REVERSING NORMALIZED CORPOREITY IN FILM
This essay looks at the following movies through the lens of normalized corporeity and myth: The Glass Menagerie, A Doll's House, Fatal Attraction, Thelma and Louise, Friends With Money, The Single Mom's Club, How to Be Single, The Sufragettes, My Big Fat Greek Wedding, and Bend It Like Beckam. By so doing, it seeks to answer the following questions:
1. Which films perpetuate normalized corporeity? In what ways do perpetuate myth?
2. Which films avoid normalized corporeity? How do they reverse stereotypes of women?
Normalized corporeity is mass representation of the female body as a constructed gender ideology in the form of a patriarchal definition of the ideal female image and behavior. Constructions of women are based on a normative canon that idealizes behavior revolving around women's sexuality and focuses on whiteness. Rhetoric centers around marriage, and “women are especially victimized when they possess one or more of these non-conditions, i.e., non-male, non-heterosexual, non-white, non-middle-class (and non-thin) etc.” (Ponterotto, 2016, p. 134). In other words, constructions of images and gender roles in media and film center around an 'either/or' binary framework as related to body, race and class; broadcasters in 1984 spoke more about first vice-presidential female candidate Geraldine Ferraro as 'a size 6' than about her actual accomplishments; and Television news channels, such as Fox, still debate the existence of Sara Palin's breast implants.
This is to say that because media and film portray normative ideologies instead of women's realities , the value placed on women's looks and sexuality has permeated society; and myths and gender norms have resulted in a 'symbolic annihilation' in society (Miss Representation, 2011). That is how normalized corporeity in media and film actively discourages women from individual independence; and that is the reason societal trends such as cosmetic surgeries and eating disorders have become accepted, if not expected, norms .
Keywords: feminism, women, mass representation, film, normalized corporeity, myths, stereotypes
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