Gender in the Media

When it comes to creating good storylines for movies or TV, walking the runway, modeling for magazines, or even being in the spotlight for the world to see, gender can be a very controversial thing to cover. It was said in the old days that there was a binary to gender, male or female. With the LGBTQ+ community becoming more of a force in today’s light, as well as women having more of a say in the workplace and in society, the old standard of gender is slowly being morphed to adhere to life in the modern day.

Growing up, I have seen how women on screen are completely different from the women I see on a regular basis. The concept of beauty on TV and in movies is like something from another world; like the only way to truly be a celebrity is to be a certain height, certain weight, and to have good bone structure. This kind of mentality is making it hard for people to see the standard of beauty. Women are starving themselves, and men are shallow, seeing only the outside and not the inside. It makes me feel we are regressing back to the dark ages.

When it comes to LGBTQ+ in the media, I feel it is a slow process, but sometimes it can be a little misplaced with character development. Men that are depicted as part of the community are conveyed as “flamboyant.” These men aren’t traditionally masculine, they don’t like sports, and they know more Broadway songs than NFL players. Being flamboyant is fine, but this being the only representation of LGBTQ+ men pigeonholes them into a stereotype.

Similarly, when lesbians enter the picture, they are the opposite of the image of a “traditional” women; not homemakers or wearing dresses, but mostly working hard jobs like auto workers or laborers. They are pictured often wearing jeans and a flannel shirt.

Just because a person is attracted to the same sex, doesn’t mean they are a stereotype. A man can still love sports and love another man. Women can like sports and not be lesbian. Women can like girls and traditionally “girly” things, the same way a man can like Broadway and still like women. Men being the breadwinners, women staying at home, and the two sides not switching because that is seen as “weird,” is outdated. In my opinion, if you are still holding onto that idea of life and not looking forward, you are weird.

From what I’ve seen in some TV shows I’ve watched, I have recognized great strides in including LGBTQ+ relationships in television programming, especially in animation. But, to be fair, some of those cartoons are meant for adults, like “Big Mouth.”

Aside from the “G” and the “L” in LGBTQ+, trans people are taking the media by storm by having a lot more representation, as well! Individuals like Elliot Page, Kim Petras, and Nicole Maines are some notable transgender individuals who have become media sensations and inspirations.
Having people coming out and becoming their true selves and it is a sight to behold. Gender will still be a work in process for the media, whether it is show writers trying to be woke and inclusive, or people becoming comfortable to be their true selves.

In closing, gender was once a controversial topic that was strict to certain guidelines, but some of those guidelines got burned a long time ago and made way for new ways to portray gender to the masses.