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Cultural Displays

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Eric Francavilla

on 4 May 2010

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Transcript of Cultural Displays

Cultural Displays 'A pattern draws attention to the wearer'
(Wilkes). --What not to wear "Ornaments appear to suggest not only attractiveness, but the ability to survive”
(Brettell, and Sargent, 9). “Exaggerated characteristics” (Brettell, and Sargent, 8). 'Secondary Sexual Adornments (ornaments) increase with dominance and status' (Setchell, 42). "You wanna be on top?"-America's Next Top Model “Candidates for the makeovers are experiencing obstructions in their careers or relationships because of their wardrobe choices” (Angelface73).
--Blog, What Not to Wear “Society tells you ‘Here’s what you have to have to be a successful girl: [be] pretty, maybe athletic, with the right body, the right style, maybe the right groups, the right music for what your community deems as having high social status, of being cool’” (Wiseman). Female Competition male Attraction Sexual Selection A model of natural selection used mostly for animals. Males develop weapons and ornaments to increase reproductive success. Weapons are used to compete against other males, and ornaments to attract the attention of females (Brettell, and Sargent, 8). Similarly, humans have a form of sexual selection based on displays. Women compete against other women, but their weapons are not horns or claws. Instead, cultural constructs such as ideal body type and ideal beauty are used to establish who wins the "fight." The same measure of female competition forms the base of male attraction. In other words, the previous mentioned weapons becomes ornaments which attract the attention of men. Applying the rules of animal sexual selection to cultural sexual selection in young, Western women Large breasts, long legs, hourglass shape “Extravagant SSAs may serve to advertise the quality of males to one another, and therefore to reduce the probability of escalated agonistic interactions between males; and in addition may serve to attract females.” (Setchell, 42). "Females [do] indeed prefer males with greater numbers of eyespots on their tail feathers" (Brettell, and Sargent, 9). With the exception of physical cat fights, fingernails and other female "weapons" are initiators of verbal, social competition. Work Cited:

Angelface73. "this show bothers the heck out of me." 13 Apr 2010. Online Posting to What Not to Wear Message Board. Web. 29 Apr 2010.

Brettell, Caroline B., and Carolyn F. Sargent. Gender in Cross-Cultural Perspective. 5th. United States of America: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2009. Print.

Setchell, Joanna M. "Secondary sexual characteristics in male mandrills (Mandrillus sphinx)." Primate Report 60-1 (2001): 42. Web. 29 Apr 2010.

Wilkes, FirstCaitlin. "10 Fashion Myths." What Not to Wear. TLC, 2010. Web. 29 Apr 2010.

Wiseman, Rosalind. "Mean Girls: The Politics of Girl World ." YouTube, 03 Dec 2008. Web. 29 Apr 2010.
Author's Note:
This final source adds an interesting dimension to my project, but its 10 minute length would have been a distraction from other points. However, Wiseman's excellent analysis of the movie Mean Girls is a great recommendation for "additional readings" on this subject, as well as a good example of reading movies. The clip is provided to the right.
Additional Sources (Images):


Cultural Displays Click play Eric Francavilla
Washington State University
Everyday Rhetoric, Dr. Davis
May 4, 2010
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