Images, sex and desire in the media.

Essay by stellaraCollege, UndergraduateA+, November 2003

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Human body has always been exploited; beauty has always been used to achieve aims. Nowadays, because of the technological advances, this reality seems even more evident. Today we can see beautiful bodies selling almost everything in the newspapers, magazines, television or Internet.

As a consequence of this, everyday is more and more difficult to discriminate what is pornographic and what is not. Basically, we classify as pornographic the images in which the body appears exposed out of a context; therefore, in the pornographic images, the body is exposed only to produce erotic excitation.

Of course, we have to consider that the question is not as simple as that, we have to take into account that those who consume pornography intend a relation to another, not only to the image of another, since the image is not a thing in isolation. Consequently, though the body is the immediate object of pornography, this last one could not exist without an essential relation to a real person.

Pornography's main problem is that the consumer understands the one who is disclosed and unclothed as being vulnerable physically, psychologically and emotionally. In pornography, nakedness is both actual and symbolic. To remove the cloth is to remove the barriers, which involves taking out one's defences. The continue exposure to pornographic material can imply a diminution on the capacity to empathize, to care about the other who is defenceless. This desensitisation -reduction of one's capacity to care- can generate violence and a series of mental disorders.

Pornography trivializes human body, it makes of the body image an object for commercial purposes; it demeans the human been as a whole, as the image cannot be isolated from the rest.