the beliefs that they are promiscuous or dishonest). People of any sexual orientation can experience or perpetuate biphobia.”

This deludes people into believing that bisexuality is not real or that a person is just on the cuffs of either being gay or straight and “should choose”. The phobia itself can stem from people believing that sexuality should be monosexuals, meaning either homosexual or heterosexual. Others might see bisexuality as an equal attraction towards men and women which is sometimes just not the case! In my instance, I lean very heavily towards women and yet I’m still bisexual, not a lesbian. I even had an ex who couldn’t wrap her head around the fact that I was bisexual (one of the reasons why she’s an ex). Now we know, homophobia is still persistent but people sometimes have problems seeing that a bigger issue persists within the community. “Biphobia is common from the heterosexual community, but is frequently exhibited by gay and lesbian people as well, usually with the notion that bisexuals are able to escape oppression from heterosexuals by conforming to social expectations of opposite-gender sex and romance. This leaves some that identify as bisexual to be perceived as “not enough of either” or “not real.”An Australian study conducted by Roffee and Waling in 2016 established that bisexual people faced microaggressions, bullying, and other anti-social behaviors from people within the lesbian and gay community.” (From the same Wikipedia page)

I feel that denying that this is an issue is more harmful, and I could even say deadlier than we think. I found an article from The Guardian that discusses this problem. “Research now shows how destructive shame can be. The Adverse Childhood Experience study led by Dr Vincent Felitti showed that the greater number of extreme negative experiences a child has, the greater the chance they will develop mental health problems in adulthood. The study showed the most damaging experience was not incest, as expected, but “recurrent chronic humiliation” – in other words, if you invalidate and criticise children over and over, you’ll dramatically increase the chance they’ll develop self-destructive mental health problems in adulthood.” I even read an interesting article written by Them that discusses the discrimination bisexuals can face coming from lesbians and gays. “Bisexual women, in particular, have it hard — at least when it comes to desirability within the LGBTQ+ community. Lesbian women and communities are notorious for rejecting bisexual women as potential friends and as sexual and romantic partners due to stereotypes that bisexual women are untrustworthy, unreliable, incapable of monogamy, disease carriers, and “sleeping with the enemy.” Bisexual men are also stigmatized by gay men to some extent, but given gay men’s lesser cultural emphasis on monogamy and greater interest in casual sex, bisexual men’s desirability is less affected by these stereotypes, and may even be bolstered by gay men’s preference for masculinity (which is perceived as higher among bisexual guys). This “double stigma” takes a toll on the wellbeing of bisexual people, with bisexual women in particular reporting more mood and anxiety disorders, substance use, and other mental and physical health issues compared to gay and lesbian folks.” Insane, right? How can a community that was created as a haven for every sexuality and gender that’s out of the norm now exclude its own members?

Manpreet Singh


Them. (2018) A New Study Explains Why Many Lesbians Are Biased Against Bisexual Women. Retrieved from bisexual-women

Wikipedia. (2018) Biphobia. Retrieved from

Stonewall. (2017) Hate crime against LGBT people in Britain increases by 78 per cent since 2013. britain-increases-78-cent-2013

The Guardian (2018) Self-loathing among gay people is nothing new. We’re overwhelmed by it. Retreived from gay-people-shame

Blog 2: The Dangers for Women in the Sex Industry

The subject of woman in the sex industry has always been a taboo. Whether they are forced or desperate, women are put in danger everyday by entering the world of sex industry. Sex workers are women at work — supporting children as single parents, trying to save money to go to school, surviving economically in a job market that underpays women at every economic level. As their acts are illegal, not regulated and not protected, they usually do not report the incidents they face and the culprits know that. The fact that they don’t puts the workers in even more danger. The victims of this vicious cycle have fallen in a series of traps set up by predators. Sex trafficking and prostitution are the two of the many problematics in the sex industry.

By definition, according to, human trafficking is a form of slavery. It happens when a person is forced or tricked into working in dangerous and illegal conditions or having sexual contact with others against their will. The victims are usually drugged, locked up, beaten, starved, or made to work for many hours a day. This form of modern day slavery generates an estimated $150 billion in annual profits. There are an estimated 40.3 million victims of human trafficking globally. Of those, 4.5 million are trapped and forced into sexual exploitation. This treatment takes an emotional and physical toll on the body. It also strips away all the woman’s basic human rights. We’ve seen many ruses, including children and hysteric teens, that have been used to lure and trap young victims. These tricks have been passed around the internet by influencers and Once taken away, victims do not see their families for years at times and go though severe physical trauma. It is extremely hard for victims to re-adapt to a normal routine when rescued.

