I remember a few years ago when I was doing my A-levels and for my Media Studies coursework, I wrote an essay on how women are portrayed in television (in teen dramas specifically). Most of the time, through my research on teen dramas, women are represented as a some sort of sex symbol. Women, as it seems, must be beautiful! I believe that every woman is beautiful. However, according to the media, women must be a rib racking size 0, typically blonde with blue eyes (although that isn’t a necessity these days.)
People are quick to blame television programmes such as 90210, One Tree Hill, The OC (all programmes, I particularly like by the way) and magazines etc for making people such as myself from a very young age believe that this is what a woman must look like and then if we don’t look like these women then we tend to fall down the low self esteem spiral of self pity (believe me, I know). Although, yes I can agree with some people who believe that a person can watch programmes like this and have the ability to know that this IS NOT what every woman looks like and not to worry about it too much (which is easily said than done) but what people don’t realise that this portrayal of women also appears in television programmes our children may watch or what we may have watched as a child ourselves.
So, an example of this is…
Brooke usually goes to bed about 6pm every day and sleeps all the way through. When Luke gets home from work every night about 9pm, we’ll lay in bed and watch some box set on our Xbox (lately it has been Dexter). However, this one night, Brooke was awake so I let her sit in bed with me. I turn the Xbox on and as soon as she saw them little blue people that we like to call ‘Smurfs‘, she decided she wanted to watch an episode so I let her. (Dexter would be a little inappropriate anyway)…
The first episode was named ‘The Smufette.’
Says it all really but let me give you a brief description of this episode…
So Gargamel is relatively smurfed off because of how happy ‘his’ forest sounds and he naturally blames the Smurfs for this. He reckons that the best way to get to them is to hit them wear it hurts: the heart. He then creates a ‘Smurfette‘ who will attempt to get into the Smurf’s village where she will spy on them and report back to her creator.
Now, if you haven’t seen the very first episode you’ll see that Smurfette looks a hell of a lot different.
Smurfette, you could say, resembles a little like Gargamel. Her hair was black and straw like (you can’t really describe it very well considering it is a cartoon). She fashioned a long white, slightly tatty dress, a pair of flats and a hat. In-fact, she looked like this…
In the episode Smurfette tries everything in her power to distract the Smurfs by using her charm and ‘good lucks’ however, none of the Smurfs batter an eye lid. In-fact, she invites them all to a picnic and none of them turn up. Oh wait… no, ONE turns up… The Jokey Smurf gives her a present which blows up in her face. She then decides after the few “ohh… boo hoos” that she will (in my words) blackmail the Smurfs to get what she wants (something you would expect in a teen drama or soap opera). She bakes a cake and asks Greedy Smurf to show her how the dam works. Greedy Smurf is reluctant until Smurfette states that he will not get any cake if he doesn’t… so, obviously, he does… and the village begins to flood. However, when Greedy Smurf tries to pull the lever, Smurfette stops him (silly Smurfette appears to be almost committing murder here) but she falls and Papa Smurf and the other Smurfs saves her.
She becomes very grateful yet the Smurf’s trust had been broken and they are unsure what to do with her until the “boo hoos” come again and she confesses that it was all Gargamel’s doing. It is here that Papa Smurf takes Smurfette into his house and fixes the spell to Smurf-liking.
She comes out looking a little more like..
and well all the Smurfs go crazy and start to bombard her with gifts and such…
For some reason this image reminds me of Kaley Cuoco…
I guess with my talents of observation, I may be reading into this just a little too much.
One would say, that to get what you want or attention, a woman must look media-approved amazing! Even as a child we are unknowingly seeing this portrayal of women in the cartoons we watch. I guess all we can do is to educate our children (an education I didn’t get) so they know that women come in all different shapes and sizes.
Lizzee Smurfing Out
Smurfs 2 is now out in cinemas.
Here’s some Smurf 2 reviews
- Nice vs. Naughty (technosavvyletters.wordpress.com)
- Review: Smurfs 2 (3citygirlsnyc.wordpress.com)
- The Smurfs 2 Review (minuteswitharavind.wordpress.com)
- The Smurfs 2 (2013) (watchthesmurfs2movieonlineforfree.wordpress.com)
- Movie Review: The Smurfs 2 (cwtampa.cbslocal.com)