Archive by Author

Reflection

3 Dec

When I first signed up for this class, I thought that we would touch on different TV shows and go into details about specifics of different shows. I did not really realize how much we would touch on the different theories and touch on all of the different subjects that we did. In the end, I am very glad that I took this class because I did learn a lot that I really had never even thought about before when watching TV. I have gain a lot of new perspective on many different of the different issues that we talked about especially race and gender. I never really took like time to look at how these two issues are shown on TV and now it is all that I can think about when I watch TV. Some of my favorite shows are lacking so much in incorporating different races and it is very obvious now. One of my all-time favorite TV shows was Friends and after we talked about it in class and read the article I know exactly what the author was talking about in “May the Circle Stay Unbroken”. Even though I do notice these things now we all still have our favorite shows and Friends is still one of mine.

I have learned a lot in this class from the lectures but I think I also learned a lot more by doing the Blogs. The Blogs have allowed me to further explore the different topics and relate shows that I do regularly watch. I think being able to freely write allows us to apply the topics that we have learned about in a way that we personally understand. Sometimes the mind just wanders when freely writing and personally I have hit on different things that I normally would never bring up in other classes. I think that this course has been very educational and has been very insightful. I would definitely recommend this class to others.

Evolution

24 Nov

dove-evolution-facedove-evolution-screen

The example that I am going to use for this blog is the pro social media campaign that Dove launched in 2006 called “Evolution”. I chose this campaign to talk about because I think that this is the most influential campaign that was playing as I was growing up. I think that this is one of the best campaigns that Dove has presented because it really shows the other side of how and why a magazine cover or a billboard comes out as the perfect woman. Evolution is showing the transformation of a real woman into a model. This campaign is to promote how unrealistic perceptions of beauty are created. Many young girls have low self-esteem from the images that they see in magazines. This campaign is a 60 second commercial that shows a real women being transformed into “real beauty” by being retouched digitally in every way possible. This campaign was launched on TV, YouTube, MySpace, and Google Video. This campaign opens up with a woman that has no make-up on follows by make-up artist. Her pure face with no make-up on shows “imperfections” that the woman has before she is retouched by the make-up artist and the computer. The first portion of the video shows the woman’s face being transformed by make-up and her hair being beautified. After this happens the video goes into a digital enhancement software that touches us the woman’s skin, her lips are filled out, her neck is lengthened, her hair is thickened, her eyes are evened and enlarged, and lastly her face is narrowed. The pictures above show the two different images of the women. The image on the left shows the women when she first enters the window and the picture on the right shows when she is finished being transformed. This campaign basically is to show how unrealistic society portrays the concept of beauty. From a young age girls and boys are both affected by what the society puts out as the ideal image of beauty. This campaign does a great job of showing all of the work that goes into making that “ideal image of beauty”.

When thinking about this campaign I think about how it relates to what we have done in class. The first thing that came to mind was schema theory. From a young age we develop different schemas and the media is something that confirms those for us. We constantly see models and photo shopped people on covers of magazine and billboards and we develop a schemata of what models are. In relation to person schemata we in a way develop a self-schemata by comparing ourselves to those models and we develop thoughts about what we are and how we compare to the “models”. There is a constant hypersexualization of thin figures or the Thin Ideal which makes weight and shape central determinants for a female or a male. There is the sense of hyper consumption which is the constantly engaging in different types of media where the media that you see becomes a reality.

I believe that this campaign was very effective to the fact that it hits home with many young people and shows that the beauties portrayed on media covers and other types of media are unrealistic. I think that many people when they look at the covers just think that they can never look like the models who are on those covers when in reality the models on those covers do not even really look like that. I have used this campaign as a prime example in many cases because it did hit home with me and I think it did for many others. The fact that I still recall on this campaign eight years later proves that this was very effective and that it has worked to show that the ideals portrayed are unrealistic.

Overall, my opinion of prosocial media is that it is a great tool to get messages out to many different publics. It is definitely something that can help and send out a message. I do not think that it is a lost cause because there have been many successful campaigns and programs over the years that have been prime examples. I think from here on out there are many different ways that prosocial media campaigns can go and many different messages that can be sent out.

