Kabilang Ibayo, a play written, composed and performed by the DLSU Harlequin Theater Guild were three inherently simple yet thought-provoking narratives. The three distinct plays were centered on matters regarding cultural diversity and nationalism and its integration with the idea of an ASEAN community.
The first of the three plays was “Mysteryland” wherein the manner by which the characters were presented to the audience manifests politics of the body. It started with an audition in Asia among a Vietnamese singer, a Laotian Monk, and a Chinese martial artist. All of these three individuals seek to acquire career opportunities. All of them attempted to meet the required characteristics needed from an individual who will eventually be chosen by the institution. In light of our discussion on body politics, there is a blatant commodification or the act of presenting and selling oneself in order to attain a job in an institution which practices classification based on one’s nationality. In addition, the characters in Mysteryland were orientalized because they were not American enough. Some came off too brave,while others were too strong. One was too Chinese and the other, too Vietnamese. Body politics is manifested because this reflects the hegemony of the West over the East with the American as the standard for the idea of the “ideal.”
The second act was entitled Robot wherein it partially showed the exploitation of the image of a Filipina. The shaping of the image of a robot which manifests the perfect or ideal Filipina woman. The robot, Nina had the attributes of what Filipinos perceive or regard to as beautiful: someone with soft features, a fair skin, etc. On the other hand, Nina was developed with the qualities of a maid who was expected to cook, clean, and to take care of her masters. Nina, then, is the representation on how the international society views most of the Filipinos who are only skilled in domestic work and nothing else.
Lastly, the play Tres Hermanas depicted body politics during the world war as represented by the comfort women whom the soldiers abhorrently used for the satisfaction of their pleasure. Blatant objectification was done to these women for the sole convenience of the Japanese soldiers. These women albeit disempowered by the Japanese soldiers, empowered themselves by not letting such misfortunes define their identity as individuals and as women.
As a child, I did not really feel the need to change anything about my physical appearance. I was neither beautiful nor did I ever regard to myself as pretty but I simply felt content with the way I look. However, as I become older, there are times when it was inevitable for me to not look for a flaw in my physical appearance. Frankly, it’s relatively hard not to compare yourself with the standards of beauty that amass our surroundings.
When I was younger, my family made it a monthly habit of visiting the beach. We usually went to Zambales since it’s relatively near Manila and when I was 12 years old, I remember watching this girl surf among all the other guy surfers on the beach in Zambales. It stirred my interest from then on, it became my habit to surf at least every 2 months. When I grew older, I went to different surf spots in the country to try the variation of waves but since I am not physically fit nor am I a good swimmer, I usually end up bruised and scarred and tossed by the waves. It never really bothered me for I was enjoying it anyway. Until now, I still have a lot of those scars embedded in my skin. Most of my scars can be found on my legs and in my inner thigh. More often than not, I always feel conscious whenever I wear shorts, a skirt, or a dress because my legs aren’t as flawless as the other girls’ legs. Two years later, I still have scarred legs and thighs nevertheless, it doesn’t really bother me as it did before. My grandmother even offered to have a laser procedure for my scars to permanently “erase” them but I declined her offer.
Despite my negative view on my physical attributes and my flaw, it never really occurred to me to consider these things, even a simple scar to be removed. Yes, I am not a hundred percent content with my body but it does not necessarily mean that I want to change it or have it reconstructed. I don’t frown upon people who do want to change their physical attributes however, I don’t see the point of it all because there are certain attributes that are uniquely found in a certain individual.
Apart from the gym activity, looking for a “manghihilot” was an arduous task especially when you’re living in the city. I’ve been bugging my mom for days to take me to a traditional manghihilot in order to accomplish this blog post. She argued that she also had a hard time looking for one in her province, Sta Rosa, Laguna, more so here in the urban area. The traditional manghihilot can mostly be found only in remote areas in the province. As a result, I settled for the “traditional” massage offered my the massage parlor in the mall. The process was quite different from the Swedish and Thai massages for they used coconut oil and banana leaves. I knew from the start that the traditional massage offered in the mall would not be the authentic traditional hilot but it was worth a try. From this, I was able to observe that even the traditional manghihilot is commodified by means of marketing the certain massage to be traditional by using oil and leaves as an exhibitor of the authenticity of the massage. It is quite unfortunate however that not all people have the opportunity to witness or even undergo such traditions for cure and wellness because it is only practiced in distant barrios and provinces.
