Posted by: katherineransone | April 3, 2019

Media’s Influence on Women

Something that I wanted to talk about in my blog post for this week was the influence of media and celebrities on women’s empowerment, self-worth, and ambition for leadership. An article that caught my eye this week covered the ongoing argument regarding influence and feminism between actresses Jameela Jamil and Kim Kardashian.

The general gist of this debate stems from the frequent advertisement posts by the Kardashian family shilling for appetite suppressants and “flat tummy teas”. They are paid by the companies to advertise these products that claim to cause weight loss, whereas Jamil has been replying to/commenting on these posts stating that they are creating a “terrible and toxic influence” towards young girls and women. Jamil’s comments and posts stem from the fact that the Kardashian family already makes huge sums of money from their TV shows, and they don’t truly need to advertise these products in order to make money. She states that the companies are selling these products to young and easily influenced girls that want to look like the members of the Kardashian family, and who believe that this change can be done so using these products, rather than having surgeries and/or highly paid trainers. The majority of these comments that Jamil has made have been towards Kim Kardashian, though the other members of the family post similar advertisements.

Relating this argument to leadership, I believe that both of these women can be considered leaders to people, simply because of them being well-known and celebrities. Influence from people that are famous can end up being a form of leadership, because there are millions of people across the world that follow them on social media and can be swayed into purchasing products or thinking a certain way due to the approval of a celebrity.

Personally, I believe that Jameela Jamil is more of a leader than the Kardashian family because besides her acting career, she works as an activist for body positivity with her “I Weigh” movement on Instagram, which highlights both men and women for “more than just what’s on the outside”. Both Jamil and Kim Kardashian have discussed the idea that they are both feminists, but the promotion of these harmful products by the Kardashian family perpetuates the idea that women have to have a flat stomach or be in shape to be beautiful or accepted. To me, this doesn’t highlight the basis ideals of feminism, which regards the equality of men and women, and with this the equality of one’s actions. By using one’s influence to promote misleading and destructive products, I believe that they are continuing to highlight the differences of how women and men must appear to be considered desirable.

While the article I read did show some narratives that stated how Jamil had been oppressive in her feminism in the past, she has talked about how her viewpoints used to be narrow-minded, and how she has changed for the better. I feel as though the Kardashian family and mainly Kim Kardashian are continuing their influence over young girls in a negative light, choosing instead to make money from harmful products rather than encouraging their followers to be confident with themselves like Jamil’s I Weigh movement.

With this, I was wondering what you all thought of this debate between the two women. Do you think that the actions from the Kardashians are harmful to the young, easily-influenced girls that follow them on social media, and why? What do you think of the messages that Jameela Jamil responds to these posts with? I’d love to see what you all think!

https://www.elle.com/uk/life-and-culture/a22902053/jameela-jamils-kardashians-double-agents-feminism/

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Responses

  1. In my opinion, it is such a shame that young girls are growing up in a world so surrounded by the influences of the media. We live in a society devoted to empowering children to be the best people they can be, but contradict these ideals with the types of celebrities that are role models. I do think the actions of the Kardashians are harmful to young girls, and while they are still leaders, they are demonstrating negative influences on young people. As the influence of the media becomes more and more toxic, it will be harder for children to lead others in a positive manner, since many of the examples they have in their lives are solely gaining attention for their poor choices. This is why people like Jameela are inspiring others in more ways than one, leading through example and positive change.

  2. It is disappointing that people like the Kardashians are so looked up to and idolized by young women. However, so many people like this are because young girls often look at themselves and want to look better. I really think more famous people and just people on social media in general should be based more on positive talk ad self image rather than just posting toxic pictures that make young girls not like themselves. But, I just don’t know how this can be controlled because people have the right to post what they want. I hope it does get better, because people such as my younger sister are affected by this.

  3. While I do think it is important to promote a healthy lifestyle, I think the emphasis should be on eating healthy and staying active. Instead of advocating for a flat stomach, celebrities should advocate for healthier eating options and encouragement to get outside and exercise. I do think many people in America have a lot of health problems as a result from eating poorly and staying sedentary, so I do think it is important to discourage behavior that contributes to an unhealthy lifestyle. I have seen many well-known organizations and individuals promoting these things, which is great. By focusing on these two aspects, people will naturally lose weight and look better but this should not be the focus. Everyone is made differently and should never hate the way they look or compare themselves to others because that can be really detrimental to one’s self-esteem and confidence.

