By “news techniques,” I mean ways that people portray news in places. Today, it’s the internet, and I’ve got some things to say about the Top Video headlines on the Comcast homepage daily. Namely, what sort of videos often pop up in there.
The videos that are not relevant to my point are blurred. Two headlines on August 23 were “Hudson [as in Jennifer] Stuns in Mini Dress” and “Kidman [as in Nicole] Pics Show Too Much?”
August 24, one headline: “Celine Dion’s Revealing Pics.”
August 25: “Wilde’s [as in Olivia] Perfect Bikini Bod.”
August 28: “Miley’s Shirt Turns Heads” and “‘Idol’ Alum [Mandisa] Drops 20 Pounds.”
August 29: “Diaz [as in Cameron] Rocks Short Shorts.”
August 30: “Adele Pic Raises Eyebrows.”
August 31: “Mila Kunis’ Outfit Turns Heads.”
September 1: “J.Lo’s Bikini Makes a Splash.”
September 2: “Britney [as in Spears] Shares Bikini Pic.”
September 4: “’90120′ Star [Jennie Garth] Flaunts New Body.”
September 5: “Selena’s Risky See-Thru Style” and “Cavallari [as in Kristen] Shows Post-Baby Bod.”
September 6: “Britney [as in Spears, again] Wows in Leather Dress.”
September 7: “Kim’s [as in Kardashian] Dress Too Revealing?”
September 9: “Frankel [as in Bethenny] Flaunts Bikini Figure.”
September 10: “Berry’s [as in Halle] Shirt Raises Eyebrows” and “Kate Hudson’s Stunning Dress.”
September 11: “Jessica [as in Simpson] Debuts Post-Baby Body.”
September 12: “81-Year-Old Model [Carmen Dell'Orefice" Stuns," "Emma Watson's Wardrobe Trouble," "Hough [as in Julianne]: I’ve Gained 20 Lbs.”
September 14: “Jennie Garth [again] Shows Toned Abs.”
I put in so many damn examples to prove what a ridiculous constancy this is. I’m all for celebrating the female body, but “so and so is wearing a bikini and is skinny” is not news, just like “an Olympic athlete discusses sandwiches” wouldn’t be news or “an orange cat jumps around in a way resembling a dance” wouldn’t be news. And having a female’s body discussed and analyzed every day (the days that are skipped are days that I just didn’t look at the Comcast homepage for whatever reason) seems weird to me. In none of these 18 days did I see a video called “Such And Such Dude Shows His Abs Off At The Beach.” And even if that had happened, this still wouldn’t be overall okay.
What this sort of thing does is make women’s bodies into commodities. Just about the only times I saw videos about women discussing things other than their weight and their clothes, at least in the video headlines, was if they were talking about an infidelity scandal that they were somehow involved in or something; call me crazy, but I’m pretty sure women have things to say things about other than their personal physical appearance and who they or their boyfriend/spouse/whatever is boning.
Only featuring videos that fit in these categories is kind of saying, without actually saying, that the only thing women have to offer is their body in one way or another. It says that women’s worth is just as much as how good they look in a swimsuit and whose bed they can get in. And that? That’s screwy, it’s not a good message for anyone, and it needs to change.
–your fangirl heroine.