For Women In Hollywood, Things Are Only Getting Worse

bridesembed
Sure, cinema and television are still full of shallow, dated representations of women — but we're getting somewhere. Kristen Wiig, Lena Dunham, Mindy Kaling, Kerry Washington are just a few names that come to mind when thinking of the many actresses who show that playing a woman is so much more than bandage dresses and sex scenes. Arrogant in our happy, shiny bubble of pro-woman movies and shows, we thought we could predict the results of a recent study conducted by members of the Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism at USC.
Advertisement
According to the research, which looked at 500 popular films released between 2007 and 2012 and the depictions of women within them, we've got a long way to go, and 2012 has actually seen a step backwards for women in film. Out of the 4,475 speaking characters in 2012 movies, only 28.4% were women — and only 16.7% of female directors, writers, and producers were among the top-grossing 100 films of the year.
Even more disturbing is the fact that, according to this study, young age is directly connected to the hypersexualization of women and girls (defined here as sexy, tight, or "alluring" costumes, naked, or partially naked). Young, female characters aged 13-20 were more likely than any other age group to be shown in such states, with a 22% increase from 2009 to 2012. We could've guessed that 31% of women on screen are depicted nude or partially nude (versus 10% of men); but we thought it was getting better, not worse.
On the brighter, and more obvious, side, these symptoms are much less prevalent when women are at work behind the camera as well as in front of it. When a woman is working in a directing, writing, or producing role, the percentage of women on screen increases, and the percentage of hypersexualization decreases. However, the number of women in those roles is still dramatically low, with a gender ratio of about 5 to 1 across the board.
With so many high-profile women making waves in the industry, it seems impossible that the root problem of gender bias and misrepresentation in Hollywood is stable or even growing. The study ends by concluding that "The story for females has not changed...As organizations change the cinematic landscape, they may find that audiences are leaning in [ed note: groan] — toward the screen and toward popular content that presents women and girls equally and powerfully." For our part, we're concerned that while certain groundbreaking individuals may be changing the apparent state of things, the message just isn't trickling down to your average mass-audience movie. And given the current blockbuster lineup, we're not sure 2013 will be much different.
Need to know more? See the full report on "Gender Inequality in 500 Popular Films" here.
Advertisement
Photo: Courtesy of Universal Pictures.
Advertisement

More from Celebs & Influencers

The Balmain show feels less like a runway spectacle and more like a private Kardashian-Jenner shopping trip that fellow show-goers (and everyone ...
For the latest drop of Ivy Park, Beyoncé's activewear line launched in April, the superstar has gifted us with a video in which she's equal parts dream ...
The Kardashian-Jenners have all been known to catalyze sales, whether or not they're hyping their own brands. But in case you had any doubts about Kylie ...
"You can be whoever you want to be." If you grew up in an atmosphere of gold stars and participation trophies, you probably heard this on loop. You, little...
Though bloggers may have a reputation for sharing almost every aspect of their lives — from #OOTDs to dinner pics (hey, we're guilty of this, too) — rarely...
Don't worry — Kate Middleton just can't seem to let go of her favorite boots either. The Duchess wore a pair of Penelope Chilvers long tassel boots in ...
Let's say you're Beyoncé. Let's say your daughter is Blue Ivy. Let's say you have to, for whatever reason, attend a football game. Let's say you have a ...
(Paid Content) Snap, filter, post, repeat. In today's social-media-saturated landscape, sharing photos online is as ubiquitous as brushing one's teeth or ...
If you're suffering from a case of the Mondays, Alessandro Michele has a cure. It involves an editorialized gathering of a few of our favorite things: ...
The cast of Stranger Things is continuing its world tour of stealing your heart. First, Millie Bobby Brown took over the front row of New York Fashion ...
With close to 4 million followers on Instagram, Aimee Song (a.k.a. Song of Style) knows how to take a pretty decent photo. The Los Angeles-based interior ...
Last year, the lingerie line Frederick's of Hollywood closed all its stores after going bankrupt. But now, it's making a resurgence with a little help ...
On September 20, 2016, our faith in love was tested by the sound of Brangelina's earth-shattering divorce. If we're being honest, we've yet to recover. But...
Kendall, we need to talk. And I think you know why. Your latest Vogue spread — which, need I remind you, is your fifth this year — is...problematic. Here...