Identifying Female Masquerading Through Film - Essay Example

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Identifying Female Masquerading Through Film

Once spectators feel a comfortable disconnect from the women on screen, they are able to realize that the representations being presented to them on the big screen are exaggerated masks of femininity. An example of this concept in action can be seen in the iconic actress Marilyn Monroe. During her career, Monroe was known for her ability to infuse overt and blatant sexuality into all of her performances. While she quickly became famous for her figure and sexual nature, she was not a person with whom the average female spectator would identify herself with. This disconnect is what the female masquerade is based around. With female spectators subconsciously separating themselves from the women they are seeing on screen, they are able to step back and view how these women use excessive femininity to play a part or get what they want on screen. Although women may be able to take bits and pieces of this type of behavior back into their regular lives, actually infusing this into their daily world is not something they would feel comfortable doing  - which is why the world of film allows female spectators to pretend to be someone else. The next concept of the imaginary signifier is defined by Christian Metz. This theory consists of tying cinema’s interlocking mechanisms of production, exhibition and the development of movies themselves to the audience response of fantasy, desire and pleasures. As Metz describes, imaginary signifiers are essential in film because their purpose is to have movies act as “good” objects for audiences. ...Show more


The purpose of this paper “Identifying Female Masquerading Through Film” is to analyze and define the role female masquerading plays in film by comparing how the media theory of imaginary signifiers can be applied to the concept. The following paragraphs will give an overview of each media theory.

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