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Ugly Modeling Agency-What is considered to be beautiful?

7 Nov
  • A media outlet that counters the negative images of media is a magazine and modeling agency based in England called “Ugly” magazine. The magazine doesn’t portray the typical “beautiful” model as depicted in most of media. Rather, the magazine encourages its models to have a more unconventional look. Some of the models would even be considered unattractive or have interesting features or characteristics about them. Even though the magazine and modeling agency is called “Ugly”, the owner says he picked the name with care. He stated that the word “ugly” is such a powerful word and he wanted to associate it with a different meaning. Therefore, he decided to call the magazine “Ugly”, in an attempt to portray people who weren’t necessarily beautiful, but that were particularly interesting to look at and observe due to their unique characteristics.

    The photographer and owner of the magazine attempts to promote the idea that there can be many definitions of what it means to be beautiful or consider something beautiful. It also promotes the idea that just because a person doesn’t look like the models depicted in most magazines, doesn’t mean that person doesn’t have something special about them or something to offer. Through photography, the magazine is able to capture art in an unconventional manner and personally, I think the photos are amazing.

    One of the most popular models of the magazine is an interesting looking man around the age of 30 to 35, who has buckteeth and an elongated, droopy face. He was originally a deliveryman who had delivered a package to the owner of Ugly Modeling Agency. The owner thought his look was unique and interesting and so he asked if he could take a few photos of the deliveryman. The photos became very popular and now the deliveryman is Ugly Modeling Agency’s top model. Even though the man is extremely successful at being a model, he has mentioned that it is sometimes difficult. For example, when he tells people he is a model, they often laugh and think he’s joking or they don’t believe him. As a result, he often tells people that he is just a deliveryman or an employee of some other low-income occupation. It is extremely interesting to think about how media has shaped our perceptions of what it means to be beautiful. It is also interesting that even though the model is a real model, people are still skeptical because he doesn’t look like a typical model; therefore, they are more susceptible to believing that he has a low-income occupation due to his appearance.  This exemplifies society’s association and positive correlation between attractiveness or appearance, and success.  It is a fact that people who are found more attractive tend to have better paying jobs.  However, this brings up the concept of beauty and what our society perceives to be beautiful or attractive.

    This is a picture of the top model of Ugly Modeling Agency:

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    Overall, I love the message that Ugly Modeling Agency portrays to not only their clients, but to society.  The company is taking action to change society’s views of what it means to be beautiful and is promoting a positive message.  Here is a link to a short clip on Youtube called “Taboo: Ugly Modeling Agency” that explains more about the modeling agency and shows interviews of some of the models as well.

    Danielle Loe

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“Crash” A Movie REALLY About Racism?

2 Oct

Summary:

For this blog, I decided to analyze the movie, “Crash”, which was released in 2005. The movie “Crash” depicts various races and their experiences concerning racism and their position within our society.  Particularly, African American, Hispanic, and Iranian races are portrayed.  Even though the film demonstrates various races, it is important to note that this movie targets a white audience, fitting the “race and the media” criteria that most narratives are not written for non-whites and instead, people of color must fit into a white narrative.  Even though there are white characters and they do commit acts of racism, their racist demeanors are almost justified due to personal struggles the characters are experiencing.  Overall, even though the film exemplifies acts of racism and highlights racial stereotypes, the concept of “whiteness” is portrayed.  Because the acts of racism committed by the white characters are justified, the movie suggests that whites are not technically to blame for the issue of racism in an attempt to not offend the predominantly white audience. Therefore, “whiteness” is demonstrated by portraying the white characters, first in a negative light; however, then, the white characters are shown in a more positive light in the final scenes depicting each of the characters. First, I will provide examples of racism portrayed within the movie, then I will touch on “whiteness” that is demonstrated when analyzing the entire context of the movie.  

Analysis:

*I provided links to clips of some of the scenes I analyzed. Just copy and paste if you want to view them.

“Pat Down by the Police” Clip

In one scene, a black male and female couple is driving a car similar to one that is stolen in earlier scenes; however, it is obvious by the license plates that it is not the stolen car.  Even so, Ryan (Matt Dillon), the white racist cop, pulls the vehicle over regardless.  During his investigation, he demands the couple to get out of the car.  He pats them both down; however, while patting down the woman, he molests her in front of her husband.  The husband stands there helplessly.  Even though the husband is a successful film producer, he is still a black male.  The husband feels helpless because even though he knows he cannot stop the cop because he would be accused of assaulting a police officer, he also must take into consideration his race and position within society.  For example, even though the white officer is committing a heinous crime, the husband could be in a substantial amount of trouble if he were to react in a vicious way, not only because he would be assaulting an officer, but also because he would be a black man assaulting a police officer.  Because the husband is black and the officer is white and holds more authority in the situation, the officer could skew the situation at a disadvantage to the black husband. This scene demonstrates how the couple was treated unjustly by the racist cop due to their race and how because of his race, the husband has to consider his reactions to the cop’s actions against his wife.  It is important to note that the husband is even willing to risk his marriage due to his position in society. It is wrong to molest anyone; however, the husband is hesitant to intervene because his position in society is that of a back male.  It poses the question of who are you going to believe in this situation, a white police officer, or a black male?

