Archive by Author

Victorias Secret vs. Dove

7 Nov

Group: Women

Summary: I am discussing a viral picture that compares the advertising techniques of Victoria’s Secret and Dove.  Victoria Secret is using a “Love My Body Campaign.  In the picture shown below, there are seven Victoria Secret models standing next to one another wearing revealing underwear.  The body types of the women are all the same, which seems impossibly then.  The Dove “Real Beauty” campaign can be seen directly underneath the Victoria Secret advertisement.  In the Dove advertisement,  there are eleven women standing shoulder to shoulder also just wearing underwear.  This advertisement contains a wider range of women in size, relating to a larger group of people.

Analysis:  Dove and Victoria Secret have very similar looking ads, but sell completely different products.  Victoria Secret is trying to make people believe that women will look like these models if they wear their products.  From the title of the campaign, it can also be inferred that they want women to love their own body, but the images tell a different story.  Since all of the models have nearly identical body types, they are favoring a very thin and fit body, which even looks emaciated.   This image is consistent with many of the images seen in media.  The designer who combined these photos is attempting to point out the flaws in Victoria’s Secret campaign.  While Victoria Secret is trying to tell women to love their own bodies, Dove is displaying models that are more closely related to the public.  Since Dove does not participate in retail advertising but wants to show their commitment to their customers.  They believe women can be beautiful no matter their shape or size, a positive social message for women seeing the advertisements.  They may not feel the pressure to conform to the Victoria Secret model’s body type if other large companies are using models like them.  Dove’s “Real Beauty” campaign is showing how Victoria Secret is misguiding customers into believing the lingerie company cares for their body.

Conclusion: The picture comparing Victoria Secret and Dove campaigns is a pro social campaign designed to help people realize the hypocrisy of the “Love My Body” advertising campaign.



Racial Stereotypes Through Scrubs

2 Oct

Group: Race

Summary: I watched an episode of Scrubs which originally aired on NBC.  The show follows a few resident doctors and nurses at a hospital called Sacred Heart.  The two main characters are J.D. who is white and his best friend Turk who is black.  Turk’s girlfriend is named Carla who is Latino with the rest of the cast consisting of Caucasians.  In this episode J.D.’s older brother comes into town and Turk has a problem with dealing with the death of patients. 


Analysis:  While the show has a mixture of races, it contains primarily white successful professionals.  Like in Phil Chidester’s article about the show Friends, Scrubs is excluding other races to a greater extent than it does whites.  Unlike in Friends, Scrubs does have two of the four primary characters as minorities which shows a greater distribution of races.  The primarily white supporting cast still supports the theme of not coming across a variety of races which may allow people feel more comfortable watching the show who experience that in their daily lives.  Besides exclusivity of other races, Scrubs also contains a theme that can be interpreted as supporting a black stereotype. 

In his speech Pathology of Privilege, Tim Wise discusses that as a white person growing up, if he wasn’t looking for a job that required dancing or jumping he was considered privileged.   This was referring to the stereotype that black people are better at dancing or athletics than whites.  In the episode Turk wins a bet with an attendee and after he wins he proclaims it is time to dance and moonwalks while singing Michael Jackson.  That scene reinforces the stereotype earlier mentioned by Tim Wise and can hurt blacks by preventing the belief that they can achieve the same goals. 


In this episode of Scrubs, there is also a theme that counteracts one of the stereotypes against blacks in the media.  In “The Portrayal of Racial Minorities on Prime Time Television: A Replication of the Mastro and Greenberg Study a Decade Later” the authors state that many times blacks are seen as lazy in the media.  The opposite is shown by Turk in this episode of Scrubs.  Turk unfortunately performs surgery on a patient that dies and goes out of his way in the middle of work to attend the patient’s funeral.  Turk is a hardworking surgeon and that he is a successful doctor displays he is not lazy, which is the opposite of some of the common stereotypes seen in the media.  


Conclusion: This episode of Scrubs reinforces some racial stereotypes such as exclusion of nonwhite races but also diminishes the stereotype that blacks are lazy. 

