Preface: Everyday texts have the goal of acting as exchanges between two populations (i.e., human beings) in the social world. In order to properly analyze an everyday text, one must examine multiple parts of that text. Starting with its linguistic features; what sorts of fonts, colors or specific texts are used? Who or what is the intended audience this text is aim towards? In terms of acceptance, does this text challenge or support the current social order? Overall, what is the text actually trying to say to us… what sort of response is the text aiming to get from the reader…? All of these questions focus on the idea of perspective, which is why analyzing everyday texts is so unique.
The brainstorming process: As I had stated in my introduction, I wanted this project to be challenging yet, successful. Do I feel that I succeeded those standards? Yes. I had a difficult time narrowing down my subject matter. Initially I had the idea that I wanted to represent something from a psychological point of view, dealing with children. I wanted to explore child abuse/neglect, or domestic and sexual violence. Once I found a few advertisements, it seemed that my topic changed automatically because my texts didn’t fully represent that topic. Having said that, I switched to focusing on the expectations society has made for women due to their clothing, i.e., that no one asks to get a name thrown at them for wearing a low cut shirt or high heels. After my second meeting with a Writing Fellows member, I had again changed my [sub] topic. I found it difficult to analyze and define my advertisements based off of the project requirements, so I, for the final time, changed my topic to the Body Shaming and Body Policing of women. I still included the idea that there are double standards in women’s clothing (as opposed to men’s clothing), and some expectations that are set by society. In all honesty, I wasn’t even aware of the term “Body Policing” until I had my second meeting with the Writing Fellows member, actually. She was the one who introduced me to the phrase, and I can say that it truly did make the rest of my project easier. Although it was difficult to continue to change topics and subtopics, in the end it was worth it because I felt more confident about the information I presented. For the next time I would improve on understanding the basics of this project. Perhaps that is why I had so much difficulty in the beginning about choosing a topic. I think I also tried too hard to find texts that 100% fully represented my topic. What I learned about this project is that in components are all about perspective. I shouldn’t have went into this project with a specific way of thinking then analyze my texts, but rather analyze my texts and have my thoughts speak for themselves without any influence.
The one thing that I felt was most significant about my project was the fact that I used real (and recent) advertisements that were from well-known companies or websites like Protein World and the very popular blog The Chic Site. If you preform a Google search for “Protein World beach body” thousands of results come up which all criticize the advertisement. This is especially true if you were to Google image search that phrase; the same applies for the name Rachel Hollis (i.e., “Mombod”).
As also stated in my introduction, I have never publically voiced my opinion about a [sexist] topic like this, or anything else related to politics (in general). Having said that, I have never been exposed to advocacy work such as this. Will I continue to be an advocate on this topic? Yes. Through creating this webpage and completing this project have I already become more aware of how women are sexualized? Yes. In the past, have I ever considered myself to be a feminist? No. Do I consider myself to be a feminist now? Yes, slightly. Was it’s doing to this project? Absolutely. Am I happy about that? You bet.
What I find most important about my journey through completing this project is that before I started this project, not only was I under-educated on the sexuality of women, but also I ended up being a supporter of women’s rights and I understand that everyday occurrences like street harassment are targeted at women. For example, being clothed from head to toe can elicit just as much harassment as wearing shorts and a tank top, as displayed specifically in my texts. This is not okay, although it does challenge those people who think that a woman asks for harassment because of the lack of clothing, which I know is not only ignorant to think, but also untrue. In other words, anyone can be a victim. You don’t have to wear more clothing or less clothing than someone else; only what you feel comfortable in.