Gilmore Girls

27 Oct

Gilmore Girls

The show that I chose for this blog is Gilmore Girls. In this show there is a Korean Family that basically only portrays a mother and a daughter. Mrs. Kim and her daughter Lane are said to be Followers of the Seventh Day Adventists. These are the two characters that really stick out to me in this show when it has to deal with religion. The story line of this show is based off a mother daughter relationship of Lorelia Gilmore and her daughter Rory Gilmore. She had Rory when she was sixteen years old and has raised her on her own ever since. Lane Kim comes into play because she is Rory’s best friend since a young age. The Gilmore’s are a very free living family and Mrs. Kim does not approve of the lifestyle that Lorelia has built for her and her daughter.

Lane is Rory’s best friend and they are able to freely talk about any kind of music that they want or dress in what they want when they are at the Gilmore house hold. However, when Lane goes home she has to put on the act that she is the perfect Christian who dresses conservative for her mother, reads the Bible, and listens only to Christian music. In Lane’s room she has storage under her floor boards. She lifts them up and is able to hide all of her rock, non-Christian music from her mother along with make-up and all kinds of accessories. According to the readings I think that she is playing the hypocrite. The reading by Rendleman talks about four different types of Evangelical Christian images. I think that Lane falls under the hypocrite image because she leads her mother to believe that she is a Christian and lives up to the standards but as soon as she is not around her mother she becomes a totally different person. When she goes over to Rory’s house she dances around the house to loud rock music, wears clothes that her mother does not approve of, but when she wants to go home she changes her clothes back into something that her mother approves of.

On the other hand, I think that Mrs. Kim falls into the naïve and maybe even psychotic images that Rendleman talks about. Mrs. Kim believes that the way of American life is evil. She is suspicious of American customs and does not believe in them.  An example of this is when her daughter Lane gets married and she tells Lorerlia Gilmore that she is not allowed to come to the wedding without a date. She thinks that a woman of a certain age unmarried is a little suspicious and does not send the right message. She believes that rock music and anything other than Christian things are evil and will lead you to hell. This is where I think the naïve comes in because she is so wrapped up in the Religion that she loses kind of a sight of reality in American society. She constantly is talking about her religion but the funny thing is that she also falls into the hypocrite image.

Later in the show we find out that she is also a hypocrite because there is an episode when Mrs. Kim’s mother comes into town. We find out that after all these years she has been lying to her mother about her religion just like Lane has been doing with Mrs. Kim. Mrs. Kim mother comes into town and Mrs. Kim is frantically trying to hide all of crucifixes and is trying to put out all of the Buddhist religion images and icons. She is hiding that she is a Christian from her mother who is a Buddhist. Once her mother arrives she automatically falls to her knees along with her mother and starts doing one hundred bows towards the Buddhist statue like she has been doing it every day for her whole life. Mrs. Kim is a good example to see the interesting things that people will do for their religion. She hides it from her mom because she is afraid of disapproval, she forces it on others because she believes it so strongly, and she thinks that different life styles that do not follow the Christian way are evil and will lead them to no good in their lives. Mrs. Kim definitely holds up the images that Rendleman presents.

The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air

15 Oct

the_fresh_prince_of_bel-air

The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air was an African American sit-com that was on for six seasons from 1990 to 1996. This popular sit-com was based off of a Californian family taking in a relative. At the beginning of this series is the only time that I believe a stereotype was used towards African Americans. Will Smith was described as a “street-smart” kid who had gotten into trouble back in Philadelphia. I think that this is part of the stereotype because it is describing Will as a younger African American who had trouble with crime just as most stereotypical TV shows and movies show African Americans. So Will is sent off to live with his relatives. However, I think that this is when the stereotypes start to disappear. Surprisingly his relatives, who are also African American, are living in a mansion. They have this big house with a butler and are portrayed as a very well off family. According to our notes African Americans are usually portrayed in roles that are more middle class. I find this sit-com interesting because the entire Banks family is all properly dressed, have a good education, and just all around seem very proper with good manners. Then we have Will enter the scene who more accurately portrays African American stereotypes. He wears unprofessional clothes such as baggy pants and backwards baseball caps. The audience is taken through the series through the view of Will and the process of him growing up along the way. The Banks family throughout the series tries to make him a more proper man.

