Archive by Author

The NOH8 Campaign

6 Nov

The usefulness of Pro-Social Media is important for many reasons.   For starters, the media tends to focus more on the negative than on the positive.  In the reading by Mary Beth Oliver, she says that the news tend to focus more on crimes that Blacks commit versus crimes that Whites do.  Tiggerman suggested that women prefer to be thin than overweight because that is mostly what is seen as normal in the media

This also proves to be true when people who say that marriage should be between one man and one woman.  Groups like Westboro Baptist Church, Focus on the Family, and Defend the Family often say that gays will ruin the world.  Westboro is known for its extreme views against homosexuality. Focus on the Family is known for trying to teach people that homosexual behavior violates God’s design for gender and sexuality.  Defend the Family, also known as Abiding Truth Ministries mission is to promote and defend the Biblical view of marriage and family through education, training, and funding. They helped sponsor the Kill the Gays bill in Uganda.

There were many groups that chose to think more positive when it comes to marriage equality.  One of these great groups is called the NOH8 Campaign.  The NOH8 Campaign was established in 2008 when proposition 8 passed in California, banning same sex marriages.  California had allowed for same sex marriage in 2004, but was challenged and voters voted to ban same sex marriage in 2008.  According to their website, their campaign is a “photographic silent protest created by celebrity photographer Adam Bouska and partner Jeff Parshley in direct response to the passage of Proposition 8.  Photos feature subjects with duct tape over their mouths, symbolizing their voices being silenced by Prop 8 and similar legislation around the world, with “NOH8″ painted on one cheek in protest.”  They have had many people from all around the world take a stand against Prop 8. Proposition 8 was officially overturned on August 4, 2010. Opponents appealed their ruling and took it to the Supreme Court and on June 26, 2013, they were told that their motion was denied due to lack of direct injury required by well established precedential standards.  Same sex marriage in California resumed on June 28, 2013.  Although Prop 8 has been overturned, they still fight to have marriage equality in all 50 states.  As of November 6, 2013 15 states (Massachusetts, California, Connecticut, Iowa, Vermont, New Hampshire, DC, New York, Washington, Maine, Maryland, Rhode Island, Delaware, Minnesota, New Jersey, and Illinois) have passed laws that says that same sex marriage should be legal.  Illinois will allow same sex couples to wed beginning on June 1, 2014.

I believe that pro-social media is making a positive influence on today’s youth.  Too often, we focus on the negative while we should be focusing more on the positive things.  I feel that if youth see their favorite celebrities or their idols standing for marriage equality, then maybe they will want to stand up for marriage equality as well.

Pics: Raven Symone, Ricki Lake, Taye Diggs, Tatyana Ali, Lance Bass, and Ashlee Simpson & Pete Wentz

Raven SymoneRicki LakeTaye DiggsTatyana AliLance BassAshlee Simpson and Pete Wentz


Tim Wise Words

24 Oct

Going into this lecture, I knew he would say things that I agree with.  As an African American male, I often see people being racist or using racist terms towards other people.  I see this in the gay community more than any other community I know.  There are some people that will absolutely say things like “No Blacks”, “No Asians”, “White Men Only” “No fats/fems” and it really sickens me when people say this online.  Or even worse, instead of saying the race, they replace it with a food term. For example, they may say “No Rice” for Asians or “No Chocolate” for blacks.  Most of the time, their excuse is this “I’m not racist. It’s just a preference”.  I get tired of hearing these words come out of people’s mouths.  Why exclude an entire group of people based on their skin color?  Personally, I don’t care who I date. I base who I date on how I connect with them as a person, not based on the color of their skin.

Tim brought up some great points throughout his presentation.  I 100 percent agreed with him that people just don’t want to talk about it.  They prefer to ignore it.  If someone doesn’t talk about it, how will this issue of racism be solved?  Also, some of his statistics did not surprise me, but they are things that are not better left unsaid.  Blacks and Latinos are always being targeted by the police, but I was surprised to hear that 1/3 of Asians with a college degree will be unemployed.  And the War on Drugs only targeting certain communities is no surprise.  When I am on the bus going through certain communities, we can see how the police is always in the same communities messing with the same people.  I know I have been targeted by the police before.  I was walking to the bus stop at 6:30AM when I noticed a Springdale police officer kept driving up and down the street.  He did this six times and I could tell he was trying to get a good look at me, although it was dark.  