Upper Class and It’s Portrayal In Gossip Girl

23 Sep

Group: Upper Class

Summary: This episode contains two main and separate story lines.  The first being the Bass family trying to impress the media so they can pretend to relates to potential investors interested in Bart Bass’s his company.   The investors have Midwestern family values and Bart encourages his wife and kids to act like they share the same values.  The second main theme follows Chuck and Blair’s attempts to tarnish Vanessa’s reputation.   There is a historical bar in Brooklyn that is going to be closed down and Vanessa is trying to make it historic so it cannot be demolished.  Chuck tells Vanessa he plans on buying and saving the bar even though he is no real intention to do so.  If all went as planned Vanessa would look like the bad person by telling everyone she found a way to save it but the bar still ends up being demolished.



 In the show Gossip Girl, the Bass family is one of the richest in New York with the father, Bart, owning a giant international hotel chain comparable to Donald Trump’s.  The family lives in one of the upscale hotels in a giant suite and are pampered constantly with every service imaginable.  Chuck is always seen in public wearing a suit and has a personal driver that beckons to his every call. This episode enforces multiple stereotypes that the media holds about the upper-class. 


The family portrays the finest luxuries which are consistent with the stereotype that their happiness is material based. One of the materials the Bass family owns to keep them happy is a private jet.  Wealthy people can afford a plane ticket or even rent a private jet, but owning one provides a new level of wealth.  The suit Chuck always wears is another example of material happiness. It is rarely required for a teenager to be seen in a suit at all times and the clothing he wears gives him a sense of both happiness and power.  


 Chuck also sees himself as very powerful which is portrayed in the scheme he plans to pull on Vanessa who has much less money than the Bass family.  Gossip Girl shows that the rich have power over the middle class or poor with the ability to spend money.  Chuck is controlling Vanessa with his ability to buy the bar that she cherishes since Vanessa must follow his lead or risk the option of losing the bar. 

Conclusion: This episode of Gossip Girl is consistent with stereotypes of class and that the pursuit of happiness in the main characters of the show truly does mean not only the pursuit of things, but the pursuit of power and socioeconomic status. 

Blog 1: Gossip Girl

11 Sep

Groups: Sexuality and Masculinity

Summary: In an episode of the first season of Gossip Girl, Blair Waldorf (one of the the main characters) broke up with her long time boyfriend, Nate Archibald. Feeling distraught and upset, she seeks refuge with her friend Chuck Bass at a Burlesque club on the Upper East Side of New York that he owns. When she arrives, she begins drinking, while expressing her feelings to Chuck. Earlier in the show when Chuck was speaking of his newest endeavor that was the club, he said ” it’s a place to feel free-to let lose, pure escape. What happens at Victrola stays at Victrola”. As Blair and Chuck are sitting and watching the burlesque performance, Chuck makes a comment about how he didn’t think Blair would ever do anything like performing burlesque, as she is portrayed a prim and proper throughout the show. As soon as he makes this comment, she goes up on stage and starts dancing and stripping down to her slip. At this point, chuck is drooling over her.



Analysis: This scene of Gossip Girl exemplifies sexuality and masculinity. The burlesque club centers around women in lingerie dancing and stripping on stage for the predominately male audience.  This reinforces certain views that society holds on sexuality.  The pleasure is generated purely for the audiences and is a male dominated sexual atmosphere.  The burlesque club is playing on the stereotype some hold that sex is a male dominated arena.  The scene also reinforces certain aspects of masculinity.  Before Chuck saw Blaire stripping on stage, he had no interest in her as a sexual or relationship  partner.  Since Blaire stripping suddenly made Chuck interested in her, it shows that Chuck is sexually driven for his relationships.  This is another common male stereotype that they are participants in mutual relationships for the sexual benefits.  The burlesque scene in Gossip Girl emphasizes commons stereotypes of masculinity and sexuality. 

Conclusion: This short scene in this Gossip Girl episode reinforces the notion that sex is male dominated and that men are in relationships for the sexual benefits.