Feminism — A Movement Transcending and Transforming in Time

Feminism today is: “the advocacy of women’s rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men”, as defined by the Oxford dictionary, but to many it is so much more. It is a way of living, it is an ongoing fight towards victory in equality. Fifty years ago, feminism was in its second wave — defined by the understanding that women’s personal lives were deeply inflicted politically, and worked to fight against sexist power structures. In reality, the true meaning of the word foregoes any place in time — feminism exists wholly as an evolution of beliefs and actions made in the effort equality amongst the sexes. Feminism is timeless.

Historically, feminism has been found as radical and progressive — a movement over a lifestyle. In the media, feminism has thematically been represented in protests, records of actions taken out of context, presented as absurdity. This was feminism in the 1960s:

1977:  Women taking part in a demonstration in New York demanding safe legal abortions for all women.  (Photo by Peter Keegan/Keystone/Getty Images)

1977: Women taking part in a demonstration in New York demanding safe legal abortions for all women. (Photo by Peter Keegan/Keystone/Getty Images)

In the media today, feminism is shown through clothing printed with empowering slogans and prints of breasts, feminist icons — musicians, writers, actors, filmmakers, designers, etc—, world wide political discussions and beyond. Feminism is not restricted to women fighting against men, there are now many men in the fight with us — it is a genderless, sexless, raceless battle in favor of all genders, sexes, and races — in favor of equality. This is feminism in 2015:

 

PARIS, FRANCE - SEPTEMBER 30:  Models walk the runway during the Chanel show as part of the Paris Fashion Week Womenswear Spring/Summer 2015 on September 30, 2014 in Paris, France.  (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)

PARIS, FRANCE – SEPTEMBER 30: Models walk the runway during the Chanel show as part of the Paris Fashion Week Womenswear Spring/Summer 2015 on September 30, 2014 in Paris, France. (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)

Beyonce preforms at the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards at the Forum in Inglewood, California on August 24, 2014.

Beyonce preforms at the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards at the Forum in Inglewood, California on August 24, 2014.

Fifty years apart, and here we are, fighting the same battles: unequal pay, lack of control over our own bodies and sexuality, the list goes on. The differences come through the progression of society — the way feminism is portrayed and the way we view it, the way its marketed and contributed. Fifty years ago, feminism reached the masses in breaking news, in taking over the streets and the occasional Hollywood figures or musicians. Today, feminism reaches the masses through blogs, photo series, podcasts, fashion, political figures, social media platforms, music, art and beyond.

It's Me and You Clothing Lookbook

It’s Me and You Clothing Lookbook

It's Me and You Clothing Cookbook

It’s Me and You Clothing Cookbook

Nineteen year old Jewish girl from Chicago, Tavi Gevinson, was just twelve years of age when she started a fashion blog known as “Style Rookie”, and is now one of the most influential female activists of our generation — the head of world wide pop culture and femme-themed Rookie Magazine, online. As she stated in her TedxTalk just a few years ago: “Feminism is not a rulebook, but a discussion, a conversation, a process”(Gevinson, Tavi. “A Teen Just Trying to Figure It out.”) This thoughtful collection of twelve words is a pretty direct analysis and representation of the manifestation of what feminism is presently.

Through Tavi, what it is to be a woman today versus what it has meant historically is a budding conversation that happens on a platform reaching world wide in an instant — a reality that was unthinkable fifty years ago.

It was then when the discussions took place through community marches with signs held high and the burning of bras. News that didn’t reach outside of its own community until days after, if it spread at all; news that was “discussed” as an event, as something that happened, but taken apart from the root of what generated the action-taking. Being a twelve year old, being Jewish, and being a girl were each battles in themselves.
Star Olderman, Associate Professor of Women’s Studies and Chair of the Women’s Studies Department at University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, wrote the article “Midwestern Women and the Second Wave of Feminism: How Social Change Happens” as a review of the documentary “Step By Step: Building a Feminist Movement”. The review tells of many Midwestern women interviewed in the film and how their local efforts transformed into state-wide and national feminist movements. This depiction speaks directly to what Tavi Gevinson has and is currently doing. Tavi’s ability to lead a movement beginning as a middle class, Jewish, twelve year old girl is something that would have been nearly unattainable without the internet. Feminism often begins with every day people asking questions about every day scenarios, and acting in pursuit of answers. Olderman’s analysis of Steb By Step’s representation of feminism speaks of “women who at first seem to be involved in very separate or very local struggles, finally bringing them together on the state and national levels” — although speaking to movements over fifty years old, one sees parallels of this happening in social circles similar to those of activists such as Tavi Gevinson, Amy Poehler, and Lena Dunham.

Along the lines of the evolution of forming feminist communities, Oxford University Press’ book: Everywhere and Nowhere: Contemporary Feminism in the United States by Jo Reger depicts feminism on a community-wide scale. Notating how feminism starts with the individual and intermingles, Reger’s studies align very well with what Tavi was accomplishing from a very young age. Reger largely compares feminism in terms of generational differences, notating how there are often disagreements on what is actually important or worth fighting for. Where in the the 1960s, women would have to leave the United States in order to get a safe abortion, and today abortion is legal in some states, there is sometimes conflict in the minds of prior generations of feminists when hearing of movements such as “Free the Nipple”, questioning the importance of that relative to what they fought for some years ago. Many older activists see young feminists as being too concerned with popular culture and sexual empowerment, when in reality, these are very real and resonant topics of this generation. Reger confronts these conflicts best in stating “Disagreements about who ‘we’ are, or should be, take time and resources away from activist tasks, often alienating participants and fragmenting the movement.”

One representation of feminism really resonant to this generation is the television series Gilmore Girls — following a single, independent mother, successful in her career and raising a daughter. This show hits close to home for me as it was probably the first example of feminism that was revealed to me as a young girl. Amy Sherman-Palladino portrays powerful, independent, self-motivated women — writing her characters in ways in which the audience can get to know them in a very real and familiar way.

Although not an exact analysis, the topics examined in Reger’s text correlate closely with many of the characteristics that make up Gilmore Girls. The series is a thorough representation of feminism on both individual and community-wide scales, showing how feminism and communities effect one another, support and growth wise. Each individual takes on the role of being a feminist differently — Gilmore Girls portrays three generations of Gilmore girls, each strong and independent in significantly different ways, largely as a result of the differing waves of time they each grew up in. Gilmore Girls is also incredibly diverse casting wise, which opens the viewers eyes to feminism across the various social factors — race, gender, sexuality, religion, class — which Reger depicts in her book as incredibly important, but rarely found.

As mentioned before, Tavi notates that women are often portrayed as very flat, two-dimensional characters — over simplified and easily understood, when in reality women are not like this whatsoever. In the case of Gilmore Girls, on the whole, the characters at play are somewhat of an anomaly because of how multidimensional they are, even considering the time period of its release.
As a public television show of the early 2000s, such attentiveness to the representation of women was a rarity. Lorelai and Rory, the two main characters, are intelligent, humorous, motivated young women, independent in many ways — but are also very real in the the way that they do show weaknesses (often when it comes to relationships in their various forms), but are not overly inhibited by their trials. One topic that Gilmore Girls touches on in particular that stands apart from the majority of representations of women in the media is the role that food played within the show. Food was often a tool for guiding conversations and building character relationships. I would estimate that nearly 65 percent of the conversations held throughout the show take place during the consumption of some form of food. There was an emphasis on the lack of knowledge Rory and Lorelai had of making food, counter playing their overall intelligent personas, which lead to the mother daughter duo eating fast food, take out, and frozen dinners for the duration of the series. For a show focused around two women, this pushes preconceived notions of the ways in which a woman should and does eat by emphasizing eating incredibly unhealthy food in abundant quantities and high frequencies.

gilmore girls chinese food gilmore girls pie

The 1966 Czech film “Daisies” is a strong representation of feminism in its second wave, and in many ways is a parallel to Gilmore Girls. In some ways, the two main characters are a bit less dimensional than the girls of Stars Hollow, but their polarizing personalities are undoubtedly intentional. Vera Chytilova was the first female film director of the nation, and was actually banned from film making after the making of this film — proving how rare such a portrayal as this was in popular culture. Her portrayal of two young, bored girls includes numerous scenes of ravenous eating, tricking men into buying the two sisters meals, and leaving the men in the dust — without the sexual favors they presumed would be granted in return. “The twinned heroines act like dolls run amok, but they’re also impish adolescents tweaking society through their experiments in self definition. ‘We can try anything once,’ they claim in their existential repartee” writes Nicholas Rapold of the New York Times in An Audience for Free Spirits in a Closed Society. This description exemplifies the free spirited beings Chytilova so boldly chose to portray in the midst of a very conservative political regime. Although very similar to many of the characteristics one can find in Gilmore Girls, Chytilova’s representation was seen as obscene, and was pretty clearly a rebellion against many social expectations in a bit more obscene, blatant way.

 

i love food

It has been incredibly interesting to find that many representations of feminism in popular culture have retained similar qualities over history — what seems to have changed more than the content itself, is how harshly the public reacts to the the content. The ideals continue to transcend time, while taking form in new interpretations. It is clear that for a large part of history this part of my identity was often represented through satire and absurdity in an attempt to maybe counteract peoples opinions by showing that, in reality, feminism is a way of living, feminism should be the norm.

Learning Moments:

There have been many learning moments for me throughout this course — some of which were incredibly revealing in terms of information, and some experience based. As I have never taken an online course before, this term was, and continues to be, a learning experience in terms of organization and independence. It has been a rollercoaster of confusion and revelation on a number of scales. Although in many ways online courses offer a liberty as to when a student needs to be presently working, the time range in which one needs to be online, whether figuring out an assignment, doing the research, completing the assignment, etc., is entirely more scattered. It is not at all the same as going to a class twice a week, receiving all of the information in a two hour period, and leaving with the understanding that you have a routine amount of time between then and the next time you will be in that class. This calls for a lot of self-discipline and organization in the realm of online courses.
On another note, the freedom of online courses allow access to so much more information — the vastness of what is out there to research is at the tip of the students fingers, quite literally, and is encouraged to be delved into. On top of that, the peers one interacts with are granted the same opportunity, and are encouraged to share their findings with the others in a way that isn’t as available as in face to face classes because there is no time frame cutting of a students thought necessarily — the information is forever lingering through the world of the internet.
In coming into this course I was unsure of what to expect. I am not personally acclimated to popular culture as intensely as a majority of my peers today are, so I thought of this class as a way to gather wisdom on today’s popular culture. Although this did happen naturally through many of the examples we were asked to share with one another in relation to topics throughout the term, this term was more of an analysis of popular culture’s presentation — which I almost enjoy even more. Studying the affects of advertising and the many ways it takes form and place within our culture was undoubtedly my favorite topic of the term — despite, and probably because of, how sickening the revelation of the subconscious power advertising has on its audiences was to me. Naturally now I can’t help but find that advertising is virtually unescapable today, so when I’m not avoiding it, I keep in mind the four steps learned from the “Deconstructing an Ad” handout.

Sources:

Garis, Mary Grace. “What Makes Up the Diet of a Gilmore Girl? Lorelai and Rory Have Very Specific Tastes.” Bustle. April 17, 2015. Accessed December 4, 2015.

Gevinson, Tavi. “A Teen Just Trying to Figure It out.” TedXTalks. 2010.
Accessed October 17, 2015.

Olderman, Star. “Midwestern Women and the Second Wave of Feminism: How Social Change Happens.” University of Wisconsin System Women’s Studies Library, 1999. Accessed October, 2015.

Rapold, Nicolas. “An Audience for Free Spirits in a Closed Society.” The New York Times,
June 29, 2012. Accessed November 30, 2015.

Reger, Jo. Everywhere and Nowhere: Contemporary Feminism in the United States. New York: Oxford University Press, 2012.

“Daisies.” Criterion. Accessed December 1, 2015.

“Definition of Feminism in English.” Oxford Dictionaries. Accessed October 9, 2015.

“Gilmore Girls.” Writ. and Dir. Amy Sherman-Palladino. Warner Brothers, 2000-2007.

Image Sources:

Images 1-3: http://womenshistory.about.com/od/feminism-second-wave/a/1960s-Feminism-Timeline.htm
Image 4: http://globalgrind.com/2014/09/30/chanel-spring-2015-show-feminism-photos/
Image 5: http://bscene.bershka.com/en/2014/feminismo-arte-y-colores-pastel/
Images 6-7: itsmeandyou.com
Images 8-19: https://www.ted.com/talks/tavi_gevinson_a_teen_just_trying_to_figure_it_out
Images 10-12: http://www.bustle.com/articles/74366-what-makes-up-the-diet-of-a-gilmore-girl-lorelai-rory-have-very-specific-tastes
Images 13-14: https://www.criterion.com/films/27854-daisies

College Portrayal in Society

By Kenya Hall Popular Culture. Daneen B.

college portrayal in society    college meme

Nowadays society is so judgmental of the 21st century college student. Society often perceives college students as arrogant and lazy fools. We are believed to be drunken, sex driven crazies in the pre stages of alcoholism. But what society doesn’t understand is that we spend four years trying to map out the rest of our lives through education, and although some benders get us through the term here and there, we are much more than our stereotype. When I started college at Portland State University I knew what would be my biggest distraction. The IDEA of college.aint nobody I thought that college would be this fun social event that everyone did because partying would play a big factor in it I thought that college would be just another life experience.  As I continued on with my education I realized that my idea of college isn’t what college is at all. We go to school to invest into our future selves. I was coaxed into the idea of going to college based on the television shows I watched. Being a first generation college student, I had no one to tell me what to expect, my only other resource was watching tv and basing what is a big life decision on fictitious people. In this way, society had encouraged the idea of going to college by portraying it in a way that glorified the young adult experience, instead of showing what college was really like. Because society sees college students in a negative way, they are also shown on tv to be the exact stereotype that we are seen as.

My findings for my primary sources were the television show Greek which aired on Abc Family, The L.A. Complex and the song I Love College made famous by Asher Roth. Being in college I have learned so much about myself, others, and what college life is truly like. Those facebook memes that talk about living on 20 cent ramen, and being broke are definitely part of the college struggle, and if you never experience that part of college then you haven’t had the right college experience. I have learned that I am not super woman, I cant be in more places that one, and I cannot commit to every college related activity that I intended on doing. I have learned that you cannot rely on other people to get your responsibilities done. But I am a student who is trying to work at the best of my abilities. Being a college student can have its ups and downs with finals, midterms and online class work, you never have much time to party, but when the opportunity presents itself, you obviously take it. The unfortunate part about that is that society only focuses on the idea of college students getting drunk and partying and being too hung over to make it to classes, but we work our butts off to get assignments in, in a timely matter.

My first source is the ABC Family show Greek. I feel that most shows or movies that portray college are inaccurate. For instance the movie 22 Jump street show Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill at crazy frat parties and drinking giant gallons of milk while the entire crowd cheers them on. They go to wild spring break parties and football games but no footage of them actually learning somethinggreek.

College students get judged for their extreme partying, also it gives high school students false hope of what college actually is. In the show Greek it follows a college freshman named Rusty Cartwright as he tries to get through the hustle and bustle of being an outsider in this huge Greek “culture” that his popular sister belongs in.

I think that this show portrays college through the point of view of college freshman because it accurately shows the struggle of college and having to work hard to get where you want to  be in life. You see Rusty’s coming of age story as he finds his place In the college world. You see him making many mistakes, and the  show doesn’t portray college as rainbows and butterflies, it is the real deal. It goes over obstacles and challenges that every college student faces at some point in their college career.

Another portrayal of college would be the song “I love college” made famous by Asher Roth. Its purpose is to give an idea of how partying in college would be, and although it seems like a cliché this song is pretty accurate for college freshman, its an artifact to me because when I first started college I focused more on partying and not my education, I think that it is definitely something that you grow out of by your senior year. This song accurately describes how society sees college students .

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qYx7YG0RsFYar.i love college

Another  show that is more influential to college life/ adulthood is the The L.A. Complex The L.A. Complex is about a girl who, after completing her college career moves to L.A. to look for a job to start her acting career. She moves into a complex with other people trying to make their way into stardom, and they all struggle in their own ways. All thinking that they should be more privileged than the other which describes to each their own “complex” of living in Los Angeles. The audience is people who also struggle with finding work after their undergrad. Its purpose is to show that not everything is at arm’s reach; you have to work for what you want, and I think that once you get into a certain stage In your college career that becomes more of a realistic fact.

Memorable learning experience

My most memorable/favorite learning moment was the advertising lesson. I enjoyed it because there are so many ways to be tricked into mainstream consumerism. Someone could be convincing you that you need something or that you need to do something with subliminal messages that we don’t even notice. I shared a few videos about how smoking is bad with the #truth videos and my point that I was showing was that big marketers target a specific age group and target what they would captivate their interest. The commercials have funny memes and dancing and music, but the message that they are trying to portray is that smoking is bad for your health. Although they are trying to relay an important message, they hide it with funny sayings and music.

Although I think that it is trivial that most marketers are in the same line of persuasion it is also interesting that you can almost coax people to see something without them even seeing the thing that they are supposed to be seeing.aint nobody 2

Another memorable learning experience was reading about how the boy in the shoe shop didn’t want to buy a certain type of shoe because he was worried about the child labors and the people who created them, wanting to not contribute to the harsh reality of how a lot of our products are made. That one spoke out to me because someone at that age felt like the things that happen in the world that we live in are so unfair, and especially him being a young adult and having that realization means something. If everyone or at least a majority of the world thought that way, who knows where we would be.

 

 

Impact of Chinese family education in media

Introduction

Since the One-child policy came out, all family members in Chinese family paid their attention to the only child. A new hot key, “little emptier”, has been discussed in the recent days. This fact cause the new generation grew up under their parents or family members’ protection, and it cause some negative influence to their self-development. Recently, when I took this class and discussed about my own identity, I found the impact of this kind of education cause many impact to our generation, the problems maintain very obvious on Chinese international students. For this reason, I want to talk about how Chinese family education impacts the description about Chinese international students.

 

Chinese international students in media product

Self-supporting hard work student

Most local people have common impression about Chinese international students or even Asian international students are hard-working students. Although most of them lived in the “green house”, they have to give up enjoying their family’s protection and try to push themselves to realize how hard of the true life and get over it.

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Long in Tencent 10 years advertisement

       In Tencent’s advisement, the main character, Long, is one of the students in that community. This generation was born at 1980s. The economic development in China was at the developing state. Some families can have just enough financial abilities to send their children to study abroad. When they were in homeland, they enjoy their parents’ protection. They can have whatever they want if they want. They do not need to worry about money. The only thing that they need to do is to get a good grade in exams. However, when they came to the United State, they got in a totally different life style. They generally felt helpless. No one would help them take care of their life requirement, and financial support has become a new problem. They have to use their limited practical ability to earn to living fee. They go through the hardest time of their life. At this moment, they just began to realize how was the real world looked like.

This kind of students mostly had an excellent family education background. The problem from their family education was just on the communicated method. “Some other cultures (e.g., Chinese and Japanese) are viewed as high-context and collectivistic, in which people tend to use implicit codes for communication, emphasize social harmony, and consider arguments potentially harmful to personal friendships …”(Lin, 2001). Asian people normally prefer to describe or explain their idea implicative, so it was hard for children to understand the meaning of every activity or action of their parents. This naturally gave children that information that “everything is necessary” or “life is very easy, we do not need to worry about it”. Compared the students who just came to foreign countries to study and the students who have gone through the horrible translation, we can easily found that Chinese family education really give some negative or incorrect guide for children so that make them have a distinct recognition of how to handle life problems.

 

Students from new age

       Chinese people would like to call the next generation of international students in China ‘students from new age’. This generation was born at 1990s to 2000s. As the development of economic in China has a stable growth, a part of Chinese became rich. “The foreign education is better” has gradually become a common sense around the social cycle. These families had three common characteristics: parents have low education, family members feel disappointed at Chinese university education, and family members easily went with the stream without their own consideration. They through capacity were everything. Therefore, this idea has also been translated to children. Then, spending money has become a natural activity in their daily life.

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Famous meet-up at Southwest California

       The meet-up in southwest California is the excellent example. Those students who appeared at the video should post a photo of their super drive to a chatting group on a social network communicated app called WeChat to get the permission of the meet-up. The reason why they want to this permission is that they can keep showing up their new achievement or new target. They would like to own several cars for different goals. “One for school, one for party.” One student said at the video. The price of either of those ears was equal to four-year tuition of a normal university student. Moreover, they would pay a big price to dress up their lovely cars. However, in sum, I think all of them forget the goal that they need to provide on this foreign land.

I do not know if they are lack of family communication or they were educated on that way. However, I know these students casually spend money for enjoyment and entertainment without the consideration of others’ feeling. I think the only one reason that they want to do this is because they want to let people understand how rich they are to fulfill their self-satisfaction. The reason of these also related to their growth environment. They were born in a family that can easily satisfy their material requirement but did not give enough education of the goal of their life. They did not need to worry or consider about financial support, so they did not have simple goal such as “Ok, I need to earn money”. Then without any guide, they also did not have any big view of goal such as “I want to …” or “there are some problems of this world that I want to change”. Compared to other children, they normally would not have a strong wish a goal. In addition, their parents simply gave them financial and material support but never taught them how to use money correctly and meaningfully. I think their family education caused the fact that they did not have strong understanding on personally life goal and social responsibility.

Success family communication

       Although there were some negative examples of international students that impacted by the failure of Chinese family education, some students were still success in their life. I have to say that over-indulging can also has some positive influents that can prompt the development of children’s independent thinking ability. Some people in the new generation can have correct life direction understand the current Chinese family education.

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IPhone 6 advertisement on Chinese market

       In the advertisement of apple, since the girl began to use IPhone 6, she has found out a new method that can help her play music for her grandmother even she was not at home. She stored the music in the phone before she went abroad to study so that her grandmother can listen to her favorites music even without her assistance. I think this maintained that a part of person in our generation that have ability of creatively, and they would like to use their ablatives to show love for their family members.

The girl used her own ability to take care of her family. Based on the video, we can easily understand that her family never gave her any guide on personal value or society communication. She learned from her observation of daily life and caught family members’ facial expression changes to conjecture their emotion. We can conclude that limited restriction of Chinese family communication can help students have a strong self-learning ability. They can understand the world through their own observation and thinking. When we discuss an object, we need consider about the both sides. While Chinese family education cause some negative effect for children, it also gave some positive influence to them. Since family never tied the development direction of children, they can found their own way by themselves. When they understand they should have responsibility to their family, they will hold this opinion in their mind. Because no one has said some guides like “Oh, that is worry” to them. They can a free space to think, to feel, and to conclude. Every idea in their mind will never be affected, either the worry ideas, or the correct ideas. Then hopefully, if a student realized more correct ideas then worry ideas, they can bigger contribution to community and society. In short, we cannot provide rejection that Chinese family gave children a free-space to grow. In some cases, no education is the best education.

Discussion

       Chinese International students, a special foreign community that lives in the United States, are good target that can be used to discuss about the impact of Chinese family education. Since children leave their family to a place that have a long distance with family, we can clearly understand what they learn from their family. Or, we can learn from their self-conclusion and introspection of the past few years. In media that describe this target community can basically give us some information even through they still have some bias on the real facts.

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Chinese One-Child Policy

       Because of the only-child policy, in the recent decades, people in China have fed their children on a more conservative way. Protection has become the key word for Chinese family communication and education. In 2000s, many sociologists discussed about the crisis brought from the policy. The whole family paid all of their attention to children and hope to gave them the best. They try to fulfill every wish of their children as possible as they can. However, “Families may act in an overprotective way with their only child, thus, hindering his or her normal development of personality” (Lin, 2001) Children cannot understand how to live in a correct meaningful way. The information from their growth environment may make them think money can come easily without hardworking, or family care should naturally come to them.

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Cartoon that truly describe the recent family hierarchy

“In fact, due to the overwhelming attention they receive at home, some single-children might even appear to be more emotionally secure and confident” (Chen, 2003). Children growth from this family would be more argumentativeness because their opinion stands at an important position during some family discussion. In short, blinding protection from families makes lack of guidance on the development of personality and self-centered.

In addition, the traditional way on communication can also be a death-wound of family education. Parents usually implicitly express their concern to their children, which is hard to help children to found out by themselves.

As an example, this is a common phenomenon reported on both US Daily and Chinese newspaper. Many parent take care of their children as best as they can. However, after that, their children did not understand any information from it, or even he would not said thank you for his mother.

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A photo on newspaper: a mom helps her child wear pants

       Fortunately, Chinese family education contributes on cultivating students’ self-think ability and opinion-discussing ability. Yang Huang claimed, “those norms, for example, are encouraging participation in the decision-making process, supporting constructive disagreement, facilitating the expression of emotions, feelings” (2010). Children may benefit from the family education that hold a strong personal opinion and ability to make decision.