When looking at the readings, I think that the article by Monk and Turner, Portrayal of Racial Minorities, were right on when saying that African Americans representation on TV behaviors are portrayed as negative characteristics. I think that The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air holds this stereotype up just through the character of Will. He starts off as kind of a punk kid who got in trouble with fights and crime in Philadelphia and is sent off to be straightened up. When he went to California his relatives pretty much disapproved of his behaviors and the way that he acted. There were not the typical stereotyped African Americans in TV and they did not really connect with his way of life. Another thing that stuck out in the reading was that African Americans had more relaxed conversations which also showed through Will. He showed up to California and was so laid back and talked to everyone like they were his best friends. However, I think that The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air writers had to write Will’s character that way on purpose. I think the real idea of the sit-com was to show that African Americans can beat the stereotypes and can have jobs that provide them with a luxurious life style.

I think that since this is an entire African American cast that the writers tried to go against stereotypes. Race is never mentioned between the characters. I think that this could be because being an African American cast they are trying to portray their luxurious lifestyle as something that is normal. By the end of the series will is still his funky self, but he has also learned life lessons and has been taught manners, goes to a nice school, and has a well put together family surrounding him. Personally I think that this sit-com challenges the norms and some of what our readings say by having the Banks family as an upper class family that helps their relative grow up to be a self-respected man.

Finally, people can relate to the character of Will because he is a fun spirited kid when he goes off to live with his relatives. He is someone that everyone would want as a friend. He draws the viewers in. I think that if this were a white family sit-com it would not be nearly as successful as it was. It drew people in because it challenged the norms and it challenged stereotypes of African Americans.

Scandal

7 Oct

scandal2

Scandal is a primetime program that in my opinion has challenged the general stereotypes of race that have been portrayed on television over the years. This series takes place in Washington DC around the white house and dealing with politics and helping run the white house. Olivia Pope is the main character who happens to be African American. She has her own company that is made up of her and four other associates that basically comes to the defense of their clients just like any other lawyer. I believe that Olivia Pope has become a present role model in today’s society. I think that I can relate to her along with many other people because of the fact that she is a powerful woman in society and she is someone that we all can aspire to be.  The only stereotype that I think sticks out when dealing with Olivia Pope is that she came from a broken family. Many times you see in series that African American families have a split family and the parents usually are not together. However, I think that this is the only stereotype that is seen when dealing with Olivia Pope.

On the other side, I think that Olivia Pope defies all other stereotypes. I say this because she is basically a high class lawyer who has her own business along with working for the president. She obviously has a great education, can make a very nice living for herself, and is a single independent woman who does not need a man to provide for her. This show goes further and pushes the boundaries by having Olivia Pope have an affair with the president. For many years it has been looked down on when a white male is with a black woman and vice versa. In the Deggans reading he said that the relationship between black and white is “the scab American can’t stop picking”. I think that this quote in relation to the show does not really apply. Shonda Rhimes, the creator of the show, is also an African American women. The fact that she wrote the main character as an African American women and writing her as a successful woman who ends up dating both white and black men, shows that she is trying to heal that scab and make it go away and trying to having mixed racial relationships be something that is more normal in society.

When taking a look at her personal company who deals with their clients, there are four other associates that help her. Within this group there is also another African American male written in. The thing that stuck out to me is that as a male he kind of fit more into the stereotypes that Olivia Pope did. Harrison in comparison to Olivia has more of the mysterious quiet personality. He many times lays low in the background. I think that the fact that race is never mentioned between the two of them or even in the show proves that society might start to be coming around and showing that African Americans are capable of having power and high status in society. One thing that I found interesting is that when looking up pictures of Scandal such as the picture above, Olivia Pope is the one who looks like she is standing out about five feet in front of all of the other characters and that she is always in the middle of the pictures.

