Women in the News: Julia & Julia|
Someone Named Julia Had a Big Week.
Julia: Obama’s Hypothetical Attempt at Pleasing Women Voters
Have you met Julia? Julia is President Obama’s latest attempt to win over women voters. We are all (supposed to be) Julia; a fictional character who shows how women will benefit from a second term, while simultaneously listing all the disadvantages if Mitt Romney wins the presidency. We can watch Julia grow up, go to college, become a web designer, have a child, start her own business and eventually retire. It’s a wonderful life and the “cool” and infographic-like slideshow definitely fits the zeitgeist – Julia looks like someone who spends a lot of time on Pinterest and rides her bike to work while picking up groceries at the market.
The Republican Party wasn’t very pleased with Julia – and not just because the slideshow gives us the impression that Obama will be president for over 60 years. We will have to see what the Romney campaign will do to woo women voters; there definitely is room to give Julia a friend or a neighbor. What about a single-mom who dropped out of high school and works two jobs to provide for her children?
Fictional Julia became a mother at age 31– and that seems to be just one more reason why she’s so de moment: A study published by the Ohio State University shows that women keep putting off children until they are well in their 30s and early 40s – and being married does not seem to be a deciding factor to have children anymore.
There are several reasons for this trend: Advances in research, easier access and insurance-coverage of assisted reproductive technology (ART) makes it easier for women to become pregnant later in life and possibly without a husband or partner. Another reason is that women intentionally wait, pursue a career first and are able to provide for a child without being married. This confirms a study, published by the Pew Research Center last year that shows that being a good parent is more important to young people, than being married.
We don’t know anything about the father of Julia’s offspring. We might just have to wait for another (democratic) installment of Julia’s life or a republican slideshow counterattack with all the answers.
Julia: The All-Natural Photo Crusader
Believe it or not, there was also a real-life Julia who caused quite a stir last week. Julia Bluhm is a 14-year old teenager and member of Spark, a group who wants to stop the sexualization of women and girls in the media. Julia started a petition that asks the popular magazine “Seventeen” to start publishing one un-altered photo spread in each of their monthly issues. A courageous idea in a time where nothing seems to gets published without extensive photoshopping.
The petition has over 25,000 signatures and Julia even talked to the people at “Seventeen” but so far, Photoshop will be used whenever a picture is taken. Maybe Vogue Magazine’s powerful yet vague statement to only work with healthy models will be another step towards publishing and supporting a more realistic and healthy (body) image.
I wonder what our fictional Julia had to say about this?