Monday, April 25, 2016

Supplemental Post #6 JLO and Sexualization of Female Celebrities

In Out of Sight (1998) Jennifer Lopez' character makes for an interesting perspective on the sexualization of women in media.  JLO is known for her singing and voluptuous figure and flaunts it in many of her music videos.  This makes me wonder if this is a deliberate choice on her part to present herself sexually because she knows this will sell, or if JLO feels like she has no choice but to present such an image in order to stay relevant and survive as a female star.

In Out of Sight, JLO plays a female FBI agent who can clearly hold her own but has to prove herself to her boss because she is a woman.  Additionally, her character falls for the criminal she is out to capture.  This situation is completely unrealistic.  In any manhunt, even if the man was George Clooney, the FBI agent would not fall in love with the bad guy and let him go.  This makes JLO's character come off as just another dumb woman who is in a man's world and succumbs to her womanly desires.  The film also portrays JLO very sexually by putting her in tight outfits, having George Clooney ogle and rub up against her in a trunk, etc.  There is nothing wrong with looking good while being a tough FBI agent, but JLO already is an attractive person, she doesn't need the added help of tight outfits and George Clooney to oversexualize her.

Perhaps JLO took on a role with this representation because it was early on in her career.  It is interesting to compare this role to her new role on the NBC TV show Shades of Blue where she also plays a cop.  In this TV show, she still wears low cut tops, but she asserts a lot more dominance in her role as a cop.  At this stage in her career, JLO doesn't need her sexuality to sell herself, but it is sad that she ever did.

1 comment:

  1. OMG Thank you so much for bringing up Shades of Blue which I seem to have miraculously forgot about despite enjoying the pilot. Her character on that show is particularly interesting because so much of her motive/internal conflict are centered around motherhood and family. Additionally her character is snitching on her dirty cop family to the FBI so there are layers of transgressiveness that would be super interesting to explore especially through how her body is represented!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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