When we were all younger we all learned what it meant to be a girl and to be a boy; but we were taught in terms of what we were told were the right things to do for a girl and what the right things to do for a boy were. If a boy picks up a Barbie doll or wants to be Elsa for Halloween he is looked at with skepticism and is steered in another direction. The same goes for a girl who picks up a transformer and who wants to be Optimus Prime for Halloween. We all have these ideas in our heads of what a girl means and what a boy means and what we are supposed to want based off of those characteristics of boys and girls. This is where the media comes into play in giving us false portrayals of what it means to be a girl or a boy.
When I was little I remember my mom used to put princess movies on for me every day, day in and day out. On the other end of the spectrum, my grandfather and I would watch the Jurassic Park movies all the time as well (its safe to say I was a well rounded individual). However, my dad would never let me watch princess movies; he said it gave a false reality of what it means to be a girl. In every single one of those princess movies the girl was extremely young, needed a man to save her in some way shape or form, was defiant to her parents, and just wanted to get married and be pretty. The media here, even though these are stories, make little girls feel like they need a man to save her and that all she needs in life is to get married and do her hair. Because of this, I, and many others, dreamed of long blonde, luscious hair and a nice handsome prince. It wasn’t until I was about seven or eight when I realized it doesn’t exactly work that way in real life.
The same goes for boy as well. In movies men are either saving women or doing the dirty work. Take Beauty and the Beast for example, you have Gaston and the Beast. Gaston chases after Belle and tries to save her from the Beast by doing the dirty work and breaking into his castle to try and kill him. As another example Iron Man saves Pepper all the time and does the dirty work of saving the world. You wouldn’t dare see a woman do the dirty work and actually get down and do something for herself and for others.
Since the media is always going to be in our lives it is important that we know when it gives the wrong ideas so we can not fall victim to it. Over the years movies and TV have gotten better in not stereotyping genders to such an extreme degree; however the classics still do and the classics live on forever. The media is giving us a false portrayal of what it means to be a boy and a girl. Gender is whatever you want it to be; boys can be princesses and girls can be heroes. Gender becomes whatever the individual wants it to be; not how the media tells you it should. As long as we can distinguish between what the truth is and what the media portrays to us; we will live in a better, more accepting place.