Jhally wrote that "the marketplace cannot directly offer the real thing, but it can offer visions of it connected with the purchase of products" (p. 79). Marketing/media images are constantly bombarding girls with the "you can have it all fantasy," which is limited not only to material goods but also to certain lifestyles. One disturbing trend which has come about is in the past couple of years is the glamorization of the pregnant teenager. For example, take a look at this magazine cover with teen mom, Bristol Palin on it:
While Palin is supposed to be a spokeswoman for the consequences that can come when having sex as a teengaer (or at least not having safe sex), not only has she apparently managed to land on the cover of "People" magazine, but she also has managed to graduate high school, have a healthy baby, and still look like a million bucks. Are young girls really supposed to believe her argument that the consequences of sex are not worth it? (Look at the caption below her photo.) Because she sure is making those consequences look glamorous. While the MTV show, Teen Mom, appeared to be a bit more realistic in what the lifestyle of a pregnant teenager is like, the media went ahead and made that look pretty awesome too, by allowing the girls from that show to gain a celebrity following:
(Wow...they sure do look like they are struggling as the caption suggests - especially with their airbrushed faces and designer matching outfits!)
Another show that was originally created by (ironically) "The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy," called "The Secret Life of The American Teenager," on (ironically) ABC Family channel, which seemed to just further glamorize life as a pregnant teen by showing young girls you can still look awesome, have great hair and clothes and carry on with your everyday life as a high schooler even if you get pregnant:
Part of Perry's argument was the conflicting messages that powerful females send through the behavior and images they put out through media. "When the who articulate subjectivity are increasingly presented in visual media as objects rather than subjects, as they are now, then their statement to the world is ambiguous at best" (p. 140). This "loss of control over one's own image" that Perry refers to is an interesting concept to consider when thinking about how images are constantly seeming to tell girls they can "have it all" through magazine covers that promote impossible thinness, flawless skin, beautiful clothes and accessories, a great lifestyle with an education and a good job and disposable income (to of course, purchase all of those "must have" products they are constantly peddling), and of course, the power to attract the perfect man. Magazines, TV shows, commercials, and online media seem to be more and more promising women that they can do all of these things and be happy. With the media making it look easy for young women today to look glamorous, raise children, get an education, have an awesome job and an awesome wardrobe, what happens when girls try to work towards this and fail? The covers of magazines (in particular) are very contradictory these days, promising girls that they can lose 10 pounds while simultaneously promising the best chocolate cake recipe ever.
Finally, Kilbourne's quote, "powerful women are seen by many people (women as well as men) as inherently destructive and dangerous" (p. 262). This quote really stuck out to me because it reminded me of the media's (often very unkind) treatment of Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin, who are often both portrayed as dangerous man-eaters. Take these images and juxtapose it to the media's treatment of Michelle Obama - she is seen as less threatening because her HUSBAND is the President and she is the awesome housewife and mother, not the woman in the power suit trying to run as president herself (does the media thus see her as a "safer" powerful woman?).