Where the Girls Are by Susan Douglas. Book review.

The media has had a lot of effects on women based on various perceptions. Douglas cuts out an analysis on how the media has been portraying women in the last few years. In this case, she argues that it has been showing different images of women yet they do not reflect popular values.

As far as she is concerned, these images create certain values by portraying them as ideal (meaning that all women should emulate them). This means that all women should strive to be what is being portrayed by the images that they see through the media. American women have been fed with many images thereby conflicting their desires, aspirations and opinions. In this case, they have been exposed to conflicting images as time goes by.

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As a matter of fact, the media has played a big role in creating certain values in the society through the images that they show. It should be known that there are occasions where these images have left women confused on what the society expects of them (Douglas, 1995, p. 30). This is as far as their aspirations and relationship with different members of their family is concerned.

It should be known that these images have been changing as time goes by over the last few decades. Uncertainty that has been created and seen as time goes shows and proves that images have been changing. There are various aspects of these images that have changed in relation to societal trends and needs.

In this case, a single image can portray and send mixed signals. The most notable changes in images have been seen in pop culture because it is always changing in relation to social and economic imperatives (Douglas, 1995, p. 48). This means that images have changed to incorporate shifting trends in societal and economical aspects. In this case, the needs of the society have changed drastically as time goes by based on various parameters.

This has therefore seen the media responding to such changes through the images that they show. Americas’ broadcast journalism has changed a lot in relation to various technological advancements which implies that images have also changed in a broad way. People relate to mass media through the images that they see which has made it (media) to be creative.

As a matter of fact, these images have also been changed in relation to new fashion trends. This means that they have changed for the better based on how the media represents them. By portraying certain images as ideal, the media has tried to be up to date with what the society wants. Some characters and aspirations have been shown in these images in various forms.

It is undeniable that images have changed over the last decade in a broad way based on the structure and needs of our society and what different people want to put forward. The media has a motive behind most of these images and this means that they will be made appealing to reach to a wide audience.

It should be known culture changes based on current needs of the society which creates different trends. The most notable area where images have changed drastically can be seen in fashion (Douglas, 1995, p. 23). This is what Douglas refers to as conflicting images based on various competing interests. We are in a competitive world meaning that changes will be seen everywhere.

The images that are shown by the media have helped to establish gender equality in a broad way. This is based on the fact that images that are shown by American Televisions do not in any way reflect popular values. Gender equality has been established through these images by creating a generation of women who are enlightened on various issues that revolve around their lives in the society.

Through these images, women have been in a position to find a voice of their own thereby creating a feminist movement. This has been achieved through the creation of values that will look ideal to these women. In the process, women have strived to match what is being portrayed in such images by voicing their concerns (Douglas, 1995, p. 67).

Most images that are seen on American television end up inspiring women to be successful by all means thereby defying popular values. In this case, according to Douglas, it can be confidently said that these images have helped to establish gender equality. As much as there are occasions where images have left women uncertain on what they want and what the society expects of them, it has enhanced equality because they can stand up to claim their rights.

Women have their own desires but the society has not been giving them a chance to express themselves but through images in the media, the pursuit to fulfill their expectations has been renewed and rejuvenated. This means that they have been inspired to compete with men without fear based on other successful stories of women who have made it by defying all odds.

As a matter of fact, Douglas refers to images of successful women who have made it in life as a reference point. A woman’s right to a voice has been reinforced by different images that continually send mixed signals. In this case, we have different personalities and this means that we will receive messages differently. All this withstanding, women have received such mixed signals differently, thereby being inspired to compete with men in equal measure (Douglas, 1995, p. 134).

These images have shaped different women’s opinion thereby transforming their lives. Gender equality could not be achieved without such images because Douglas traces experiences by relating to movements. People grow in different cultures and this gives them an experience that ultimately shapes their lives. This means that as women have been shaped positively, they have desired to have a say in the society.

The feminist movement advocates for a lot of gender equality which can be seen through the images that have been shown on American Television. This is in relation to shifting social and economic aspects that show the reality of our society. Gender equality has been enhanced in a great way because images have had an impact on different women’s self- perception.

In this case, it is undeniable that women have changed in a great way and this is as far as their lives are concerned (Douglas, 1995, p. 174). There are women who have emerged to compete with men in different areas like business, politics, leadership and others. This has not changed by sheer coincidence but through images that have been shown by the media. In this case, the media has presented and represented different perceptions that have instilled confidence in women.

A brilliant defense of feminism has been spearheaded by the media through different forums. Women relate to the complex stream of images in the media in a unique way and this has given them an insightful exploration. In the long run, we can say that images have helped to establish gender equality in the society.

Reference list

Douglas, S. (1995). Where the Girls Are: Growing Up Female with the Mass Media. New York: Three Rivers Press.


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