Opinion Blog: The Sexualization of Women in Magazines

May 18, 2011 by · 2 Comments 

Posted by Meg Jones

I live in a sorority house at Southern Methodist University with weekly and monthly subscriptions to Vogue, Cosmopolitan, Us Weekly, and Glamour.

My sorority sisters and I flip through the pages of women’s fashion and gossip magazines, but how many of us are taking a closer look at the message that magazines are sending to their readers?

Magazine content responds to popular demand and is a reflection of American culture, but it also contributes to it.

The pages of women’s fashion and gossip magazines perpetuate a hyper sexualized ideal standard of beauty for women.

Through these messages women are taught to believe that if they work hard enough and spend enough money they can attain this culturally determined, hegemonic vision of beauty.

With a constant influx of images of the sex goddess, fashion and beauty magazines contribute to the sexualization of women by permeating sexualized representations of women and girls, suggesting that being thin and beautiful is the cultural norm.

According to the report by the American Psychological Association task force on the sexualization of girls, sexualization occurs when a person’s value comes only from his or her sexual appeal or behavior, to the exclusion of other characteristics.This leads to sexual objectification—that is, made into a thing for other’s sexual use, rather than seen as a person with the capacity for independent action and decision making.

Media images of female beauty not only influence how women feel about themselves, but also how men feel about women. There is a distorted reality in what men see in the media as opposed to the real women in their lives.

The high-dollar and never-ending consumerism needed to pursue the “Barbie body” is a mindset instilled in young girls that remains with them when they become women.

Advertising in magazines sells women products by selling them the idea that they can and should achieve physical perfection to have value in our culture.

More often than not, images in magazines have been altered. Computer retouching has become a primary technique used by advertisers and before photographs are published, they are digitally retouched to make the models appear perfect.

Although magazine content does not directly cause or effect body image problems, someone who is predisposed to the behavior may be pushed toward unhealthy diet and exercise routines by reading fashion and beauty magazines.

Tim Halperin Puts On a Show

September 8, 2010 by · Comments Off 

By Aida Ahmed

Walking into Hughes-Trigg Student Center Tuesday night you would have thought John Mayer was performing from the looks of the sorority-packed room. That’s because Chi Omega and Pi Beta Phi brought out musician Tim Halperin to perform for an all Panhellenic event.

Playing both original pieces and covers of popular songs, Tim Halperin shows his musical talents in the Hughes Trigg Commons. (PHOTO BY ERIN GOLDSMITH / SMU DAILY MUSTANG)

The concert, originally scheduled to be at sorority park but moved because of bad weather, featured Halperin in the middle of the student center, surrounded by sorority girls. In jeans and cowboy boots, Halperin sang while playing the piano and his band on the guitars. He performed one of his original songs which was featured on MTV’s Real World XXIV: New Orleans. And while Halperin sang covers of Justin Timberlake and John Mayer, students sat around in a circle eating pizza and drinking soda.

Engaged by the music, Ellen Flowers, left, and Kaitlynn McConville watch as Tim Halperin performs. (PHOTO BY ERIN GOLDSMITH / SMU DAILY MUSTANG)

Junior Chi-O Melanie Evans said her sorority chose to put the event together in an effort to bring all the sororities together under one roof.

“It’s so hard to get an event together for all of us with school and sorority events,” Evans said. “We wanted to do an event for all Panhellenic women to come together and enjoy good music.”

Evans said she first heard Halperin when he came to the Chi Omega house and performed for the girls. After hearing his music they decided to bring his show on campus as a part of one of their annual events.

Along with Chi Omega, Pi Beta Phi hosted the event. Pi Phi sophomore Emily Brantt said her sorority hosted the concert to bring live, local music to SMU.

“We do these to bring live music to campus,” Brantt said. “And to intermingle with other sororities and promote Panhellenic.”

SMU students Jennie Pearson, Stevie Farrell, and Samantha Matthews spend time with friends and enjoy the live music. (PHOTO BY ERIN GOLDSMITH / SMU DAILY MUSTANG)

Jilian Rossow, an SMU freshman, heard about the event at night at the club and flyers and came to check it out.

“I was upstairs and I heard the band and I called my friend to come see the show,” Rossow said. “I really like it.”

To hear music from Tim Halperin check out his site.

Campus News Blog: Greek Life Spring GPA

February 26, 2010 by · Comments Off 

Katie Horner

According to the Southern Methodist University website, last spring the all sorority semester GPA was a 3.384. While this beat the all university semester GPA, which was 3.220, the all fraternity GPA didn’t quite make the cut.

