Everyone reads the newspaper or a magazine once in awhile, but have you ever thought about the gender differences which are consciously made in the photos, shown in the papers? Probably not. Well, we also did not until this week. We have had different workshops about the gender differences made in social media and it gave us another perspective of life.

First of all, more images of men than women are consciously shown in papers. In the papers, 70 percent of the images show men, and only 30 percent show women. But most of the readers do not recognize this. On these photos, men are also pictured as more strong and powerful than women. Which is not like that in real life, people just make the photos in a way which will show the power of men and the weakness of women. This is done with the position of the camera. Pictures of men are often taken from below, which gives you the imagination that men are powerful. Pictures of women are often taken from above, which gives us the imagination that women are weak. Women also smile on most of the pictures, which makes them look cute, harmless and innocent. In contrary, men always look serious and that makes them look bossy and severe.

Secondly, the position from the people are also different in gender. Men are most of the time pictured when they are in motion and women are most of the time sitting or standing still like they are posing. The women are posing really friendly, because they are smiling and looking in the camera. The women have to look pretty and elegant in these posing pictures. The men walking or discussing with each other and not looking in the camera, they have to look powerful in that way.

When people are writing blogs you also see a difference between men and women. These differences are about what they are writing about and also in pictures. Women are mostly writing about fashion, healthy food and beauty. Their blogs are also looking very happy, because of the bright colours the women are using. Men are mostly writing about sport, games and travelling. Their blogs are less colourful than the women’s blogs. In the workshops we also looked for norm breaking blogs, because the blogs from men and women are having sort of a norm. We found a male-gay blog and thought it was kind of a norm breaking blog. This man putted pictures on his blog where he was wearing make up and the was posing as a girl.

It was really interesting to find out the differences between men and women in social media. And to think about it because normally you would not really notice it. Thank you for the interesting workshops, because we could use the information from these workshops for our article.

The Netherlands: Lieke Schobbers, Britt van Rijn, Charlotte Wieneke and Yenly He