I really enjoyed his speech and be brought up many points that people absolutely refused to talk about.  If we don’t talk about it, how will we solve the problem?  Burying it will not stop it nor will ignoring it.  I really hope that more people will hear him talk and think about their actions before they do them and not be racist towards a certain group for very petty reasons.

Baby I, Dance Apocalyptic, & A Couple of Forevers

2 Oct

For this blog, I want to explore 3 female artists and the depiction of race in their music videos. The three music videos I will analyze are:

1. Baby I by Ariana Grande

2. Dance Apocalyptic by Janelle Monae

3. A Couple of Forevers by Chrisette Michele

I want to analyze how African Americans are represented in music videos. Each of these three music videos were made in 2013. Janelle Monae & Chrisette Michele are African American R&B artists, and Ariana Grande is a pop singer/actress.  She is of Italian descent.

In 2010, Monk wrote and article called The Portrayal of Racial Minorities on Prime Time Television: A Replication of the Mastro and Greenberg Study a Decade Later.  In this article, they state the following: Exploring how racial minorities are portrayed on television is valuable for two primary reasons. First, it is socially important to document how minorities are depicted on television as well as how such portrayals have changed over time. Second, as a cultural artifact, television reaches a wide audience.”  In 2000, Maestro and Greenberg found that 16 percent of actors were African American and that number was the same number that Monk got when their analysis was done in 2007. 

Video 1: Baby I by Ariana Grande

In this video, there are plenty of people in the background that are many different races. In this particular video, I saw quite a few African Americans in the background. In the first few seconds, she is seen hugging a black person when she walks into the party.  In all the scenes where she is dancing, her background singers are all diverse.  This was the most diverse video of the three videos analyzed.

Video 2: Dance Apocalyptic by Janelle Monae

In this video, most of the people who are in her band are African American.  However, her audience is very diverse.  In the video, she even goes into the audience and interacts with them. The section she is seen with is very diverse and I liked that in this particular video.  While the majority of the people in the video are black, Janelle does a great job at showing people of other races in her video.

Video 3: A Couple of Forevers by Chrisette Michele

This video surprised me a little bit because about 97 percent of the people in this video were black. In this video, I saw a total of three white people. One was in the background looking a bit confused while she was singing to her beau and they were showing other couples as well being in love. One of the couples shown was an older white couple. All the other couples there were African American couples. I felt this video was the least diverse of the three videos I analyzed.

Conclusion: The artists I saw are trying to depict more diversity in their music videos in response to them having fans of all races throughout the world.


Dangers of the Train: The Simpsons

23 Sep

For my second blog, I decided to analyze an episode of The Simpsons. 

This episode was the 22nd episode of the 24th season. Originally airing on May 19, 2013 and re-airing on September 22, 2013.  This show airs on FOX. Here is a brief summary of the episode:  It is Homer and Marge’s anniversary.  Marge thought she was buying some cupcakes from Dolly Madison, but accidentally signed up for a dating website called Sassy Madison, a website dedicated for married women to have affairs with other people.  Homer wanted to re-live their first anniversary by taking Marge to the mall where they had it.  Unfortunately, the mall is closed because it has fallen apart over the years.  He takes the train they rode, called L’il Lisa, home and recruits Reverend Lovejoy and his bar friends to fix it and give it to Marge as a wedding anniversary present.

Analysis: Throughout the series, many of the characters are shown to be less than desirable according to some standards that people place.  For example, in this episode, Nelson’s mother is shown dressed in a tube top with shorts and heels feeding a baby Nelson some champagne when he says his first words which is “Ha-Ha”.  Nelson also looked like he hadn’t been bathed in weeks, as he looked very pale.  According to Laura Portwood-Stacer, author of Consuming Trash, Mrs. Muntz would be considered white trash by some because of the fact that she lives in a house that is in deplorable condition and she has also been known to strip for a living to support their household.  She says that “people stereotypically classified as white trash include trailer park residents, transients, welfare mothers, neglected children, sex workers, alcoholics, drug users, perpetrators and victims of domestic violence, talk show guests, Klan members, truck drivers, the list goes on and on”.  The Muntz family is also poor, so that is another reason why they would be considered white trash.  In one episode years, ago, he commented that he had to eat drywall because there was no food at his house.

