How are women represented in the Hollywood rom-com? With specific reference to Pretty Woman (Garry Marshall 1990) and What happens in Vegas (Tom Vaughan 2008)

Women have always been either under represented or extremely objectified in the media and although nowadays that has slightly changed in more contemporary texts , males will always be the dominant sex and women will be there to connote 'to be looked at ness'(Mulvey). For example, in women's magazines, the main three topics featured are fashion, body image and men and there’s little mention women being successful in their jobs as that doesn't conform to dominant ideologies of typical stereotypes. However, in men's magazines, the topics range from politics and economics to fitness programmes outlining the fact that there is still an inequality issue between the sexes even though it has slightly changed throughout time. 'The media sells an image of what they deem to be the “ideal” woman—young, tall and thin with “perfect” proportions, hair, skin, and teeth. Everywhere we turn we are bombarded with magazine covers, billboards, movie posters, and the like, in which theimages of the models are manipulated, in some cases, beyond recognition'.

  Historically, women in Romantic Comedies were represented as weak and vulnerable. They would be glamorous and objectified for the 'male gaze' (Mulvey). Usually, they would conform to the dominant stereotypes of women as housewives and mothers or having a goal to be this. If they weren't playing these parts and chose a career, they would be represented negatively. The camera lingers on the curves of the female body, and events which occur to women are presented largely in the context of a man's reaction to these events.

'Pretty Woman' is a very popular rom-com which was directed by Garry...