The ‘sexy weather girl’ is a trope of fiction we are all used to, whether it be a throwaway comment about a coworker throwing his back while having sex with a big-breasted weather girl (The Big Bang Theory) or a mutual appreciation from our leading cast about a man’s choice of wife, again a busty weather girl (The Simpsons). Beyond the realm of fiction, simply do a Google search for ‘weather girl’ and you will get two news articles about the hotness of two weather girls, a preview of the Google Image search, which displays a row of women in front of a weather map who are all dressed in figure hugging attire and wouldn’t look out of place at a fashion shoot. If you venture onto Youtube, I bet you will find that in every reel of newsroom bloopers, if there is a clip of a weather girl, something unfortunate is probably going to happen to her attire. Today’s pop-culture consuming world is obsessed with our female weather presenters causing high temperatures as well as predicting them.
However, the issue obviously isn’t just about the sexualisation of female meteorologists, it lies with the general sexualisation of women by society. In today’s world, sexualisation starts young, just look at child beauty pageants, as popularized by such trash TV as Toddlers in Tiaras, Dance Moms and Here Comes Honey Boo Boo. From a very young age (there are some pageants with an ages 3-5 category), society (not so) subtly teaches women that they are a commodity, there to be manipulated, posed and judged. This continues throughout childhood and adolescence with boys getting a free pass (“boys will be boys”) and girls begin taught not to “put out” and that a lack of modesty will only give them trouble. This means that not matter how much they don’t “put out”, they are walking on thin ice- imagine that a teenage girl has just been catcalled on the street. To the catcaller, it may seem like harmless fun but to the victim, well, if that girl has grown up being taught that bad things happen when she displays a lack of modesty and now she is having random sexual comments thrown at her on the street, what does that do for her mental state? She’ll initially shrug it off, sure, but deep down there’ll be that little seed of doubt telling her that somehow she must of deserved that comment, she must have done something to elicit it because that’s what society has taught her to believe, it’s her fault for arousing men she encounters. Things don’t get any better in our twisted fairy tale as our hypothetical woman survives college, where she made the mistake of being sexually harassed by the wrong man, a varsity sports star in this case, and so her college did nothing more than quash the claims, and now enters the world of work. But what’s this? After becoming a journalist, she faces harassment and resentment because she took a traditionally male job. Or she becomes a nurse or a member of law enforcement and now people think they have free pass to treat her like she’s playing the role in a porno. Or she becomes a secretary and now the boss thinks it’s cool to harass her and make daily innuendos. She can’t even get a lowly job in retail or food without having to fake a smile through every “I’ll take a burger and fries but I’d much rather have you”, “Do you smile at everyone like that or I am special?” and every other incredibly unsettling that people think it’s okay to say to someone who is literally just doing their job.
This world, with its deep-rooted patriarchy, has a raging hard-on for sexualising women and then not even giving them that- if a woman dares to try and use this sexualisation to her advantage, society quickly becomes the Scarlet Letter and demonizes the women for daring to embrace who is she OR who society has forced her to become.
But what can be done? If anything, this blog has made it clear that society is holding a Royal Flush and is in cahoots with the dealer to boot. Even so, I can think of a few ideas:
- Instead of teaching girls and women to try and suppress their inherent provocative nature, why don’t we teach boys and men to not see women as sexual objects? Because, fun fact- girls and women do not possess an inherent provocative nature, society just slaps the illusion of one on them.
- Stop practices that lead to the perpetuation of the sexualisation of women- if pageants are “inherently non-sexual events”, why does there need to be a child’s beauty pageant need a swimsuit section? No seriously, why does it need one?
- Again, teach males that yelling sexually-loaded comments are women they don’t know is wrong. As is inappropriately touching women they don’t know and just, acting inappropriately with people you don’t know is just a no-no.
The world would work much better if we stop applying an illusion of inherent sexuality to half the people on Earth.