Finally, I found a few things interesting on my own. Seeing how powerful Olivia Pope is an African American woman made think of reasons why this show is so successful in today’s society. When really thinking about it, I think that because Obama is our president and is the first African American president it has opened a gateway for many shows to expand their boundaries with it being acceptable. It allows writers to challenge their audiences. In our notes, it was stated that most narratives are not written for non-whites and that people of color must fit into a white narrative. When I think of Scandal I only think of Olivia Pope. She is the face of the show in which I think many people of color can see themselves instead of having to try to fit into the a white narrative. A fun fact that I found interesting is that so many people look up to Olivia Pope’s character and her lifestyle. In every episode she drinks red wine out of these tall stemmed wine glasses. So many people try to be like her and have tried to order these glasses from Crate and Barrel that the glasses at one point were on back order for almost five months. It proves that she is a powerful character in more than just one way.

Friends

24 Sep

frriends

For this blog I am taking a different approach on how I see the readings and how I associated a primetime program with what we have discussed in class. My all-time favorite show that has aired is Friends. Even though it is my favorite I know that the show does have some issues when dealing with the reality of how the characters are portrayed and how they are able to maintain a higher level life style living in Manhattan. For those that do not know, Friends is based on a group of six friends that live in Manhattan. The storyline is “six young people, on their own and struggling to survive in the real world, find the companionship, comfort and support they get from each other to be the perfect antidote to the pressures of life”.  This was the storyline of season one, however I found many instances along the way where they hinted at a struggle but at the same time is was very aware that they characters were very well off.

The two characters that stood out to were Chandler and Joey. These two characters were roommates and Chandler worked as an executive in statistical analysis and data reconfiguration for a large multi-national corporation and Joey was a struggling actor. In relation to the class categories I do believe that they both fell into the white collar working class. Chandler knew where he stood in his class based upon his financial standing which seemed to be pretty good through his high job. Joey never knew where he was due to the fact that he could never really land an acting job. This is where I found things to become interesting.

I believe that some TV shows have a hard time portraying their characters are struggling. If it were really true and TV shows did actually show the real struggles I do not think that their ratings would be up. In order to provide a good show they need to add things into their characters’ lives. Some people may not notice but I notice things like things that are in their apartment that some people might not necessarily have if they are struggling. In this case I find it hard that Chandler could basically provide for two grown men off of his one job. There was one episode in season 4 when Chandler and joey got robbed. Everything they basically owned was taken from their apartment and they were forced to use lawn chairs and patio furniture for a while. I will add that the furniture was all old and beaten down and even had dirt and gum stuck to it. I will also add at this time Chandler and Joey owned a pet duck and a pet chicken. In one part of the episode they were sitting in the patio furniture in their living room with their pets and Chandler looks at Joey and says “Could we be more white trash?” and I think that this actually proves my point a little. Before they were robbed they had everything that they needed. However after they were robbed and left with nothing and could be considered “poor” that’s when they felt like white trash. I think that this ties into our reading by Laura Portwood-Stacer “Consuming Trash” because in this reading “white trash” is defined as being associated with poverty, shame, and criminality. Another good point made in the article was that while trash is commonly classified as people in trailer parks. I think that the show associated this particular line with the scene because they are sitting in patio furniture with their duck and chick drinking a beer and that could be a common association of what may go on in a trailer park.

I thought that this example was interesting because it is supposed to be a show about struggling friends when really they are pretty well off living in nice apartments in New York. It was only when they were robbed and everything was taken from them did they associate themselves with poverty and being “white trash”. I think that TV shows try to show their characters struggling but sometimes it can be difficult if they want to keep viewers interested in and ratings up.

