How Hollywood Is Misunderstanding And Misusing The Term Feminism


Objectification is a word I had not quite grasped the concept of until I became a media studies major in my undergraduate college career.

I was always a young, happy and bubbly girl who enjoyed listening to artists like Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera and Beyoncé.

Before I became a media student, obsessed with reading between the lines of film, television and music, I never really saw an issue with the media's portrayal of women.

To me, women in Hollywood had it all. They were able to star in award-winning films, don fancy gowns on the red carpet and they even got paid to be "cool."

But, now I look back on that young, entertainment-hungry little girl, and wish I had known then what I know now: objectification.

The entertainment industry is built upon pillars of female objectification. In today's world, a woman has to meet "the standards" Hollywood creates for them, all boiling down to one solitary word: appearance.

It's to no surprise then, that celebrities are embracing the views of feminism. We are finally standing up for a gender that has for so long been so poorly cast in the film we call "life."

It was just last year that Beyoncé took the MTV stage at the Video Music Awards, standing in front of a neon sign that read "feminist."

But, what should have followed the misused and misinterpreted word splashed in neon-pink letters was a question mark.

Is Beyoncé really the face of a feminist movement amongst a young, hungry generation of women, who are ready to eat up all Queen B puts forth?

How can she be?

Just look at the last few music videos that have come out from her spontaneously dropped album, and see how much sexuality spews off of the screen.

Do women really need to be rolling around, half-naked in the sand for men to be "drunk in love" with them?

And, do female artists really need to objectify themselves to the industry and the world to make their singles hit number one on the charts?

When "Drunk in Love" first made it to the radio and every single station caught on, I was intrigued.

When B and J decided to go on tour together, I thought it was a nice gesture of a husband and wife supporting each other's success and fame.

But, when I heard the lyrics to "Drunk in Love" in its entirety, I was genuinely disgusted at what I discovered.

There's a part in Jay Z's rap break that reads:

"I am Ike Turner… Baby know I don’t play. Now eat the cake, Anna Mae. Said eat the cake, Anna Mae"

For all those who do not know, Tina Turner's name given at birth was Anna Mae.

The lyric Jay Z is rapping while Beyoncé dances, mouthing the lyrics behind him, is referring to an incident where Ike Turner physically abused his then wife.

At a party celebrating Tina's success, Ike told her to "Eat the cake, Anna Mae." When Tina refused to do so, Ike lifted up the cake, smashing it into her face and mouth for the entire party to witness.

How can a face of the feminist movement be okay and comfortable with this lyric on her album, from her own husband, no less? As a feminist, women empower each other to stray from these altercations, this kind of treatment and relationship.

To glorify the mistreatment and abuse of another woman, a woman whose abuse had been publicized in the spotlight for so many years, makes me wonder what Beyoncé's definition of "feminism" really is.

What is the industry's definition of feminism? Is it scandalously-dressed women twerking on stage, broadcasted on cable television? Is it the glorification of female objectivity, withering our gender down to nothing but sex and skin?

The entertainment industry needs a wake-up call. Leading women are no longer the Marilyn Monroe's being the object of sexuality and desire of every man. A woman should not have to be desired to be powerful; she just is.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of Elite Daily.