Prostitution has become a gateway for human trafficking. Prostitution is the the practice of engaging in relatively indiscriminate sexual activity, in exchange for immediate payment in money or other valuables. Prostitution generates an estimated annual revenue of over $100 billion worldwide. It is a game changing factor in today’s economy. Many people have seen sex work as a business venture. In some states in the United States of America, brothels have been legalized to make prostitution safer. Multiple countries have adopted the practice of a “red light district” in order to profit from the sex trade. A red light district is a designated part of an urban area where a concentration of prostitution and sex-oriented businesses are found. Countries were pushed to create such spaces in light of research that has shown that many women have been killed and attacked by clients or their pimps. Many have been severely abused and raped but do not go report it in fear of getting arrested. Prostitution is now seen as an easy way to make money but it comes with a dangerous lifestyle. Moreover, girls are being tricked by pimps pretending to be their boyfriends. The predators first single out girls with low self esteem, then they spoil them and make them feel wanted. After they get attached to their “boyfriend”, he quickly removes his makes and puts in place his ruse to make her work for him under the pretext of “love”. There is a show on TVA called Fugueuse, which dives into the subject of prostitution and drug abuse.

Here’s a short documentary that explains risk of prostitution and the legalization of brothels:


Blog 02: Street Safety for Women

It’s no secret, street harassment has been an ongoing issue for many women in Canada. The actions of catcalling, following and any unwanted physical behavior by strangers are serious forms of sexual harassment that everyone should be taking seriously. Some don’t take this issue seriously since it’s become culturally accepted, but I believe it’s crucial to speak up about it in order to end the harassment. Street Harassment, “can cause people to “choose” less convenient routes and alter their routines; give up hobbies and change habits; and even quit jobs or move neighborhoods or simply stay home because they can’t face the thought of one more day of harassment.” (kearl). Ultimately, it’s an issue that should require everyone to be greatly educated on. 

According to research concerning Canadian women who were affected by street harassment, “…over 80 percent of the women surveyed had experienced male stranger harassment in public and that those experiences had a large and detrimental impact on their perceived safety in public.” (Kearl). Ask anyone, I can guarantee you that almost every woman has experienced some sort of harassment or has felt unsafe at one point or another while walking on the street. It is ridiculous that majority of society thinks that it is okay to be making people feel uncomfortable while they are on the street. Regardless if someone gets hit on or whistled at, they are still valid examples of harassment and shouldn’t be tolerated. Due to all the issues happening on the street, society has agreed on some sort of stereotype where women can’t or shouldn’t be allowed to walk alone without being harassed by strangers. All this is doing is creating a fear for those who are being victimized and empowering those who are causing the harassment. Sadly enough, “It doesn’t just happen to adults: 70% of Canadian women experience this before they are 15, for some it happens before they are 10 years old.” (Fox). “Street harassment can happen to anyone too, Members of the LGBT+ community experience extremely high rates of harassment.” (Fox). Evidentially, feeling unsafe while walking on the street is something that happens to almost everyone and it needs to end.

 As a society it’s important to find ways to progress this issue, therefore, here are some ways of how society has helped progress and prevent this issue from recurring. Now available, “Anti-street harassment groups created by women who were fed up blossomed across the world”, “UN Women launched a Safe Cities and Safe Public Spaces programme in 2010”, “Several governments passed national or city-level laws on street harassment”, and “Anti-harassment and anti-violence organizations.” (Kearl). Obviously, there is no right way to deal with these types of situations, but having people just take initiative to start movements for street safety helps bring awareness. As for those causing the harassment, I believe that they need to take a step back realize that what they’re doing isn’t okay and how would they feel if the same thing was being done to them. The reason that I believe that it happens more than it should is because of confusion. Take for example, a man sees a pretty woman and he’s genuine about wanted to catch her attention, but the problem is the matter of how he chooses to catch her attention. Many things can make people feel uncomfortable and it’s crucial that we all learn about boundaries at one point. In my opinion teaching boys and girls at a young age of how to approach people is lacking and that’s why as a society, we are facing many cases of street harassment till this day. It’s just wrong.


Fox, Naomi. “Street Harassment Isn’t a Compliment.” Canadian Women’s Foundation, 19 Dec. 2017,’t-a-compliment/.

Kearl, Holly. “Why Stopping Street Harassment Matters.” Stop Street Harassment,

By: Julianna Noto