Sunday, June 1, 2014

Editing Headlines

       As I was browsing the online news, I noticed a headline that commented on a change in a woman's appearance, which read: "Hello Gorgeous! Sinéad O'Connor Goes Shockingly Glam for New Album Cover". The focus of the article, the new look of artist Sinéad O'Connor, overshadowed the actual reason behind the change; the artist was supporting the Ban Bossy campaign. Instead of highlighting the cause that this woman was supporting, the article analyzed her new appearance, and made that the main point of the article.

       This overshadowing of women's actions by their appearance has become a fairly frequent occurrence, exemplified in many other articles. The dominant theme and headline of the article shown to the right is a wardrobe malfunction of celebrity, Heidi Klum. This article doesn't adequately recognize the heroic action that Klum took, and instead focuses on what she looked like while she was saving two lives. Is her appearance in this situation really that important? Isn't the priority here saving people's lives, not preserving your own appearance?
A headline regarding actress Amy Adams is rewritten.
  A magazine called the Vagenda was fed up with seeing these kinds of headlines. The magazine asked their twitter followers to replace the headlines of articles that spotlight the physical appearance of women to an unnecessary degree. The Vagenda and their fans reworded many headlines, an example seen to the right, in ways that favored women's accomplishment rather than their looks.
       This one-sided description of women may be due to a lack of acceptance of women's accomplishment. Both these women accomplished great things, 5 Academy Award nominations and saving two peoples lives, and in response, people find fault in their appearances. This picking at unimportant matters could be meant to draw away from the action that the women is performing, either because people just can't accept that a woman is accomplished, or that people feel threatened by their achievements.
      To me, this also shows that is valued in a women the most: her appearance. Do matter what great thing a woman will do, she must try to look as pretty as she can. Such thinking draws away from the pursuits of women, and demands that appearance be the focus of women's energy.