Barney, Carl, Lenny, and Homer may also be considered trash because they drink a lot as well. 

Below, I have added a picture of what their house looks like, what she looked like as a stripper, and what she had on in the episode that I watched.      Young Mrs. Muntz  Mrs. Muntz at a strip bar

Conclusion: The Simpsons often shows people of all classes and how some live their lives, with many of it being exaggerated for entertainment purposes. 

The Girl Who’s Scared of Clowns

11 Sep

I decided to analyze an episode of America’s Next Top Model: Cycle 20: Guys vs. Girls.  This is the first time in ANTM history that they have had male contestants competing with female contestants.  In the episode, The Girl Who’s Scared of Clowns, we have 11 models left. 5 girls and 6 guys. At the end of the show, that was narrowed down to 9, with 4 girls and 5 guys still in the running.

Masculinity: All the male models are expected to act masculine in their roles on the show and as they take their pictures during each week’s themed photo shoot.  Cory, who is openly gay, has been told in his previous photos that he acts too feminine and he needs to bring out his masculinity.  Last week, he got top photo because he had to do a photo shoot where the women dressed as men and the men dressed as women.  Another example of masculinity shown was when they were prepping for their photo shoot and the guy who runs Smashbox Studios tells them they will be doing nail art.  He says that “I know you guys don’t normally paint your nails… well maybe some of you do” and the camera immediately zooms in on Cory and he blushes a little.  Cory has to ask the photographer, Franco Lacosta, if he looks too girly and the photographer says “no that does not look too girly. I don’t want you to look to girly. I want you to look like a man.”  Also, during the challenge, in which they had to create a Flixel picture, Phil was not satisfied with having Kelly tell him he needed a new shirt because he decided to cut the sleeves off the shirt he originally chose.  As a result, he throws a rock at a fence, breaking the fence and causing his team which included Chris, Cory, and Jiana to finish last.  The boys played two pranks on the girls.  The first was them taping their possessions to the wall while they were in the shower and another was when they placed clowns in their room knowing Renee and Kanani was afraid of clowns.  Also, during an earlier makeover episode, Phil is shown getting a weave.

Femininity: All the female models are expected to act feminine in their roles on the show and as they take their pictures during each week’s themed photo shoot.  In this episode, Phil was told that his picture “looked way too feminine.”  Also, during clips of them in the house, they show the girls and their interactions with the guys.  Jourdan was mad at Jeremy because he was always trying to get up under her.  He tried to apologize to her, but she just ignored him.  Nina also is giving Chris the cold shoulder because of comments he said in house this week.  Jiana noticed this and Jeremy tells her “and you wonder why nobody likes you in the house” because of the way that she carries herself.  A prank gone wrong causes Kanani to not be able to focus on the photo shoot and as a result, she is sent home.  Kelly Cutrone has been called many things: rude, nasty, etc. She refers to herself as the “power girl” because she tells it like it is, similar to most people that work in the fashion industry.  She has been shown to be very rude and verbally abusive towards the models. In cycle 18, Louise, a British model, told her off for being rude to her.  Chlea, who was eliminated in episode 4, told her off as well.  To Kelly, anyone who stands up for themselves is being rude.

Sexuality: Most of the models on the show identify as straight. Kanani has a daughter, Marvin is shown in earlier episodes to be a “ladies man” by always flirting with the female models.  Jourdan says that she has a boyfriend outside of the show.  Jeremy admits to having a crush on Jourdan. Cory is openly gay.

Final Conclusion: ANTM is doing something big by having male models compete with the females. However, it shows us that male models should still act masculine and female models should portray themselves as feminine.  The modeling world is not meant for everyone and ANTM shows us the ups and downs of the modeling industry.

Below, are the pictures that Tyra chose as the best photo for each of them.  You can be the judge and see if they are acting their role.

Call out order: Jourdan, Marvin, Cory, Chris, Don, Renee, Nina, Jiani, Phil
Eliminated: Kanani & Jeremy