Reference

Chen, X. (2003). THE SOCIAL IMPACT OF CHINA’S ONE-CHILD POLICY. Retrieved November 8, 2015, from http://web.mit.edu/lipoff/www/hapr/summer03_security/CHEN.pdf

Huang, Y. (2010, August). FAMILY COMMUNICATION PATTERNS, COMMUNICATION APPREHENSION AND SOCI-COMMUNICATIVE ORIENTATIVE ORIENTATION: A STUDY OF CHINESE STUDENTS. Retrieved November 6, 2015, from https://etd.ohiolink.edu/!etd.send_file?accession=akron1279326521&disposition=inline

Lin, Y., Rancer, A., & Kong, Q. (2001). Family communication patterns and argumentativeness: An investigation of Chinese college students. Retrieved November 8, 2015, from http://www.uab.edu/Communicationstudies/humancommunication/lin.pdf

Traveling in the Media

Image

Traveling in the Media

By: Carl Johnson

We see traveling all over the media whether directly or indirectly. Traveling can impact our lives and help shape who we are and how we perceive the world. Media can impact the way we perceive or understand certain places of travel, certain cultures or certain environments. Fictional or non-fictional movies, news articles and documentaries can help promote or demote a place of travel and can be the deciding factor on whether or not someone decides to travel there.

In the movieSecret-Life-of-Walter-Mitty Secret Life of Walter Mitty we see a man who resembles the majority of the working class. Working so much that we often don’t have time to do the things we want so all we can do is daydream about them. Throughout the movie we begin to see a man break out of his comfort zone and develop into a completely different person through his travels. Although his work is the thing that has kept him from traveling it also becomes the thing that motivates him. He traveled the world in order to find a picture that a photographer for Life Magazine had. He travels to cities all over Greenland, Iceland and Denmark. The movie shows culture, nature and the different lifestyles of the people who live there. He is able to experience different cultures, whether and meet new people through his travels.

This movie was actually one of the first major motion pictures knowingly set in Iceland. Although it has been seen in other movies and shows such as Game of Thrones and Thor we often don’t know exactly where these beautiful scenes are shot at. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty was the first movie to give insight into Icelandic culture and show exactly where the waterfalls, volcanoes and glaciers are from instead of it just being a background. This movie focuses on the beauty of the landscape and rather than having it as a background element it is actually a major part of the movies story (Hull, 2013).  We also meet a photographer who talks about the beauty of photographing in the places he has traveled and often times elects out in taking a picture because a moment is so beautiful. Traveling helped Walter gain courage, self-worth and a different view of the world that surrounds him. We see his daydreams become a reality.

 

The Bucket List was another major motion picture revolving around the idea of traveling shaping a person’s life. In this movie we meet two elderly men, Carter Chambers and Edward Cole, who ar58390-51057e unlikely friends find that although the only common attribute they share is there terminal illness they can still gain astrong friendship. They both feel like they have yet to actually live their lives. They adventure to places such as Egypt, France, Italy and China to complete a list they have written before they “kick the bucket.” This was another movie that didn’t just include the scenery as a background but as a major aspect of the movie. Although this movie doesn’t show as many cultures in the places traveled like The Secret Life of Walter Mitty does, they do feature beautiful places to visit that people may not have thought of visiting. This movie teaches us how travel can bring joy and it can make us feel like we have accomplished more in our lives. Not only do they show how travel can fulfill their lives but also how experiencing new things and understanding how another’s life can enrich their lives. This movie also features the journey to finding god and peace. (Breimeier, 2007).

The Bucket List and The Secret Life of Walter Mitty both show how there is more to life than just a job or career. Carter Chambers and Walter Mitty share a common trait; they both have603029b453c952e1aa513b58aaa25a38 worked the majority of their lives and found their fulfillment through work never knowing anything else but their jobs. When they begin to travel due to their circumstances they begin to open their eyes to the purpose of life and the enrichment that their travels can bring to their souls. Although they are in different circumstances they both find courage, self-worth and a different view of the world that surrounds them.

Both movies have shown that there is more to traveling than just sightseeing or
trying new foods. We see that travel can help people gain a sense of self-worth and achievement. It helps people grow and become the people they want to be. Experiencing new cultures and people can help us see a new side to life and help us understand what our true purpose is. They show the life is about growth and self-improvement and that through travel we can gain these important aspects that help us to become a  better individual and benefit those around us.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bibliography

Diamond, Stephen. “Staring at Sixty: Some Musings About Mortality and the Bucket List.” Psychology Today. 9 Apr. 2009. Web. 27 Nov. 2015.

 

“Five Life Lessons From The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty.” Wild Sister Magazine RSS. 10 Feb. 2014. Web. 27 Nov. 2015.

 

Hull, Robert. “Walter Mitty Gives Iceland Its First Leading Role in a Hollywood Blockbuster.” The Gardian. 26 Dec. 2013. Web. 27 Nov. 2015.

 

Mansaray, David. “The Importance of Travel for Personal Development.” David Mansaray RSS. 8 Feb. 2012. Web. 27 Nov. 2015.

 

Plastic Surgery – A Cultural Reflection in South Korea

Featured

by Chau Nguyen

Gangnam district

According to the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ISAPS), the U.S, Brazil, and South Korea are the top three countries with the highest cosmetic surgical procedures in 2014. South Korea, although was ranked in third place, is actually the plastic surgery capital of the world. No exact number could be found online, but you can calculate the number of surgical procedures for every 1000 citizens by taking the total number of procedures, dividing it by their total population in 2014 (which can be found here), then time 1000. It is true that South Korea has he highest number with 9 procedures for every 1000 citizens.

Plastic surgery is a controversial topic not only in South Korea but in any country that people can have access to this service. To make plastic surgery become such a high demand industry, Korean media must have played a big part. What interests me the most is not their marketing strategy, but the mindset of Korean people on this topic. What makes it be widely accepted and spread across Korean generations (and probably among other Asian countries as well)? After doing some research, I have found that the Korean entertainment industry often sets beauty trends and standards that are followed by their citizens. These admired beauty standards combining with the social beliefs in South Korea has made plastic surgery a necessity, to the point where it can improve someone’s chance to get a job.

So, what are Korean beauty standards? Let’s take a look at this music video, Lion Heart, by Girls’ Generation, one of the most popular Korean idol groups.

The female singers in this video all have something very similar to each other: small V-line face shape, round fore head, double eyelids, tall nose bridge, beautiful smile/teeth, fair skin, thin body, bright and youthful makeup, colored hair, colored contact lenses and a cute yet sexy look. These characteristics are considered the modern beauty standards in South Korea. And thanks the booming entertainment industry, Korean people not only idolize these celebrities’ look but they are also obsessed with them. In the article, The K-pop Plastic Surgery Obsession, written by Zara Stone for The Atlantic magazine in 2013, the author mentioned about James Turnbull, a writer, lecturer in Korea on feminism and pop culture, who is also the owner of the popular blog The Grand Narrative. Turnbull noted that the main idea of producing idol groups is for the audience to like the stars’ appearance and to want to look like them.

In this plastic surgery advertisement, the after-surgery picture shows the model with the similar features: double eyelids, small V-line (or “contoured” face shape), tall nose bridge, and fair skin. Her before picture depicts her looking dull and unhappy, while the after picture is the opposite. To most of us, she looks beautiful in the before picture, but according to Korean beauty standards, her look could be improved. Notice the texts in the ad: “facial contouring that makes you Beautiful like flowers”,“make over Beautiful Face”,  “Contour your face to find your hidden beauty”, “TL Plastic Surgery Where you can find your true beauty.” These words constantly remind the audience how their natural born features could be  undesirable, that doing a facial contouring procedure will help them find their “true beauty”. Beauty is no longer a product of nature, it is now a product plastic surgery clinics and the K-pop industry.

But has this kind of beauty standard always existed in South Korea? I don’t think so. If you look at the picture of Miss Korea  in 1960 and Miss Korea in 2012. The Korean beauty standards in the 1960 still reflected what a normal Korean person would look like (slanted eyes, round face, flatter nose).

Mihija Sohn, Miss Korea 1960, and Sung-hye Lee Miss Korea 2012. (The Atlantic)

Mihija Sohn, Miss Korea 1960, and Sung-hye Lee Miss Korea 2012. (The Atlantic)

After the Korean War, Dr. David Ralph Millard, the chief plastic surgeon for the U.S Marine Corps at that time, went to South Korea in 1954 to help treat Korean accident and burn victims. He later perform the first recorded double eyelid surgery with his reason being to help Asian women minimize the sleepy, unemotional look from their slanted eyes .Despite the fact that his first clientele wasn’t Korean celebrities but prostitutes who wanted to attract American soldiers with their new look, once the first plastic surgery clinic opened in 1961, the number of double eyelid surgery procedures kept multiplying (Stone, 2013). However, not until the entertainment industry flourished that plastic surgery has become such a popular phenomenon in South Korea.

In the early 90s, Lee Soo Man founded one of the first and biggest entertainment agency, S.M Entertainment. The company created many legendary Kpop groups including H.O.T, S.E.S. It now owns Exo, Super Junior and Girls’ Generation. Along with other agencies, J.Y.P and Y.G, S.M has been recruiting young talented boys and girls in their early teenage years. They then have to go through a strict training and not all trainees are guaranteed to be able to make a debut. The group members often have plastic surgery done prior to their debut to make sure they look aesthetically pleasant and suit the Korean beauty standards. When they get famous, they automatically become the trend-setters and many young children will try to copy everything that they do.

In the article, About Face written by Patricia Marx for The New Yorker magazine, Eugene Yun, a private-equity fund manager, told Marx that in Korean language, instead of saying my husband, wives say “our husband”. This, in fact, is a form of antithesis individualism. When Korean people go to restaurant, they often order the same thing. When they go shopping, they want to buy the most popular item. If you have a chance to improve yourself, to look better, you should because everyone else is doing it, so why shouldn’t you?! Hailey Kim, a Korean-American 17 year-old girl, explained to Zara Stone the reason she had a nose job and double eyelid surgery was because she thought her face didn’t look right before (slanted eyes and flat nose). Her mom, aunts and cousins all had surgery done in Korea and gave her full support to follow their footstep.

South Korea is a very competitive society where people compete with each other on materials, money, social status, health and physical appearance. They want to try their best to do everything in their life. That could be measured by surpassing your friends, family, neighbors on whatever they do or have in life. Eunkook Suh, a psychology professor at Yonsei University, in Seoul, stated “In Korea, we don’t care what you think about yourself. Other people’s evaluations of you matter more.” It is because Korean people’s mindset is heavily influenced by Confucianism. He also said that a lot of Korean people believe in an increment theory rather than an entity theory when evaluating someone’s potentials. In another word, practice makes perfect. Maybe you weren’t born with a certain talent, but if you keep practicing that skill set, you will eventually be good at it. And If you weren’t born looking like a K-pop star, or having one of their features, you can now do so with plastic surgery.

Nowadays, having a higher education, good work ethics or talents is not enough for the young Korean people to get a good job, especially women. Kang Nayeon, a high school student from Gumi, a small city outside of Seoul, said that some companies didn’t like to hire people that had had nose job and eyelid surgery, but they still preferred hiring pretty people. And that is why parents allow and sometimes encourage their children to have plastic surgery done when they are younger so when they grow older, it will look more natural on them. An eyelid surgery as a high school graduation gift is very common thing in South Korea.

In conclusion, plastic surgery has become a necessity for Korean people to improve not only their look and self-esteem, but also their chance to get a good job. If someone abuse it, by having too many procedures, they might get frown upon, but having some subtle changes like double eyelid surgery, a nose job, botox or filler would be considered normal. Korean beauty standards in this case is a reflection of their popular culture and social beliefs. Regardless of what the rest of the world think, Korean people will still pursue their beauty standards by one way or another. I think everyone should have the freedom to define their own beauty and decide on how to look their best. However, people should raise concerns about the safety and regulation issues within the plastic surgery industry in Korea to decrease the number of incidents and illegal practices.

Learning moments

This class has sparked my interested in writing and although I don’t have the best writing skills, I can see my improvement throughout the term by reading my own writing and going through the thought process. I think being able to write about a topic that interests me is the biggest help, along with all the required readings and online resources.

My favorite blog post was about analyzing advertisements, I think everyone’s posts were very interesting and diverse. Writing peer review letters was another good learning moment for me because I got to apply what I learned and interpret it in form of suggestions. It also helped me remember different concepts and methods when writing an essay.

References

Giunta, Stephen Xavier. “ISAPS International Survey on Aesthetic/Cosmetic-Procedures Performed in 2014.” Stem Cells in Aesthetic Procedures(2014): n. pag. IASP. 2014. Web. 20 Nov. 2015. <http://www.isaps.org/Media/Default/global-statistics/2015%20ISAPS%20Results.pdf&gt;.

“Lion Heart – Girls’ Generation.” YouTube. SMTOWN, 17 Aug. 2015. Web. 3 Nov. 2015. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nVCubhQ454c&gt;.

Marx, Patricia. “About Face.” The New Yorker. N.p., 23 Mar. 2015. Web. 10 Nov. 2015. <http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/03/23/about-face&gt;.

Stone, Zara. “The K-Pop Plastic Surgery Obsession.” The Atlantic. Atlantic Media Company, 24 May 2013. Web. 10 Nov. 2015. <http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2013/05/the-k-pop-plastic-surgery-obsession/276215/&gt;.

“TL PLASTIC SURGERY Facial Contouring.” YouTube. TPL Plastic Surgery, 1 Jan. 2015. Web. 3 Nov. 2015. <https://youtu.be/nA2X5SWSnZs&gt;.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Big dreams, Latina stereotypes, Who we really are

Stereotypes Based on Famous Latinas

There are many influential Latinas in the entertainment business to start off with Selena (a famous singer known and loved). Another example, is Philly Brown (A girl who used her passion for singing to help her family get through tough times) , Gloria (A sexy milf who loves her family and is married to an older man), their is also, Consuela (A maid in a comedy tv show that loves to clean), and finally, Marisa Ventura from Maid in Manhattan (A maid who falls in love with a wealthy white man). All these Latinas are well known, although Selena is a real person and everyone else is fictional. These are some Latinas who represent the Latino community because they are famous and well known. In general Latinas hold a good record prioritizing family values, aspiring the American dream, following family traditions (musicians), and being hard workers.

A negative stereotype of Latinas is the assumption that they all have thick accents, work as maids, like to show cleavage, are liars, and have attitude.

To fight with these stereotypes here are examples of different Latinas:

Filly Brown
Filly brown, by Youssef Delara is a movie about a struggling Latina who turns to her passion of singing in order to to help her family. Her family is struggling because her mom is in jail and Filly has to take care of her dad and younger sister. In order to do so she works at her uncle’s tattoo shop until she gets this awesome opportunity when a music producer discovers her talent. In the movie “Timing is of the essence as she is hustling to raise money for what she thinks will be her mom’s ticket out of prison.” (Melanie Mendez-Gonzales. Movie review. Que means what).
The movie shows the struggle of the first generation Latinos, who become responsible of their siblings, and are  forced to mature faster than the rest. It continues by showing how hard Latina’s fight to help their family. It also shows how parents could also be struggling in addiction, and making the daughter/son be the grownup. There are times that I have felt this way and I have seen it in many Latino families. It’s not always the mom it could be the dad too putting a lot of responsibility on the first born since it is traditional to do so.
Something that I found revealing was how minorities especially most Latinas struggle with money, and family. Another thing that I noticed was how the first born has to take care of kids, and it’s hard to follow your dreams when your turn in between family and your passion.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iy9CBJ1HA7k (Link shows The struggle for Filly, this song explains what she is going through).

Selena
This is the story of a famous singer named Selena who was one of the first Latinas to make it famous in Mexico and America. She was born in Texas and she had an American dream, to be a famous singer and to reach success in the English market . She succeeded but “The day her life was tragically cut short, Selena was expected at the studio to work on her first English-language album “Dreaming Of You.” “Only 4 of the 13 tracks envisioned for the album were recorded yet the record went multi-platinum when it was released posthumously. The album sold over 5 million copies and surpassed Mariah Carey’s sales records.” (Carolina Moreno. Huffington Post. reasons why Selena will never be forgotten).
She ended up being shot by her friend, Yolanda who was in charge of Selena’s fan club, causing many people to grieve for the young role model. Gregory Nava was asked by Selenas dad to make the movie about Selena, in order to keep her legacy going and in order to show Selena’s accomplishments. Many Latinas lookup to Selena since she was similar to the girl on the block. She never forgot her roots, she was down to earth, and she had a strict dad, big dreams, a boyfriend who her dad did not approve off and managed to achieve her lifelong goal. Details I noticed is that her dad passed down his talents to his daughter in hopes that she will become what he never could be. Another thing would be that she was the first Latina ever to become famous/well known in Mexico and America. I feel that parents usually do that to their kids. They have kids in order for them to keep their legacy going, dreams, hopes that they were not able to do. I also realized Latina’s don’t usually become famous in America and Mexico; so when that happens of course people are going to celebrate it’s a step closer to expanding our horizons.

Consuela
Consuela is a maid in a popular tv show called Family Guy. She shows all the negative stereotypes of Latinas. She is a maid, she has an accent, she acts as if she is not smart, she is a liar, and Consuela tends to always clean wherever she goes. Consuela usually appears on episodes when someone needs cleaning, or on Valentines day when she crossed the border in a matrix manner in order to see her husband Juan. They were about to get intimate when Consuela tells him to wait while she freshens up by spraying herself with a cleaning product the famous “Lemon Pledge.” (Season 11 Episode 12; Valentine’s Day in Quahog). In the episode, “Dog Gone” 2009, Stewie loses $1,000 and asks Consuela if she took it. She admits she did and stewie demands her to give it back. She answers back saying “Come get me B—.” Family guy tries to show the bad stereotypes that are popular in people’s minds, Consuela makes Latinas seem like there only job is to be maids, that they are liars and are people who tend to steal from others.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VM4KBOv-O-g (Here is a link of Consuela showing these stereotypes).

Gloria
In modern Family Gloria is a sexy Latina married to an old white man. She has an accent, loves family, and has a very spicy attitude. She has mixed stereotypes good and bad. It is good to be sexy but when people categorize certain Latinas as sexy vs not sexy it takes stereotypes to a whole different level. Gloria loves family and will do everything to help them be happy, which is a good stereotype for Latinas, family means everything. Gloria has an accent which may not be bad since that is who she is, even so not all Latinas have big accents all the time, people believe Latinas have accents every time that they talk and that is beyond true.


I have realized that Latina’s are shown as strong, poor, they tend to have dreams of a better life, have to take care of family,are taught of as maids, cooks, and house moms. This paper has taught me that Latina singers tend to become famous in order to help their family and to follow their dreams. I feel proud that Latina’s seen as fighters, and no matter what life throws their way they won’t give up. No matter what, minorities will always seem different than others and Popular culture made me realize this. My thesis is that people see famous Latina’s as what Latina’s are and they don’t know the truth about how one person is not the whole culture. My goal is to show people that it is not what it is about at all.

During the term the most significant learning moments for me was when we had a group chat in hangouts and give advice about our paper. Personally chatting and getting advice from others helped me a lot, for some reason the chat was erased but here is an example of another chat that helped me speak out and help others.

Me: “You could say a positive thing that you feel about being a photographer. For example creative, that’s a good stereotype right?”

Me: (Gave a link) “Not sure if this could help but I found it in the word press the title is Photographer stereotypes-a satire (some example)”

kk

Another moment for me would be when I had to write answers to questions that where beyond my knowledge. For example:

In what ways have you participated in or learned about community this term, both in and out of this class?

A: Being able to give each other thoughts, feedback, and criticism. Working as a team for a desired goal (passing the class, learning about popular culture).  That’s what we have been doing I have been doing my part by participating in discussions and such. Out of class I learned about the school’s community, PSU students work together to graduate, help others, make others feel welcomed. We are a huge community of students at PSU not as close but certain parts of the community makes us feel welcomed for example, My sorority Kappa Delta Chi makes me feel welcomed.

Has your definition or understanding of community changed since the term started? Explain.

Yes it has, I believed community was people you where close to, family, a small town community, people who are united, same ethnicity. I just realized that there is way more like online communities, school communities, sorority communities, it doesn’t have to be the same race to be in a community.

Finally another big thing that helped me have a significant moment was during my teachers blog posts. She had asked us to analyze a news article and to find something about plagiarizing. take a look below

Newsworthy Criteria

Timeliness: Did the event just happen? A: No
Proximity: How close is the event, physically and psychologically? New York
Prominence: How many people have some knowledge of the person or event? Fox news, car companies like the Lambo’s
Significance: How many people will be affected? By how much? Not a lot just the company
Currency: Is the event part of an on-going issue? If not, should people know? Maybe
Controversy: Is there conflict or drama? Drama
Uniqueness: Is it a first, last, largest, least, best or worst? Large
Emotional Appeal: Is there humor, sadness or a thrill? Thrill
Here are some questions I ask when I’m analyzing whether a news story is newsworthy:
Does this information matter? Why? No, because politically it is not affecting the world, it’s effecting a company
Does it serve a “greater purpose” or is it just interesting, shocking, or entertaining? Entertaining
In what ways might this story influence the way I think, act, shop, or vote? I will definitely need to buy a Lambo later on
1. Mandatory Prompt: Find a news story (can be a video or print story, from TV, Internet, or paper). Use the “newsworthy” criteria

above (both the editors’ and mine) to analyze it. Give us a link to the story and tell us your findings. Why do you think the editors/producers chose it, and was the story covered really newsworthy? Why or why not?

http://www.foxnews.com/leisure/2015/11/11/hot-wheels-detective-agency-posts-100000-reward-for-missing-lamborghini/?vgnextrefresh=1&intcmp=hplnws

Fast & The Furious: Detective agency posts $100,000 reward for missing Lamborghini. By: Fox News
The title is misleading Fast and the Furious when I clicked on it I thought It was going to be about The movie Fast and the Furious. Instead it was about a Lambo that got stolen and just disappeared sort of like Fast and the Furious on Oct 28. They claim whoever can find it will be rewarded $100,00. I think they choose to talk about this because people tend to love cars, especially fast cars so they also tend to post things people like beside the regular news. This news is not really affecting us politically, it only affects the company.

Find a source on the Internet related to plagiarism/copyright (video, article, blog post, etc.). Summarize it for the class.

I found this fun video about Plagiarism, Its a teacher rapping about it with his students. Writing verbatim and writing everything word from word is bad. And to be okay while writing a paper, cite it and acknowledge the author, citation style. Like the teacher says
“You’re only cheating yourself.” If you plagiarize. must watch video!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pyyk8881tLE

Work Cited
“Latina/o Representation and FOX Broadcasting Company: Family Guy.”Latina/o Representation and FOX Broadcasting Company: Family Guy. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 Dec. 2015
“FILLY BROWN Movie Review.” Qu Means What. N.p., 19 Apr. 2013. Web. 03 Dec. 2015

“Selena Movie Review & Film Summary (1997) | Roger Ebert.” All Content. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 Dec. 2015.

Moreno, Carolina. “20 Reasons Selena Quintanilla Will Never Be Forgotten.” The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, n.d. Web. 03 Dec. 2015

“Google Images.” Google Images. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 Dec. 2015.

When Passion Turns to Violence: How Soccer Supporters are Portrayed in the Media

Growing up as a supporter of soccer in America was very difficult at times. When I was a kid, the sport was not very widely accepted in the United States. People would say things about it not being a real sport or they would scrutinize the players for faking injuries. I tried not to let any of that bother me because I know most of the world agreed with my opinion of the game. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized that the view of soccer fans internationally is much different than it is in the United States. The more research I do, the more I learn just how much soccer means to people in different parts of the world, and how closely I can relate to them. Soccer is and always will be part of my identity. This essay looks into how this identity of mine is represented in popular culture. Due to a long history of intense rivalries, soccer fans from around the world are seen as overly passionate, violent drunks.

These fans, often referred to as hooligans, tend to pick fights with rival fans or start riots. Some fans will yell profanities at players and sometimes even attack them. A group of these fans is called a firm which started as a British term, but has spread worldwide since. Lexi Alexander’s Green Street Hooligans shows what it’s like to descend into the violent, gang-like culture of British firms. Elijah Wood plays a Harvard journalist student who moves to London and quickly becomes swept up into the fierce rivalry between Millwall Football Club and West Ham United. While West Ham is normally a decent team on the field, Millwall isn’t quite up to that standard and is really only known for their rambunctious fanbase. The film provides a fairly realistic look into football hooliganism, but also tends to focus on the Matt.

greenstreet

In a 2005 review of the movie, Roger Ebert mentions that he first thought the inclusion of Matt’s character wasn’t actually a necessity for the film. He later states that “the movie’s point is that someone like this nerdy Harvard boy might be transformed in a fairly short time into a bloodthirsty gang fighter. The message is that violence is hard-wired into men, if only the connection is made.” Although Ebert doesn’t say one way or another if he agrees with that, it does raise a good point. Stereotypically, men have been known to be the more violent and impulsive gender. When hooliganism was much more common in the 20th century, the firms were predominantly male. This, of course, does not mean that soccer fans have been violent because they are male. Most of the firms focus on their pure hate of people from a different region than them.

Instead of harmless trash talk and bragging rights, they take their rivalries to another level and express their disgust with each other through physical violence and vandalism. It’s almost as if they treat it as another game. If one firm’s team loses, they get a second chance to show who is boss. These fans are unlike any that American sports have ever seen. Though, there have been some reports recently of fights between rival fans in America. The Oregonian reported a local incident near Providence Park (then Jeld-Wen Field) on April 14th, 2013 in which a Portland Timbers fan, James Decker, was attacked in his car by two visiting San Jose Earthquakes fans.