This scene also briefly demonstrates Tim Wise’s point concerning “whiteness” and how black males are three times more likely to get pulled over by a cop due to racial profiling.  Also, this scene demonstrates how black males must consider their race and position within our society when dealing with authorities due to associations regarding black stereotypes.  

“I Want the Locks Changed Again” Clip 

Another scene depicting racism and stereotypes is when Jean, a privileged white woman, is having an argument with her husband right after their car has just been stolen at gunpoint.  Jean is upset because previous to the attack, Jean and her husband are walking to their car when Jean spots two black males.  She tightens her grip on her husband’s arm, insinuating her fear of the black male.  The car then gets stolen by the two black males. Jean argues with her husband that if a white woman sees two black males and walks in the opposite direction, she’s considered a racist; however, her fears came true when the car was in fact, stolen by the two males, confirming that what she feared would happen, did.  Due to the carjacking, Jean and her husband have the locks changed by a Hispanic male and while the locks are being changed, Jean continues her argument by stating that since the locks are being changed by a Hispanic man, or “gang member with a shaved head and pants around his ankles”, in Jean’s words, that the “gang member” [the Hispanic male] will probably go sell their keys to his “gangbanger” friends. 

 These scenes are very important because they do depict racism.  However, these scenes demonstrate racism from a white perspective, both from Jean’s perspective.  For example, Jean’s attitude towards the two black males, as well as, her attitude towards the Hispanic male, reinforcing the idea of “whiteness” and how it constructs the world in the image of the white person.  “Whiteness” and “white privilege” are highly demonstrated.      

For example, the film demonstrates “white privilege” through the white characters of Jean (Sandra Bullock) and Ryan (Dillon).  Jean is a white, privileged woman who doesn’t work, but holds high economic and social status due to her husband who is a governor. Ryan is a white male who holds superiority due to his job as a cop.  Both characters represent “white privilege” concerning their social status and race compared to the various other characters. For example, two black males play carjackers, an Iranian man plays a convenience store clerk, and a Hispanic man plays a locksmith, all middle to lower class occupations. The characters portrayed by other races almost fit into the white image of the world.  Of course the black males are criminals, of course the Iranian man is a store clerk, and of course the Hispanic is a locksmith.   Even though the occupations of each race hold some truth, the stereotypes of these races are presented through a white perspective.

“Carjacking” Clip

The concept of “whiteness” is also portrayed by the movie offering forgiveness or justification to the white character.  In other words, factors come into play concerning the white characters that act as justification for the white characters’ racism towards people of color.  An example of how white characters are justified for actions pertaining to racism is through the white, privileged character, Jean (Bullock).  In a particular scene as discussed earlier, Bullock and her white husband played by Brandon Frasier are walking to their car on a crowded street.  Bullock notices two black males standing in a predominantly white area.  Showcasing her fear of the black male and insinuating stereotypes, Bullock grabs her husband’s arm and moves closer to him to increase her sense of security.  At first, viewers witness an act of potential racism concerning the black race and the stereotypes that are associated with black males.  However, to fulfill these stereotypes, the black males go on to steal Bullock and Frasier’s car at gunpoint.  This scene justifies Bullock’s initial racist act of grabbing her husband’s arm for fear of the black males and the potential crimes they might commit.  This allows the audience to forgive Bullock’s character and her racist demeanor due to the fact that what she anticipates by her previous racist action, does actually happen.

Another character that exemplifies this forgiveness of the white character is demonstrated through Ryan (Dillon), the racist, white cop.  Throughout the movie, Ryan (Dillon) commits many acts of racism; however, the viewer learns that Ryan (Dillon) is dealing with his sick and dying father.  The introduction of Ryan’s dilemma with his father’s illness invites the audience to sympathize for Ryan’s character.  This in turn, suggests that Ryan’s racism can be justified by the fact that he is angry due to his father’s illness.

Ryan’s character is also forgiven in one of the final scenes, as well.  The woman who was previously molested, gets into a car accident.  The car catches fire and she is stuck underneath the car.  Dillion’s character is the first to respond to this crash.  In order to save her life, Dillon’s character must pull her out of the car. The woman recognizes the cop and becomes hesitant and scared to let the cop help her. Finally, the woman grabs the cops hand and he pulls her out of the car, saving her life.  The scene then shows the two characters walking arm in arm away from the crash.  This scene also exemplifies the idea that the woman who was previously molested by the cop now forgives him because he redeemed himself by saving her life, another example of how Ryan’s heinous actions are justified and in the end, the white character is seen in a positive light and is forgiven for his racist actions.    