The Sunday Times – Style

15 Sep

media media 2 m kendall

Last week we learned a lot between the difference of someone’s gender and their gender category. The movie Codes of Gender really opened my eyes on how advertisements pose men and women different based on their gender. However, the entire time I was watching the movie I kept thinking about these different images that I had seen the week before for a magazine called The Sunday Times Style. This magazine is a typical style magazine and has topics from whats popular to what is not and so on. It has fashion tips, what high profile celebrities are wearing, and different style selections. However, I found that this issue was different in a few ways after watching Codes of Gender. This issue features Kendall Jenner who is an 18 year old female who is challenging mostly everything that was stated in the movie. The movie stated that females were most always posed in positions where they seem unaware of their surroundings or are in positions vulnerable to attacks. Another thing that was stated was that the women are usually draped over the men and looking at them while the men are looking somewhere else. I found these images interesting because the first three images clearly are challenging what the movie was saying. In all three of the images the man is draped over the women and looking at her while the women is either fiercely looking at the camera or looking away. In all three of these images the women seems to be the one who is in charge. Unlike what the movie pointed out, this woman does not look like she is weak and powerless. Another aspect that I thought about with this is that the model is wearing a high profile fashion name called Balmain. This is a very high profile name and she is modeling the women’s fashion line. This name has a fierce association and I am assuming to get that notion across they want the female model to look fierce in the clothing. The thing about this was that I could actually picture the man and the women reversed in the picture and I would still think that the picture looks normal. That is something that the movie did not often state. There are not many times that the gender categories could be reversed in the pictures. The one thing that I did find funny way that when she was in the pictures with the male she was in control and looked like the fierce one. However, when she was pictured by herself she did obey the rules that were stated in the movie with the tilted body pose and the hiding of the face. This could be the magazine’s way of sending out two different gender categories of how a women is to act in two different situations. It makes it complicated to think that a magazine is portraying a difference in how a woman should act when a man is around and when a man is not around. One connection that I made with the Oliver, Banjo, Kim reading was that people do buy things based on what is on the cover. The cover is what sells that movie or book to the consumers. The first image pictured above is on the Cover of the issue. This is a powerful image and for a women’s magazine it can appeal to the women and make them see it and think that if they buy the magazine they could get those clothes and have the confidence just like the model on the front cover does.

Blog #1

3 Sep

In today’s society, I believe that media is definitely a purveyor of ideology. There is no real way to escape media because we experience media every day in all kinds of ways. In our generation, media is available at the touch of a finger because almost everyone has a smart phone or a laptop. This instant availability allows them to access anything such as the internet, twitter/Instagram, or even able to watch TV shows or videos. If we think about all of the times we catch ourselves just scrolling through any type of media we could find that we are influenced by what we read.

I believe that media is a purveyor of ideology because media instills a system of beliefs such as racism or social class issues. In the few classes that we have had so far, my awareness of ritual paradigms and transmission paradigms has been more present when watching different TV shows or movies.  If I think about some of my favorite TV shows that I watch, it is very obvious to me now. Take the show Friends for example, the ritual paradigm shows through by looking at the character Rachel Green. She is a rich girl who grew up on her daddy’s money in a high social class, but then she wants to live on her own so she has to start over at the bottom of the social class and joining the working class by working as a waitress in a coffee shop. Or there is the other option of looking at the fact that the six friends are able to live in New York City but they are never at work and are shown at a coffee house during work hours every day of the week. Opposite of that would be the transmission paradigm when just thinking that the friends are successful and having fun loving life living in the City with no problems.  There is a difference between the media and what is scripted and what is perceived as reality. I was able to see this more clearly after the discussion of the reading The Message Between the Lions because I was able to see the ritual paradigm and the transmission paradigm. The ritual paradigm that other students brought up in class had to deal with social class and racism. The hyenas were seen as the lower class and lived in the slums whereas the lions were seen as upper class living at Pride Rock which was much nicer. On the other hand, the transmission paradigm takes the movie at face value as just a children’s movie about a lion that has to work his way up and find his way back to where he belongs.

In the end I believe that people take the media too seriously and read too much into it. This is why I believe that there is a very strong relationship between media and perceived reality. People can take anything that they see or read and find a ritual paradigm or any hidden messages such as subliminal messages in children shows and start putting down that show or movie because they think that that is inappropriate even though the children have no idea what it means. Even though people chose what they want to expose themselves to, it highly affects what they believe.