After being slapped in the face with the reality that I as a woman am being oppressed, I find it disheartening, though necessary, to say that free choice may not actually exist for me and others alike. This is not because someone has come in and forcefully taken my free choice away, but because the underhanded manipulation tactics at play have robbed me of it. I will not argue that certain industries go to great lengths to “keep up appearances.” Whether it is an ad selling clothes, perfume or entertainment, the greater picture is that they are selling a lifestyle. One in which I have blindly walked into and sold my soul to. The amount of power the mass media outlets yield is so vast, that even when I think I am being original and beating to my own drum, I look up and see that my current look is this season’s hottest trend. Could everything that I once thought about my originality and spunk, really just be a product of mass media’s influence? How do I know if I cut my hair because I wanted to or if it’s because society wanted me to? I find the need to step back and analyze these decisions, as a crucial part of my discovery. As John Berger exclaims in From Ways of Seeing, “She has to survey everything she is and everything she does…and so she comes to consider the surveyor and the surveyed” (Berger Ch. 7). So is there such a thing as free choice? My answer to that would be; depending on how strong your individual will power is.
Berger, John. “From Ways of Seeing.” The Feminism and Visual Culture Reader. By Amelia Jones. New York: Routledge, 2003. 37-39. Print.