At 3.201, the all fraternity semester GPA brought the all Greek GPA down to a 3.315. Compared to the spring 2008 GPA, the spring 2009 all Greek GPA increased. In 2008, the all Greek GPA was 3.227, a .088 rise.

Last spring, the fraternities were the biggest contributor to the rise in the all Greek GPA. In spring 2008 the all fraternity GPA went from a 3.094 to a 3.201 in 2009. Congratulations boys for the .107 increase!

Let’s see who will be the biggest contributors among the Greeks this spring! Keep up the good work SMU Greek Life!

Click here for more information on Fall and Spring GPA’s

Kappa Alpha Theta’s Dodgeball Tournament Helps Those in Need

February 23, 2010 by · Comments Off 

By Brittany Levine


SMU sorority Kappa Alpha Theta held its annual philanthropic Theta Dodgeball Tournament at the Dedman Center Sunday. Fraternities, sororities, and sports teams participated in the event raising money for Theta’s national philanthropies and for the philanthropies of the winning men’s and women’s teams.

Juniors from the Phi Gamma Delta Fraternity, more properly known as Fiji, took home the championship in the men’s bracket and the women’s soccer team took home the championship in the female bracket. Each team paid $120 to compete and general admission was $5 per person.

The winning teams each received $270 for the philanthropy of their choice. Ten percent of the money raised also went to the organization with the most people in attendance. This year Pi Kappa Alpha (Pike) fraternity had the most people in the stands. SMU women’s soccer team member and dodgeball participant Sam Bidwill said, “We decided to donate the money we won to the Red Cross International Response Fund, which will help the victims of Haiti.”

Theta raised money for both Theta Foundation and for their national philanthropy, Court Appointed Special Advocates, also known as CASA. CASA is an organization that has volunteers who act as mentors for children who come from unstable households. SMU sophomore Leeza Sanfilippo said, “It was great to see so many different organizations come together to raise money for charity. It shows a lot about the students at this school.”

The event was a huge success with 24 organizations participating. Teams showed up together in costume or matching shirts and continuously had the crowd laughing. Men’s and women’s matches were played on two courts side by side, with nearly everyone in attendance watching the more intense and serious men battle it out. Fiji and Pike teams consistently stood out in competition and the Fiji junior team won the title against the Pike senior team.

Different sections of the crowd went wild as the team they supported took their positions on the basketball court. A blow of the whistle had members from each team sprinting to the half court line to try and grab the dodgeballs before the opponents. Each game lasted anywhere between five to ten minutes and the winning team was greeted by other members of their group for a small celebration at the edge of the court.

Weeks of planning went into the event. Theta rented out the two courts in Dedman Center where the competition took place. Promotion occurred in many different ways. A message was sent out to students through Facebook and served as both an invitation and information source. Theta members also raised awareness and promoted the event in front of Hughes-Trigg Student Center.

“All members told their friends and classmates to go. They advertised for the event in a really great area where people are constantly walking by, so I think that was a really smart idea,” Sanfilippo said.

A disc jockey supplied music during competition. The music was not only heard, but it got both the audience and the players in the mood for intense rivalry. The teams also had to be registered and the bracket systems had to be figured out.

SMU junior and Philanthropy Chair Jenna Reekie said, “We had a really great turn out this year and I’m proud that so many organizations come out to support our cause.”

Campus News Blog: Theta Hosts String of Charity Events

April 23, 2009 by · 1 Comment 

Posted by Shelley Smith

Members of sorority Kappa Alpha Theta are hosting two of their biggest events of the year this weekend, Theta Late Night and Theta Dodgeball.

Proceeds from these events go to their philanthropy CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) which promotes court-appointed volunteer advocacy for abused and neglected children.

Theta Late Night will take place this early Saturday from 1 a.m. to 3 a.m. in front of the Theta house. For $10 dollars, enjoy an all-you-cant eat buffet without the messy confusion of the post-bar Taco Bell run…

Sunday morning will hold Theta’s annual dodgeball tournament on Dedman Courts 3 and 4. Besides dodgeing, ducking, dipping, and diving, from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. participants will enjoy great music and tasty treats.

Teams of at seven can sign up for $100, or individuals can buy a $10 ticket to watch the competition.

For more information contact Stefanie Dasher, sdasher@smu.edu