Hollywood dictating women’s beauty

For a century now Hollywood has built up the recipe of global box office hits with a specific template of the heroine. Prescribed by male producers and film directors, this Hollywood diktat's become the universal standard for judging beauty across the world. The most celebrated benchmark of them all was Norma Jeane, a foster-home raised, black-haired aviation factory worker. She rose to become an all time Hollywood myth, transforming into a blonde bombshell called Marilyn Monroe. When she crooned, Happy Birthday Mr. President, even John Kennedy could not resist her. Hollywood reinvented this archetype, with periodic evolutions, and the world's brainwashed public had little choice but to admire these heroines. After popularising roundish-faced heroines, Hollywood turned to high cheekbones, importing Italian Sophia Loren, French Brigitte Bardot, among others. From depicting puritan American style and glamorous women to showcasing sex bombs, Hollywood even went into soft-porn like Basic Instinct where the heroine has a huge power to sexually provoke men.

Gender inequality is alive in Hollywood, as per a 2009 survey on top 100 films by USC's Annenberg School. Male roles dominate with 67 per cent as opposed to 33 per cent women. Off screen, only 3.6 per cent directors and 13.5 per cent writers on top-grossing films were female. The Motion Picture Association of America said the only place women were ahead was in buying more than 50 per cent movie tickets.

Women's roles in other professions have a slight edge as per LA Times. About 15 per cent women are on Fortune 500 company boards, 15 per cent are clergy members and 10 per cent aerospace engineers. Last week, CNN's Christiane Amanpour was talking to Sgt Jennifer Smith of US Air Force who formally complained of sexual assault and harassment during her 17 years in service at various war fronts. This brave woman said her husband was very supportive, so she's foregoing her pay and benefits for the "greater good" of helping others. She confirmed the horrendous stories that Amanpour had heard of military women suddenly finding fellow soldiers over them when asleep, or having their doors broken into. Statistics show that 33 per cent US armed forces women don't report rape because the rapist is the boss's friend, and 25 per cent don't because the rapist is the boss himself. Women comprise 14 per cent of active American military personnel; soon combat positions will be opened for them.

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