FAM: Ladies: You Are More Than a Body

Saturday, 29 August 2009 11:56 Written by  Billy Montgomery

Quiz: True or False Ladies:

1) What’s most important about women is how you look.  
2) Your face, breasts and behind are more important than your mind.

In a room full of people, most females would say false to those picquestions, but far too many women’s actions line up to affirm the above statements as true.  Do you feel this way?

One reason for this is our over-saturation with advertising. Women are often dismembered in advertising. Breasts and butts are used to sell everything (even things that have nothing to do with the body) and the larger, the better, right? Well, at least that’s what advertisers make you believe. And advertising sells more than products, it sells ideals and values. Ever think whether you value your body, more than you value your total self?

Ladies are told to get “wonder” bras; breast implants; wear jeans to bring out the butt, etc. And then those concepts are added to music videos and films extending the overkill. All these things are designed to get females noticed by men, but what about your own awareness? When will you notice you are participating in your own demise if you are doing it for someone else’s approval?

That kind of pressure is not put on men. But with women being objectified not only are they viewed as "things," but also as just one part of the "thing."  How dehumanizing!  

For years, terms like “objectification” and “misogyny” have been used as code words of how women are discriminated against by men. Objectification means to reduce someone who is living and complex to the status of a simple, inanimate object. Misogyny speaks to the hatred of women. While it is true that women are still viewed as sex objects in many circles, what is more disturbing is how many ladies have bought into this concept.

Look at any neighborhood in urban America or go online and check out the social networking sites, and you will find literally thousands of black females showcasing their body parts, as if that is all they have to offer. While is not just a “black” thing, in a culture dominated by negative portrayals, it arguably impacts black people in a greater measure.

Other than the sexual performance ads, men really don’t live in a world where our bodies are constantly judged and told how we need to constantly improve, but unfortunately women do live there. What makes this more insulting is when the overly scrutinized female body is transformed into beer bottles, perfume bottles, road maps, etc. Whenever you turn a human being into an object, then that is the initial step in stripping the worth of who that person is.  

Ladies: While you have a body, realize that you are more than a body. Your body is an enterprise, but people will treat it like a playground and run all over it––if you let them. As you walk through the valley of sexism, just be sure not to get stuck in the opinions of how others want to view you. You are more than your parts, you are a person.



*Photography by Billy Montgomery

Billy Montgomery

Billy Montgomery

Billy Montgomery is the lead photographer and photo editor for GMO. He is a well-known photographer in the Chicago area, as well as a professor of journalism at Roosevelt University, where he also received his M.A. in the subject.

Billy can be contacted at Photobillyd@yahoo.com