Going to the gym, at least for me, felt so frustrating knowing that I had to do physical and strenuous activities for an hour or less. I’ve always hated physical education classes growing up; hence I’ve never been to a gym before. I felt displaced and alienated because everything seemed strange to me, even though, I knew what the set of equipment were for, I couldn’t bring myself to actually exercise and make use of the gym comfortably. Body politics in the gym is present since there are a variety of bodies which makes it possible for a divide between the dominant and empowered bodies, (those who usually work out) and the subordinate and disempowered bodies a.k.a my friends and I (along with those who were relatively new to the gym).
During my adolescence, I never really had skin problems however during my senior year in college, I have recently been suffering from skin allergies and facial acne every now and then. For almost a year, I have been availing of facials at least once a month from my dermatologist.
However, for this BODIPOL activity, I decided to get a facial from a salon to see whether or not there is a difference between the two places. The salon and the derma clinic was relatively the same although it is notable that the derma clinic is quieter as compared to the salon. I have also observed that the staff who does the facial for the customers are not skin specialists like the dermatologists back in the clinic. The salon was relatively well-known hence I wasn’t as apprehensive to undergo facial without the supervision of a skin specialist however, there are people who continue to undergo facial services in their neighborhood salons despite not consulting a dermatologist, risking their safety and hygiene in order to avail of the service. Facials are considered as a commodity nowadays because one component of conventional beauty is to have a smooth, glowing, and flawless skin. A lot of people, including myself, adhere to such practices mainly because of health and hygiene; but to some extent, undergoing such processes make some people feel empowered having a healthy and clean skin.
The Netflix Original series, Orange is the New Black has been into the limelight since its inception last 2013 not only in the United States but also across the globe. The Emmy-award winning series was inspired by the memoir of Piper Kerman published in 2010 entitled, Orange is the New Black: My Year in a Women’s Prison. The plot of the series revolves around Piper Chapman, a white, upper-class woman in her thirties who goes to prison for carrying drug money into the country. In the first season, the audience follows her story and how it changes from being a relatively privileged woman outside bars and the struggles that she encounters within the communal setting in prison. Despite Piper being perceived as the main character of the series, the plot, however, does not only revolve around her, rather, it also includes the diverse narratives of other women characters in the series–their backstories and how they ended up behind bars.
The writers of Orange is the New Black (OITNB) headed by Jenji Kohan thus interlace women’s narrative, their lives and their struggles which reflect not only the heterogeneity of the prison populous itself but also its totality. The series is highly renowned because of its representation towards the women who are in bars; but more importantly, it is the show’s heterogeneity and how they are able to represent women–queer and straight; cis and trans; black and white; young and old–en masse in one prison institution. The show delves into different socio-political problems per episode; ultimately, however, it is OITNB’s representation and discussion in these women’s narrative which I find the most striking and significant.
The French theorist, Michel Foucault was re-introduced to us through his work The History of Sexuality earlier this term for body and politics class. Another account of Foucault in relation to Netflix’s OITNB, although not discussed in class, which also concerns the politics of the body is Discipline and Punish (1975). In his book, Foucault explains at length, condemned bodies and how prison fundamentally is centered on the prisoner’s body as a means to target the said individual–how the body in prison is regarded as an object to be acted upon. One of the main tenets of confinement is the physical segregation of each individual (prisoner) as separated from society into a more isolated world in prison. The prisoner’s body is now in compulsory discipline as characterized by delimited behaviors, actions, and appearances or the “docile bodies” as Foucault notes.
As inmates, the needs of these women are at most, ignored; hence, the portrayal of them having to compromise their hygiene while being detained. In prison, the body is more debilitated through its confinement and also heightened by the inadequate facilities available. These are greatly exemplified in the series as shown in the scenes where there are limited amount of medicine and hormones; having the inmates set up their own ‘salon’ from the supply they receive from the commissary; the amount of white hair and wrinkles present in the aging prisoners. In addition, it is apparent how women in prison become a sexual subject and object, wherein a prisoner’s sexuality and physical intimacy is both refused and enforced.
Some viewers might regard to these inmates as disempowered bodies for having a physicality that is far different from the image of “perfection” we somehow imbibed within us. Inmates like Sophia, Morello, Flaca, and Maritza, seem to be disempowered in prison hence they focus on their body and physicality by styling their hair and applying makeup to empower themselves in order to make them visible.
While there are some (whom the audience might perceive as disempowered bodies) who actually prefer to look untidy and unpresentable, in order to be more empowered by not being objectified by other female inmates and the male guards which supervises them.
