I've spent the majority of this series discussing bisexual visibility (and lack thereof) in film and television. This isn't an accident—I'm a filmmaker and cinephile, so my passions and cultural points of reference tend to fall within the realm of audio-visual media. But these types of media have some significant flaws, the biggest one being that they tend to create isolating viewing experiences. Unless you're a media producer yourself (which usually involves some degree of economic, racial, or cultural privilege), it's entirely possible that you will rarely see images which reflect your experiences. If you're watching something on the big or small screen, you have to accept the reality being presented to you, even if such a reality is counter to what you know to be true. It's also difficult to interact with this kind of media—if a TV show makes you angry, yelling at the set or throwing popcorn may feel cathartic, but it doesn't usually result in concrete change.
But this is where newer forms of media, like social media, come in.
When it comes to diet articles—specifically articles about what women eat—I think it's only natural (if depressing) that we're interested. And we must be, because stories like this one grace the front pages of tabloids, women's magazines, and blogs almost daily. We live in a culture that commodifies women's bodies and promotes near-impossible beauty ideals, so why wouldn't we be curious as to how some of our most popular products get made? When we're constantly told that there's only one way that women should look (tall, young, thin, white, able-bodied, conventionally pretty, etc.), we're bound to be curious when someone tells us how we too can look that way. A "You're not gonna believe this diet!" headline is a lazy but surefire way to get readers, especially female readers, to pay attention.
The Huffington Post has a piece up today called "TV University: Meet The Faculty". It's a clever idea–a faculty roster for a university comprised entirely of television (and some film) characters teaching courses that play to their fictional strengths. So Dr. Who is the Dean of the Science Department, Stringer Bell teaches Transitional Business Management, and so on. The only problem? Out of 96 faculty members, only four are women–they even have a dude teaching Women's Studies. Come on folks, we can do better! (And I mean this literally.) Which female television characters would you like as your TV University professors?
Although the list was released last month, the HuffPo's college arm is just now getting around to devoting linkbaity ink to Playboy's fourth annual compilation of Top Ten Party Schools. If you haven't seen it, the list is pretty much what you'd expect from Playboy- a glorification of babes, booze and a culture of hedonistic indulgence. Notable are the Honorable Mention categories in which schools that didn't make the top ten are lauded for such as qualities as Hottest Chicks or Hottest Major.