James Decker said a group of San Jose Earthquake fans attacked him and smashed his windshield. (Photo from James Decker)

James Decker said a group of San Jose Earthquake fans attacked him and smashed his windshield. (Photo from James Decker)

Decker’s wife and children were also in the car. Since then, NBC Bay Area released an article saying that the two suspects from that day had been arrested. There was also an incident on the other side of the country between opposing fans.

Harrison, New Jersey is home to a Major League Soccer team called the New York Red Bulls. In 2015, the Red Bulls were introduced to a new team in MLS called New York City Football Club. These two teams quickly became regional rivals and, of course, the fans acted accordingly. Most fans focused on the rivalry that happened on the field, but that didn’t stop a few fans from making it a more personal matter. British tabloid Daily mail reported that, “Two gangs of rival supporters were seen brawling in the streets of New Jersey”. This could be a sign of a more passionate, violent culture than American sports has seen before. Daily Mail reporter Kieran Corcoran takes it one step further and starts comparing this one brawl to the historical hooligan culture of England. Tabloids are known to use buzzwords and repetition, and often times they try to make a story more interesting than it is. Writing about some drunken belligerents in front of a bar isn’t necessarily special or interesting, but when the media tries to make it seem like a trend, that’s when people tend to get intrigued. This type of the journalism fools people into thinking there is a trend that might not actually exist. It also reports on the worst aspect of anything without showing the other side. So when people who aren’t familiar with soccer read this, they might think of hooliganism as more of a disease that is spreading as soccer gains popularity in America. In reality, hooligan culture has been around for a very long time and is actually dissipating. American fans like me have pride for their city and their team. And while there is an immense hatred towards rival teams, most fans focus on the game and let their team’s form do most of the talking. Contrary to what the media reports, most soccer fans are not violent and animalistic. In fact, many fans are very involved in their community and try to help out around the city.

The supporters group for Portland’s soccer team is called the Timbers Army. They have a lot of ways for fans to get involved with things like helping clean up parks, planting trees, and other things similar to those. In 2013, the Timbers organization and the Make-A-Wish Foundation partnered up to make a cancer-stricken eight year-old’s dream come true. Atticus Lane-Dupre was diagnosed with cancer and ended up having to miss some of his soccer season to undergo cancer treatment. His wish was to play a game against the Timbers. It was amazing that the game happened at all, but even more amazing is that over 3,000 fans came out to the event and cheered for Atticus’s team. atticus-portland-timbers-600x390 This shows that the Timbers Army is not only passionate about the game, but also about their fellow fans and the community surrounding them. After the game, most of the reaction articles that came out were local. There definitely wouldn’t be tabloids about it. This is just a local, close-to-home case of what a supporters group can do.

Soccer is more than just a game to me and other fans. Though there has been a long history marred by violence, soccer culture has vastly changed. This doesn’t stop media sources from trying to allude back to the times in which fans were crazy, drunken marauders. This piece of my identity is not accurately portrayed in popular culture.

 

Sources

Green Street Hooligans Movie Review | Roger Ebert (All Content) http://rogerebert.com/reviews/green-street-hooligans-2005

Hawley, Lindsay (2004) “Ethnics, Violence, and Truth: Soccer’s American Past,” Constructing the Past: Vol. 5: Iss. 1, Article 4.Available at: http://digitalcommons.iwu.edu/constructing/vol5/iss1/4

25 Fearsome Soccer Hooligan Gangs You Never Want To Meet In Person (List25) http://list25.com/25-fearsome-soccer-hooligan-gangs-you-never-want-to-meet-in-person/

Green Street Hooligans. Dir. Lexi Alexander. Distributed by Warner Home Video, 2006. Film.

Dailymail.com, Kieran Corcoran. “Has British-style Hooliganism Infiltrated American Soccer? Fans Brawl in the Streets Ahead of New York Derby Match.” Mail Online. Associated Newspapers, 10 Aug. 2015. Web. 2 Dec. 2015.

Two visiting soccer fans arrested for April attack on Timbers fan (KATU.com) http://www.katu.com/news/local/Two-visiting-soccer-fans-arrested-for-April-attack-on-Timbers-fan-221562811.html

The rise of new feminism in the current Chinese Popular Culture

At first, I wanted to explore the topic of the job situation of Chinese young people, then I try to find the urban movies and TV series about young people’s job. However, I discovered that most of the highly popular Chinese television drama and movies in recent years I found are about women’s career and life. For example, the TV show “Go Lala Go” played on the Sohu website which is a Chinese video website after14 days, total amount of play was more than 100 million times, the playback volume has exceeded 10 million in a day, created the website record for “the highest level of play” and “play the fastest-rising” (ent.news.cn, para.1). And the TV serials “Ugly Wudi” was showed on September 28, 2008, it got highest ratings for Hunan satellite TV for 4 years (media.people.com.cn, para.1). In addition, these TV dramas have a common characteristic is that reflected the feminism. TV shows as a cultural product, they not only tell the story to the audiences, and disseminate the underlying values. In recent years, the feminist dramas get Chinese audience’s favorite, because of the improvement of women’s status in China. Therefore, I focused on feminist films and television shows, because these TV shows reflect the characteristics of contemporary Chinese young women. Then, I will focus on the two aspects which are women’s appearances and career to analyze Chinese films and TV dramas in recent years how to reflect these characteristics.

Appearances

There is a Chinese proverb “Those who please other people with their appearance will get less and less love when their beauty fade away”. However, women’s beautiful appearance and the female body are often as a commercial selling point of a movie or a TV show. In fact, this reflects the unfair treatment for women, because the female body and appearance have been regarded as a kind of consumer products. Therefore, most women in the TV series are sexy and beautiful, it is to attract male viewers. For example, Lust, Caution is a 2007 espionage erotic thriller film directed by Ang Lee. The content of this movie is a group of Chinese university students from the Lingnan University who plot to assassinate a high-ranking special agent and recruiter of the puppet government Mr. Yee using an attractive young woman Wang Jiazhi to lure him into a trap. This movie is not very old, but it reflects the idea is old. First, actress Wang Jiazhi use seduction for killing a traitor. I think it also reflects the discrimination for women. Because these students can use a variety of ways to kill the agents, why they must choose seduction. This seems to mean that women are weak, only the beautiful appearance is the characteristic of women. Second, there are three pornographic parts in the movie. The purpose is to titillate audience. Maybe many people would say that this movie is an art, but I have to say that many people watch this movie just for porn clips. It illustrates women’s body are already as a physical commodity, used to stimulate the public’s consumption. Therefore, the expression of the movie is an unfair treatment for women.20071030134107777dd

 

However, the urban movies are totally different. These dramas are not concerned about a woman’s looks, but they more focus on showing women’s ability. For example, a popular teleplay which names “ugly Wudi”. The actress is a graduate graduated from the famous university in China, and her major is Financial. However, she cannot find a job because of her appearance. She looks ugly. She is fat and has explosion style hair and big buck teeth. In addition she always wear a pair of glasses and old-fashion clothes. In fact, ugly heroine is hard to receive the audiences’ favorite, but this role is still loved by the audiences, because of her upbeat personality, diligent attitude and problem solving skills. Even though she met a lot of problem, she never give up. She still votes resume to many companies. Finally, she is admitted to a well-known advertising company, which names “Gainian”. She is admitted as a secretary of the president. Whereas, her ugly appearance makes her be excluded by her workmates. She does not have friends, and they often laugh at her because of her appearance and apparel. However, she does not care about other people’s sights. She just work hard. Finally, she tries her best and use her advantages of professional and personality. She got success in career. In addition, due to her efforts, she also helped the company get $ 40 million profit a year. Thi01300000168284122304564314547s T
V show was loved by many Ch
inese audiences, because a lot of people think Wudi is an inspirational example. Because most people are ordinary looks, after watching this TV show, audiences would believe that ordinary people can gain success and love, if we work hard and never give up. Therefore, in this TV show, the concerns of the people are not a woman’s appearance and body shape. They focus on the role Lin Wudi ‘s ability and spirit. Therefore, this shows the improvement of the status of women, because it reflects female no longer only have the appe
arance, like avase, women also have the ability.

 

Career

In the Chinese tradition, male is the leading force for social development, so male is the dominator, women should dependent on men. Therefore, women do not need a job, they just need to take care of her husband and children. Therefore, there is a stereotype for women in Chinese TV show and movie. That is if the woman married, family is the core of her life. If an unmarried girl, love is the most important thing for her. There is an example. The movie “Painted Skin” is a 2008 supernatural-fantasy film directed. This film is not old, but it has a stereotype of women. There is a role of the General’s wife and her name is Pei, Rong. The role of Pei Rong is designed totally according to male perspective which is a wife should serve for her husband. 10080889So Pei, Rong is a virtuous wife and she has a beautiful and dignified
appearance. She stay at home every day and wait her husband return after he win the fighting victory. When her husband came back with another woman, she did not complain. She chose to make her husband and the woman get married for the sake of her husband happiness. The woman’s whole life is for husband. The film embodies cultural expectation of traditional female role.Women do not have their rights; they need to obey their husband. Everything she does is for her husband, without taking into account her feelings. Audience thinks thiswoman is pathetic, but it also reflects the stereotype of women in the movies.

 

Here I will use an movie “Go Lala Go” compare with the “Painted Skin”. I mainly focus on the heroine, du Lala. She is a young woman who has just started work. When she was just graduated, she found a job which was a small private enterprise. She was not satisfied with this job and her boss often harass young women, so she went to the job interview of DB company which is a world-wide Fortune 500 company. Because Du Lala got a good education, she get this job. She worked in a big company is not easy, and she encountered a lot of difficulties, like she need to plan company relocation, but she worked hard, and never give up. Finally, she was promoted from secretary to HR manager and she fall in love with a sales manager Wang Wei. The most important thing is there is a policy in this company, an employee who work in this company cannot get married and fall in love with another employee who also work in this company. Du Lala did not like traditional Chinese women choose to love, she chose to the career, so she broke up with Wang Wei. Therefore, this film reflects love, family, and the man is no longer the focus of her life. Women are independent and they can have their own career. The film reflectedthe new feminism. Women are independent, they have equal U7481P1276DT20120703092843status and career aspiration. Because Du Lala chose to break up with her boyfriend, it means women is not chosen by man, so the status of women and men are more equal. After watching this movie, maybe many women want to be like her. The reason is the female independence the role have is our desire. There the movie illustrate what the feminism is Chinese young women think.

In conclusion, although Chinese film and television show still exist the stereotype of women. Even not all of the TV series and movies as well as these two teleplay and movie which the narrative main line is about women. However, TV show and movies are a reflection of real life, the status of Chinese women has improved in real life, so these popular urban TV series and modern movie also have the emergence of feminism. Therefore, the feminism of the TV shows or movies reflects and transmit the modern values.

References:

Go Lala Go get high ratings. (2010, August 9). Retrieved from http://ent.news.cn/2010-08/09/c_12425188.htm

Luo, X. (2012, June). Research on the images of “superwomen” of “Work place play” during New Century. Retrieved from http://www.doc88.com/p-2806684542612.html

Qian, Q. (2012, April 15). The Study of female images in Chinese metropolis films in the new century. Retrieved from http://www.doc88.com/p-1488575813664.html

Why TV shows Ugly Wudi is popular. (2009, February 19). Retrieved from http://media.people.com.cn/GB/22114/45733/146913/8835395.html

Learning moments:

This is my first time take online class. I have learned this class ten week and I got many new knowledges. There are my two significant learning moments. First, I think the course blog is most useful for me. Because I need to post my initial responses according to those questions of course blog every week, it can push me to think. If I read the course texts, I just read the new information. However, if I need to write blog, I will combine book knowledge and our own experience in thinking. In addition, I can read classmates’ blog and get classmates’ response, it is beneficial to me understand different people’s opinions and expanded my views. For example, we discussed the topic of advertising. I found a Chinese tradition makeup ad to prove advertisements can contribute and reflect our traditional culture and fashion value. Another classmate agreed my opinions; she post an old period ad about man tie. I really like it, because it is helpful for me to look back American ad history. And I get the recognition of the students, I feel very happy. Therefore, this is my most significant moments.

The second significant moment is week 7, I learned how to analyze whether a news story is newsworthy. I can follow these points, timeliness, proximity, prominence, significance currency, controversy, uniqueness, emotional Appeal. These points are easy to remember and understand. Now, when I read a news, I am not only concerned about whether the content is interesting, sometimes I will consider the newsworthy. This helps me learn not to blindly accept the information. Therefore, this is also an important learning moment for me.

 

 

 

Breaking Indian Stereotypes

Having been brought up in America as a person of Indian descent, I was always subjected to jokes about the “Indian accent” and jokes about me possibly knowing the 7-eleven owner. While I laughed at the jokes, I felt like my friends didn’t see me as American or as an equal because of how I looked. It used to be just Apu’s portrayal most people get their impressions of Indian people, but now there is Baljeet, the Indian kid from Phineas and Ferb, and Raj from Big Bang Theory. However, Priyanka Chopra’s Alex Parish in Quantico and Aziz Ansari’s Dev from Master of None are better portrayals of how Indians are not the static Indian stereotype. The media’s portrayal is evolving slowly from the stereotypical Indian nerd with the strange Indian accent to well-developed character portrayals that show Indians in various occupations and personalities.

Apu Nahasapeemapetilon

apu

Apu from Simpsons

Apu, the lovable Kwik E Mart Owner in The Simpsons is the first person that comes to mind when an Indian accent is mentioned. This is problematic considering the voice actor of the character is white. The voice actor, Hank Azaria, is of Greek descent (IMDb). The problem with the accent is that not all Indians sound like that. Just like how there is no “American accent” because not all Americans sound alike. There is a Southern, Boston, Midwestern, Northwestern, and many other accents that are spoken in America. Hank Azaria’s “Indian accent” represents a small percentage of India compared to the various dialects spoken in India. The “brown voice” promotes an image of Indians as “continually that of immigrant foreigners” (Dave, 319). Brown voice continually casts Indians as foreigners, which prevents “any kind of presence other than outsiders in American communities (Dave 319). In Aziz Ansari’s new show Master of None, he auditions for a part that requires an Indian to play and he is asked to put on an Indian accent. He refuses to put on an Indian accent because he considers it offensive and the casting director insists the character they are portraying needs an Indian accent even though the character they are asking is just a background actor.

Baljeet

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Ballet from Phineas and Ferb studying at the mall

Baljeet, the Indian nerd from Phineas and Ferb, moved from India in order to study in America. He is a side character that sometimes helps Phineas and Ferb with their schemes in order to have fun during their summer holiday. He like Apu has a pronounced Indian accent. In addition to Apu, Baljeet is shown constantly doing homework and even does math for fun. He is constantly stressing about getting A’s on every single assignment. All of his interests revolve around academics. In the few episodes of he sings, all of the songs revolve around him getting good grades. While it may be a good thing for Indians to be represented as the smart ones, we should not be represented as individuals whose only interests are revolved around academics. In The New Whiz Kids Why Asian Americans are doing so well, and what it costs them, a paper by David Brand, he mentions “The average math score of Asian-American high school seniors that year was 518 (of a possible 800), 43 points higher than the general average”. He also mentions “Asian-American students put in an average of eleven hours a week, compared with seven hours by other students”. While these statistics promote the image of Indians and Asians as nerds who only care about their academic career, these statistics provide where the stereotype Baljeet’s character was based on.

Raj Koothrappali

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Raj Koothrappali from Big Bang Theory

Asian and Indian stereotypes about our men are quite similar. Indian men are either seen as effeminate men or abusive husbands. Raj Koothrappali’s portrayal in The Big Bang Theory is that of the stereotypical effeminate man. His favorite alcoholic drink is the grasshopper, he can only talk to women when inebriated, and in one of the episodes was excited to go out with the girls on girl’s night. He is so scared to talk to women, he ended up taking an experimental drug in order for him to gain enough courage to ask a woman out. The idea that Indian men are effeminate came from British colonialism. The British saw that our men worship female deities, wear dress-like garments, and were easily conquered (Metcalf, 105). Westerners not understanding why Indian men/women choose to stay with their parents until they have a family of their own also explains where the stereotype of effeminate Indian men came from. These ideas were then carried into American pop culture references.

New TV Shows: Quantico and Masters of None

Alex Parrish in Quantico

Alex Parrish in Quantico

Dev from Master of None "Indians on TV"

Dev from Master of None “Indians on TV”

In contrast to stereotypical Indian portrayals, recently there have been shows that show Indians in a stereotype-shattering light. Quantico is one of these shows. The show’s main character, Alex Parris, is of Indian descent, does not have a ridiculous Apu-like accent, and is not a socially awkward nerd. Her role is also fighting against Islamophobia, in which some people think all brown people are terrorists. She also plays a sexually progressive FBI recruit. The fact that she plays a sexually progressive role argues against the stereotype about Indian women being prudes. Aziz Ansari’s Master of None is also a great example of a show that breaks as well as shines a light on Indian stereotypes. Aziz Ansari doesn’t play a nerd or the stereotypical Indian. Instead he plays an actor trying to make it in NYC. In his new show, he points out the casual racism Indians have to put up with while working in the media. In the fourth episode, Indians on TV, it opens by showing various media portrayals of the stereotypical Indian and ridiculous Indian customs and traditions like eating chilled monkey brains shown in Indiana Jones: Temple of Doom. The episode showed how American media often requires Indian actors to do the Indian accent. It points out that Indian American actors often have to try out for the stereotypical roles like a cab driver, scientist, or I.T. guy, but that was better than actors with brown face acting out the roles like Max Minghella in The Social Network. The show also mentions these occurrences are considered minor compared to black and gay controversies.

While most of the stereotypical Indian characters are beloved in the media, it is important to recognize the stereotypes these beloved characters were based on. The stereotypes inhibit our progression towards true racial equality. Quantico and Master of None as well as others show that American media is slowly progressing from using stereotypes as comedy to featuring their characters as more than one-dimensional characters.

References

Brand, David. “The New Whiz Kids”. TIME 31 Aug. 1987. Print

Davé, Shilpa, LeiLani Nishime, and Tasha G. Oren. East Main Street: Asian American Popular Culture. New York: New York UP, 2005. 319. Print.

“Hank Azaria”. IMDb. IMDb. Web.

“Indians on Tv”. Masters of None. Netflix. Television

Metcalf, Thomas R. Ideologies of the Raj Volume 3. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1994. Print.

Learning Moments

       One of the most influential lessons I have learnt from taking this class was learning how to differentiate between ads and content in social media or on TV. I  was always so naive to believe that certain scenes in movies are not just plugs for product placement. I just thought that those scenes were necessary in order for the plot to develop. This also happens when certain companies try to promote their image by not directly advertising their product like the dove campaign where women were described by other people to a sketch artist in order to show the women what they look like according to other people. When first seeing this ad, before our class module, I wasn’t able to see how this was advertising their products. After looking at the class module however, I was able to see that from time to time major corporations have to put out media that makes it seem like their company cares for their customers.

      Another influential lesson was the Big Picture Blog Post, writing this paper made me more aware of the stereotypes that are out there for Indians. I knew about how the media seems to portray us as gas station owners with thick accents and academically obsessed nerds, but until analyzing Raj Koothrappali from Big Bang Theory I realized that the media also effeminates Indian men just because certain values carried on from British Imperialism. I used to think imitating the Indian accent was funny as well before writing this essay. However, after researching why exactly the Indian accent was funny, I was shocked to learn that imitation of accents are harmful to the group being imitated. It makes the group feel outcasted and trapped in a static portrayal based on the stereotypes of that group.

Asian Stereotypes In The Media

I am Asian, so I must be a poor English speaking-doctor aspiring-kung fu fighting-crazy driving-math whiz. Those are some of the stereotypes that are being portrayed in the media and in real life about Asians. For many years there are negative stereotypes that have been featured in films and TV shows about the Asian culture. Some of which are true and some exaggerated. However, since the Asians are going along with it and have accepted these “images” being placed upon them society has looked it as being all true and have expected all Asians to possess these “traits”. The media can be very unjustly. What ever is being portrayed in the media can be harmful when it is projecting the wrong idea. Asian Americans have been affected by these stereotypes for so long that there needs to be some knowledge of it to further prevent this problem from escalating. As we look into the popular negative stereotypes portrayed in the media we can educate people on why it is wrong in hopes of opening their minds to differentiating what is mere entertainment and what is actual culture.

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First lets look at how Hollywood portrays Asian stereotypes. After reading an article by Zak Keith, he goes into great detail about the negative stereotypes that is featured in Hollywood films and shows. Negative Asian stereotypes are essentially the only Asian themes ever used in Hollywood and other media. They are casted as foreigners and not as acculturated Americans. Some almost exclusively used Asian stereotypes in Hollywood and the media; Perpetual foreigner, martial arts, model minority, nerd/geek, gendered racism- sexualized female, asexual male and sanctioned racial-gender coupling, inferior and subordinate. Asian males are yet to be cast in a leading Hollywood role, unless it is inseparable from their status as a foreigner with martial arts skills. What I found interesting, but not surprising is the stereotypically occupations that are put onto Asians. It can be frustrating because we (as an Asian person) will never be able to get out of that expectation of having those occupations. Ethno-specific occupations stereotypically assigned to Asians include doctors, lab assistants, restaurant worker, Japanese businessman (in a corporate meeting), laundry service, or grocery store.

Asians are portrayed as extremely uncool and having poor taste and the inability to grasp American culture and nuances. Hollywood’s rules for gendered racism: Asian female + White male = YES! Asian female + Black male = MAYBE. Asian male + White female = HELL NO! Asian male + Black female = HUH? Asian male + Asian female = ABUSIVE. Negative perceptions on the desirability of Asian men have real-life repercussions on relationships. Dating and marriage stats indicate that in the US- considered the biggest melting pot in the world- Asian males are far less desirable than Asian females. Asian males are among the least-preferred partners of all other ethnicities in the U.S. this might have to do with the negative portrayals of them in the media. This is very dissatisfying for the Asian males that are going through this.

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Next let’s take a look at some films and TV shows that actually feature these stereotypes.

The movie Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay (part of the Harold and Kumar series) is about the continuing of the story that the first movie leaves off, with Harold and Kumar flying to Amsterdam but is imprisoned after being mistaken for terrorists and go on some comical misadventures when escaping from the Guantanamo Bay jail. Even though this movie seems to be a well-liked comedy and included some scenes that defended the Asian stereotypes depicted in there, it still was hazy on the intention of the movie and it easily can still be mistaken to be true. During the scene of when the two guys Harold (Korean-American) and Kumar (Indian American) were thought to be terrorists on a plane and their parents were called in for interrogation by the FBI. The first stereotype in this scene was the fact that a Chinese interpreter was called in to translate even though 1. His parents clearly spoke English and 2. They were Korean not Chinese. The second stereotype was that just because Kumar was Indian American they saw him as a terrorist on a plane because of his bomb-shaped bong.

Of course these films were made to be funny and deal with racial issues, but for the individuals that don’t know or understand the historical background of these cultures they can be influenced by these media images and depictions about minority groups.

Now who remembers Miss Swan from MADtv?

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Miss Swan is a reoccurring character of the then popular comedy show MADtv. She possesses the classic “traits” of the Asian stereotypes. She had a funny accent along with broken English, she works at a nail salon, and she has the chinky eyes and classic haircut. I personally found this to be very funny but that was before I knew how much it would affect my future image from other people. After this skit became so popular people would assume that that’s how we all talk, that we all did nails, and that we had the chinky eyes. The even more interesting thing about this is that this actress isn’t even of Asian descent! Alex Borstein is white and from Illinois. This is what the media calls “Yellowface” where Asian characters are portrayed by actors/actresses of other race using make-up. This actually cracks me up because wouldn’t it have been easier to just cast an already Asian actor? They may have done that for the effects though. This specific character in this show can almost be used as an “advertisement” of how Asian women are portrayed. Like the lesson about the influence of advertising in week 4 and the history of advertisement in week 3, it mentioned, “ … advertising, especially non-commercial public service announcement ads, had social and cultural value.” Although advertising can create social and cultural value it can also create false assumptions. Looking at this Miss Swan skit as a ad of how Asian women are portrayed it does in fact show negative stereotypes that is not true about Asian women. This lesson shows us how to look at advertisements and in this case character portrayal deeper than what is shown. We must analyze and ask questions on what the “ad” is trying to say or do and it is relevant or not. By doing that we have a higher chance of understanding the real intent of these characters, entertainment and not facts.

An article was written by Justin Chan titled “Where Are All the Asian Americans in Hollywood?” exhibits how tough it is for Asian Americans to land a led role in Hollywood. Keanu Reeves, who is of Chinese and Hawaiian ancestry, and Will Smith are the only two that have landed many lead roles. Although Asian Americans are now the nation’s fastest-growing demographic, their presence in films have gotten smaller since 2008. A direct quote from RaceBending’s Marissa Lee wrote in an email “American History is pretty racist and sexist, and Hollywood is reflection of our culture.” She also adds “Hollywood doesn’t put minorities in lead roles because our society rarely lets minorities take the lead.” This all makes very much sense. The lead roles offered to Asian Americans have decreased over the years. Directors and producers seem to have just ignored them and whitewashed films that were centered on Asian culture. In order for Asian Americans to pop up in the Hollywood scene, there needs to be more writers willing to step up and write more Asian-American parts.

