As a female in college, I experience the daily stares, the weird grabs at parties and the late night texts from men. Some girls are okay with the “Hook Up Culture,” and I am not here to scrutinize their views; however, I do not agree with how we as women are treated as a result.
It all started with the sexualization of women through the media in music videos, lyrics, movies and advertisements. Sex does sell, and because of this, women continue to be objectified through the media in worse ways.
Starting with MTV, being the first 24-hour channel to play endless music videos, we began to see the sexualization of both men and women. Eventually expanding to VEVO and YouTube, these videos could now be played at the viewers’ convenience instead of on a timed loop.
The music video for “Blurred Lines,” by Robin Thicke, shows naked female models dancing around male artists as they sing about mixed signals and sexual encounters. Another more recent example is the video for “Gone” by Afrojack ft. Ty Dolla $ign, where there is a bunch of women running around a house party in bathing suits while the lyrics say, “yeah bet you like it when I touch ya.”
People aren’t actually this beautiful or this happy. We are creating a world where these artists do not intend to perpetuate the problem; although, these examples are adding to the common expectation of how women should behave around men.
Furthermore, women are compelled to Photoshop their own images through apps before posting them to meet societal standards. This obsession with image is stemming from how media presents the idea of success and happiness. We are led to believe unless we fit these standards, we cannot achieve each other’s approval.
Additionally, women are always Photoshopped to meet the needs of today’s ideal beauty. Everyone sees these unrealistic standards, leading men and women to naturally adopt a superficial idea of each other.
Until pop culture and media stop portraying women in this light, it is unlikely that the “hook up” culture will change. We could hope that these images and portrayals will eventually stop; however, it is our duty to educate people from a young age that these standards are not reality.