The movie does demonstrate the racist experiences of various races as noted earlier; however, the idea of “whiteness” being portrayed throughout the movie cannot be overlooked.  “Whiteness” and the privileges associated with “whiteness” is portrayed through the white characters of Jean and Ryan and the justifications presented in the movie pertaining to their racist demeanors.  By influencing the audience to forgive the white characters’ racist demeanors due to their personal struggles, allows the blame of racism to be deterred from the white race.  The racist behaviors are made impossible to criticize due to the justifications presented.  The movie strongly attempts to showcase the white characters ultimately in a good light.  This reinforces “whiteness” and the white audience’s need to see the white characters in a positive light and not as the “bad guys”.   

 Conclusion:
 
The movie does depict racist experiences; however, the narrative is written for a white audience, as most narratives are.  “Whiteness” is portrayed through justifications of the white characters’ racist actions toward other races and how the white audience must see the white characters ultimately in a good light.
 
Danielle Loe

Blog #2-Revenge-Social, Economic, and Cultural Capitalism

22 Sep

Summary: Revenge

Revenge is a show that portrays upper class, as well as, lower class citizens living in the Hamptons.  The main family, the Grayson’s, depicted in the show are very wealthy and live in the Hamptons in a grand manor. The father, Conrad Grayson, is the owner of Grayson Global, a major investment firm located in New York City.  The show is about a young girl whose father was framed by the Grayson family for treason that was actually committed by the Grayson’s themselves. Desperate for revenge, Amanda comes to the Hamptons and attempts to bring down the Grayson family, as well as, anyone else who was involved in the framing of her father.  The show depicts the 1% who owns the majority of the country’s wealth, the Grayson’s, and how they accumulate this money through scandal and treason.  Many capitalist concepts are exemplified throughout the show concerning social, economic, and cultural capital.  Even though there are many examples depicted in this show, I will just give one example for each of the types of capitalism.  Ultimately, the main ideology reinforced throughout this show pertains to how money translates into power and status.

Analysis:  

An example of social capitalism is demonstrated through Ashley, who is a lower to middle class character that works as Victoria Grayson’s right-hand man and assistant.  Victoria treats her as a lower class citizen. Many of the characters often ask Ashley why she acts as Victoria’s “slave” or “dog” and she responds by explaining that hopefully this job will open doors for her to move up in society to an upper class citizen. This portrays the key concepts of social capitalism where it is about “who you know” in order to be successful.  Ashley hopes that Victoria will repay her for her hard work by introducing Ashley to the right people so that she may one day “move up” from her current social status. 

An example of economic capitalism and that having money is most important is depicted in the show as well. Throughout the show, the idea of class is demonstrated, somewhat contradicting society’s view that the idea of class does not exist in America; however, this is not true and it is exemplified in the show.  For example, the character Jack, and his younger brother Declan, are lower class citizens also living in the Hampton’s working and trying to run their father’s some what “sinking” bar.  The concept that money is most important and having money ultimately gives you status and power is often depicted and reinforced in the show.  For example, Declan, Jack’s younger brother is also considered lower class.  He begins to have an interest in Charlotte, the Grayson’s sixteen-year-old daughter.  At first, Charlotte pays no attention to Declan because he is considered “trash” due to his social and financial status. In order to impress Charlotte, Declan attempts to borrow his brother’s boat to take Charlotte and some of her friends out.  Charlotte and her friends are surprised that Declan even has a boat; however, they agree to go.  Plans fall through and Declan can no longer use the boat.  Declan is livid and embarrassed and has to tell charlotte that they cannot use the boat.  The friends tell Declan that they knew he wouldn’t follow through and that he’s just a poor loser.  The idea that money matters is portrayed in this episode because Declan is not accepted into the popular crowd at school and ignored by his love interest, Charlotte simply because he does not have money and cannot entertain the rich kids on a fancy boat.  Later in the season, Charlotte and Declan do become a couple; however, Declan is not accepted by the Grayson family and arguments between Declan and Charlotte often arise concerning money.  Declan often feels emasculated because he cannot take Charlotte to fancy restaurants or give her anything she wants.  Even though Charlotte tries to tell Declan that money doesn’t matter, Declan and Charlotte’s social and financial status differences play a major role in their relational issues. 

Another brief example of how money contributes to power and status is demonstrated through the Grayson’s economic and social status in general.  The Grayson’s company, Grayson Global often has inside scandals that occur to maintain the Grayson’s wealth.  In order to keep people quiet about the scandals, the Grayson’s often pay people off.  This is an example of how money translates to power.  If you have an unlimited amount of money, you are able to control and manipulate people, as well as, the system. 