However there is a slow turn to this discovery. A couple of college buddies created their own independent film production Wong Fu Productions that are trying to turn the Hollywood media around by shedding positive light to Asian Americans. They have been a top-hit in the YouTube community producing short films and videos featuring Asian individuals without portraying ANY Asian stereotypes. This article supports my theory that a difference can be made to the restriction of Asian American lead roles in Hollywood. As an Asian community, something more needs to be done to take back our culture. The media has put out this view, negative view on Asian Stereotypes and that’s how they identify Asian Americans today. By changing that view and perspective, respect can be gained back for the Asian community. Asian Americans should be looked upon like everyone else not belittled or judged by the stereotypes that have been trending throughout the years. A stance needs to be taken.

Along side from this is the new sitcom Fresh Off The Boat (a Fox TV series created by Nahnatchka Khan) that does include Asian main characters. This show tries to capture the true struggles that most Asian Americans had to face when first entering the states. Although they do use a lot of the negative stereotypes it is hopeful that they are using to teach the world.

freshofftheboat

To sum up, this 4 out of 60 minute video about “Asians In The Media” Q&A diversity workshop at Trinity College in CT given by Eliot Chang explains a lot about this identity.

In order for society to understand the Asian culture and how these images and stereotypes affect them, there needs to more discretion when using these tactics for entertainment. Sure they are all very entertaining and fun to watch, but there needs to be understanding that it IS just done for entertainment and that this isn’t how the Asian culture should be seen or treated. Taking from what I learned about communities in this class it has helped to enhance the understanding that the Asian community or anybody that fits the practices of this community should stand together and teach other communities about the impact of negative stereotypes on Asian Americans, a community will work better than an individual.

 

Work Cited

Chan, Justin. “Where Are All the Asian Americans in Hollywood?” Complex. Complex, 20 Aug. 2014. Web. 15 Nov. 2015.

Chang, Eliot. “The Real Damn Truth About Asians In The Media.” YouTube. YouTube,8 Sept. 2014. Web. 15 Nov. 2015

Keith, Zak. “Hollywood Asian Stereotypes.” Asian Stereotypes in Hollywood and Other Media. Zakkeith, 26 Feb. 2013. Web. 15 Nov. 2015.

Kim, Eunyoung. “Gender & Race.” : Asian Stereotypes in Harold and Kumar Series. Blogspot. 20 Apr. 2012. Web. 15 Nov. 2015

Qiang, Ashley. “Slant.” When Asians Americans Appear On TV, It’s usually As One of These Racist Stereotypes. Slantnews, 22 Aug. Web. 15 Nov. 2015

 

Chinese Students Studying in the United Sates

Many students studying American for many reason. For media interviews of Chinese students why they would like to study in America, because they do not want to take national college entrance exam in Chinese education. The media portrays Chinese students living in the United States in a manner that doesn’t benefit the people who don’t fit in those stereotypes. The interviews that I found that talk about why Chinese students prefer to take classes in the United States because they receive a higher education.

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The first artifact I analyzed is a video, which is from CNBC called “ why Chinese Students Wants US Collage Degrees” Basically say, the creator of this video want to indicate one clear point of view which is the high quality education of American college attract the Chinese students to study in this country. Most Chinese students in the US colleges will give the almost same feedback about this question, but not all of them. In fact, Chinese colleges also provide a high quality education; especially under the situation that China has a pretty high-leveled base-line population of college students. Also, the Chinese students who were issued the US college degrees won’t really have more chance to get employed after coming back to China, the employers in China still put their focus on the students’ level of knowledge and academic achievements, such like research or project achievements. What I can say is the requirements for getting the degree is not that hard compare to the US colleges, but the quality of education is still acceptable, lower degree requirements doesn’t mean lower quality education.

Obviously, the Chinese student who was interviewed in this video not really had a Chinese college academic learning experience, so I hardly think her viewpoint about Chinese low quality education could persuade me. I won’t say there is no commercial purpose in this interview video, but even there is, it only plays a tiny part of this media product. The video may attract more and more Chinese students who want to have a study abroad experience come to this country, and base on my experience so far it is a good thing to make it happen, all of these could be count as the positive lights of the influences, but also this video may cause the impression to Chinese parents that their own country’s college education is not reliable, they may start sending their kids to the US without even thinking if their children are really fit for the study abroad plan. The host should interview a few more Chinese students who have the different backgrounds, such like the students who had their under-graduation learning experience in China and graduation learning experience in US, or the students who get employed after coming back to China, without picking only one situation of this group. The views compared will have more persuasion to the audiences.

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Another artifact that I found was this article from BBC news which is “ why so many Chinese students choose US universities” written by Sarah Svobada. The creator of this BBC online article wants to find out a reason to explain why there is so many Chinese students choose US universities. There is a lot of articles talk about this topic online, but this article is much different from the others. Without comparing and analyzing the university education between these two countries, this creator put his focus on Chinese students’ themselves and their families. The entry point of this article makes me feel factual and reminds me how did I choose the US University. I highly agree the standpoints of this article, especially the standpoint called “More Choice”. Chinese students now have a few different options after graduating from high school, making a study abroad plan is just one of them. There is a video and 5 images in this article set; most images are short cut of Chinese students in US College. Images just play an expression of those topics and I don’t think they impact the standpoints. The video is interesting, because base on their accent, readers will be informed that these college students are still having their college lives and their standpoints will be much more reliable. The creator expects the people who read this article understand those elements about Chinese students themselves and their families are the keys to making this choice of study abroad decision.

无标7题

Last artifact I used to analyze is article from USA today called Learning across the world: “Chinese vs. US collage experience”. The first mentioned point is the communication between professors and students in college. I hardly agree the point that “In China, we don’t have syllabuses”, because Chinese college education is very similar to the college education system in the US. Students do have a clear plan about what they are going to learn during duration of time. Also, the methods college teachers using has been improved a lot. Base on my understanding, the main purpose of this article is against and criticism the Chinese college education, and a lot of them are not facts. The passive and untrue discussions make the influence of education has a lot of negative lights. Also, this article exaggerates the advantages of studying abroad. In fact, there are a lot challenges that Chinese students have to go trough during their US college lives. But one of the standpoints is really factual and it does affect a lot of Chinese students choose study abroad: Chinese students cannot choose they major they want to study after the college entrance exam. That’s also they reason why I choose to study in the US university.

In conclusion, media do not reflect same information in reality. Chinese students who study in America are study hard because they want to get higher education. This is a reason why I chose to studying in here. However, students who do not fit in those stereotypes, because they have other reason of study in America. Moreover, media and reality there are still gaps.

 

Learning moment

During this term of study, what I have learned from this project is that I start to attention the media and understand the meaning of stealth. More important is that I realize how good in an online community. I like the group community in this class, which I could share my thought in the community, and get suggestion from my classmate. That help me deeper comprehend of some question.

 

References

Svoboda, S. “Why Do so Many Chinese Students Choose US Universities?” BBC News. 2 June. 2015. Web. 01 Dec. 2015. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rLk8XLZGf3Y

“Why Chinese Students Want US College Degrees | CNBC.” YouTube. 27 Mar.15. Web. 01 Dec. 2015. http://www.bbc.com/news/business-32969291

Hanaway, Tom. “Learning across the World: Chinese vs. US College Experience.” USA TODAY College. 02 July 2011. Web. 01 Dec. 2015.  http://college.usatoday.com/2011/07/02/learning-across-the-world-chinese-vs-us-college-experience/

 

 

The Pretentious Artist

Kieran

Dinner For Schmucks 2010

Tim: “I don’t think I get it, Kieran.”

Kieran: “Poppycock, you’ve been stockbroking too long, Tim.”

Kieran: “What does it make you think of?”

Tim: “I guess it kind of makes me. Um. Think of your penis.”

Kieran: “Then you get it.”

 

I traditionally avoid going into art galleries, though being an artist and art enthusiast I want to see art that I don’t have the money for. I usually go during first Friday if I have the time, so I have a crowd of people there as well (and to get some free wine and cheese). I do this because I feel awkward speaking to the art curator, especially the artist. Why? I found that it’s because they speak a whole other language then I do, a language I feel I need to describe and have a conversation about art. I have spoken to many artists, art teachers and a few curators and they have not made me feel awkward or stupid. So why am I so nervous to go to a gallery? Little bit has to do with my own personal insecurities and I know I will usually be the only one in there with the gallery’s curator. Exploring this awkwardness, I found myself thinking it’s about the language I don’t speak, the pretentious one, the language that popular culture has led me to believe that the artist is a show off. With a little critical inquiry into artifacts and sources in popular culture I found to change my views of the fine artist being pretentious.

Kieran is an artist of masculinity and freedom. He includes himself as the subject for every painting. When he talks about his craft and his art he is pretentious. He describes his huge ranch that is his getaway from all the glamor or that he even uses metaphorical mediums to literally put into his art: bull shit or even zebra after birth. He is someone living the glamorous life and it makes the protagonist nervous about his own relationship. This is a prominent example of why I picture the fine artist as a pretentious, though the only time I see this pretentious language used is in the reviews or statements describing the artist.

You can find little about the artist from reviews and statements. Art enthusiasts and critics will use a language that uses very confusing words, vague points, and passive language that does not take responsibility to what they are saying. I call it pretentious language. I usually find pretentious language in artist statements or reviews in places such as the publication New American Paintings, where they connect the artist to the art enthusiast since 1993. An example of this review comes from the first art I found on their website, Long Night in the Garden.

Jungle

Nina Rizzo Long Night in the Garden, 2015, oil on canvas, 60 x 120 inches

New American paintings reviewer B. David Zarley starts his review of it well, stating it takes a while for the eyes to adjust to the overall darkness. After that however its gets a little confusing: “which open like false editorial spread irises to provide for the killing of Kurtz and the comforting recognition of shapes, shapes engorged, swollen sweet and suspended, striated like carapaces or the long, primed, puckered muscles of the thigh, like ladders from Pluto, the fat wet tongues of leaves lapping against and pulling the eyes, as if by slow jungle steamer, into and through Nina Rizzo’s Conradian jungle” B. David Zarley.

This review does not describe the art, it’s almost as if he is creating his own abstract creation. Taking credit for his understanding though being very vague and confusing so the reader has to put in the effort to define what it means. This pretentious language is what I picture the artist using.

bucket

A Bucket of Blood 1959

Maxwell H. Brock: “I will talk to you of Art, for there is nothing else to talk about, for there is nothing else… Life is an obscure hobo bumming a ride on the omnibus of Art. Burn gas, buggies, and whip your sour cream of circumstance and hope, and go ahead and sleep your bloody heads off. Creation is, all else is not. Creation is graham crackers; let it all crumble to feed the creator; feed him that he may be satisfied. The Artist is, all others are not. A canvas is a canvas or a painting. A rock is a rock or a statue. A sound is a sound or is music. A preacher is a preacher, or an Artist.”

In the 1959 horror movie A Bucket of Blood we get a glimpse of the protagonist’s desire of being an artist, someone who is all knowing of the world and its personal workings. Walter is a busboy at an artist’s hangout. Jealous of the surrounding successful, creative and intelligent people Walter takes a stab at sculpting. He unsuccessfully tries to win the admiration of the artists he holds so highly. After almost making a smiley face from the clay, he tries to save the landlord’s cat that has been crying for help stuck inside the wall. With the right intentions to free the cat by making a hole for it to escape, he stabs it. Then preserves it in clay. Takes the cat statue (with the large kitchen knife sticking out) to the artist club. They love it. He gets his wish and becomes the artist that others admire. Though lacking the talent he ends up murdering people, growing more intentional as the story goes on. Turning them into statues. He is revered by his peers; he starts to take up the artist persona. He hides himself as a pretentious artist. This seems to be the reason why the artist would use pretentious language, because he/she is scared of being ridiculed. That the artist themselves is not special.

 

“Why do people think artists are special? It’s just another job.” –Andy Warhol

 

I was searching for a good pretentious quote from an artist I always thought was pretentious: Andy Warhol. Someone I really thought would personify who a pretentious artist is like. Maybe just from his simplistic works or how he is the “artist” that is satire as the pretentious artist. I was mistaken and I found myself admiring him. So by critically breaking down the intentions of critics or of others with an opinion on the artist I found that most opinions were false and solidifies the pretentious artist in the eyes of our popular culture.

Fine artists depict the world around him/her. My views can be changed after seeing the world through the eyes of the artist. Relationships are made through the art, we get an image of the culture and history that surrounds the artist. The artist out of fear of judgment will use language to persuade otherwise. Most of the pretentious language we associate with the artist comes from the viewer not the artist. Today the artist and the artist voice is hidden behind the art and namely the computer screen. Art is typically sold is over the internet with new artists using etsy or even galleries make it convenient to buy over the internet. Based on a survey from artbusiness.com galleries sell most of their works online with the gallery itself being just a store front. Though the article is to be taken lightly; Artbusiness.com is selling its counseling for people starting their art business. So the pretentious voices we hear from our popular culture are not typically from the artist, but the art enthusiast and the art dealer.

Works Cited

Archibald, Dion. “Andy Warhol Quotes.” Art Quotes. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Nov. 2015. <http://www.artquotes.net/masters/warhol_quotes.htm&gt;.

Lotz, Cally. “Pretentious Artists Statements: Why We Write Them.” The Collectors’ Artist. N.p., 19 Sept. 2014. Web. 8 Nov. 2015. <http://www.thecollectorsartist.com/pretentious-artists-statements-why-we-write-them/&gt;.

Rizzo, Nina. Long Night in the Garden. 2015. Oil on canvas. Linda Warren Projects, Chicago, IL.

Zarley, David B. “New American Paintings.” New American Paintings. Chicago Contributor, 26 Oct. 2015. Web. 8 Nov. 2015. <http://www.newamericanpaintings.com/blog/nina-rizzo-environmental-impact&gt;.

“Art Galleries, Art Sales and the Internet: A Survey.” Art Business. Alan Bamberger, n.d. Web. 8 Nov. 2015. <http://artbusiness.com/how-art-galleries-sell-art-online.html&gt;.

A Bucket of Blood. Dir. Roger Carman. Perf. Dick Miller, Julian Burton. MGM Studios, 1959. Film.

Dinner for Schmucks. Dir. Jay Roach. Perf. Paul Rudd, Jemaine Clement. Paramount Pictures, 2010. Film.

Finding Identity in the Media

Featured

Consumption of mass media is an almost ritualistic part of our days. We consume movies, television shows, radio shows, news articles, music videos, youtube videos, and the list goes on. The media portrays all different types of people from all different backgrounds. I strongly identify with being a woman and my Chinese-American identity. I decided to look at how the media portrays this image. Looking at different movies and my own experiences, I concluded that the American media uses stereotypes and generalizations to build the image of the Chinese women. The lives of Chinese people are often portrayed from a biased view. By looking at media produced by Chinese and Chinese-Americans, a more honest picture of the Chinese-American identity began to appear.

Chinese women are exotic. They are petite, oriental creatures. Chinese women are submissive. They are obedient and unassertive and unassuming. Chinese people only eat rice and noodles.They are smart, disciplined, and must maintain the family’s honor. These are all ideas and messages that I have seen in the media. Lucy Liu, a Chinese-American actress, is one of the few actresses in Hollywood that shares my identity. She is also arguably the most famous too. She is well known for her roles in Charlie’s Angels, Kill Bill, and Elementary (Lucy Liu). The characters she plays are usually smart and strong. But also sexualized. For example, in Charlie’s Angels, Liu plays a detective who uses “martial arts, tech skills and sex-appeal” to solve a crime (Charlie’s Angels). Liu also usually plays supporting roles. Liu plays Dr. Joan Watson, a modern version of Dr. John Watson, in the hit tv show Elementary. And while her role is prominent, she is still second to the lead character Sherlock, played by Johnny Lee Miller (Elementary). Playing supporting roles is all too common for Chinese people. In her post at groupthink.kinja.com, “katmelon” gives numerous examples of Chinese people playing only small roles in film. One example she gives is the character of Miriam Wu in The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. In the books, Miriam plays a “strong lesbian, fearless with regards to her sexuality. Yet, she is relegated to an (almost) non-speaking role in the movie.” This pattern of putting Chinese Women in only supporting roles furthers the stereotype that they are submissive and unassertive. By putting them in the background, the media is essentially silencing them.

Mulan is one of the few movies that has a Chinese women as the lead character. The animated film was released by Disney in 1998 and received mostly positive reviews. The film, intended for children, makes an attempt to diversify the Disney Princess pool by adding a Chinese character. However, Disney Studios generalized and stereotyped the Chinese culture in its attempt. Originally based on the Chinese legend of Hua Mulan, Disney studios changed many aspects of the story in order to make the film more culturally relatable to the American audience (Xu). In the article “Cultural Deformations and Reformulations: A Case Study of Disney’s Mulan in English and Chinese,”  a “comparison between the film and the ballad clearly indicates that additions, omissions, specifications, explications and alterations are employed in the design of characters and plot structure in Mulan.” The film is essentially a mash of different parts of Chinese culture. Cantonese and mandarin terms are used interchangeable and historic time frames are also mixed. Disney Studios disregard for accurately depicting the culture supports the argument that the media generalizes and stereotypes my identity.

The most honest and real depiction of my identity came from media made by Chinese-Americans. A wonderful example of my identity being depicted sincerely came from An Rong Xu. Xu is a Chinese-American photographer, filmmaker, and artist who lives and was raised in New York City. In a New York Times article, she shares a photo essay on the experiences of other Chinese-Americans. Candid photos paint a powerful narrative: that Chinese-Americans are just as American as everyone else. 

lucy-liu-covers-emmy-magazine-04  VS 7Photo Credit: Brian Bowen Smith                      Photo Credit: An Rong Xu

A side by side comparison of how the media presents a Chinese women and how An Rong Xu expresses her identity drives the point home. In the media, the images are very glamorous and posed. Brian Bowen Smith is a pulitzer prize winning photographer. A lot of the work he does are portrait shots of celebrities and business people. His job is to make his subject look attractive, fashionable, and appealing.  Xu’s subjects are usually candid and in an everyday situations. Her photos are intended to show her identity with others. Both people are photographers and both are shooting a Chinese person. However, the images are radically different.

The media likes to separate Chinese-Americans from other Americans. I have always felt categorized as different from my classmates. It was confusing because, in my heart, I felt like I was equal yet somehow I wasn’t. I think the media’s exclusion of Chinese women from mainstream media as well as its inaccurate portrayal of us is to blame. It’s important to realize that the media does not depict an accurate picture of one’s’ identity. The media relies on stereotypes and cliches to get their point across easily. Seeking out sources outside of the mainstream media is where you will find a better understanding of identities.

Portland State has a very diverse student body. But I usually do not have the opportunity to learn and interact with my classmates. This class has been a great opportunity to read and share experiences with my classmates. The blog posts and group discussions allow me to talk with you guys in a way that I don’t normally in a real classroom. This term we’ve discussed a lot of drawbacks media can have. We’ve talked about wikipedia and discussed whether or not it is a reliable source of information. We’ve looked at the news and how they can be biased based on their word choice. However, I’ve learned and practiced a kind of media that can be a wonderful tool to connect and share your ideas. The big learning moment of this term is  really building on how to be literate in media. As I said, media can be tricky and it’s important to be able to decipher the good types of media from bad media.

Bibliography

“Charlie’s Angels.” IMDb. IMDb.com, n.d. Web. 16 Nov. 2015.

“Elementary.” IMDb. IMDb.com, n.d. Web. 16 Nov. 2015.

“Lucy Liu.” IMDb. IMDb.com, n.d. Web. 16 Nov. 2015.

Xu, An R. “Embracing My Chinese-American Identity.” The New York Times 29 Mar. 2015, New York ed., Op-Ed sec.: SR5. Print.

Xu, Mingwu, and Chuanmao Tian. “Cultural Deformations and Reformulations: A Case Study of Disney’s Mulan in English and Chinese.” Critical Arts 27.2 (2013): 182-210. Web..

 

 

 

Foreign Exchange Students in the media

After I went to the U.S., I saw there were more and more exchange students here. Studying abroad has been a tendency during the 21st century. I am an exchange student from China and some times I have the same emotion with the character that I found from the movie “Sixteen Candles” and the sitcom “That 70’s show”. However, Foreign Exchange Students in the media are always not in conformity with the facts. In the media, they are ridiculous. I would say that foreign exchange students are positive, optimistic and patient. Students go abroad for studying because they want to study in a new environment and get more knowledge about the new culture from the new school.

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Sixteen Candles, Gedde Watanabe

The movie, “Sixteen Candles”, a kind of comedy and family movie that shows a girl named Samantha (played by Molly Ringwald), who’s sixteen’s birthday has been totally forgotten by her entire family. The dialogue she said most times is “I cannot believable.” She cannot believe her birthday, which is an important event for her family, has forgotten by her family. I think the creator wants to use a humor way to reflect when a girl’s birthday was forgotten by her families, what kind of reflections she would have. As a student, this movie has reveal students who are in the puberty having different emotions. However, when parents watch this movie, I think they may notice if they forgot their children’s birthday, what would their children do.

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Sixteen Candles

Long Duk Dong (Gedde Watanabe), a foreign exchange student lived in a host family. When he had the dinner with his host family, this made me remembered the first I came to the U.S. At that time, I felt nervous; I didn’t like to have a conversation with others. Nevertheless, Long Duk Dong had played a humor role to make the movie to a high comedy, so some part in the movie was not correct and not same to foreign exchange students’ real life. When Long Duk Dong went to the dancing party, he was very happy. He met the girl that he liked. He said, “ This is the best night of my life”. I thought he is very funny and I imagine are we foreign exchange students the same as him. The commercial purpose of this movie is attractive students attention and earn more box office. If a movie wants to earn a high box office, then the creator have to make the content to be more meaningful. Audiences might draw a conclusion about the movies’ plot and cohesion. In this movie, the creator has used a special to attractive audiences’ attention, because all the characters in the movie had performance in a natural voice.

That 70’s Show, when I first time saw the name, I thought it might be a talk show or entertainment. When I search this name online, I realized that 70’s Show was a comedy sitcom. It totally had 8 seasons from 1998-2006. In this TV show, I think the creator has spend more time on creating the content of the show, because it had 8 seasons, the creator should make each season combine to each other. And always use some specific way to attract audiences’ attention. I think that 70’s Show is suitable for every age group. When I was in china, my grandma always like to watch comedy sitcoms with me. Those sitcoms are the same like that 70’s Show. The discretion of audience rating is the best way to evaluate a TV series.

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That 70’s Show, Wilmer Vaderrama

So the That 70’s Show needs a good story to consolidate its position. The media product use to get my attention was their plot. There’s also have a foreign exchange students in the TV Show, his name was Fez (Wilmer Valderrama). Fez also lived in a host family; when the first time he meet his gang, they cannot understand his words. Sometimes they laughed at his pronunciation. However, this is a comedy. The creator wish to creative a humor situation, so he have to change some of the plot that not as usual. When I watch the part of Fez’s friends ridiculed at his English speaking, I felt unhappy. That 70’s show was a comedy; people in the show should create a comedy effect. Nevertheless, the real life of exchange students is not the same as Fez. American students are friendly with exchange students, and they have made friends.

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The article I found from the U.S. News is talked about the trend of more and more international students come to the U.S. for studying. In these days, Students go broad for studying has become a popular trend. In my opinion, the author wanted to reflect a reality of Students from China and Saudi Arabia drove nearly 8 percent growths in international college students in the U.S. I think the audiences of this article can be divided into two types. One is Americans’ view another is foreigners’ view. For this article, it is profitably for all foreign exchange students, because studying abroad has been a hot topic during these years. Students wanted to study in a new environment and learn more knowledge. For American students, they may think that their learning environment and living environment were broken.

exchange-passports

As an exchange student, I think I had learnt a lot after I went to the U.S., there are many difference between the cultures. I don’t think there’s a commercial purpose of this media product. It is just an article that stated the present situation of the society. There is no any commercial purpose. The media product of this article has used some data and examples of the international college students in the U.S. to get my attention. In the article “Number of International College Students Continues to Climb”, Moron France said “It provides an opportunity for our students to engage with people who are different from themselves and it creates a much more interesting campus community.” I like his opinion; he thought different culture would create an interesting campus community and good for college students’ study environment. During the recent years, more and more foreign exchange students choose to come to the U.S. for studying. As an exchange student, I think I have learnt a lot from the new school, especially for the new cultural. I find many differences between my country and the U.S.

Learning moment:

In this term, I think that I have learned a lot from the popular culture course. This is my first time to take the online class. At the beginning of the term, I actually didn’t know how to discuss and doing homework on the D2L. For the normal classes, we only use the D2L FOR checking homework and grades. However, this is also my first time to use the blog, all students share their comments on the blog and we reply to each other. I think it is good way for we students to understand one another, though we couldn’t each other.

Works Cited :

Ebert, Roger. “Sixteen Candles Movie Review & Film Summary”, 4 May, 1984. Web. 01 Dec. 2015.

Lindsay, Deutsch, “That ‘70s Show’ stars grow up.” USA Today n.d.: Academic Search Premier. Web. 01 Dec. 2015.

Porter, Caroline, and Douglas Belkin. “Record Number of Foreign Students Flocking to U.S.” Wall Street Journal. N.p., 11 Nov. 2013. Web. 01 Dec, 2015

Sixteen Candles. Dir. John Hughes. 1984. Youtube.

