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Actress Portia De Rossi smiles on the red carpet for the 2007 Oscar Awards.(Flickr/Pulicciano)

Sadly, in 2016, the scenarios of how women are sexualized still exist. However, sexualisation equates to more than being verbally accosted on the street by a random person.

Media pressure on women has become an astoundingly prominent issue in today’s world. In fact, according to the Canadian Women website, 90 per cent of girls said so. Whether they are striving to be thin or attempting to fit into the unrealistic proportions of a magazine cover model, young Canadian girls are feeling the pressure to be perfect more than ever.

Women are sexualized in every way, but even young girls are feeling the effects. Sexualisation is when a person is upheld for their unrealistic sexual appearance rather than qualities like intelligence. The age when girls are being exposed to improbable and sexualized images of themselves is getting younger and younger. A fourteen-year-old’s problems are now a nine-year-old’s battles, according to one doctor from the University of Dalhousie. This can be seen in many different aspects of a girl’s life. From when they are young, clothing is advertised to accentuate and sexualize features. For example, clothing that emphasizes a girl’s chest or bottom. Something as indirect as this adds onto the destruction of the female.

Females are powerful, unique and without a doubt, fierce. But, with this constant sexualisation and misrepresentation, girls will continue the vicious cycle of what is a bundle of problems. Girls are taught to value and be valued by their appearance before anything else. They take on the role of pretty, ditsy and “I’m a girl” as excuses that are quite backward. They compare and contrast their bodies with those of unrealistic and sexualized ones. They deem their importance on what a man rates her. It’s a man’s world. To deny that is to deny your very reality as a woman.

The statistics are startling. There is a strong link between sexualisation and eating disorders, low self-esteem and depression in girls. By grade six, 50 per cent of girls will be dieting and by grade ten will want plastic surgery. Media constantly attacks women for not being tall enough, thin enough, white enough, the list goes on. They are portrayed as sexual objects. This needs to stop.

To continue this sickening trend is destructing society as a whole. Others have little respect for the female culture, while women are constantly degraded and hurt. The whole issue is one that will take a long time to come back from, but to empower women and young girls is bringing power to a society as a whole.

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