Finally, an example of cultural capitalism is demonstrated as well.  For example, Amanda, the main character, reintroduces herself to the Grayson’s as “Emily”.  The Grayson’s are aware that they framed Amanda’s father; however, last they heard, Amanda was in juvenile detention and they had not heard from her in years. They do not recognize “Emily” and she begins to infiltrate herself within the Grayson family and their community in order to ultimately expose their inside scandals to the world.  However, “Emily” first must become a part of the Hampton community and be accepted by the Grayson’s.  In order to claim a position of status and wealth on the same level as the Grayson’s, “Emily” presents herself in a certain light.  She is a well-refined white woman who has a substantial amount of wealth that she had “inherited”.  She also has been involved in many charitable organizations, has traveled the world, studied abroad, and is well educated.  “Emily” is immediately welcomed into the Grayson community simply due to her financial status, as well as, her “cultured” and “experienced” lifestyle she portrays.  Even though “Emily” seems to appear from nowhere, her cultural capital makes it easy for her to be accepted into the elite Hampton community. This is an example of how cultural capital can also influence someone’s status within a culture.  

Conclusion:

Ultimately, the main ideology reinforced throughout this show pertains to how money translates into power and status. It also gives great examples of the three types of capitalism: social, economic, and cultural, that shape our society today. 

 -Danielle Loe

Blog #1-Ideologies of Masculinity and Femininity

17 Sep

Blog #1-Ideologies of Masculinity and Femininity

 

Blog #1-”The Mindy Project”-FOX-Danielle Loe

 

Summary:  I watched The Mindy project on FOX at 9:30pm.  Mindy is planning a Christmas party for her co-workers with her boyfriend, Josh.  During the party, Mindy overhears a message left on Josh’s phone from another woman claiming to be Josh’s girlfriend as well.  Mindy gets upset and calls the woman to clarify that she is Josh’s girlfriend as well. Then, the other woman shows up at Mindy’s Christmas party and starts a fight with Mindy.  

 

Analysis:  The ideologies of masculinity and femininity are portrayed throughout the show.  For example, Josh, Mindy’s boyfriend, is portrayed as a white, handsome, heterosexual male who is a successful executive and is very wealthy.  This portrayal of Josh reinforces the dominant ideologies of a masculine male.  Another example of masculinity and femininity being demonstrated is during a scene where Josh and Mindy are ice skating and the hockey team comes onto the rink and Mindy is getting pushed by the hockey players.  She says to Josh, “can you protect me?” and then she falls.  This scene exemplifies the concept of masculinity versus femininity that males are suppose to be the “protectors” of women and that women are portrayed as weaker and “need” to be protected by the strong, dominant male.  

 

I also found an example of the idea that males are the “doers” and women are “done to”.  At the Christmas party, Mindy finds out that Josh is cheating on her. This is an example of the typical male cheater who hurts the victimized woman.  Josh is the “doer” because he cheats on Mindy and hurts her and Mindy is portrayed as the victim that was “done to”.  

 

An example of femininity and how women are portrayed in our society is also demonstrated in the show.  The main character, Mindy, is an Indian woman who is not overweight, but not super thin either. During another scene, the woman that Josh was cheating on Mindy with shows up to the party and starts a fight with Mindy.  The girl says to Mindy, “I didn’t know Josh would cheat on me with a chubby, Indian girl”.  Mindy replies by saying, “I’m not chubby! I’m just an average, American girl size”.  This scene portrays society’s idea of what it means to be skinny and look good.  In our society, woman are suppose to be stick skinny and typically white.  Mindy is by no means over weight; however, the comment made by the other woman portrays this idea that Mindy is not skinny enough.  Mindy continues by saying that the woman’s comment about her weight is the reason why there is an anorexic epidemic.  This is meant to be a joke in the show; however, it holds some truth concerning our society and why many women have eating disorders.  

 

I also found some ideologies that are challenged by the show.  The fact that the main character is an average sized, Indian woman is somewhat surprising as well.  Before this show, I don’t believe I have ever seen an Indian woman playing a main character role.  Also, women in shows are usually objectified and very attractive.  However, The Mindy Project challenges the dominant ideologies of a white, attractive female who is super skinny.  I believe that because Mindy is an average sized woman, many woman can relate to her.  I believe she portrays the actual average woman in America and not the idea of the average woman that is held by our society.  I believe this benefits many women in America because they can relate to a woman who is closer to them in size.  Many minority women can also relate because Mindy is Indian and not the typical white woman often seen on television. 

 

Conclusion: This episode exemplifies the ideologies of masculinity and femininity.  It portrays the dominant traits of what a male is suppose to represent.  It also portrays the concept of how women are suppose to look, as well as, challenges these concepts by having an average sized, Indian woman playing a main role.