That ’70s Show. Dir. Mark Brazill. 1998.

 

The Views of Filmmakers

Filmmakers are a big impact in the world today. They create films for entertainment and movies, TV shows, and videos on the internet are one of the main sources of entertainment. You see several people going to the movie theater when a movie is just released, you see people watching their favorite TV show in their free time, waiting rooms have TV’s playing TV shows, we see this everywhere and this is all possible because of the filmmakers.

An example of an inspiring filmmaker, in my opinion, is Devin Graham, a YouTuber. I have been a fan of Graham’s work for a long time, for he has been in the YouTube industry for about five years at this point. Graham grew up in Utah, he studied film at Brigham Young University but discontinued his education when he started making YouTube videos.

devin graham

 

One of my favorite videos filmed by Graham is the very first video I saw of his. Assassin’s Creed Meets Parkour in Real Life, I have seen this video over a dozen times, I was very intrigued by his visual effects, at 0:17 there is a special effect he did using the green screen that I only found out by watching his behind the scenes, which I also find very interesting. Another aspect in this video that I found very interesting was the main character, he jumps off the walls, does a bunch of crazy flips, this person is Graham’s personal friend named Rodney Shalvis. Shalvis is a stuntman, which is why he is performing in Devin Graham’s videos and helping him produce a well written short video. I have also found that he performs in some of his other films and they work together, likely to help each other gain viewers and business.

Assassin’s Creed Meets Parkour in Real Life: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aAhPaiajwDY

Graham is expressed in the popular culture media because he has viewers. He reflects the people in the world by having these people watch his videos. Graham started making his videos with the equipment he had and the people he knew, the more viewers he got, the more popular he became. He had companies asking him to sponsor for them, an example of that is a granola bar company called Bear Naked. He has made a couple videos sponsoring Bear Naked, an example is his video called Human Bowling – Bear Naked, he shows their label and their products throughout the video and deliberately puts their name at the end of the video:

bear naked

Therefore, by being an excellent filmmaker, he is noticed by growing companies such as Bear Naked who ask him to sponsor for them, which leads his viewers, such as myself, to be introduced to these new products that we may want to buy.

Personally, I think Devin Graham is am amazing filmmaker, I love the material he shoots, I love his editing style, and I am truly inspired by his work. Soon after I started watching Graham’s videos, I found myself attempting to create videos with this style, I experimented with the equipment he used for his films and I learned a lot from watching and attempting to recreate it. By watching his videos it made me feel inspired and like I could accomplish and build a career like he has.

Another inspiring filmmaker I have discovered is Ryan Higa. Ryan Higa is well known on the internet, he creates short comedy skits and posts them on this YouTube channel: nigahiga. He also has another channel named HigaTV that he uses to post his behind the scenes, other short videos, and vlogs.

Higa’s main channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/nigahiga

Higa’s second channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/HigaTV

Higa has over fifteen million subscribers, and 2 billion views. He has been a member of YouTube for nine years. He started with short low quality videos that he filmed just to goof around and for his family to watch. More than just his family watched, and his videos took off. Higa has since then dedicated his life to making YouTube videos for his fans and viewers. Higa writes his own stories and has several friends who help him produce them. He also acts in his own films which is how his fans know him so well and how he has become such an internet sensation.

niga higa

When I started looking into Higa’s work this term, I thought he was a genuine person who wanted to make videos for his fans just because he had a good heart and wanted to keep them updated. But as I gathered more information, I saw that Higa sold merchandise that had his name, logo, or catchphrase on it. He also made his own app called the TEEHEE app that was released in the Apple App Store, and Google Play store. However, I have not seen him advertise for a different company, but he does allow ads to be shown during and before his videos, although this is a feature that most YouTubers will have.

In my opinion, I think Higa is very funny and creative. I like the way he organizes his videos, I like how he posts on a weekly basis to keep his viewers satisfied, and I like how dedicated he has been to his career since he started. Over the years I have seen many changes and when I look back at the big picture, it is inspires me and makes me think about how many things are possible over time.

Ryan Higa is well known on the web, he makes his videos about his life and beliefs which can be reflected to his fans and viewers. He has made stereotypical jokes, especially about his own race, admittedly they make me laugh and I’m sure several other as well, but this is how he reflects the media in popular culture.

And lastly, I used a film called The Visit as another one of my examples to represent filmmakers. This film helps me represent the way the media represents filmmakers.

the visit

This movie is about two kids who document their trip to their grandparents’ house whom they have never met before. The young girl in the movie likes to make films and she wanted to document this experience to show her mother, she gives her younger brother a camera too so they can both gather footage. The movie portrays the older sister as a “director,” she likes to look for certain camera lighting and angles and she tries to get her brother to act at some points.

Movie trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Fv3gU-ed7Y

Some things I found surprising in this film is how to characters acted. The young girl in the movie who likes to film reminded me a lot of myself when I was younger and wanted to make short films. I also have younger siblings who I would include in my videos and I would try to make home videos such as what she is trying to do. I believe the media did a good job representing how a young filmmaker would be portrayed in the real world.

I also think it was a good idea to make the film basically as I would like to call it “first person,” because it allows the viewer to feel more involved, especially as a thriller/horror film, the point is to make the audience feel scared, and by feeling like we are experiencing this, or that this has really happened, brings the viewer the sense that this is real.

Overall, filmmakers have a large impact in the world, and are expressed and shown in several ways. I have used two really great filmmakers as examples to show how they represent themselves in the media, and a film written to be as though we are in the kids’ position, being that all the camera shots are shot from the camera they are holding. I have learned several things from this project such as being conscious of a filmmakers’ advertising, I learned more about the examples that I used, and I was also inspired to do more research on filmmakers myself just to gain more knowledge about them.

 

The Visual Storyteller

The Visual Story Teller
By: Markus Lim


            As we examine the filmmakers, and storytellers of this new generation I cant stop but think about the plethora on connotations and implications the filmmaker is given. While we search across popular culture their seems to be only extremes. At one side of the spectrum we see a starving artist with no support from the out side communities, and on the other end we see multi million dollar Hollywood productions. In this day and age the filmmaker has all of the support or none of it. Where are the lines that define the hobbyist and the professionals? Is anyone who picks up a camera a filmmaker or is there a difference? These questions made me ask myself why film is a premeditated act, as well as a spontaneous gathering of footage. Through my research I found different perspectives on the film industry, across movies like J.J. Abram’s Super 8, and Ben Affleck’s Argo. These movies support the spectrum of filmmaking, with relevance to filmmakers in Hollywood, across the nation, and the no-budget indie side.

Super 8Two legendary filmmakers J.J. Abrams and Steven Spielberg create the film Super 8, both filmmakers from a very young age. Spielberg’s previous work shows a pattern of nostalgic period pieces. These past time values are reflected in their hopeful rendition for hope in the next generations. In addition Abram’s has done interviews explaining his childhood shooting little Super 8 (camera) films with his friends. The joy and passions he had as a child most likely transition into the film. However, I have trouble viewing the film without a bias. Different demographics without a child hood with a video camera may interpret the film from the perspective of the Sherriff dad, understanding the art, but not the sacrifice the kids to finish their film. Regardless I think the nostalgia of the kids can be reflected in many eyes. These portrayals make me hopeful for the young filmmaker; Super 8 gives the young filmmaker an example of their art can be completed if they don’t give up. The obstacles the kids face feel realistic and possibilities for anyone in the given situation. I feel comfortable standing by the movie as a portrayal of continuing to film even when everyone tells you not to.

The Interview is hosted by a very reputable organization and they ask J.J Abrams questions about his filmmaking process and certain inspirations behind blockbuster films. Later in the interview Abram’s provides advice to new filmmakers and explains the difference between making films before and now.

BAFTAAn Interview by the British Academy of Film and Television was exceptionally helpful to understand the choices Abrams made while creating the film Super 8. Abram’s talks about his childhood making film on Super 8 cameras just like these young filmmakers. But, now his advice is to make your films because the ability is far more accessible compared to his time. This shows a shift in societies perspective of filmmakers, previously the ability to make film wasn’t readily available and it supports the magnitude of the children’s capability to make the film; this can be compared to the current perspective of young filmmaker.

Argo is a filmARGO that is a depiction of filmmakers in another light, which I do not relate to. Based on a true story, Argo depicts a team of CIA agents disguising themselves as filmmakers traveling to safe hostages in another country. However, this is an example of a film that has all of the support. There are allies in the government of multiple countries, and more money than I’d know what to do with. The film plays with power and influence of the film industry and has a fairly strong bias because the American CIA, filmmakers, and citizens are portrayed in a positive, savior light; the foreign countries are
depicted in an extremely negative and hostile light. Everyone on the opposite boarder to the U.S is depicted as enemies, while the American agents are the saviors, kidnapping and hostage and bringing him home. This can be seen as propaganda for patriotism, marketed as a movie ticket to support the America hero. The audience can draw the conclusion that America is a super power, and if you want to support your countries accomplishments you should watch the movie. The film was also marketed as a true story so audiences could feel like they are learning about America’s past. However, this can be dangerous if audience members walking away thinking they know the facts of the event.

“The Filmmaker as Historians” article is about filmmakers as historians. The article makes solid points about film being a reflection of conscious and unconscious values of the audience. The thesis of the article is to uncover whether or not film has impacts to public opinion from the past decade (1988). The devils advocate of the article is the validity of media holding any grounds for history, based on the assumption of compromised and stretched facts. This article holds many key ingredients to uncovering the validly of filmmakers in society, providing significant support for my Argo artifact. The Argo artifact focuses on the power of the film industry and society, looking at film a persuasive industry throughout the world. I’d like to use it as an example of how filmmakers have the ability to manipulate the facts, and it’s implications in society. Looking at how film affects its audience helps me understand my path and content as a medium of reflection.

Throughout the course we looked at many ways the media persuaded us manipulated our perspectives and I think that was the most influential lesson because it’s always interesting when something is hidden right in front of your face; once you see it, you can never un see it. In addition, I thought another lesson was when we looked at how the media only really shows us what they want us to see, and how we have to pay attention and analyze for the entire story from both sides. The news worthy information was an interesting tool we learned while analyzing articles because of how often the news gets cluttered with well presented filler news.


 

Where am I?

“Uh, Markus I think the rain is coming back” reluctantly uttered by a voice I could barely make out. “Perfect, okay I need you to put the plastic bag over the camera and lets go from one. Bryson I’ll queue you, but I need you to be ready, spray the blood on Jenkins right after Tully says his line. Lastly, don’t forget count to eight then, react to the explosion.” As the rush of little droplets descend constantly from the skies, I belted my final notes while taking position — huddled and soaked behind my cinematographer. Silence. Followed by a simple two-syllable word: “Action”. Then I simply witnessed and admired my friends as mortars and shots by 6.5x50mm Arisaka rounds bombarded them and praying to God they weren’t in the line of fire. It was a split second, but I stood there wondering what had happened to the hiking trail I had just walked into less then an hour ago, where had my friends gone, and most importantly; am I the only one who could see what was indubitably happening?

I projected a symphony of neurons, electrical impulses, and dreams aloud and in front of me. However, at the same time I created an environment where I could be the soldier in World War II, or I could simply be Markus. Being given the choice to live as myself or to live in the originality that circulates my brain is enough for me to find contentment. Then to receive news that my film had been selected to be showcased at the 33rd Hawaii International Film Festival, I felt validated.

HIFFAs if every time I had the extra cup of coffee, had exempted myself from a social gathering, or had a “I’ll just shower in the morning” night, was now finally acknowledge by someone who has absolutely no correlation with me. A human no different from Adam or Eve saw the unprecedented sequence of events that went into everything leading up to that moment. It is a truly unforgettable place where my imagination can literally run free. Knowing that through a refraction of light going into a series of little lenses, anyone is capable of seeing glimpses and explanations into the conundrum of who Markus Lim is.

Although, “Who I am” is an important investment for me to hold on to, who I want to become is what empowers this environment. In reality I am no “super” hero: I am incapable of single handedly saving the world, or defending a city with iron suit made of money. Fortunately, I am an independent filmmaker and as a matter of fact I can affect history. I want to be able to channel this passionate place away from a hobby and into a lifestyle. If I can use film to portray a personal opinion–Then, one day I want to be able to embody a story of an individual’s achievement and perseverance through a cynical society. Through my vision in cinema I can elaborate on the seeded issues like self-importance, in hopes that one day, I can make my difference.


 

Works Cited

Affleck, Ben. Argo [Motion picture]. (2011). Paramount Pictures.

Abrams, J.J. Super 8 [Motion picture]. (2012). Warner Bros.

Guru, BAFTA. “J.J. Abrams: On Filmmaking.” YouTube. YouTube, 8 May 2013. Web. 02 Dec. 2015.

Toplin, Robert Brent. “The Filmmaker as Historian”. The American Historical   Review 93.5 (1988): 1210 1227.

Wald, Malvin. “Profile of a Filmmaker”. Journal of the University Film Producers Association 16.2 (1964): 21–26.

 

Ridiculed By the Media

What does it mean to be an introvert in modern society? To be perfectly honest, it means a lot of things. As with most other identities that people are classified to be, an introvert’s true personality depends on the individual themselves.  However; the unfortunate truth is that this is not something that most people consider when meeting a person. People of all identities, especially introverts, are usually judged and stereotyped almost immediately upon introduction. Without much hesitation or real thought, introverts are generally stereotyped to be outcasts or nerds. In some cases this may be the honest truth, but the majority of the time it couldn’t be further from it.

Almost everybody knows at least one introvert. Everyone has at least met that one person who operates fine in small groups, but then tends to retreat back to their homes when the social gathering gets too large. Or maybe they know that individual who chooses to stay home and read on a Friday night. It could even be the person who presents beautifully to a group of hundreds of people, but then quickly disappears once the social hour starts. (Kaenzig) All of these people can be considered introverts. They aren’t necessarily shy or depressed people, they just simply prefer to live in this manner. Also, not all introverts are social outcasts, although that is definitely the way they seem to appear to extroverts.  The concept of introversion can be rather difficult for an extrovert to understand because their minds simply do not operate in the same fashion. (Kaenzig) Extroverts tend to make decisions subjectively based on their consideration of society’s values, while introverts tend to mostly emphasize logic and objectivity in their reasoning. (Sak) To put it more simply, an introvert’s main focus lies within the ideas and concepts that exist in their minds, while an extrovert’s primary focus is the external world of people and activities. (Myers) Therefore, most people do unfortunately tend to see introverts as social outcasts and nerds. This type of labeling might not seem so bad, however; the media has a tendency to portray nerds in a very particular way.

I thoroughly believe that most people’s idea of nerds, outcasts, and introverts come from some aspect of the media. Usually this type of media comes in the form of movies or television shows. This is unfortunate because the media tends to portray all three of those identities as having interchangeable personalities. They are almost always depicted as shy individuals, who may be socially awkward, and often struggle to find a date. Their interests always seem to include activities that other characters and viewers would find boring. They are also commonly depicted to be the “lame” character when compared to other characters. Regardless if these traits actually exist in an introverted individual or not, these media portrayals usually end up giving real life introverts a hard time.

In the very popular television show: How I Met Your Mother, the main character, Ted, is depicted as a nerd. Therefore, the writers of the show tend to portray him as the “cheesy” character. He has a love for things such as classic literature and architecture, in which the other characters and viewers tend to find extremely boring. Even his passion for philosophy, which is widely seen as an interesting topic, is portrayed to be boring and pretentious. In a realistic sense Ted could be considered a very successful person. He is a rather good-looking male with a great job and a large apartment in what may be the most expensive city in the country. However; he remains most viewers’ least favorite character. What’s terrible about this is that I believe that he is unfavored not only because of the way he is portrayed, but also because of the media-implanted image of a nerd. Nerds have always been portrayed as objects of ridicule in the media, which almost immediately forces a bias against Ted’s character. Based on personal observations, many people tend to almost imitate reactions they see in the media, rather than form their own opinions.  Therefore, when they meet an introvert in real life, they almost immediately classify the individual as a nerd and form a bias against them. To make matters worse, things that the introvert may enjoy, such as Ted’s love for literature and philosophy, are almost immediately grouped into that bias. Suddenly, very practical things such as reading may be considered something that only a nerd would do.

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The very popular 2007 movie Superbad is a prime example of how introverts and nerds are used as objects of ridicule in the media. All three of the main characters are portrayed as nerds and may be the biggest social outcasts in their high school. In fact, one of the first lines in the movie references pornographic websites, hinting that nerds must resort to porn due to their inability to find a companion in real life. Throughout the movie the characters are simply trying to bring alcohol to a party so that they may seem cool enough to find a date for the first time. It’s understandable that this is a comedy movie and therefore each character’s quirks may be exaggerated, but it still reinforces a negative stereotype. It shows that nerds are not invited to parities unless they can bring something of value, therefore essentially being used by others. It also shows that girls are generally unattracted to anyone who may be considered a nerd. Again this is a problem because as previously mentioned people tend to imitate reactions they see in the media. Therefore, a girl or guy may think twice before accepting a date with their introverted admirer, only because of their fear of being judged for relating with that certain individual.

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Another point to address is that most popular media products that feature a nerd or introvert are comedies. Consider widely known characters such as Brian Griffin from Family Guy, Steve Urkel from Family Matters, Lisa Simpson from the Simpsons or almost any character from The Big Bang Theory. Although these characters may sometimes be used for the progression of a plotline, their main contribution is to provide viewers with something to laugh at. Some of these media products have been viewed by millions for decades, spanning over multiple generations. To portray a specific identity in such a way for so long solidifies the negative stereotype against people of that identity.

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In conclusion, introverts in our modern society are suffering due to the media’s portrayal of their identity. People tend to forget that each individual has their own unique personality, and although some may share similar traits and interests, they are indeed different people. Introverts are commonly ridiculed because of the way the media portrays them, and the lack of understanding that the rest of society has about their personalities. This is something that I hope to see change in the near future, although based on the media’s history of creating stereotypes, I doubt I will. It is possible to see progression for this matter before my death, but even that doesn’t offer much solace. It is most likely that the media will continue to do what they have always done, and create more stereotypes whenever they see fit.

 

Bibliography

How I met Your Mother. Dir. Carter Bays and Craig Thomas. Perf. Josh Radnor. 2005-2014.

Kaenzig, Jill D. Burruss and Lisa. Sengifted.com. n.d. 25 11 2015 <http://sengifted.org/archives/articles/introversion-the-often-forgotten-factor-impacting-the-gifted&gt;.

Myers, Isabel Briggs Myers & Peter B. Gifts Differing: Understanding Personality Types. CPP, 1995.

Sak, Ugur. “A Synthesis of Research on Psychological Types of Gifted Adoloescents.” The Journal of Secondary Gifted Education (2004): 11.

Superbad. Dir. Greg Mottola. 2007.

The Change Portrayal Of Gamer In Popular Culture

 

The media portrayal of a gamer has been changing over the years.The Image of a gamer on in popular culture often being young teens or children who are unattractive, fat, antisocial, and lazy. So being a gamer myself, I decide to do my research on this topic and my findings are relatively opposite of the portrayal. The artifacts that I analyzed was the show South Park, an article from ESPN called “The Unkillable Demon King” and a YouTube video called “LOL and NBA”. With the analysis, I came out with conclusion of that the gamer image of popular culture is rapidly changing.

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(Stan Marsh, Eric Cartman, Kyle Broflovski, and Kenny McCornmick)

 

The first artifact I analyzed is an episode of South Park that came out in 2006 called “Make Love, Not Warcraft” which is very much the portrayal of the stereotype of a gamer. In this episode, everybody started playing War Of Warcraft because it’s a new game that allows you communicate with others online and able to do quests together. Jack Tenorman, who is just a normal dad that was introduced to the game and he was immediately hooked into it and value his in game status than real life status. In this one scene where they portrayed Eric, Kenny, Stan, and Kyle being obese camping under Eric’s basement with 4 computers. The room is messy, filled with garbage along with empty cans of energy drinks. They looked like they haven’t shower in months or left the basement. They didn’t care about anything besides level up. This is shows the image of gamer in media.

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(Lee Sang-Hyeok AKA Faker)

Another artifact that I found was this article from ESPN called “The Unkillable Demon King”. This article is about gaming, but yet ESPN is willing to outreach from their normal sporting news to publish this. Behind the reason that is the E-Sport gaming community has been growing and evolving to the point where they consider E-Sport, competitive gaming, a sport. In the article, they talked about what the game League of Legend is and introduce who Lee Sang Hyeok is also known as Faker. He is a professional gamer that plays in the competitive League of Legend team called SKT-Telecom. The most well known gamer in the world and arguably best League of Legend player in the world. Due to the up-rise of League of Legend, the current most popular PC game in the world, according to Riot games, the company that owns League of Legend said there are 27 million daily players and 67 millions monthly players. This was the major reason that leads to Lee’s success in the gaming community. He is the first player ever to win two worlds championships in the history of league of legend competitive gaming. Also the championship comes along with the prize pool of 1 million dollars. Within all his success, he is being recognized as public figure, idol, and icon for many teens that shares the same dream as his, which is to make a career of playing games.  

I would have to say that Lee is the Michael Jordan of competitive gaming. He had changed revolutionized the game by his game plays and popularity. The typical gamer image are being changed because of his success by just playing games. This article is a great example of how he influence the change. Having a gaming article published about you by ESPN is a sign that popular culture acknowledging the existence of gamer. After all, from being a target to make fun in South Park to now being recognized by the popular culture and being idolized.

Last artifact I used to analyze is a video created by Riot Games called “Lol and NBA”. It’s about the meeting of two people from different worlds, yet they share one similar interest, which is to play the game of League of Legend. The two people in this video are Gordon Hayward and Joedat Esfahani. Starting with Gordon, who is a professional NBA player that plays the small forward position for the Utah Jazz. He isn’t just a regular NBA player, but he is an excellent one, being the best player in the team and played for the 2014 USA team. For Joedat, he is a professional League Of Legend gamer plays who at the time play for Curse Gaming but he’s now retired. The two popular culture identity are opposite of each other. As Gordon’s identity is a NBA superstar, supposedly he is muscular, tall, and rich, while Joedat, the gamer, is fat, anti social, and nerdy. Those are the popular culture traits of their identity, however,  these two were able to come together and meet each other and have fun playing the game League of Legend. The interesting part is the fact the NBA star is a gamer himself which oppose all the stereotypical popular culture portrayal. This could hint that the gamer identity has been changed.

The views towards gamer has been different from the past. Back in 2006, in South Park they were using gamer stereotype to create humor for the audience and now in 2015, gamer are being treated as a celebrity, role model, and a career. Example of that would be Faker, who is extremely successful in the career of gaming and created enough attention for ESPN to write an article about him. Add to the changes, Gordon Hayward an NBA player who consider gamer is part of his identity is the new portrayal of the a gamer. With all the research I had done, I came up with the conclusion of that the portrayal of gamer in popular culture has been changing.

From my secondary source researches I had found an interesting article written by Jo Bryce and Jason Rutter called “Killing like a girl: Gendered Gaming And Girl Gamers’ Visibility”.

The article is about how female gamers are big part of the gaming community while the stereotypical of gamer is often males which is quite shocking to see. According to Interactive Digital Software Association suggest that 44% of U.S gamers are female (Bryce,2,2002). As this supports the portrayal of popular culture is not arcuate. Female gamer are being overlooked because of the heavy influence by the stereotyped portrayal in popular culture, where it had changed people’s view of a gamer.

During this course I have learned few valuable skills that will be carried for the future. One of them is critical thinking. Every week we had to do the blog comments which allowed me to practice my critical thinking by answering the questions in my perspective. Also those suggestion questions helped me a lot, it gave me a new way of looking at the situation. I am glad that this course gave me the chance to practice my critical thinking skills.

Another valuable skill I learn during this course is to how to write feedback and accept suggestions. The weekly comment on other people’s post and comments gave me a good practice of how to give feedback that could help my peers. Also accepting suggestions and feedback from them are important as well. This allows me to insert new ideas to my essays or post and I believe this will be a good skill to have outside the class.

Work Cited

Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 27 Jan. 2014. Web. 15 Nov. 2015.

“Killing like a Girl: Gendered Gaming and Girl Gamers’ Visibility.” Killing like a Girl: Gendered Gaming and Girl Gamers’ Visibility. 13 May 2002. Web. 15 Nov. 2015.

Kimes, Mina. “The Unkillable Demon King.” ESPN. ESPN Internet Ventures, 10 June 2015. Web. 15 Nov. 2015.

“LoL and NBA.” YouTube. YouTube, 14 Feb. 2014. Web. 15 Nov. 2015.

“Riot’s ‘League of Legends’ Reveals Astonishing 27 Million Daily Players, 67 Million Monthly.” South Park. Dir. Trey Parker. Paramount Pictures :, 2006. Film.

 

Mixology misconception: How the media influence the way people understand bartender

In this paper, I will illustrate three biggest major misconceptions about the bartending industry influenced by the media, including semantic, popular media, and job appeal. The bartender is a mixologist with more social skill and situational to deal with customer. Indeed, the bartender is a high status job. It’s an Art.