  4. This is a really interesting article and I think it tackles a really important issue regarding women and the media. I’ve seen things on twitter about Jameela Jamil criticizing the Kardashian’s for the false advertisement of diet teas and lollypops and I’ve also seen people criticizing Jamil’s feminism. Despite the controversy, I think Jamil is right on this one. While both women are leaders, it’s how you lead that matters. The Kardashian’s are purposefully selling these products fully knowing that they achieved their “ideal” bodies with surgery, expensive trainers, other dieting strategies. They’re also pushing the agenda that women need to suppress their appetites and be thinner to be accepted. While it may be controversial, I think it’s so important that women like Jamil are standing up and speaking out on what’s wrong with this portion of the industry.

  5. When I see people like the Kardashian’s endorsing weight suppressants and destructive concepts of beauty, my heart hurts SO much for the young women and girls who look up to them. Yet again, capitalism strikes while using these marketing strategies to prey on women who have been told from the media that their “ideal” bodies can be achieved through a product. To be honest, I feel like this concept of having a “perfect” outward appearance is plaguing the minds of children and young adults into developing eating disorders and body dysmorphia. As we have discussed in class, women are extremely harsh on themselves and tend to undermine their self worth. Jameela Jamil’s movement of I Weigh and explosions of self expression in calling out her fellow celebrities who promote unhealthy lifestyles is admirable and calling attention to the toxic idea of perfection our society endorses. I hope that more celebrities and activists can raise even more awareness in combatting capitalism’s agenda to oppress women in being ashamed of their own beautiful natural selves.

  6. In the context of the Kardashians advertising weight loss supplements, I think it is a very toxic practice to instill on their millions of younger followers. It perpetuates the stigma that women have to be skinny to be beautiful and lets young girls think these unhealthy habits are effective means to reach that goal. However, I think that it is important to note the work that the Kardashians do in other aspects, such as promoting Planned Parenthood and advocating for the rights of wrongly convicted felons. Their media presence is a fine line to walk because some of it could be considered damaging to young girls, while the other part is inspiring and (slightly) informational content. But I think this is the case with all social media, not just the Kardashians. We’ve spent a lot of time talking about the influence of media on women and the kinds of messages that it promotes to young women. Every time I log onto to Instagram I see advertisements like that or beautiful going on adventures that I can only dream of. In my opinion, you are responsible for the kinds of content you want to intake on social media. You, the user, have to choose who you want to follow and what content you want to intake. While advertisements are everywhere and are generally unavoidable, the issue of toxic social media content is not just limited to the Kardashians, so users should try to be mindful of the content that they are consuming.

  7. People are extremely visual, including men and women. The advertisements of these products and the way that these people advertise their bodies are extremely influential to people. Women struggle with societies pressure of looking a certain way and young women are in a period of growing and maturing which makes them more susceptible to being influenced by media. Unfortunately these marketing strategies bring in so much money by taking advantage of insecure women that are insecure due to the pressures of the media. This is a vicious cycle that is going to be extremely difficult to break because it is women influencing women. These peer pressures may not be intended to be malicious but are extremely detrimental to followers. I think it is important for other women to be combating these ideas and pushing for more promotion of acceptance of oneself and body positivity.

  8. Many celebrities and athletes are often asked to advertise for products because these companies know how many people will simply do something / buy something simply because their favorite celebrity advertises for it. If you look at shampoo commercials, they all have famous actresses or actors. However, I would have to disagree that the Kardashians are leaders. Many of our articles and books we have read throughout the leadership minor have attempted to define leadership. I believe the most accurate definition is as follows: “leaders are individuals who have the ability to motivate people and utilize this influence to move other individuals to a common goal”. I think the key aspect is that leaders move people towards a common goal – the Kardashians definitely have the ability to motivate people, but aren’t using their popularity in a beneficial way. They could be gathering followers to support a common cause, but instead they usually instill, albeit unintentionally, self – deprecating thoughts in young girls and women.
    Jamil, I believe is attempting to spread her message about body positivity and is definitely more of a “leader”, especially because she is passionate about body – image and health.
    It is VERY important for women to help shatter the expectation that you must look a certain way, or weigh a certain amount in order to be beautiful. Even the Kardashians, who have arguably helped people recognize that bigger hips and butts are beautiful in their own way, are almost diminishing the “curvy movement” by constantly expressing their desire for “flat tummy teas”. I don’t think media will change any time soon, as there will always be people who others want to look like, but accepting your own beauty while still admiring the differences in others is something we can teach the world.

  9. I really liked this post because it is very sad to see so many young girls constantly thinking she needs to look like all the women in the media and has to do everything people like the Kardashians are doing, such as using weight loss supplements or tummy trainers to get a flat stomach. I believe the media is a large part of why so many young girls develop eating disorders and have low self confidence because they feel a pressure that they need to look like the women on TV and on the cover of magazines. These young girls see women like the Kardashians as leaders and role models, which is very sad to me because I do think the Kardashians are a negative influence for young women.


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