What struck me the most out of Sturken and Cartwright's chapter entitled, Modernity: Spectatorship, Power, and Knowledge, was the concept of “gaze.” Gazes are widely used reinforcements dominant ideologies and hegemonies placed within our society. Yet, the chapter discussed how more and more gazes are being challenged by these ever-changing ideals of society.
I would like to present a photo of Farah Fawcet:
This gaze or "world of meaning” adheres to society's once dominant ideology of the ideal woman. This picture is an example of how women used to be "objects of the male gaze" as Farrah Fawcett is photographed here in a red bikini, with long blonde hair, a big white smile, and big breasts hanging out. She is really all that society's typical man would want to be offered because she is timid, happy, and sexualized. Here Farrah is the "object" of desire in the photo, not the subject. This photo revokes sexual desires specifically from other males in society.
However, times are changing as you can see in this contradictory photo of Lady Gaga. I would argue that Lady Gaga represents the changing fields of society because as a woman, she represents much more of a "subject" now than Farrah Fawcett does. Instead of being an object, Lady Gaga exemplifies warfare and hard-core ness (sorry for the lack of a better term) as she is performing in chains but is still lively and somewhat dangerous, much different than Farrah Fawcett's timid smile and calm pose. There is nothing comparable in these photos besides the fact that both of these women are famous and idolized. Yet, Lady Gaga's dark hair, fierce stance, and off the wall attitude do not take away from her fame. This exemplifies how society's "gazes" are constantly changing and something we thought was sexual and desirable in Farrah Fawcett's time is completely different than what society accepts as desirable today.