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In my view, Matthew Hutson rightly observes that models in beauty pageants, actors and actresses, and models used for advertising have been dehumanized (Hutson, 2013). We judge them by the first impressions; everything else comes later. In doing so, we make them objects of our recognition and perception. More focus is given to their physique and not to other qualities they might be having.
The assumption is that the models have a different mind altogether. What does this do to their self-esteem? They feel like puppets that are not in control of themselves. Eventually, they might lose feelings and emotions as well. The social animals, human beings focus more on outer appearance since it is easier to know on first sight. This creates a stereotype based on sexuality (Hutson, 2013).
Role of the Media
Women are more likely to be dehumanized than men, thanks to the media and the society that give more attention to them. Femininity appeals more to beauty pageant organizers, for instance. As a result, women models who pose naked or in sexy garments appeal more to the audience. This is because in dehumanization, we assume the other person is literary dead (Hutson, 2013). The media are making beauty a norm rather than an exception. People’s minds become corrupted by high expectations, forcing female participants to give in. The need for money and social acceptance also lead to dehumanization, and as a result, women cannot decide what to do independently.
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An absolute focus is on the naked body or the sexy “puppet” we are watching at a particularmoment (Hutson, 2013). The audience does not care about other internal attributes. The models are only considered “sensitive to our arousals and judgment; they are less competent as human beings” (Hutson, 2013, p. 3). Such notions lead to beauty stereotypes where every woman must have the “right look”, an idea that is doubtlessly impossible. Beauty alone, for example, does not lead to success; there are other areas such as sports and entrepreneurship that can make one successful (Hutson, 2013).
Matthew Huston (2013) rightly observes that “Better to be subjects for ourselves than the objects of others” (p.11). When models become subjects of their promoters and the audience, they stop being themselves: they start being people or objects they are not, which could lower their self-esteem. They seem “different” mainly because of the high expectations from the audience and event organizers (Hutson, 2013).
Exposing Children at a Tender Age
What is more, when even children in their tender age are exposed to demands of beauty pageants, they stop being the innocent children they should be. They are expected to wear makeup and ill-fitting apparel. What happens to those who feel not beautiful enough? They harbor feelings of being ugly, when in reality they might excel in other talents. In contrast, exposing young women’s sexuality dehumanizes them and they become sex objects. Regardless of whether they can decide what to do, such decisions are harmful in a number of ways: not only the participants, but also women in general will be viewed as sex objects. It changes perception where these girls and women are viewed differently; that they are unique as well as set threshold for beauty and sexuality. What happens when every woman desires to have the “right shape?” They might resort to dieting, which may lead to eating disorders and depression.
Dehumanization leads to sexualisation where a woman will be valued only according to her outward beauty and sexual appeal. As a result, sex pests may make advances at them. This has been the case in the recent past where women who dress skimpily and suggestively have been raped. Beauty models have also suffered from the same attitude. People view beauty only in terms of looks and appearance. The woman who poses semi-nude is simply an object, devoid of emotions and feelings, according to her viewers. The viewers are her subjects. People spend more time pondering what might be going on in the mind of the models when they do what they do.
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Personally, I find this presumption wrong. In doing so, people are giving power and exaggerated sense of worth to these people. Attention should focus on the society that has made the notion of naked beauty acceptable. This is the only way for the organizers to make money, and the participants to earn income. When Matthew Hutson talks about naked porn stars being more sensitive and less competent compared to their clothed counterparts, he shows the common perception that people have with sexual fantasy (Hutson, 2013). For a fact, people prefer a naked woman more than a clothed one as they view them as more sensitive to their feelings than the clothed women.
Literally, focusing more on the body does not mean one is objectifying the woman. Rather, they are dehumanizing them where they become “a sensitive beast” (Hutson, 2013). This means that viewers are selfish, choosing only to focus on their selfish goals at the expense of the happiness of others. The society is such that one would rather please people by doing a good thing than displease them by doing a bad thing. Perhaps this also explains why politicians try to be good to their constituents. Sometimes, they are forced to feign joy when they are sad. They are forced to make promises they cannot deliver. When one conforms to the wishes of the majority, they stop being the real them, and instead become objects of the people. They lose their mental freedom.