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 How women are socialized to be prostitutes

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PostSubject: How women are socialized to be prostitutes   Thu Jul 30, 2009 5:20 pm

It is true that women are catching up with men in the historically masculine department of sexual opportunism; we try to get the best and most for ourselves in that arena as we do everywhere else. But it's not true that men parade around in their skivvies as a means to attaining power; they don't have to...Proving that you are hot, worthy of lust and - necessarily - that you seek to provoke lust is still exclusively women's work.

Female Chauvinist Pigs - Ariel Levy 1

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We believe that the obsession with idealized beauty and body image is a lifelong burden that takes a terrible toll on all young girls and women in this country.

Dr. Lorraine Cole, YWCA USA Chief Executive 3


....we (models) know - if we're good at what we do - how to sell it. What does "selling it" mean? I think it means playing at the person I want people to believe I am. Does that sound dishonest? I don't think it is. In fact, it's actually one of the hallmarks of successful people...Creating a persona that seduces - and I don't mean "seduce" in a sexual way, though of course that's part of it - can work whether I'm courting a client, meeting new people, or firing from all cylinders for a public appearance.

Heidi Klum's body of knowledge: 8 Rules of Model Behavior - Heidi Klum 4

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Very few mothers dream about their little girls growing up to one day become prostitutes. Prostitution hovers always on the underbelly of society: women who make money from the sale of their bodies. Yet, all around us, everywhere we look, we see women making money in another way from the sale of their bodies. Advertising uses the model's body to sell their products. These images of women dance suggestively in their plate-glass windows, luring us not for physical sex but for a more dangerous mental intercourse which often leaves us tied into an unhealthy cycle of discontent, lust/envy and consumerism. Advertising teaches us to buy the idea that a woman's primary worth is through her sexualized body.


6




1. Levy, 2006.
2. http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2540/3772439144_6e105e3119.jpg
3. Cole, redOrbit, 2009.
4. Klum, 2004.
5. http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3554/3771638377_a75968a3f5.jpg
6. http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3589/3771615341_3218b61ae5.jpg
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PostSubject: the elephant in the room   Wed Aug 05, 2009 7:55 pm

that women are socialized to obsess about their body image is no news. what is news is to compare that socialization to prostitution and, specifically, modeling to prostitution. it all depends on one's definition of "prostitution". if it is just about giving sex for money then modeling is not prostitution. if, on the other hand, prostitution means the comercialization of one's body and, by extension, the female body, then modeling is prostitution. and most female celebs are in fact prostitutes. "top" prostitutes, of course, but prostitutes.
men of course like prostitutes. do women like being in that category? of course none will put it that way, but think about what you worry about the most before going out every day....
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PostSubject: Re: How women are socialized to be prostitutes   Mon Aug 10, 2009 7:18 pm

women who look better "score" better in society. Men as well - though men don't have to work at it quite as hard as we women do. Am I skinny enough, is my wardrobe hip enough... the industry behind communications targetting towards women is just too HUGE. And run by men. Cosmetics companies, textiles, pharmaceuticals, etc. I just heard that 80% of anti-depressants are prescribed to women. We are a lucrative target audience, as long as we are convinced by the arguments that marketing puts forward.
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Costenya



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PostSubject: Re: How women are socialized to be prostitutes   Tue Aug 11, 2009 10:08 pm

Well how are we defining prostitution? Is it simply sex in exchange for money, if we go by the literal definition? Or are we talking about power?

Whenever I hear arguments or discussions about women taking back their bodies and empowering themselves through means that were once used to exploit them, I always have lots of questions. Can we ever dismantle patriarchy?

I don't think that prostitution and modeling are one and the same. There are some forms of modeling that can be explicitly about selling clothes or whatever goods the model is wearing. I do think think the line becomes blurred when the model's sexuality becomes exploited and commoditized in order to make the goods marketable. I think we are all complicit in an industry that is built on objectifying women's bodies.
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PostSubject: Re: How women are socialized to be prostitutes   Wed Aug 12, 2009 3:03 pm

Could it mean "inspiring sex in exchange for money"? That would include strip tease artists, who are also looked down upon by the general society. Women working at peep shows? Also scorned upon. Modelling nude in Playboy or Hustler....

If this is part of the definition of prostituting one's self, then modelling could possibly fall into that category. Depending on its context.

But the issue seems to be - who determines what women do with their bodies? And can we women be sure that we are making our own decisions, wisely?

I am sure that - once the model is finished modelling - she has no control over how an art director/client uses her image. It would be interesting if models protested the misrepresentation of their poses (as with Heidi Klum and the phallic perfume bottle - what originally is a lovely nude become rather rude with that addition).
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PostSubject: models don't know what they do??   Fri Aug 14, 2009 8:45 pm

i think we would be naive to think that models don't know whether the sexuality of their bodies is exploited to sell products. we know it. they know it. because sex sells. someone who CONSCIOUSLY allows the manipulation of her/his body in order to generate consumer desire, through sexual imagery, in exchange for money can be called a prostitute in the BROAD sense of the word.
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