The use of sex appeal in films.

Essay by ellyjeanHigh School, 11th grade July 2003

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Sex appeal is indeed a perfect name for our spring film festival. Sex appeal and films of course, were both created by Hollywood. Since the time of the silent films until today, movies have shaped the way that we think of others, the world and ourselves.

Our culture today is hugely influenced by the ideologies of Hollywood in terms of gender representation. The majority of movies today are embedded with the socially acceptable ideals of masculinity and femininity of the era. Similarly dating back to the very first movies, the roles of female and male characters have all displayed the qualities and values of a specific era.

Women of the early eras portrayed qualities that were socially acceptable at the time. They were mainly portrayed as vulnerable, delicate and many of the actresses were petite and blond-haired. Though unlike the actors representing the male roles, the embedded ideologies of femininity have changed quite noticeably.

In the early eras there were only two 'types' of female roles. Firstly, the most familiar were the fair-haired, petite, vulnerable, dependent and stunningly beautiful women who were faithful girlfriends and wives. The other type of woman character was the 'Femme Fatale', who was usually credited with a sort of cunning intelligence. The 'Femme Fatale', which literally means 'Fatal Woman', could be either blond or dark -haired and more voluptuous than the fair-haired women, but she would still use men the same way. Women of the early film eras were portrayed as seductresses looking for men for protection, money or both.

In modern times, however, the qualities of femininity have evolved to include individuality, variety and independence. Female characters in films today are more confident, capable, intelligent and determined. They have also changed physically, as we now have a variety of gorgeous womanly shapes, sizes and...