In addition, the body of an inmate is not only an object in prison as argued by Foucault; their bodies too, are considered as machines in the prison system. Based on our previous class discussions, the relationship between the prison authorities and inmates is analogous to the feudal mode of production wherein the workers (inmates) are forced to offer their labor power to their lords (prison authorities) in exchange for a share in resources (the food they eat, goods from the commissary, etc.) and for protection. In feudal modes of production, the body of the peasant, in this case, the prisoner’s body, is considered to be a property of its landlord, a characteristic of a somehow exploitative relationship between the powerful and the powerless.
While it is commendable that there are series like OITNB, which focuses on the representation and narrative of these minorities, it is noteworthy that we should be more aware that these occurrences are not merely fictional; rather, such exploitations of the body through objectification and production is indeed present at varying degrees within our society. The people behind the series used pop culture as a medium in order to make the viewers aware of the socio-political problems that exist within the prison system, but more importantly, OITNB used these women’s narratives with the aim to elicit empathy and concern from its wide array of audience so that in this small yet significant cultural text, they were able to liberate those who are in captivity.
The politics of the body can be identified within four mechanisms namely: as a machine, as a project, as a sex object, and as a place where power is contested. In this critical essay, I intend to concentrate more on the last mechanism which is the body as a place where power is contested. In this mechanism, the body can either be a subject or object of power; the power which one hold varies in the space where one resides.
In my opinion, body politics is greatly manifested in the church. I am from a conservative Catholic family and for eleven years, studied in an all-girls Catholic school; these two, I believe, are factors which greatly affected my faith as a Catholic. Growing up, I was active in our church not because my family wanted me to, or my school required church services, but because I felt a sense of comfort and community within it; however, as I grow older, I suddenly felt displaced in the same institution which I sought refuge in.
It was disheartening knowing that the same set of people who taught me the values of respect, kindness, acceptance, and forgiveness; are the ones who shame on women for being impregnated without the sanctity of marriage, or on frowning upon the members of the LGBTQ community, stereotyping them as an immoral set of individuals, explicitly during homilies. The church, or at least in our parish, negates their own values and claims by objectifying women for bearing a child without being married, or in disempowering the marginalized LGBTQ for expressing their love without the hindrance of gender. These observations were the key factors which led me to my decision of not attending Sunday masses in our parish.
My parents, most especially my mom, would nag me every Sunday morning to attend the 7 am Sunday mass. Upon growing up, I also never liked the idea of going to church anymore because I never felt a genuine connection with God by means of attending an hour’s worth of scripted monologues from our parish priest. My grandmother would often negate my views by means of shaming me for not being a morally good Catholic, saying, “Hindi ka nagsisimba hindi mo natutupad tungkulin mo bilang isang mabuting Kristyano.” It never actually bothered me despite being shamed by my family members because I know that Christianity is different from churchianity. One’s faith is not directly measured by the number of times one has attended the Sunday mass. I still believe in God and I do pray and commune with Him every now and then, however, I have not yet attended Sunday mass since the blatant objectification of our parish priest towards women and the LGTBQ.
Today’s discussion focused on the body as an object or the ways in which the body is being regarded to as a commodity. The concept of the body as an object further highlights the notion that the body, despite being our own, can be bought and or consumed in more ways than one by those who seek such “product”.
Women are the primary nurturers, and more importantly, the sources of the succeeding generations; hence, the body as an object has indeed done more affliction to women than others. The body of a woman more often than not is employed as objects and commodities in the market for the mere consumption of both sexes; and as a result, we either fail to see or ignore the fact that the exploitation of women is a regular occurrence that is already embedded within our societies.
Advancement in technology also magnifies the means of distribution which commodifies women through television advertisements, magazines, videos, etc. which go beyond borders and can be easily circulated within seconds. Hence, it is quite an arduous task to topple the existing dominant conception of the body of women as objects in today’s society.
Today’s discussion focused on the body as a machine and the three modes of production namely: the Kinship mode, the Feudal mode, and lastly, the Capitalist mode. First, the Kinship mode provides the context in which individuals work collectively towards a single task or goal; and as the word itself implies, it involves an affinity or relationship with other individuals. The Filipino tradition of Bayanihan, is an example of this mode of production. Second, the feudal mode is more associated with the working class, as compared to the kinship mode which involves a more familial relationship. In this mode of production, the working class is being used or exploited wherein these set of people are seen as objects, working bodies, and commodities. Prostitution is an example of this mode of production. Among the three people involved in prostitution–the prostitute, the customer, and the pimp–the owner of the body being commodified gets the least amount of share. Lastly, the capitalist mode of production involves the concepts of salary and wage. In contrast to the feudal mode of production, I believe that this is a more acceptable mode of production for the body which produces the product or outcome, receives a wage that is equal to the work that the body provides. Based on these three examples, it is apparent that there is an inevitable reality that the body is constantly objectified and more often than not, is regarded to as a commodity or material good.