People usually come to the bar to either get drunk or to meet with friends. That’s how people are done in 1990. People don’t want to wait for their drink, they don’t care about fresh squeeze lime juice. Everything is mechanize and ready to serve without preparing. Bartending become a drink pourer job. However, between the 1870 and 1880, the golden time of the cocktail, the bar is the place for people to meet after work in a comfortable manner. In 1862, a bartender named Jerry Thomas was the first one to write down the recipe to make cocktail and soon became a trend.

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Picture 1. A Jerry Thomas first book named “How to Mix Drinks, Or the Bon-Vivant’s Companion” 

The golden time of the cocktail is the time when the bartender is the important person in the town. You can go to the bar and get tons of information from the news to the story around the corner of the street. The foundation of the U.S is from immigrants. When they come to the U.S, they bring goods from an artisan in their home country include alcohol beverage. Each of these alcohol from a different culture and combine in one glass and we call it a cocktail (Robert Simonsson, 2013)

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The prohibition between 1920 to 1933 makes the bartending industry decrease like a car without a break. Many bartenders have to leave the country to make a living or continue to pursue their dream. Recently, the industry tends to go back in the golden time and the new term “Mixologist” comes in. Then what does a mixologist mean? According to Behrendt’s article in 2010, the author mention that in “the Oxford English Dictionary also tells us that the suffix “-ology” means “the science or discipline of.” (Behrendt, 2010). Therefore, this term can apply to any other industry like music, film or food. In Wong’s article, he included one of his conversations between him and bartender Watanabe, the bartender expresses one point “calling yourself a mixologist doesn’t make your customer believes in you” (Wong, 2015).

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In the introduction, I’ve mentioned the term mixologist as a new term. In fact, mixologist is a new term for the modern industry not a new term. I understand that some dictionaries don’t carry this term definition, but believe it or not this term is not a new term. Mixologist refers to bartender using fresh ingredient and precise scientific technology to add a unique taste to it (Mitenbuler, 2013). According to Mitenbuler, the term was first discovered in 1860 from a newspaper. After the prohibition, the term seems to be carried away because most the bartenders have to migrate to another country to follow their dream until the prohibition was over and then come back to the U.S. Recently, this term comes up and has suddenly become the popular trend of TV shows and bartender guide books. Some people refer to themselves as mixologists, but don’t really understand the role or the difference between a mixologist and a bartender. I also want to include another perspective about the term mixologist from newspapers or magazines, which is also the origin of this trend. One cocktail’s expert name Colleen Graham explains the role of mixologist and bartender, putting them into two categories. But either mixologist or a bartender, they are both a service job and their target is making customers happy and relaxed (Graham, 2015). Screen Shot 2015-12-01 at 11.25.23 PMTable 1 (Graham, 2015)

The second major misconception of customer about this peculiar line of work came from the popular media included movies, news and experience in bar and restaurant.  Back in 2000, the movies “Coyote Ugly” by David McNally staring Piper Perabo, the depiction of a bartender is improving, but still give the negative influence in the person’s mind (Coyote Ugly, 2000).  Back in 2000, the movies “Coyote Ugly” by David McNally staring Piper Perabo, the impression of a bartender is improving, but still give the negative influence in the person’s mind (Coyote Ugly, 2000).  In the movie, McNally played as Violet Sanford, an arrogant young woman leaving home to pursue her aspirations of becoming a songwriter in New York City. The climax of the story is when her apartment is robbed.  At that moment, she sees three girls which change her life, Cammie, Rachel, and Zoe. The incident lead to the story that she has to work at the bar named Coyote Ugly. Technically, the story has nothing wrong with the plot or the movies itself. However, the way it expresses can also be explained in another way. For example, if she isn’t getting robbed in the first place, will she agree to work at the Coyote Ugly. Furthermore, if she not fascinate when the three girls flaunting the money they earned every night. After that, the movie has nothing surprisingly get going anywhere. Violet meets a boy and start a relationship and she started to change her own image from a “New Jersey girl” to a “New York city girl”. In the end, Coyote Ugly also has a happy ending like any other movies. In short, Violet represents a group of girl that don’t fit in but want to blend into the society in the fastest way. She used the job bartender as a shortcut to fit in the society. Somehow, in my mind, Violet is naive and dreamy.

In the documentary Hey Bartender in 2013, Steve Schneider currently works at Employees Only state that “… people are calling themselves mixologist, those are the geeks…… they take forever to make a drink” (Hey Bartender, 2013). He also mentions that bartender is more aware of everything surround which is the same idea fit in one of the categories of Colleen Graham. Everybody come into the industry with a different story about their life. They could be a student majoring in a different major. Bartender expresses themselves in their product to add more value to it and make it alive (Ocejo, 2012). The reason bartender considers as a low-status form of manual labor because of the bar culture in 1990. Robert Simonsson at New York Times explain about this phenomenon. In 1990, the bar industry tends to tilt to a club and a Dj base bar where people want something fast and fresh or not, fresh ingredient not really matter (Hey Bartender, 2013). Because of that reason, becoming a bartender is not something anyone wants to have a career in. That is not art, pouring booze all night is not an art. That’s why some people’s misconceptions about bartending is a temporary job and not an actual job (Wong, 2015). However, bartending is not a trashy job, in Ocejo’s article, the author refers bartending as an artist, actress and singer.

A few years recently, people are more interesting about what they take in and they want to bring the old time back, where fresh local ingredients matter. Traditional Craftsmanship of cocktails. When people try to bring the traditional craftsmanship of cocktails back a conflict inside the restaurant industry happen. The different between cook and chef, drink pourers and cocktailians become a thing. It does not matter if he/she a cook, chef, bartender or mixologist, as soon as they bring their job to the level of art, that’s the most important point (Kazanchyan, 2012).

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Dale Degroff at Museum of the American Cocktail said that cocktail is gift from America because people brought a different type of spirit and alcohol and we combine it and there we have it, cocktail (Hey Bartender, 2013). Degroff is also the first person bring the term mixologist to the media. It’s about fresh quality ingredients. Cocktail bartender is a cultural work. The reason I say it because every bartender will have their own signature drink and they put their soul into it.

The other aspect of this paper is job appealing. If you look up on YouTube the name Salvatore Calabrese, you probably find an old man making drinks and he looks classy in a suit and tie. He’s a great example of a mixologist and the way he talks and the way he fixes the drink takes time. I understand that recipe and technique are important but it is not about how the drink was made, it is how you treat and serve the customer. Salvatore uses a big ice cube from distilled water, sounds like an alchemist to me. It’s true that the purify ice will make your drink better (Kazanchyan, 2012).

In my opinion, a bartender is a person who can bring to the customer the best experience during the time they spend in the bar and after they walk out of the bar. Despite the work, life and tragedy outside, when they come inside the bar, they can finally find their destination. The bar is an important place of a community, where people have a place to gather for many occasions. Bartender is not only a guy mixing a drink but also a host. Bartender is a person bring people together and hear people share their own story. It’s an Art.

“A bartender is a rock star couldn’t be bothered to learn an instrument.” – Simon Ford

 

 

References

Coyote Ugly. (2000). Touchstone Picture.

Eats, S. (2013). The Term ‘Mixologist’: Trendy But Not New. Drinks.seriouseats.com. Retrieved 16 November 2015, from http://drinks.seriouseats.com/2013/08/history-origins-of-the-term-mixologist-nineteenth-century-drinking-bartenders-jerry-thomas.html

Graham, C. (2015). Are You a Mixologist or Bartender? Well, That’s a Good Question…. About.com Food. Retrieved 16 November 2015, from http://cocktails.about.com/od/cocktailspeak/g/mixology_define.htm

Haddow, G. (2005). The phenomenology of death, embodiment and organ transplantation. Social Health & Illness, 27 (1), 92-113. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9566.2005.00433.x

Hey Bartender. (2013). Omar Broadway Film.

Matejka, A. (2009). Mixology. New York, N.Y.: Penguin Books.

Mitenbuler, R. (2013). The Term ‘Mixologist’: Trendy But Not New. Drinks.seriouseats.com. Retrieved 2 December 2015, from http://drinks.seriouseats.com/2013/08/history-origins-of-the-term-mixologist-nineteenth-century-drinking-bartenders-jerry-thomas.html

Ocejo, R. (2012). At your service: The meanings and practices of contemporary bartenders. European Journal Of Cultural Studies, 15(5), 642-658. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1367549412445761

Morabito, G. (2011). Steve Schneider, Principal Bartender at Employees Only. Eater NY. Retrieved 2 December 2015, from http://ny.eater.com/2011/8/19/6659207/steve-schneider-principal-bartender-at-employees-only

 

Portrayal of College Students in Media

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Media portrayal of college students, especially movies, tend to falsely portray college students and give unrealistic ideas of how we live. These media outlets give impractical ideas of what college students are- intense party seekers, people that have all the time in the world, or just lazy nonworking students that revolve everything around their social life. Throughout my research and looking at primary sources such as “Animal House”, “22 Jump Street”, and “How to be a College Student”, I could really delve into popular cultures portrayal of an average day college student and the stigmas that are associated with them. Being a current college student myself, I can most definitely assure that students have lives outside of school. There is so much work that comes along being a college student-it truly is a full time job. Many students have an actual full time job on top of school, maybe a significant relationship, other groups that need attention, or even finding time to exercise and staying healthy. So when movies generalize the college student population as these types of non-stop partiers who don’t have worries, I have an issue with that; so much stress and work goes into living a student lifestyle and it is unfair for media/movies to sugar coat it and not portray students correctly.

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In my first primary source, I included the movie “Animal House”, where the above pictures are from. Long story short, this movie includes a lot of large college parties and drinking that happened more than often. It follows a story of a boy joining a fraternity and his college experiences. He and his friends are shown at many parties, basically drinking their way through college, and doing outlandish things that you wouldn’t see on a day-to-day basis. I found there was always a struggle with who was the “alpha male” between the fraternities and with that came fighting. There was a lot more fighting in this movie than there usually is in a normal situation. I find this to be an extremely wrong representation of college and what it entails; fights do not break out over every argument that happens and we students do not drink our way through college (usually). A rebuttal article that I stumbled upon, A look at the Stereotypical College Student by Kirsten Hoverman, really captivated my views on this subject and the way students are portrayed. This article is basically a piece of writing to explain the nonsense that is portrayed in movies such as “Animal House”. Hoverman stated that college students now-a-days are portrayed as “lazy, self-absorbed, alcoholic sex maniacs who only care about one thing, when’s the next party?” Media doesn’t showcase all that happens in the life of a college students. I enjoy and can relate to a point in which this articles mentions that of course we students are young and in college- we will all get drunk and go to parties. We may stay out all night and drink until the sun rises, sleep through a few days of class and have complete lazy days of nothingness. That is normal. It’s totally cool and fun to do these things, but the way movies make out that all college students do is drink, drugs, sex, and party is not okay and we should be represented with more credit.

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In a movie like “22 Jump Street”, the two main characters play a role as college students while really being detectives trying to put an end to a new dangerous drug on the market within the college. Firstly, I find it mildly ironic/humorous that they need to have detectives hired to be college students because of a new drug, assuming drug crimes are a pretty normal thing throughout college. Both detectives went in with preconceived notions of what college is going to be like and what they are going to do to fit in, such as the picture above. They’ve never been to college so it was interesting to see how this movies portrays what other people think about college students. I did find this movie to be a little more realistic than “Animal House”, but yet again the over exaggerated partying and incorrect portrayals were shown throughout. At least the humor was there! I find that “22 Jump Street” resembles another of my secondary sources, 10 Inaccurate College Kid Stereotypes as Portrayed by the Media by Aubrey Murtha. It delves into some of the stereotypes throughout college from the athlete, frat star, sorority girl, to over-involved, stoner, 4.0 student, Jesus freak, etc. From this article, athletes are viewed as “dumb as a stump and unmotivated unless the task at hand involves squats, dead lifting or protein shakes” whereas the 4.0 student “frets about any and every academic assignment, and his dedication to his school work always pays off with very high marks at the end of the semester”. I think the preconceived thoughts the two actors had in “22 Jump Street” mimic the thoughts of this article by Murtha.

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Fake yet humorous ads like “How to be a College Student” found on YouTube really do showcase all of the judgments that come with being a college student but also how true each one is. I enjoy this type of portrayal of a college student’s life, because obviously many of these “steps” to become a college student are inflated, but many show the real truth behind being a college student just in a humorous way. Finally, some sort of portrayal of students that depict what it really is like- although they do forget to mention a lot of things outside of schooling. I find this to be apparent in many of sources dealing with the college student life, most do not show the other aspects of college students are living. Job wise, relationships, staying healthy and fit, it all adds up but yet it is never shown. I feel it is important to show all the work students put into their life because we just deserve appreciation. Wouldn’t we all like to have free time and party 24/7, but that is not the case in real life. mqdefault[3]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HUZoIogzy0c

Favorite Learning Moments?

Throughout this course, I have found a great joy in expanding on my thoughts in certain modern day related topics and blogging about them. Because there has not been many projects this term, I found the blog posts to be some of my favorite learning moments thus far.

  •           During week 3 we explored the history of advertisement. I especially liked this blogging portion and reading others comments on this topic, I felt it was a great start to begin this class and really prefaced what it was going to be about. I liked learning about the history of advertising and comparing our times; ideas that I explored such as “Modern day advertisement really deals with psychology aspects and ways to almost trick the consumer into believing in their product” really was interesting to be. Overall this first started my thought process with popular culture.
  •           Now, my favorite topic that I was able to elaborate on was Week 5: The News, with the prompt being fairly simple: Where do you get your news? As I stated in my blog: “In my eyes, the news and current events involve so much negativity and the amount of horrible stories covered is endless. I understand that it may be important to be educated about the news and current events, and I certainly am with the specific events important to me, but I am very happy and content not being educated about everything that happens in this world.” I truthfully try to stand by what I said because it’s something I truly think about, while writing I was able to reflect on the exact negativity that is shown in our world via news and how I just do not need to be a part of it. As I stated, “trying to fill my mind, body, and soul with positivity is something I’ve been working on, so cutting out most news is essential for me”. I was happy to learn where others get there news and connect with students who share the same thoughts on news as myself. This entire course really engulfed me in popular culture and helped me get a better and richer understanding of the culture we live in and the media that influences it.

 

 

Bibliography

Hoverman, K. (2005). A look at the stereotypical college student. The Collegian.

IFHT (Director). (2014). How to be a College Student [Motion Picture].

Landis, J. (Director). (1978). Animal House [Motion Picture].

Lord, P., & Miller, C. (Directors). (2015). 22 Jump Street [Motion Picture].

Murtha, A. (2015). 10 Inaccurate College Kid Stereotypes as Portrayed by the Media. The Marquette Educator.

Oh You’re in a Sorority

“Oh you’re in a sorority”

When picking identity I had a little bit of trouble. It was a toss up between a Californian and being in a Sorority. So I picked the one that I thought had the majority of focus on in the media. Now I wanted to make a disclaimer about what I will actually be talking about. I want to talk about how greek life is viewed in the media and talk about the things that most people don’t know about being in a Sorority or Frat. Because a lot of the things that are seen in the media about greek life can be true and I’m not saying that all greek life is perfect and don’t party and don’t haze and don’t care about what they look like or how much money they have, I want to talk about how not all greek life is like that, because being associated with a sorority I get a lot of hate, looks, and judgment from people thinking that all greeks are the same.

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What is Greek Life?

For many people when you go to college you explore the new environment of campus and all the things that one can get involved with, and most of the time it happens to be greek life. When I came to Portland State I did a little research on greek but there were always thoughts that went through my head. Is this for me? Don’t they just party? Will I have good grades? Do I have to be really pretty?
The first day of recruitment I walked into a room of a diverse group of girls, all types of ethnicities, all sizes, different hair styles, different majors, women who were excited to support one and another. And although not every school with greek life are as welcoming, or diverse as others it doesn’t mean that every sorority and fraternity likes to drink, have one night stands, haze, or don’t care about there grades. Just like every where else in the world we tend to group people and stereotype them. If it weren’t for the media advertising all the bad hazing, drinking, and good looking people, society would know that greek life offers philanthropic opportunities, academic interests, as well as an endless support system.

Fraternities in the Media
Just by reading the topic of this section I’m sure you all have an image in your head about what a typical “frat guy” looks like.

Maybe this…..

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Or maybe the typical toga party

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When thinking about greek life especially fraternities, for most of us, this is what pops into our head. We think about the supper hot guys and the all the amazing themed parties that they throw and how you have to be really pretty in order to be with a frat guy. A lot of this has to do with how it is portrayed in the media. For example in the youtube video done by youtube star LifeAccordingToJimmy he acts out “The Frattiest Man in the World”. This video describes what the “frattiest man” is suppose to look like. He drinks, is buff, “has taxis lined up for all the shackers”, and so on. This video not only gives the idea to the audience that all frat guys are like this but they don’t even show have of the other stuff that this organization is about.

Most people don’t know that greeks are actually always raising awareness and money for a specific cause. One specific article that I found was about the fraternity Theta Delta Chi at Rutgers University. This frat was helping the sorority Zeta Tau Alpha raise awareness for their national philanthropy, Breast Cancer awareness. Every year the sorority puts on a competition to see which frat can raise the most awareness. Frats show their support by decorating their houses as well as putting signs around campus. Who ever shows and raises the most awareness wins dinner with the girls in the sorority. So as this competition went on Theta Delta Chi got in trouble for the signs that they put up. These signs included, “We hearts boobs”, “save the ta’ta’s” and many others. As pictures flooded the internet they got a lot of attention for what they were doing.

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Above is the picture of some of the decorations and signs that Theta Delta Chi used. Below is a comment left on the picture.

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Although there are always issues with how people feel about a certain subject, these people are getting upset about a sign that was already a campaign started by the “keep a breast foundation not a fraternity” (Lee). I feel as though just because they are a frat they are getting all this attention. Being apart of greek life is just like being apart of any other club, group, or sports team. Since when was raising awareness in a fun way, for a serious cause, a bad thing? The media allows people to see a picture and assume anything they want.
Sororities in the Media
Being apart of a sorority I already know what you are thinking. “Oh you must be stupid, hookup with a lot of guys, drink all the time, have long hair, have the perfect body and so ”. I know this is what you are thinking because I use to think this. Im still a little hesitant when I tell people that I’m in a sorority. When why should I be? I have made the most amazing friends that I know will be in my life forever. I know that no matter where I go I can find an Alpha Chi and we connect like we have known each other for years. I have an amazing support system and women who will push me to be the very best I can be. I know that I stand for an amazing cause that touches more peoples lives then one would actually think, including my own. Being apart of a sorority was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made and if it wasn’t for a friend pushing me out of my comfort zone I know I would have never joined, because of all the horrific things that I see in the media.

One of the most common ways that a sorority is seen in the media is through movies. You can probably already think of two off the top of your head including the new drama Scream Queens, or maybe the show Greek, or even one of my favorites House Bunny. These movies and shows not only give a completely negative representation of what sorority life actually is, but also doesn’t even show half of the amazing things that each organization does.

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One of the newest tv shows Scream Queens has made a big following especially for the younger crowd. Now although this show is suppose to be humorous as well as exciting, it is basically stereotyping all sorority life as well as greek life. Watching the first 3 minutes of this show made me not want to be in a sorority. For example, in the first episode the girls are in a panic because one of their sisters had a baby and doesn’t look good enough to go out the front door. Just from these first couple of minutes they are already basing sorority life off of looks. The media puts this image into a young girls mind, that not does she have to perfect, but she’s not going to have the support from her long lasting sisters. (Pilot)

As part of this organization, I have been pushed to my full potential not only as a women but as a collegiate women. In order to be apart of a sorority you must fulfill a gap requirement the entire time you are involved. In a recent article they took pictures of people involved with greek life with them holding a sign with a stereotype as well as them with a sign proving that stereotype. For example “Mommy and daddy pay for everything” the other sign said “I’ve had a job all 4 years of college” (Velez). This not only explains all of the typical stereotypes of greek life but that probably most of these were probably formed through social media, pop culture, and society in general. Our culture needs to realize that the media has a bigger impact on us then we realize. We also need to stop stereotyping everyone, because being apart of greek life is one of the most amazing experiences I could ever ask for. There are so many other amazing things that these organizations do that the media doesn’t capture nearly enough.

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Important Learning Moments

This whole class was a learning experience. I have a very big interest in the whole idea behind Pop Culture and taking this class was more fun then an actual class. My favorite part though was this project. I liked finding how my identities where viewed in the media and how it has effected my life. I think that a lot of don’t realize that the media has such a huge impact on us, especially when we are making decisions about something in our life.

This class has defiantly opened my mind and has made me think twice about judging something that I have only seen in the media.

 

Work Cited

“The Frattiest Man in the World (feat. Tay Zonday).” YouTube. YouTube, n.d. Web. 02 Dec. 2015.

Lee, Harrison. “Rutgers Fraternity Hangs Harmless Breast Cancer Signs On House, Campus Outrage Ensues.” Total Frat Move. N.p., n.d. Web. 02 Dec. 2015.

“Pilot.” Scream Queens. Fox. WXIA, Atlanta. 22 Sep. 2015. Televison.

Velez, Mandy. “‘We Are Not Our Stereotypes’ Photo Series Reveals The Sides Of Sororities And Fraternities You Don’t Know About.” A Plus. N.p., 13 May 2015. Web. 02 Dec. 2015.

“Who’s the nerd now?”

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From Outcast to Social Norm: The Evolution of the Nerd

Picture a Nerd. What do you see? Pasty skin, thick glasses and a pocket protector? Maybe you imagine someone who is socially awkward, keeps to themselves, or possibly someone chilling in the school cafeteria enjoying a competitive game of Magic the Gathering. Imagine these stereotypes while you still can, because they are being revamped, updated and upgraded. Popular media, fashion and social popularity have enabled nerds to transform into something beautiful and desirable. Nerds are evolving – becoming a social norm in today’s popular culture.

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“A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away…“  (Star Wars, 1977.)

Take a look back to the beginning… How are nerds so different now, compared to how they were in the past? What has enabled them to evolve into something so popular, so fresh, and so sought after? It’s best to take a gander in Popular Media, starting with Revenge of the Nerds.

This is a movie that fulfills all nerd stereotypes. Revenge of the Nerds is a film that strives off the segregation of nerd vs jock. The Freshmen hall is taken over by a group of jocks who accidently burn down their own home, leaving the unfortunate Freshmen body left to live in the College Auditorium. The class is asked to join fraternities, so they can relocate. All students find a fraternity, except a small group of students, who are segregated as nerds. This movie reflects the change of how we view nerds in popular culture. The nerds fight back and form their own fraternity. They develop the courage and power to be proud of what they are and the media loves it. This movie has all the college humor; from panty raids and booger jokes, to underage drinking and sexual misconduct – but it revolves it around a group that is less than popular: Nerds! Revenge of the Nerds kick-starts the beginning of nerd popularity and nerd pride.

Gibert: “I just wanted to say that I’m a nerd, and I’m here tonight to stand up for the rights of other nerds. I mean uh, all our lives we’ve been laughed at and made to feel inferior. And tonight, those bastards, they trashed our house. Why? Cause we’re smart? Cause we look different? Well, we’re not. I’m a nerd, and uh, I’m pretty proud of it.”

The popularity of this movie encouraged more and more nerd Protagonists in the media. A more recent and comparable example, The Big Bang Theory, is an extremely popular sitcom about nerds, just being nerds. This show survives on continuous cheesy geek jokes and fulfilling stereotypes. It’s a show about a group of nerds who don’t have to get cooler as they get older; they are already kings by being nerdy as ever. These nerds are funny, smart, and cool! The show sells so much merchandise; how many of those “Bazinga!” shirts have you seen floating around? The audience loves the lives these nerds portray, making nerds more and more popular. The more popular the nerd becomes, the more the nerd population will grow. Soon, the nerd will become just like anybody else: Normal.

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“In my mind, a nerd is someone who is passionate about (and very good at) something – be it math, Irish literature, D&D, botany, whatever. Somewhere along the line, this changed to being part of a certain culture, watching this TV show and wearing that type of clothing…”  (Westcott, 2012.)

As the popularity of “nerditude” increases, we witness the lowering of the nerd bar. “Recently, the number of Hollywood celebrities who claim to be or have been nerds has skyrocketed.” (Hwang, 2013.) Nerds have been becoming so popular and so cool that celebrities want to be them. Celebrities have no fear of being ridiculed by fans because nerds have become so socially acceptable. Take a look at fashion. “Revenge of the Nerd fashion reflects the times we live in.” (Vogue, 2015.) Overall, fashion expresses what’s “popular.” Thick, black framed glasses are being worn on the red carpet. Nerd culture sells. We are experiencing the rise of “fake nerds” and it’s not necessarily a bad thing. The more the nerd, inside and out, becomes more socially acceptable, the more the nerd becomes a social norm.

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What is this image trying to sell? We learned earlier in our course how to analyze advertisements. This is very straight forward. Thick framed glasses, goofy bowtie t-shirts and cardigan sweaters are in. Nerds are sexy, and Forever 21 knows it. It’s time to make profit on what’s popular. We also learned about the influences that advertisements have on us. Fashion is an identity. If looking like a nerd is in fashion, why wouldn’t you want to look like one? This model is clearly attractive, even when wearing an attire, that in the past, was considered not so attractive. This further encourages the idea of nerds becoming a social norm.

