27 Dresses is a romantic comedy that premiered in 2008. It features actress Katherine Heigl as Jane, a woman who has been a bridesmaid at 27 of her friends’ weddings. The movie also features a love interest, Kevin, played by actor James Marsden, who appears cynical about marriage. It portrays Jane as a hopeless romantic pushover who will do anything for her friends and family, including planning the wedding of her sister to the man Jane has been in love with but has never told.
This clip comes from a 2011 episode of the NBC sitcom30 Rock.In it, the character Jenna is set to go on an audition forGossip Girl,mistakenly thinking that she is reading the part of the college freshman when she is actually being called in to read for the part of the mother. While coming from a comedic sitcom, the clip reflects the real world experience not just of Hollywood actresses, but of many women in other professions throughout society.
This 2015 video created by American online news source Huffington Post’s Jessica Samakow and Oliver Noble features a diverse range of girls, teens, young adults, and women delivering the kinds of subtle, often-conflicting, everyday messages women and girls hear about their bodies, emotions, minds, families, careers, and decisions throughout their lifetime. For example, some of the messages start with young girls saying, “don’t be so bossy!” and “your dad will have the chase the boys away when you’re older.” These messages are followed by the teens, young adults, and older adults saying comments such as, “you need to wax your eyebrows,” “don’t wear that to school, you’re gonna distract the boys,” “don’t be a slut,” “no guy wants to have sex with a virgin,” “how much did you have to drink that night?” “what were you wearing that night?” “why are you getting so emotional?,” “don’t be so dramatic,” “it must be that time of the month,” “stop being such an attention whore!,” “you’d be really pretty if you just made an effort,” “you’d be much prettier if you smiled,” “your biological clock is ticking,” “you’re not taking your husband’s last name?,” “you’re going to let someone else raise your kids when you go back to work?,” “your husband cooks dinner? You really have him well trained,” and ends with an older woman saying, “you must have been beautiful when you were younger.”
This 2015 video from MTV News weekly series Decoded features Franchesca Ramsey breaking down 7 myths about cultural appropriation, or where dominant groups “borrow” or capitalize upon cultural practices or expressions from marginalized groups who are not similarly celebrated, but rather face oppression or are stigmatized for their cultural practices and expressions. An example she uses is how cornrows and other natural Black hairstyles become “edgy” and “cool” when White celebrities don them, whereas Black women and men have a long history of styling their hair in cornrows, locks, and braids, and are often penalized in schools and workplaces for wearing their hair in these natural styles. Franchesca also goes on to discuss the lines between cultural appreciation, exchange, and appropriation and addresses common points of contention around critiques of cultural appropriation, including, 1) You’re just looking for something to be offended by. It’s just clothing, hairstyles, decorations, whatever…Don’t you have something better to worry about?, 2) I’m just showing appreciation for the culture, 3) I don’t find it offensive, and I asked someone from that culture and they said it was ok, 4) Fashion, art, film, music always borrows from other sources. It doesn’t hurt anybody, 5) You’re just trying to tell everyone what to think, 6) So because I’m white, I’m automatically racist?, and 7) If Chinese people wear blue jeans, aren’t they appropriating my culture? Or what about Black girls wearing blond weaves? Or how about speaking English? After discussing the differences between assimilation and appropriation, she ends the video discussing potential avenues for cultural appreciation and exchange.
In 2011, abercrombie kids, the line of clothing Abercrombie & Fitch targets towards young people aged 7-15, advertised a swimsuit top called “Ashley.” I was described as a “push up triangle” top, which is essentially a padded, push-up bikini top (designed to push breasts up and out, drawing attention to them). Due to controversy over the garment, the company removed the phrase “push up” on the website, even though they continued to sell the bikini top, and the top continued to be padded and push-up