critical essay one: an analysis of the body politics of boracay
In retrospect, it was already established during the first few weeks of the class that politics is all about power; and how such power can be exercised, expressed, and even suppressed. In the case of our BODIPOL (Body and Politics) class, it can be viewed that a key component of power can be manifested in one’s body. Although bodily preoccupation is not the conventional reference that people regard to in terms of politics as the art and science of administration and government , the conception of power in terms of politics need to be deconstructed to be able to generate one’s personal politics of the body.
With the island of Boracay being one of the top tourist destinations in the country, the diversity of human physicality is greatly apparent hence, it was a good reference point for the course’s analytical framework. The methods used for my analysis in the sexual politics of Boracay were (1) participant observation and (2) key informant interviews among randomly selected respondents.
- Observe how gender, body type, and ethnicity affect the way one presents himself or herself in Boracay.
Key Informant Interview Questions:
1. Why are you in Boracay?
2. Where are you from?
3. Why did you decide to wear this type of clothing for today?
4. How do you see yourself physically?
5. Are you happy with your body?
6. Do you think one’s body can be a source of power?
Based on the results of my participant observation and key informant interviews, there is no direct correlation between one’s gender, body type, and ethnicity and the manner by which one is clothed (or the lack thereof) in Boracay. Although, it was notable how Filipinos (excluding those who grew up or has been living abroad), most especially women, were more reserved and self-conscious in the manner by which they present themselves on the island.
The photo above shows a Filipina who was on a vacation with her child after being away from the Philippines for almost 5 years. At first, I was a bit reluctant to approach her because she was busy posing for the camera and also instructing her son (shown in the photo) how to make use of it. She exudes confidence and seemed to have less regard with what she was wearing. My other key informant was also a Filipina from Quezon City. She was about my age and although she seemed physically fit, she was self-conscious the entire time despite wearing appropriate clothes for the beach; hence, the absence of her photo. Although both of them are Filipinas, it was apparent how they differ in the way they present themselves in Boracay. With the first key informant having adopted Western values, she was more liberal in the way she was clothed as compared to the teen who was more conservative in terms of clothing albeit being on the beach.
My third key informant was a Taiwanese who, like my two other interviewees, was also on a vacation. It was a grueling task to actually interview tourists from the East (Chinese, Taiwanese, Koreans, Japanese, etc.) as compared to the Western tourists. It was only after my seventh attempt that I was able to interview a fellow Asian who was also willing to be photographed for documentation purposes. Koreans, Chinese, Taiwanese, and Japanese tourists based on my participant observation, were more conservative in terms of clothing as compared to other Western tourists. Some of them even wore jackets and raincoats, and some even brought an umbrella with them while strolling the beach.
My goal was to interview at most 10 tourists however, I was only able to have 4 successful interviews. I approached more women as compared to men because I feel more comfortable talking to women and also, for a precaution due to the possibility that some men might go beyond bounds of the interview. The choice of clothing by the respondents was mostly driven by their location and the weather for that day, and it was only a small margin of those whom I have interviewed explicitly told me that they chose to wear their clothing because they feel and look good wearing it. Only 1 out of my 4 respondents felt happy and empowered despite not having the normative idea of a “perfect” body. She said that although she is already a mother, hence her stretch marks and other unwanted fats in her body. She believes that empowerment comes from yourself–from within, rather than you looking for recognition and trying your best to fit into the norms of your society aiming for that kind of bodily “perfection”, which she notes, is hard and more often than not, humanly impossible to achieve. Most of my respondents believed that they felt disempowered because there are other bodies that are far too fit, and “perfect” than theirs; hence, their overwhelming stiffness and apprehensiveness during the course of our conversations.
Having interviewed diverse tourists in Boracay, they were able to give me varying definitions of the empowered and the disempowered. Now, with locating my own body, I would have to say that I am empowered yet disempowered. Some might think that I am empowered because of my physicality. I do not consider myself to be physically fit, however, based on my BMI I am neither underweight nor overweight; hence my relatively skinny physique. While looking for respondents in my key informant interview, some men whistled and a few vendors even catcalled my friend and I, by saying out loud to his fellow vendor “iba talaga ganda ng Pilipina.” while they gazed past us. These instances, in my opinion, were not considered as empowerment rather, I felt displaced and uncomfortable most of the time during the fieldwork despite wearing decent clothing.