“Be nice to nerds. Chances are you’ll end up working for one…”  (Charles J. Skyes, 1996.)

With the rise of the internet and advancement in technology, all due respect goes to our nerds. “That’s the only way that the world can solve its big problems: by mainstreaming oddball people and ideas that might have been shunned in a prior generation.” (Hwang, 2013.) We need brains to help us with technology. It’s as if the roles have switched; instead of being attracted to muscles, we’re attracted to that big sexy brain. Instead of watching football, why not try watching “Lets Plays”? Instead of organizing strategies in sports, why not organize strategies in “Larps”? Lets Plays are videos on Youtube of someone playing through a game. A Larp is Live Action Role Playing; so a bunch of people get together and act out DnD related activities with foam weapons and fun costumes. Larping has become so popular there is even a website, www.larping.org that allows you to search for local larping communities; and trust me, there are a ton.  How fun is it to dress up as your favorite video game or comic book character and meet up with like-minded people at organized events such as Comicon? These are examples of nerdy things that are becoming more and more popular. This is the rise of nerd culture.

How do the nerds feel about all of this attention? If nerds are becoming mainstream, are they no longer special? There’s this thing called Nerd Pride that has also developed with the growing popularity of nerds. Nerds have fought against popular culture for many years, lost many battles, and have now finally won. New nerds keep popping out of the wood-works who have never had to deal with nerd prosecution. These “fake nerds” are those who think nerds are cool and so desperately want to be nerds. “Singles on dating websites define themselves in their profiles as “nerds” and “geeks” – in a positive way.” (Westcott, 2012.) It is a known fact, due to Nerd Pride, that nerds get highly irritated by the increasing amount of “fake nerds.”

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This rise in popularity has allowed nerds to have their very own holiday: Geek Pride Day, May 25th. This day was chosen to coincide with the first Star Wars Film, which was released on May 25th, 1977. It is a world-wide celebration of nerdom; where you can celebrate anything and everything worth “geeking” out over. Tech brands go nuts using this day to increase sales and advertisements. There’s money in nerds, whether it be from fashion or technology – the growing acceptance of nerds is income.

“As more and more people become enthusiasts, traditional “nerd” and “geek” interests – Star Trek, comic books, anime, video games – are moving into the mainstream.” (Westcott, 2012.)

The idea of the nerd has evolved. Past nerds were socially awkward and afraid of being outcasts – while present day nerds are sought out and viewed as attractive. Being a nerd now is mainstream. Movies that have been making the most in box office have been comic book and video game movies. There is a ton of money in the video game market. The more nerds, the more profit. Nerds are no longer side characters, but main characters in media. They are the protagonists, the heroes. They inspire the rise of the internet. There are many people who are calling themselves nerds, because they so desperately want to become nerds.

Why does this all matter? It’s proof that society is changing, adapting and evolving. Society is growing and essentially becoming more “open-minded.” Those who were once ridiculed are now honored. Gender roles have been switching, advertisements are focusing on improving the world rather than selling something, and social identities are adjusting. Nerds are evolving and becoming a social norm, and that is amazing.  Nerds may not be enjoying the rise of the “fake nerds,” but they are definitely appreciating the social freedom popular culture has given them. The rise of nerds in the media has granted them power; but the more nerds become mainstream, the more they become just like everybody else: A Social Norm.

 

Works Cited

Edmundson-Cornell, Harry. The Big Bang Theory and Geek Culture. 4 Jan. 2014. Web. 18 Nov. 2015. http://sequart.org/magazine/38229/the-big-bang-theory-and-geek-culture/

Fox, Jessie David. The Evolution of the TV Nerd, From Potsie to Urkel to Abed. 12 March 2013. Web. 28 Oct. 2015. http://www.vulture.com/2013/03/evolution-of-the-tv-nerd-screech-urkel-abed.html#

Hwang, Victor W. A Huge Global Epidemic: Fake Nerds. Forbs.com. 3 Jun. 2013. Web. 28 Oct. 2015.  http://www.forbes.com/sites/victorhwang/2013/06/03/a-huge-global-epidemic-fake-nerds/

Kempley, Rita. Nerds Come Into Their Own, At Last. The Washington Post. 10 Aug. 1984. Web. 8 Nov. 2015. https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/lifestyle/1984/08/10/nerds-come-into-their-own-at-last/8d51812d-508b-4efa-bf2f-d6c1c97b90ff/

Kim, Monica. Revenge of the Nerds: Why Geek Chic is the Next Fashion Phenomenon. Vogue Magazine. 25 Aug. 2015. Web. 8 Nov. 2015. http://www.vogue.com/13299064/nerd-style-fashion-gucci-fall-2015/

Revenge of the Nerds Quotes. IMDB. Web. 18 Nov. 2015. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0088000/quotes

Sifferlin, Alexandra. What to Know About Geek Pride Day. Time Magazine. 25 May 2015. Web. 8 Nov. 2015. http://time.com/3895549/geek-pride-day/

Star Wars Quotes. IMDB. Web. 18 Nov. 2015. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0076759/trivia?tab=qt&ref_=tt_trv_qu

Westcott, Kathryn. Are “Geek” and “Nerd” Now Positive Terms? BBC News Magazine. 16 Nov. 2012. Web. 28 Oct. 2015. http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-20325517

West, Randolph. Skyes, Charles J. Charles J. Skyes – Some Rules Kids Won’t Learn in School. 19 Sep. 1996. Web. 8 Nov. 2015. http://rabryst.ca/2006/09/charles-j-sykes-some-rules-kids-wont-learn-in-school/?entry=entry060928-084532

 

Asian Portrayals in Pop Culture

Han Nguyen

Coming to the United States in 2009, it was my first time encountering the Asian stereotypes. For the 12 years living in Asia, I never heard such stereotypes that defined an Asian person as being smart, quiet, good at martial arts, etc. I was surprised and shocked by these stereotypes that people were throwing at me in America. When people struggled in math, they came searching for me, assuming that I had the answers because of what my ethnicity. However, I tried to explain to people that the stereotype of being Asians being smart wasn’t true and it didn’t apply to me. It was through my prior education over in Vietnam that taught me how to solve for the answer. I do not blame people for labeling me under such stereotypes but I do have reasons to blame the media in pop culture for having bias stereotypes and misinformation about Asian people. I believe that the media looks at Asian people in just one dimension and based their assumption for the whole race. I will be analyzing different TV shows and trends to go more in depth about the issue of Asian portrayal in media, to argue against the false portrayals that the media gives and to show the more realistic sides of Asian that are rarely shown.

Yellow-face is a trend of theatrical make-up to transform White performers into looking “Asian”. This trend started in 1767 when Arthur Murphy’s The Orphan of China was presented in Philadelphia and still continues until today. Yellow-face has been used in numerous movies and shows such as Madame Butterfly, The Forbidden City, Balls of Fury, etc. The deep meaning behind Yellow-face isn’t about white people wearing make up to look Asian but it is about the bias against hiring real Asians to play Asian roles. It is shown by white producers, directors, and others who control the depiction of Asians in popular culture through casting decisions and the propagation of racist Asian stereotypes. It shows how hard it is to get into the media industry when your ethnicity is Asian. This identity limits chances for people to get the roles that are supposed to be for them.

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This Youtube video below is made by Buzzfeed on how Asians feels or reacts to Yellowface.

Another issue that we have with Yellow-face is how the make-up portrays Asian. The make-up always makes the actors have the alien-looking with all the weird and ugly features. It is s if white people think Asians are ugly and odd looking. As an Asian person, it feels dehumanizing when they give the incorrect portrayal of being Asian. The given depiction does not describe the looks of a normal Asian person. Asians do not always have crooked teeth, big nose, small eyes or bowl-cut hair.

In the movie, The Karate Kid, tells the story of a black kid named Dre Parker, played by Jaden Smith, who moves to China because of his mom’s new job. As he tries to get used to culture differences, he finds it challenging because he is of different race and culture. As he tries to fit in, he meets Mr. Han, a retired martial art teacher who is played by Jackie Chan. Dre gets in troubles with some Chinese kids that forces him to learn karate to win matches against them in a tournament. This movie shows a lot of stereotypes about Asians. For example, in the airplane scene, Dre tries to speak Chinese to an Asian guy to ask him where he is from, the guy answers, “Dude I’m from Detroit.” This question is most uncomfortable and the most asked question that every Asian person gets. It makes us feel unwelcome, even though America is home to a lot Asians who are born here. Another stereotype shown is that Asians are very well-disciplined. In the movie, it displays the young Asian children’s martial arts training. They follow every instruction from their teacher and are not allowed to talk back.

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Another issue shown in the movie is that Asian people are dressed very conservatively and moderately, which is very different from American styles. The most common Asian stereotype is having strict parents. In the movie, Dre ends up liking a Chinese girl. However, the girl’s parents are very strict and they expect her to be the model role. They often expressed their expectation of her doing well in school and pressure her to become famous by being the best violinist. Overall, The Karate Kid shows the negative and unrealistic portrayals of Asians.

In contrast, the TV show Fresh Off the Boat is the first American comedy series starring an Asian American family as protagonists after Margaret Cho’s All American Girl. It’s about a Taiwanese family moving from Chinatown in Washington D.C to Orlando, Florida. The mother Jessica Huang, played by Constance Wu, struggles with culture differences because Orlando doesn’t have a big Asian community or population like where she used to live in D.C. The father Louis Huang, played by Randall park, works toward their American Dream by opening a western-themed restaurant named Cattleman’s Ranch Steakhouse. The show’s protagonist, Eddie Huang, played by Hudson Yang, tries to assimilate into the new school. Eddie is a big hip-hop and basketball fan. Unlike how Asian is portrayed as smart, dressing weirdly, socially awkward, Eddie is loud and outgoing. He’s just an average student who struggles in school. He gets along well with his friends and good at being social. Instead of wanting to be a doctor or an engineering, the set occupations for Asians, Eddie’s dream is beyond that and very different. He wants to be different and follows his passion in hip hop music. The family is also very different from the stereotypes given about Asians. People tend to think that Asian men are very demanding and head of the family and everyone has to listen to them. But in the show, the wife Jessica is always the one that complains and yells, while Louis is very patient and good at listening to his wife. He doesn’t demand her to do this or that. Another detail about this show that goes against Asian stereotypes is they speak perfect English. In a lot of movies, white people mock Asians by faking accents and using broken English. Not all Asians speak broken English and it is an insult to Asian Americans when white people use accent to make fun of them.

fresh-off-the-boat-american-tv-series

Another TV show that shows a different side of being Asian is The Suit Life of Zach and Cody. There is an Asian character in this show named London Tipton, played by Brenda Song. She is the daughter of the hotel owner where the show is staged at. She is a spoiled child that only has self-interest due to her family background. Unlike the stereotype of being obedient and well-disciplined, London always did what she liked because she grew up without guidance and discipline. Her dad was always away and she often gets lonely. Her dad is opposite from what Asian parents are portrayed in media. London’s dad is easy and lets London do whatever she wants, which is why she is ignorant at times, but she is still very nice those around her. London is not school oriented; she is known for skipping classes and getting bad grades which is the total opposite of Asian’s portrayal in media. She is more rebellious and realistic.

brenda-song-london-tipton-quote-text-Favim.com-834569

In conclusion, Asians are very dimensional like any other races. We can be smart, shy, nerdy, awkward, outgoing, loud, talkative, or dumb. They created a false portrait of what and who Asian people are. Although it is sad that people believe in such stereotypes and assumptions about Asian people, they fail to understand what makes each individual unique and special. It hard for Asians to express their real character without getting judged and getting labeled by the stereotype. One way to accurately portray Asians is getting the media change the way they portray Asians as well as giving Asians more opportunities to shine in the industry.

 

Work Cited

Lam, Chris. “East Asians Watched Yellowface And It Will Make You Cringe.” BuzzFeed. Buzzfeed, 30 July 2015. Web. 14 Nov. 2015. <http://www.buzzfeed.com/chrislam/east-asians-react-to-yellowface#.xymMy5A3K&gt;.

“London Tipton.” The Suite Life Wiki. Wikia. Web. 14 Nov. 2015. <http://suitelife.wikia.com/wiki/London_Tipton&gt;.

Moon, Krystyn R. Yellowface Creating the Chinese in American Popular Music and Performance, 1850s-1920s. New Brunswick: Rutgers UP, 2005. Print.

“Watch Fresh Off the Boat TV Show – ABC.com.” ABC. ABC. Web. 14 Nov. 2015. <http://abc.go.com/shows/fresh-off-the-boat&gt;.

Gay Dads in Ads

In advertisements and popular culture today, gay dads are being featured more and more often. We are seeing them on prime time TV, television and internet commercials, periodicals and other publications.  As a gay dad going on 23 years, this recent turn of events has been fascinating to me. I’ve been around for quite a while, as I’m sure others have. So why now is this, all of the sudden, important in popular culture?  Even more important, do they get it right? Through this course, I have learned new ways of seeing, found new tools to analyze and interpret information, and use a critical eye. I invite you to join me on a journey through these ads to search for some of these answers and perhaps a glimpse of my reflection in this pop culture mirror.

campbells

Let’s take a look at a recent ad for Star Wars themed Campbell’s soup. Featured here specifically are real gay dads with their real life son. This melts my heart as two obviously doting fathers feed their son soup while pretending to be Star Wars characters. Reaction to this ad has been mixed. Some people are seeing this as an advancement in society as we grow more comfortable with non traditional families. “This campaign holds a mirror up to the modern American family, because we know that people respond to brands that understand them and show life how it is, in all its glorious and joyous imperfections.” (Huffington Post) Others have met this with opposition and protest as seen with the group One Million Moms who view this as a degradation of society and the traditional American family. They currently have a campaign to entice Campbell’s to remove the ad.

Campbell’s Soup is glorifying this unnatural marriage. One Million Moms believes family is based on love, but this does not justify normalizing sin. 1MM does not agree with the need for Campbell’s to support same sex marriages or couples. (onemillionmoms.com)

Despite some negative response, seeing this ad in popular culture fills me with pride.  When large companies use gay dads in their advertisements it shows that they are open to marketing their products to all Americans. By marketing this way, Campbell’s soup expands its target demographic to include non traditional families. They create feelings of good will with more Americans and may enhance their sales by opening up marketing for their soup in this way. They are also taking a risk by alienating conservatively minded Americans who see gay parents as a threat to American society. One could argue that their position here is a bet that the collective minds of Americans have changed to be more accepting towards gay dads. This may be one of the reasons why we are seeing more ads like this recently. The imagery used in this ad as it is very powerful. Showing gay dads in traditional settings caring for a child while feeding him not only supports the brand but it makes a statement about, in Campbell’s words, what “real families” look like. Its what my family looked like. I also find it very brave that they show one dad with a wedding band on his left hand ring finger.  This very small detail sheds some light on the possibility that the advertiser may support gay marriage as well.

Coke

In Coca Cola’s “America Is Beautiful” advertisement, Coke makes a statement that cultural diversity is part of what makes America beautiful. They use the powerful anthem “America the Beautiful” sung in several different languages to help convey this message.  This song invokes feelings of pride and patriotism for Americans, yet some were offended by its inclusion of multiple languages. (USA Today) Interestingly, Coke positions a pair of gay dads in this cultural diversity themed ad, combining the topics of sexual identity with ethnic and cultural identity. While sexuality and ethnicity are two different issues, they do belong together in this ad. Racism and homophobia are, unfortunately, alive and well in America today. Coke’s ad serves us well as it helps to be reminded that inclusion and diversity inspire growth and understanding.

Coke positions its product elegantly and effectively in a variety of the warm moments created in the advertisement. Take for example the two gay dads with their daughter.  They are seen roller-skating; the dads are hand in hand with the daughter in tow. This is an experience I’ve shared with my kids. We flash to them sitting down smiling and as the daughter affectionately places her head against her dads while he’s holding a Coca Cola. It’s no accident that the product is featured in this “magic moment” with the dads and their daughter. From this effective placement Coca Cola tells a great story.  We see that Coke products belong in the special moments of all types of families in America.  It may even suggest that it makes those moments more enjoyable. I commend Coke’s brave stance on diversity and inclusion especially since this ad was shown during the 2014 Super Bowl.

Chevy

Chevrolet’s position in its Traverse Ad is most succinctly summed up in this quote taken from the Ad.  “What it means to be a family hasn’t changed, what it looks like has.”  In Chevy’s ad we are taken through various 3 to 4 second shots of different types of families while a narrator tells us a story ultimately leading us to the reason why a Chevy Traverse belongs in your family’s garage. We are told of the Chevrolet Traverse’s stellar safety rating to appeal to our desire to keep our family safe and this gives us a compelling reason to consider their car. Even more effective is Chevrolet’s inclusion of all types of American families.  In this ad we come across two gay dads with their children in the family kitchen preparing pizza. It is evident that every detail in this segment of the ad was scrutinized.  From the background of an upscale kitchen, to preparing pizza and the traditional framing of the subjects in family portrait sale, we are reminded how wonderfully normal and ordinary this different type of American family is. Not only does it serve to tell Chevrolet’s prospective customers that they value customers from all different backgrounds, they want to keep you safe in their vehicles.

Each of these companies takes a unique approach on showing gay dads in their advertisements. Whether it’s through narrative, vignette based or a primary focus. We are shown how important it is to these producers to market their products to all types of families, specifically for this reflection, gay dads. We are reminded that these types of moments aren’t reserved just for the traditional nuclear American family. We may also be lead to believe that these companies are taking a brave stance by showing that they are inclusive of gay dads in their advertising. While I don’t believe their motives are completely altruistic; they do help move inclusion and diversity in America forward. Let’s also not forget these companies will lose business if they don’t change to reflect their markets. This could be one of the biggest reasons why we are seeing gay dads more and more in popular culture and advertising. I believe these corporations did a good job at reflecting me in their advertisements. I certainly fed my son’s nourishing food, I entertained them with roller skating trips and protected them by buying safer cars. I’m encouraged by seeing families that look like mine appear more often in the media and its clear that as America becomes more diverse, popular culture will follow right along and in many ways it may lead the way.

Working though this project I took a deep dive into several resources that show gay dads.  In looking deeper I learned more about how the portrayal of gay dads is evolving in popular culture today.  It’s good to know that America appears to be warming up to non traditional families. Surprisingly, I was delighted to find so many artifacts that featured gay dads and other non traditional families. It was unfortunately reaffirming to find multitudes of opposing ads that feature non traditional families. I’m aware that many in the world today view gay families as strange, however the vitriol and blatant bigotry of groups like One Million Moms was disheartening to read.  What I’ve concluded is that families are important no matter what shape they take, and its as equally important that we as a society tolerate and embrace non traditional families. It builds a stronger community and a stronger country.  I’m taking away from this experience a new understanding of my role as a gay parent, in that, I need to do more to show others just how normal we are. Additionally, I truly enjoyed learning new ways of discovering, scrutinizing and seeing things through the lens of research and analysis.  The tools I will continue to reference and use throughout my life include the book “Ways of Seeing” and the Analysis tools from the Writing Center.  These two things opened my eyes and improved my analysis and understanding.

Works Sited

Campbell’s Soup Advertisement – Star Wars Campbell’s Soup

https://youtu.be/7rZOMY2sOnE

Coca Cola 2014 Super Bowl Ad – America is Beautiful

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TLw7bOl_8Ro#action=share

Chevrolet: The New Us – Chevrolet Traverse

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E5mY8AVTu7k#action=share

Gay Parents as Good AS Straight Ones, Rich Barlow, Boston University Today, April 11, 2013

http://www.bu.edu/today/2013/gay-parents-as-good-as-straight-ones/

The Modern Family Effect: Pop Culture’s Role in the Gay-Marriage Revolution, Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, June 26, 2015

http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2015/06/gay-marriage-legalized-modern-family-pop-culture/397013/

 “Glorifying Unnatural Marriage”: One Million Moms Steaming Hot Over Campbell’s Soup Ad with Gay Dads, David Badash, The New Civil Rights Movement, October 9, 2015

http://www.thenewcivilrightsmovement.com/davidbadash/_glorifying_unnatural_marriage_one_million_moms_steaming_hot_over_campbell_s_soup_ad_with_gay_dads

 

 

 

 

College Girls in Media vs College Girls in Reality

Media and Hollywood movies have affected and influenced society’s perception on female college students. Due to Hollywood movies and media, society mostly recognizes the negative stereotypes of a college women. Saran Donahoo, an associate professor and education administration of Southern Illinois University, once said, “The messages in these films consistently emphasized college as a place where young women come to have fun, engage in romances with young men, experiment with sex and alcohol, face dilemmas regarding body image, and encounter difficulties in associating with other college women.” In this essay I will be talking about the recurring stereotypes (generalized image or idea of a particular type of person or thing) and themes portrayed in three hollywood movies, Spring Breakers, The house bunny and Legally Blond and how these stereotypes affect our society.  

The movie Spring Breakers is about four college girls who lack interest with their daily routines and want to escape on a spring break vacation to Florida. After realizing they don’t have enough money, they rob a local diner with fake guns and ski masks. They break the laws in order to get down to Florida, just to break more rules and laws once they’re there. During the film, you will notice a lot of partying, drugs and sexual activity. The four girls wear bikinis for majority of the film and are overly sexual. These are some common themes and stereotypes seen in all three movies. Media and movies like spring breakers have made it a norm to constantly want to party, get drunk and have sex as a college woman. In an article by Heather Long, she mentions how the movie can even be seen as supporting rape culture. She believes because of these stereotypes always being shown in media, it is contributing to the “girls asking for it” excuse when it comes to rape cases with young girls. Long also said “…never mind the fact that thousands of college students are spending their spring break not on a beach, but volunteering with groups like Habitat for Humanity and the United Way, especially after Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy.” This shows how media only displays one side of a certain group or story. Even though not all college girls like to party and lay on a beach naked for spring break like shown in the movie, that is what media likes to portray. Not only does this give the wrong message to our society but these portrayals are influencing bigger issues like rape, as the author mentioned. When media only focuses on one perspective, society starts to think partying, drinking and having sex is the only way to be as a female college student, which is not the case.

The House bunny is a movie about an ex playmate or girlfriend if Hugh Hefner that gets kicked out of the Playboy Mansion due to her aging. She then becomes a mother of an unpopular sorority with girls that are bit geeky, and unusual compared to other girls on campus. The story goes on to the ex playmate helping the girls fitting in and achieving popularity. The movie displays the message that girls must be a certain way to be accepted as the norm sorority girl and how being yourself is not good enough. In order for the girls to fit in, they had to become a lot more sexual, dress more provocative and act differently than their usual selves. This was a common theme in all three movies. All the films stressed the importance of beauty, especially through body weight. This also gives the message of girls only being worth their bodies and being portrayed as objects. Instead of showing the importance of being accepting of who you are what you look like, movies like the House Bunny show the opposite. This effects the issue of media enforcing an unrealistic image of beauty to young girls. Due to these Hollywood movies, young girls everywhere do not feel comfortable with their own appearance. Many resort to eating disorders and unhealthy habits in order to reach what they are told is beautiful.

Another recurring theme was how little the movies displayed the academic aspect of being a college student. Throughout the movies, you rarely see the girls doing anything academic related. The author of the article What’s With The Media’s Representation of Sororities? said college girls must “meet the school’s GPA standards that set them above academic probation, sorority women strive for academic excellence well beyond their university’s Greek life GPA requirements, not to mention their individual house’s required GPA.” This shows how media does not show all aspects of what it’s like to be a female college student. There are huge differences in what the media shows compared to what is reality that many people do not realize. They portray college girls mostly focusing on their appearance and looks opposed to their future and studies. When in reality your academic and ability to be successful should have nothing to do with your appearance.

The third movie, Legally Blonde is about a sorority girl who gets dumped by her Harvard boyfriend due to not being “serious” enough. In order to get her boyfriend back, she applies to Harvard through a video and works towards getting a law degree. This connects to the stereotype that girls just go to college to find a man. In all three movies, the plots focus heavily on romance. They display the message that women value a relationship more than their academic futures. Legally Blonde begins with scenes of Elle, (the main character) preparing for a marriage proposal from her college boyfriend and ends with a scene of a marriage proposal from a new boyfriend she meets at law school. Saran Donahoo mentions in her article how “While completing a college degree is a good way to broaden career and economic opportunities for women, media images continue to emphasize college as a place to earn the ‘Mrs. Degree’ by fuiling desires and directing individuals to fulfill traditional gender roles.” Besides the stereotypes of college women being partiers and wild, there is a bigger stereotype of women just going to college to find a husband. This teaches girls in society that finding a man is more important than having your own career. Also girls might not feel secure with themselves when they are not in some sort of relationship due to media making it seem so important. A lot times society and media tells women that if they are not married at a certain age, they have failed as woman. There is also an unrealistic expectation that you are suppose to meet your life long partner in college. Therefore, many young girls feel pressured to “find the one” once they go to college. Movies like Legally Blonde are one of the main reasons why most young girls believe they must find a man in order to reach happiness, especially while they are in college.

