In many of the most popular movies of the last 50 years, women are often portrayed as sidekicks or the good girl encouraging the male hero to do the right thing. Think every single woman in a James Bond film or Julia Roberts in Pretty Women.
Former LA times film critic Carina Chocano was often disturbed by how pop culture treats women and girls. It became even more disturbing when her young daughter started associating being pretty with being worthy.
She explores how pop culture treats women and girls - and the effect that has in a collection of essays called You Play the Girl: On Playboy Bunnies, Stepford Wives, Train Wrecks and Other Mixed Messages.