After undergoing a series of colonization, mostly and at length, from Western countries, the Philippine society has resulted into a combination of both the Eastern and Western culture; and with the strong influence of West, Filipinos have already embedded within their minds the superiority of such culture. With this predetermined notion, we more often than not, tend to nullify our own identity as Filipinos.
Looking at issues of gender and sexuality as an example and using the theoretical framework of Culture Studies, the Philippines, in my opinion, is an interesting case of discussion. As mentioned above, due to our colonization, and overlooking the fact that we have become a mixture of races and ethnicities (a cultural hybrid), the diversity of our cultures can also be utilized to ascertain the development of gender and sexuality as a discourse in the Philippine society.
The concepts of gender and sexuality often stir numerous discussions and debates which materialized from the unceasing and generally, unresolved issues that come from its functionality in our present context. Despite the various growth and development in terms of women’s liberation; women continually face injustices that arise from the patriarchal society even in contemporary times. Although argued that patriarchy has already been eradicated, it is still greatly manifested how its remnants are still present in more ways than one within our society at present.
The hegemony of males over females have been established dating to our colonization period however, recent gender developments have already proven otherwise. Nevertheless, the stereotypical notion of men and women–as two opposing poles of femininity and masculinity–can not be fully eradicated; hence, these conflicting ideas more often than not leads to discrimination in various forms. In addition, as illustrated in mainstream media, several television programs continuously present the stereotypical gender roles which add more barriers to the conflict of gender roles rather than breaking them.
On the other hand, the LGBT community is even more marginalized in a patriarchal structure of society for they break gender barriers and norms. In the recent decades, there have been various changes with regards to their liberation as a community however, these are still considered to be inadequate in order to undermine the discrimination they have to go through as a community. The LGBT community is gradually brought into the consciousness of the people (through mass media, literature, social media, etc.) They have yet to conquer the stereotypes and biases affixed to them by societal norms,
Cultural Studies, therefore have various approaches; nevertheless, it holds the dominant concept of power and the vital role it plays in society. Hence, culture exhibits and maintains the forms of power which shape our ideas, surroundings, society and that, conclusively would lead to the division between the privileged and underprivileged, us and them or the process of othering as exemplified by the examples of gender and sexuality above. Moreover, the theoretical framework of culture studies aids our understanding with regards to power and how it catalyzes various factors which will, in turn, effect and to the extremes, manipulate human behavior within society.
The Band Played On in its simplest sense, was a film that discussed at length the discovery of the AIDS virus. However, digging deeper into the film, we can see how diverse it was in terms of the issues it tackled within its 2-hour plot. It not only discussed AIDS and its history and how it was traced; but also, the implications it had on society as identified in the various processes that included a lot of politics, and also the effect of AIDS with regards to the representation of the gay community. Members of this community not only in the United States but also in other parts of the world were objectified and stereotyped through the emergence and transmission of the virus.
In the movie, it was shown how gays were excluded from society and it was a disheartening though knowing that such scenario happened in real life. Members of the gay community were isolated, categorized as sinners, and were despised because of their sexual orientation. The Band Played On was able to illustrate how power affects the decisions of individuals and institutions. The interaction between various organizations as illustrated in the movie, paved a way for the authorities to cooperate despite the apparent difference between science and politics; and also their varying interests in order to resolve the massive problem which plagued not only the gay community but also people in general. The film was able to elicit realizations toward society and its divide between the repressed and the oppressed, the majority and the minority, etc.
The main premise of Foucault in his work The History of Sexuality was his contention on the history of sexuality and how it was established on what he regarded to as the “repressive hypothesis” in which he presumed that conversations about sex have been limited to private affairs between the husband and the wife alone since the emergence of capitalist and bourgeoisie society. Hence, this attempts to hinder acts such as extra-marital and pre-marital sex and at the most, outline the discourse which makes such acts to be regarded to as taboos, distasteful, and offensive.
In spite of his assumption that discourse regarding sex has been subjugated most especially during the 17th century, Foucault nevertheless believes that such effort to repress it results to a more intensified discourse on sex and would, in turn, make it into a public interest. Such argument is essential because it indicates that sex as an open discourse is developing despite its gradual process. Moreover, this illustrates that liberation through narrative can be plausible in due time.
