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ASU WST 371 - Sex and the City Module 2: Response Paper

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WST 371 Sex and the City Module 2: Response Paper The 1950’s was a crazy time for everyone. However, women like Marilyn Monroe were a distraction during the conservative times and upheld images that dominated sexual behaviors and became very popular. Coming from a difficult past as a kid, Monroe was one of the biggest enduring sex symbols, from her films and influence on women with her make-up, she created an image for herself that benefitted her life in many ways. Marilyn Monroe was also a civil rights activist, she put on an image that showed and emphasized how women should look and act. Around this time, before she became popular, women were looked at as traditionalist and were housewives that stayed home and took care of their families. Changing ways women were looked at came from sexual behaviors the media had put out. The popular culture had changed, and the stigma of women was looked at differently by society. Beauty Pageants and Barbies started to appear around this time and Marilyn Monroe made women feel comfortable looking sexy and focus on their beauty. They were able to remain popular because it was something different in society and people were so focused on what was happening around them, as soon as change like beauty and sexual behaviors started up, all the attention was on women and their representation because they have never seen anything like it. Race and class played a huge role in the 1950’s. What you wore and how you presented yourself represented who you were. Men were attracted to the beauty and it still remains, the higher class of men, the better looking of women. Being “perfect” from looks to expensive clothes was an idea society perceived because women were now expected to be like the woman Marilyn Monroe was. During this time, the so-called “baby boom” was happening in this era and this had a confining effect on American women. Women were urged to leave their workplaceand become stay at home mothers, performing mother duties. However, African Americans were still fighting for their rights against racism and segregation. Many whites removed their children from public schools and put them in all-white segregated academies. This brings us to another woman who had put history on not just African American women but also the race. The name Rosa Parks sparks a topic still till this day. She showed how it was to be a strong independent woman fighting for what she believes in. Around this time, many African American mothers were still working in their workplace while managing their family and home. Despite what went on in the conservative times, famous people were being looked upon while others felt different ways because of the way they were treated. Not only was Marilyn Monroe’s films an important image to society, but also famous tv shows like “I Love Lucy”, Lucille Ball plays the leading actress, and she created a breaking ground for women after becoming a well-known actress, producer, and model. This show was the most popular American television show and was consistent for about four to five years after. Even though this show was a comedy show, it still brought an ideal image to the people living in the 1950’s because it was another perspective on how others live in their everyday lives. Starting from living the “perfect” life, Marilyn Monroe, Barbies, and Beauty Pageants all were a part of a popular representation. They were a part of an important piece in history because if it wasn’t for them, who knows if the world would be different now. Till this day, sexuality and sexual behavior has changed drastically but there are still messages being inherited from dominant images that uphold an important representation of society


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