Reinforcing Myths about Women in Philippine Culture: Semiotic Analyses of the Sexbomb Girls in Eat Bulaga’s Laban o Bawi

Trina Leah Mendoza

DOI: https://test.crossref.org/

Abstract

Movie and TV stars are an influential part of Philippine society. Not only do they entertain audiences with their television shows or movies, but their private lives and actions are arguably as interesting to the public. Celebrities and stars are admired, idolized, and looked up to by many of their followers, such that their values and actions can greatly influence their fans. However, their images may hold various meanings that are not evident to many people. This study analyzes a group of unconventional stars that changed the landscape of noontime viewing—the Sexbomb Girls—using a semiotic approach. It seeks to reveal the different images of women portrayed by the Sexbomb Girls, and understand how media can reinforce myths. The Sexbomb Girls were a social phenomenon and a product of production that depicted binary oppositions and metaphors: virgin/vamp, loud woman, and ordinary woman. These signs, binary oppositions, and metaphors served as myths that naturalized, influenced, and reinforced sexy female background dancers into becoming an ordinary part of noontime and game shows. Because they appeared six days a week in Eat Bulaga, the Sexbomb Girls have desensitized the Filipino masses such that seeing sexily clad background dancers in these shows has become ordinary and acceptable.

Keywords

binary oppositions, metaphors, semiotics, Sexbomb Girls, signs, social phenomenon

Please login first to access subscription form of article


Browse By

Kritika Kultura
Department of English
School of Humanities
Ateneo de Manila University

The Philippine Commission on Higher Education (CHED) declares Kritika Kultura as a CHED-recognized journal under the Journal Challenge Category of its Journal Incentive Program.

International Board of Editors

Jan Baetens
Professor
Faculty of Arts
Katholieke Universiteit te Leuven (Belgium)

Joel David
Professor of Cultural Studies
Inha University (South Korea)

Michael Denning
Professor of American Studies and English
Department of English
Yale University (US)

Faruk
Faculty of Cultural Sciences
Universitas Gadjah Mada (Indonesia)

Regenia Gagnier
Professor of English
University of Exeter (UK)

Leela Gandhi
John Hawkes Professor of the Humanities and English
Brown University (US)

Inderpal Grewal
Professor of Women's Gender and Sexuality Studies
Professor of South Asian Studies, Ethnicity, Race and Migration Studies
Yale University (US)

Peter Horn
Professor Emeritus and Honorary Lifetime Fellow
University of Cape Town (South Africa)
Honorary Professor and Research Associate in German Studies
University of the Witwatersrand (South Africa)

Anette Horn
Professor of German Studies
University of the Witwatersrand (South Africa)

David Lloyd
Distinguished Professor of English
University of California, Riverside (US)

Bienvenido Lumbera
National Artist for Literature
Professor Emeritus
University of the Philippines

Rajeev S. Patke
Director of the Division of Humanities
Professor of Humanities
Yale NUS College (Singapore)

Vicente L. Rafael
Giovanni and Amne Costigan Endowed Professor of History
University of Washington (US)

Vaidehi Ramanathan
Department of Linguistics
University of California, Davis (US)

Temario Rivera
Professorial Lecturer
Department of Political Science
University of the Philippines

E. San Juan, Jr.
Philippines Studies Center (US)

Neferti X.M. Tadiar
Professor of Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies
Barnard College (US)
Director of the Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race
Columbia University (US)

Antony Tatlow
Honorary Professor of Drama
Trinity College Dublin (Ireland)