Based on the survey results conducted by the group, it is evident how sex is far more than what most people typically think it is. The prevailing commodification of sex as a consequence would result to the further objectification of women by the manner in which media presents them and their role in society. The results illustrated that 90% of our respondents believe that media has a powerful influence on how both men and women are regarded to and treated in society.
Viewing such results under the lens of the Post-Colonial theory, the construct shows an accurate framework how Western concepts and ideas are still dominant even in contemporary times. Similarly, the concept of Gramsci’s cultural hegemony can be seen from such scenario where one view either dominates another. Such hegemony over another culture hinders the development in society due to the fact that the hegemon can totally engulf the less dominant consciousness and impose their own way of thinking.
Our group decided to dwell on the different ways in which one can view sex–as an act, gender role, and sexuality. We then asked three questions in order to gather insights from our respondents.
First, we asked our respondents about what they think does the role of media play in terms their perception of gender roles. The dominant response was to this question was that media strongly influences the way they perceive both genders. It was also seen in the results how media was able to form a stereotypical gender role for men and women as exemplified in a patriarchal society. Although progressive changes have been made in the 21st century with regards to the portrayal of women in the media, the considered norm of gender roles in society still affects the way society views both genders.
Second, we asked the respondents what is the first thing that comes to their mind when they hear the word sex and most if not all regard to “sex” as an act. The common notion that sex is boxed into the definition of a sexual act illustrates that it is to a certain extent commodified. Lastly, with regards to sex as one’s sexuality, we asked the respondents how they perceive the LGBT community. In spite of recent developments in terms of the liberation of the LGBT community in other countries, there have been negative responses with regards to the way the LGBT as a community is perceived in the Philippines. Nevertheless, the positive recognition towards the LGBT outnumbered the negative ones from the survey and from this, we can see that gradually, people are becoming more accepting of the other sexualities that are far more than the mandate or norm of society.
Tinimbang Ka Ngunit Kulang, a film by Lino Brocka is a thought-provoking take on how society views and treats those who don’t typically “fit in” like the characters of Berto and Kuala. It would be morally right to say that I would not just be a bystander in the movie rather someone who would defend the marginalized characters; however, in retrospect, I know I that I have always been a passive watcher despite witnessing people being ostracized for who they are, often times for what they look like. The film helped me realize that helping those who are marginalized in society is not a choice but a responsibility to help these people, or at the very least educate those who ostracize them the different ways in which marginalization occurs within our society.
I am lucky enough to have not felt the same level of marginalization as exemplified by the characters of Kuala and Berto however, I identify myself more with the character of Junior because I am often hindered by my limited perception of what my environment or the people around me wants me to see. Similarly, I know the difference between what is morally right and wrong yet I do not have the guts to act on it whenever the time calls for it.
The second meeting of BODIPOL class required us to analyze the opening sequence of Survivor Philippines. I never really paid attention to the series even though I have seen a couple of the promos during commercials before, but it was only today that I got the premise of the show. It was evident that the contestants’ bodies are considered to be their investment into winning the reality show. However, in light of body politics, it was noteworthy that the body too is being used in the show, not just for physical power to do the tasks required. The way most of us saw it, the bodies of the contestants were blatantly objectified as they posed for the camera wearing their trunks and bikinis.
The class was also asked to choose among the contestants were attractive or not based on their physical appearance and through this exercise, it was evident that a woman is considered to be physically attractive when she is fair, slim, and flawless. Men,on the other hand, are considered to be attractive when they fall under the tall, dark, and handsome category we typically hear.
Evidently, the standards for both sexes were not similar. It is also noteworthy that during the opening sequence, the manner in which males and females were shown and presented to the viewers greatly differed. Women were hypersexualized while doing lowly tasks like sitting on the beach front and just projecting to the camera while men were marketed as strong individuals. The activity seemed simple nevertheless, it was an eye-opening experience to see how strong media representation is in light of body politics.
I believe that at some point in one’s life, a person will inevitably find himself/herself wanting to change a portion of who they are. In a world where one’s physicality is highly idealized by society (which we ironically consist of), striving for perfection has become a goal that is to be fought for, at least for some people. In this day and age, perfection has become harder to attain most especially with media and social media shaping and manipulating our belief on the image of perfection.
For someone who uses both these forms of media, admittedly, I, inescapably am affected by this phenomenon; and this has, in more ways than one, affected my perception of beauty. For Filipinos especially, the color of one’s skin serves as a meterstick for measuring one’s beauty; hence, it has changed and influenced the Filipino lifestyle of most individuals.