Although there some movies that do not portray these stereotypes when displaying a female college student, majority of them do. The main stream and most popular movies are usually the ones that have the most partying, sexual activity and drug/alcohol use. These are recurring themes due to the fact sex sells and people are much more interested in bad behaviors opposed to good behaviors. Guinevere Turner, (co-screenwriter and actress – American Psycho) said “people want to see R-rated movies, adults and children alike, and an easy way to get an R-rating is to have sex scenes or nudity. We’d be fooling ourselves if we didn’t think teenagers wanted to see sex. And in creating the taboo, we create frenzy around it.” Since it is natural for humans to be drawn to sex and things they are usually supposes refrain from, they are more interested in movies that display them. Therefore big hollywood movies, exactrate the use of drugs/alcohol, partying and sex in order to make more money. What these film makers don’t realize is how these extractions can affect society’s perspective on what is reality and what is not.

Overall, all three movies focus on college girls being wild, parties who are just trying to find a man. Media images of college life of girls generally focuses on the social rather than the academic side of higher education. For example parties, drinking, greek life, sexual activity, and romantic relationships are common scenes portrayed in the movies. Due to movies just displaying the stereotypes of female college students, affects societies perspectives on how college girls must be. These movies also affect bigger issues like rape and how girls see themselves. In reality, not all college girls are in sororities and the ones that are, have to do so much more than just partying and keeping up with their appearance. It is important to know that movies and media do not show all aspects of what it means to be a female college student and not every girl must live up to these expectations.  

Learning Moments:

One main thing I learned during this course is how media only shows you what you want to see and how much it influences us. For example we exposed to so many advertisements that sometimes we can not tell the difference between what is being promoted and what is content. Celebrities could be wearing a specific brand, and we wouldn’t know if they actually like that brand and chose to wear or if they are being payed to promote it. I also didn’t notice before how much advertisements have effect are culture negatively. In America, we are known to really value beauty and I think advertisements are a huge reason for that. Ads tell women how they look is the most important thing, and surround us with the image of ideal beauty. This causes people to become insecure with themselves and not appreciate their own beauty.

Another main lesson I have learned is how media does not always tell us the full story but only what they want us to know. Recently we had to do an activity where we had to find a news article and evaluate how newsworthy it was. After doing some research I realized that a lot of stories we hear about are not always important. Many authors write and exaggerate things to make it seem important and newsworthy but don’t have the right intentions. A lot of stories are also very bias and don’t give you all the sides and information. I now realize that I must evaluate and question the stories I see and hear and not believe everything right away.

Work Cited:

The House Bunny. Dir. Fred Wolf. Prod. Adam Sandler. Perf. Anna Faris, Colin Hanks, andEmma Stone. Columbia Pictures, 2008. Film.

Spring Breakers. Dir. Harmony Korine. Perf. James Franco. Big Beat/Atlantic, 2013. Film.

Legally Blonde. Dir. Robert Luketic. Perf. Reese Witherspoon. MGM Home Entertainment, 2001. Film.

Long, Heather. “Spring Breakers Isn’t Just a Terrible Movie, It Reinforces Rape Culture.” The Guardian. N.p., 28 Mar. 2013. Web.

Piscopio, Katie. “What’s With The Media’s Representation of Sororities?” Her Campus. N.p., 16 Oct. 2015. Web.

YAKABOSKI, TAMARA, and SARAN DONAHOO. “Hollywood’s Representations Of College Women And The Implications For Housing And Residence Life Professionals.” Journal Of College & University Student Housing 41.2 (2015): 44-61. Academic Search Premier. Web. 2 Dec. 2015.

David Keeps. “Sex Sells, Says Hollywood.” The Guardian. N.p., 16 July 2000. Web.

I’m More Than My Skin

I’ve always known that racism is a major part of American history, and because the color of my skin I am subject to many assumptions. After years of judgment and distorted beliefs, stereotypes arose. As a young child I was never aware that I would face some of the challenges I would eventually come to later in life. Pre-k through 3rd grade were some of my best years. I was surrounded by people who loved me for me, and was sheltered from any bigoted views from the outside world. Then fourth grade hit, and that was a wakeup call. My eyes were opened to reality in ways I never knew existed. Growing up in a predominately white town I learned early on that, I am viewed a certain way in the world. In 1619 the first group of slaves were brought to Jamestown, Virginia. This isn’t news, but it goes to show how African Americans were viewed even 1000+ years ago. Clearly in this day and age slavery has ended, but has racism?

http://www.history.com/topics/black-history/slavery/videos/origins-of-slavery

            In the 1920’s South, African Americans were constantly reminded of their place in white society. They were told that they had to enter buildings from a different place, drink from different water fountains, and use different restroom facilities all because of the color of their skin (Wadelington, F 2004). Also because of the stereotype of the time that African Americans were thought of as “dirty” and disease carrying. The Ku Klux Klan (KKK) was just beginning to surface with their views on African Americans (Wadelington F 2004). They added fuel to everyone’s fire, and are one of the reasons racism is still alive today.

segregation_drinkingfountain_0

(Photograph represents segregation in the south)

Racist black stereotypes range from what some may call “comical” to derogatory and disrespectful on all levels. Multiple characters were created to portray African American people. One of the first characters portrayed was named Jim Crow. The character originated on minstrel show in the 1830’s when his character was first shown by a man, Thomas Rice, wearing black face (Padgett, K 2015). Many people credited Rice for creating this character when in reality he had observed slaves and their ways of signing and dance, and stole the idea and added his own style to it. The reason that it is important to realize that the character was appropriated by Rice is because what many saw on television was believed to be true, when in reality African Americans were only being looked upon as a joke.

patchwork

(Jim Crow character as seen in minstrel shows)

Other characters used were The Mammy, Jezebel, and Sapphire, but these women characters were used to portray how African American women are viewed as sex objects and only capable of domestic work (Pilgrim, D 2008). In researching The Mammy character, I have learned that she is the maid who get paid very little, and treats her white ”family” better than her own family.  She is the person who takes care of the children, washes the dishes, and cleans everything. Black women were often casted as the role of Mammy in films because they were not allowed to play any other character. They were not allowed to show that they could be anything else than a maid. One of the mammy characters used today is Aunt Jemima. She is an African American woman dressed as a maid on a popular syrup bottle. This shows how this caricatures are still alive, being used to entertain, and make a point today. The point being made with this character is that someone would want to buy the product because it was made by a maid character who is portrayed as being an excellent cook. The Aunt Jemima character is still offensive today because of the history it represents. The character itself is full of racist undertones, and having it on the product supports the views seen by the people who made it. Whether or not someone sees this character as offensive today, it has an offensive past regardless.

aunt-jemima-501

The Jezebel character originated from the bible. She was a sultry temptress who’s main goal was to use her body to get what she desired. This image was put on to African American women. This made African American women look as though they had an unquenchable thirst for sex with white males. During the years of slavery, white male slave owners saw African American slave women as sexual objects that they can do with what they please. This led too many rapes, and since slaves did have any rights, legally it was considered okay. Jezebel characters often wore skimpy clothing, and tried to seduce their male counter parts. Black women are still being portrayed as sex objects today. One example is how they are seen in music videos. A popular music artist portrays herself as a sexual object by objectifying her body. You can often find Nicki Minaj flaunting her surgically modified rear end in tight clothing. She is known for her sexual music video “Anaconda” which is a song about men desiring women with large behinds.

screen-shot-2014-11-29-at-6-44-37-pm

The Sapphire character is a rude, sassy, dominate woman who emasculated men. In the 1930’s this character was seen as comical by mimicking, and over exaggerating personalities of black women. The sapphire character became popular on the radio show Amos n’ Andy (1928 to 1960). The radio show was an all-white cast who would appropriated black culture. Later in the 1950’s the radio show turned into a television show with an all-black cast. The main purpose of the show was continued to mock African American cultures, and popularize black caricatures. This media lead others to believe that the jokes being made weren’t just jokes, but they were jokes on the African American race which in turn, lead people to think of the race as a whole, as a joke. The sapphire character is still being played in movies today. For example, director Tyler Perry often times has a sassy and rude woman play a Sapphire character, and she is often times emasculating men.

Through this course I have learned to not take something at face value, and to analyze it to find deeper meaning. For example, when I analyzed the Adidas commercial for the blog post. I was asked to find any patterns and figure out why it didn’t make sense. In my research for this project that is exactly what I did. I found out different ways to look at the information I collected, and bring it to one initial blog post. Another thing that I learned throughout this course was that I can use more than just text sources to support my findings. I can watch videos, analyze different excerpts, and I utilized all these findings in my project.

The way that African American people are viewed through media is not the way I see myself at all. They are often seen as lower than white people, and they are often viewed as sexual objects. The way I see my self is the complete opposite. I shouldn’t feel ashamed for being who I am even if the view of African American women have been obstructed. The way I was raised, and my experiences in life have shaped me to be the proud person that I am today. This project has reassured me on the fact that I am not just the color of my skin.

 

Works Cited

Padgett, Ken. “Blackface! – The History of Racist Blackface Stereotypes. Blackface! – The History of Racist Blackface Stereotypes  N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Nov. 2015.

Padgett, Ken. “Blackface! Origins of Jump Jim Crow.” Blackface! N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Nov. 2015.

Pilgrim, David. The Mammy Caricature.” Jim Crow Museum: The Mammy Caricature Ferris State University, Aug. 2008. Web. 14 Nov. 2015.

Pilgrim, David.  The Sapphire Caricature.” JCM: The Sapphire Caricature. Ferris State University, Aug. 2008. Web. 14 Nov. 2015.

Wadelington, Flora Hatley. “Segregation in the 1920s.” <i>Segregation</i>. Tar Heel Junior Historian. Spring 2004.1, 1 Jan. 2004. Web. 14 Nov. 2015.

Single Moms Portrayed in Media: Welfare Bound or Hard Working Women?

Pop culture in America has become so diverse that finding a reflection of who you are in the media has become much easier. Whether it be through the news, television, radio, film, advertisements or social media, there is always going to be a wide variety of people who reflect the radically different lifestyles in this country. Generally, these media portrayals are fairly accurate, but there are times when these reflections of who different types of Americans are can be nothing more than stereotypes and incorrect adaptations of who advertising companies and producers think we are. I have seen myself mirrored in media and television many times, and I have also seen the stereotypes of who I am. The most important thing in my life is being a mom. I have had little or no help raising my daughter for the last ten years, which makes me a single mom. Single mothers have a very wide variety of stories and living situations, but they do have a stigma attached to them, and I live with that every day. This stigma has been created by media and pop culture. The stereotype is that single moms are welfare bound, lazy, have too many children and these children all have behavior problems. The image these media outlets create are often wrong and can be hurtful. Groups like single moms are often misrepresented or inaccurately portrayed, and with pop culture and media having a massive impact on the lives of their audiences, these flawed depictions can do harm to individuals and families.

Single moms in media are almost always shown as poor struggling women on welfare who have children that misbehave and are at high risk for a number of very unwanted characteristics. Although there are a lot of struggling single mothers out there, the welfare abuser single mom is not always true or accurate. I was recently given an article to read about a single mom. This woman, Jennifer Stepp, is a classic example of everything I don’t want to be and everything pop culture shows as a stereotype of who I see myself as. Stepp has three children by three different men, two of which are in prison, and is receiving nearly every form of public assistance available. In the article it says, “it bothers her that single mothers sometimes get a bad name, that people think they just have babies and collect welfare” (Fessler, 2012). While I find it admirable that she doesn’t like single moms getting a bad wrap, she is exactly who she says she doesn’t want to be seen as. She receives: free meals, half her rent paid, free health care, free education and free daycare. What bothers me about this story is the news source, in this case NPR, choosing a single mom receiving every known form of public assistance, with three kids by three men as the poster child of single moms needing a safety net of support. From what I have learned throughout this course, it is not a random error in judgement. She was chosen to obtain more readers, even if those readers are only viewing the story because they are mad and was to cast judgment. Media does this a lot, they play on people’s emotions to gain viewership which leads to more revenue for their company.

The tactics different companies use to gain revenue was an eye open for my in this pop culture course. News stations are the most guilty of this. During week five of this class the class was asked to use a piece called  “News: Balance Bias with Critical Questions” to examine an article about a kidnapping in the middle east, which the news article was trying to insinuate was terrorism related (Hynds, n.d.). The article was totally lacking credibility, sources and an actual reported event, it was simply meant to scare (Barghi, 2012). While reading the article and examining it with a check list focused on details and accuracy it hit me- I read articles like this all the time and I assume they are correct. I believe this is what most people do. We read and hear about so many news stories on a daily basis and we take them at face value, but when a person digs deep and think about who wrote them, why and what the details are, the articles have a tendency to crumble. The same techniques can be applied to television and film. In my case, these techniques will be used to think about media, film and television and the representation of single mothers like Jennifer Stepp.

There are 9.9 million single moms in this country right now and many of these women are hard working and not on public assistance, but these women aren’t the examples you generally see (“Mothers by the Numbers,” 2015). I had to dig deep to come up with a media source I had seen where a single mom isn’t like Jennifer Stepp. What I came up with was Miranda on Sex and the City (Parker, 2000). Miranda is a lawyer living in New York City with little or no family. She becomes a parent during the series and is raising her son alone. Although she has a very good career and is well off financially she struggles with having to choose between work and her son. Because high income single moms are rarely the focus of television and film, their struggles are rarely identified. However, there was a study done about the resilience of higher income single moms called, “Yes She Can: An Examination of Resiliency Factors in Middle- and Upper-Income Single Mothers” (Kjellstrand & Harper, 2012). This study found women who are at the highest income levels often have lower resiliency because of the huge demands of their high paying jobs. Miranda had this problem as well. Although she was a strong woman she was constantly being shown as the struggling mom because she couldn’t manage to pull herself away from her work. At one point she was having issues feeling like her nanny was raising her son more than she was. I find it refreshing to see a well off single mom on a very popular television show, but it saddens me that even the smartest, most well off mom is still shown to be struggling and having a hard time raising a child alone.

During week four in this course our class talked about how we are influenced by the advertising we see around us. There was a lot of discussion about ads which are meant to empower people. These ads aim to make people feel strong and capable with the hope that people will run out and buy a product. Keeping that in mind and thinking about single moms in media and how people can see themselves in this type of cultural mirror, it makes me wonder if these media outlets sharing stories of welfare moms can have an unspoken impact of women viewers. If these women are seeing mothers like Jennifer Stepp and Miranda, they may find themselves mimicking them without realizing it. This can be a positive thing if they are led to feel empowered but the opposite is almost more possible. There could come a time when a woman reads an article or sees a show about struggling moms and things “why bother?” and gives up hope.

Being a single mother is one of the hardest jobs out there and having hope and strength is essential. I saw these qualities in a woman named Katrina Gilbert. She was the focus of an HBO documentary called “Paycheck to Paycheck: The Life and Times of Katrina Gilbert” (Cookson, 2014) She’s not the stereotypical single mom on welfare with three kids by three fathers who had her children out of wedlock. She did things “the right way,” she got married, had three children and was happy until her husband became dependent on drugs and she left him. She works full time but is still only making $9 an hour. She is not on welfare, but is very low income and struggles every month. However, despite her struggles, she is able to successfully raise her children. She is thrifty, responsible and a good mom. This documentary is a very accurate an honest portrayal of the life of a single mom and I found myself relating to her on many levels.

Out of all the single mothers I have seen and thought about, I saw myself in Katrina Gilbert the most. I saw her try to do right for her children and being responsible by pay bills she couldn’t afford, and while doing this she never gave up hope and never once thought she should give up stand in line at the welfare office. Her story was a good one, which makes me wish more people like her were the characters in television shows, news articles and films. Single moms need to see someone like her as an example they should be following. These women may come in many different colors, are from all over the country, and we all raise our children differently, but what we have in common is being there for our children. We have taken on a job that not everyone could or would take. Some may do a better job than others, but at least they try and for that they deserve regard and understanding.

With media and pop culture having such a huge influence on the lives of Americans there should be care involved when showing characters from specific groups. This could be anything from race, economic status, sexuality, or people like single mothers. What producers and advertisers do to gain more revenue has a large affect on viewers and they need to take care to make sure their actions are biasing people against one another. If I have learned anything throughout this course, it’s that you are who you are, not who you see on television and films. It’s important to remember is to keep who you are in mind while watching the constant flow of media that streams through our lives and be that person, not the person media wants you to think you are.

 

 

Citations

Barghi, S. (2012, October 13). Afghanistan Kidnappings: Two Foreigners Missing From Aid Team. Retrieved November 15, 2015, from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/13/afghanistan-kidnappings_n_1963205.html?utm_hp_ref=afghanistan-war-blog

Cookson, S. (Director). (2014). Paycheck to paycheck: The life and times of Katrina Gilbert [Motion picture]. HBO.

Fessler, P. (2012, July 11). To Beat Odds, Poor Single Moms Need Wide Safety Net. Retrieved November 15, 2015, from http://www.npr.org/2012/07/11/155103593/to-beat-odds-poor-single-moms-need-wide-safety-net

Hynds, P. (n.d.). News: Balance Bias with Critical Questions. Retrieved November 15, 2015, from http://www.medialit.org/reading-room/news-balance-bias-critical-questions

Kjellstrand, E., & Harper, M. (2012). Yes, She Can: An Examination of Resiliency Factors in Middle- and Upper-Income Single Mothers. Journal of Divorce & Remarriage, 311-327.

Mothers by the Numbers. (2015). Retrieved November 16, 2015, from http://www.infoplease.com/spot/momcensus1.html

Parker, S. (Director). (2000). Sex and the city [Motion picture on DVD]. HBO Home Video.

I Am Middle Eastern/ American

LOOKING IN THE POPULAR CULTURE MIRROR: I AM MIDDLE EASTERN/AMERICAN

By: Jasmine Carter-Sadek


I am Middle Eastern/American, and my identity as this comes into play with every decision I make in my daily life. Often times I find myself torn, where I have to choose between my beliefs on my American side and the beliefs and values I have in my Middle Eastern culture. Society through pop culture does not make it easy for someone to identify himself or herself as Middle Eastern/American, but essentially forces you to believe that you are one or the other. I am constantly forced with the question:

Do I go this way or do I go that way?

Sometimes I feel like a double-sided coin rolling down a hill and in the end when I come to fall, where will I stand? Who will I be? Or is essentially having multiple identities a single identity?

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The media is powerful, and has the capability to insinuate ideas, beliefs and values. Through strategic tactics the media is implanting and manipulating the minds of people. Throughout different types of media this is introduced both subtly and deviously. Persons of a Middle Eastern identity are stereotypically portrayed in pop culture and in many different forms. I focus on films, TV shows, and commercial ads.

These artifacts are here proving to me that the media is wrong on the different generalizations they reinforce on Middle Easterners. These artifacts remind me to take a look at whom I really am and the part of myself that can’t and won’t be denied.

MIDDLE EASTENERS IN POPULAR CULTURE: FILM


Through film, filmmakers are able to tell you a story; they are able to draw you in mentally by toying and provoking your thoughts and emotions. Films are very powerful and affective when it comes to prevailing a message. This is simply due to the mass audiences that go to see these films. Films are able to manipulate the audience into believing what they put on the screen is essentially right or true. Persons of a Middle Eastern identity are portrayed stereotypically through film in many ways. Society has created stereotypes portraying them as the “outsiders” or “enemies”. Through the media these stereotypes are continuingly reinforced. As a person from a multicultural background I look at these stereotypes from both points of views: from an American cultural perspective and a Middle Eastern cultural perspective. The way the media portrays middle easterners, generalizing them into labels such as a terrorist or the enemy is not the way I view all middle easterners and our culture. This is because I have first hand experience with my culture and its rich history of courtesy. In the end I find myself torn between which sides I really abide too.

The film titled American Sniper is a documentary film of the life of the United States Navy SEAL, Chris Kyle. This is a film directed by Clint Eastwood and is based on a book titled American Sniper written by Navy SEAL Chris Kyle himself. Chris Kyle was the most successful sniper in American military history having 160 confirmed Kills, and 255 claimed kills during his six-year military career. The film American Sniper convinces viewers that Chris Kyle is what heroism looks like. This film also portrays the general racialization that all middle easterners are the enemy. This portrayal takes place especially in the opening scene where Chris Kyle is conflicted between shooting a woman and her son due to a suspicious object. Chris Kyle described Iraqis as “Savages, and despicably evil” or using terms such as “Rag Heads”. This war film brought up a lot of controversy in the media. There were two perspectives I analyzed with both being the question of: Is the American Sniper, Chris Kyle a hero or not?

 

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An article titled “Chris Kyle — a True American Hero.” written by Elise Cooper in the American Thinker Newspaper is written in a perspective that glorifies and hales Chris Kyle to be a true American hero, hence the title. The author of this article emphasizes that sniper Chris Kyle was sent out to do a job, and that his different job experiences ended up making him a warrior-hero. By serving ones country and sharing his story on the postpartum mental effects of war in his autobiography he impacted the lives of many people in the United Nations.

Another Newspaper article titled “The Real American Sniper Was a Hate-filled Killer. Why Are Simplistic Patriots Treating Him as a Hero?” written by Lindy West depicts Chris Kyle and this film in a negative light. Stating that this is not what America should be portraying a true American hero is. Instead this article portrays Chris Kyle as the enemy, who is being glorified for unethical reasons. The portrayal of people of the Middle East in such a stereotypical way has led to where people are now lashing out on social media attacking and generalizing even a whole religion, for the insinuated ideas they interpreted from this film. The below image is of multiple tweets regarding the film:

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Analyzing these two main perspectives is where my multicultural identity comes into conflict within itself. I am American but I am also Middle Eastern. I was born an American and was raised with the American culture background but also raised practicing my Middle Eastern culture. When watching this film, I was in conflict of the same question; Is Chris Kyle a true hero or not? Is this representation of people of the Middle East true or not? My American side would tell me that yes he is a hero; he is soldier risking his life serving and protecting our country for my freedom. Then my Middle Eastern side challenges these thoughts on the way they portray people of the Middle East. I do not believe that the representation this film portrays; that all people in the Middle East are the enemy’s, is true. In American popular culture Middle Easterners are represented in a negative light, so as an American do I fear my other identity and call them terrorist? Since this idea is what most Americans are subjected to in the media? When all I have ever known from that side is generosity and compassion? In one culture Chris Kyle is a hero and in another he is a Villain, and if I side with either culture I am either an outsider or one in the same.

MIDDLE EASTENERS IN POPULAR CULTURE: TV SHOW


Middle Easterners are stereotypically portrayed in media not only in one hit films, but also in on going TV shows. I analyzed a T.V show series titled Homeland that was developed by Howard Gordon and Alex Gansa. This show is for an American political thriller loving audience. This being a television series it is meant to entertain, but the propaganda embedded in it also brings out political messages.

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Analyzing this show I had caught on to the nonchalant racism that manipulates the viewer into believing in typical Middle Eastern stereotypes. This show has a creative way of linking different stereotypes to form one big generalized conception. For example through portrayal of race, prayer, and violence this series connects Middle Eastern to Islam to terrorism. This is what is creating the generalizing effect. This is affecting ordinary people in real life, where if a person identifies as Middle Eastern they are often categorized as “terrorists”. These labels lead to real life consequences. One example being; Homeland had used the name of the former Pakistanian Ambassador, Hassaim Haqqani, as the same name as the terrorist they are trying to track down. Now potentially when people see and think of the Pakistanian ambassador they could generalize that he is also a terrorist, and that Pakistani people who follow under this ambassador are terrorist.

Certain characters in this show and their background story position also incorporate ideas to which people with a Middle Eastern cultural background pose as a threat to Americans.

NICHOLAS BRODY


 

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A character in this show is a man named Nicholas Brody who is a white marine hero who converts to the religion of Islam. When Brody’s wife had found out about Body’s conversion she says, “ Nicholas had it all, white, a hero, a family man, but he threw it all away by becoming a Muslim.” This direct quote in the show from Brody’s wife is in my opinion Islmaphobic. The quote also reinforces the audience of the typical true identity of an American stereotype. Through Brody’s character I had drawn the conclusion that a white man that is Muslim is more acceptable to society than a Middle Eastern, darker skinned Muslim. Although they portray Brody as being more “acceptable” to society, him being Muslim is still seen as a threat but is just portrayed more sympathetically throughout the show.

   ROYA HAMAD


 

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In season two of this television series was a stereotyped “infiltrating Muslim” character named Roya Hamad. She was stereotyped this way due to her superstitious power and access to acquire information through the government. Roya is a well-educated television reporter from Oxford University. Roya is working with Brody for the Muslim terrorist leader. In my opinion the presence of the character Roya Hamad was to implant the idea that no matter how well integrated and accustomed to the American culture the Middle Easterners or Muslims (Since homeland uses them as interchangeable terms) and their culture are always going to be a hidden threat.

I have noticed that in some scenes of this show the cinematography, lighting and camera angle is a big manipulation tool. When a middle easterner is in front of the camera the lighting tends to be dimmed and darker than usual. The camera angle is usually pointed down at the Middle Easterner as if the white all American government official is taller or essentially of power looking down on them.

A blog post titled “Arabian Street Artists” Bomb Homeland: Why We Hacked An Award- Winning Series.” Written by Heba Y. Amin discussed the outbreak of a graffiti artist on the set of Homeland. The artist incorporated graffiti written in Arabic stating, “Homeland is racist “ on the wall of one of the set scenes. These graffiti artists were hired by the Homeland producers to add authenticity to their set scenes in the second episode of the 5th season. The art they had portrayed was something Homeland was not expecting. Some of the graffiti was labeled “Homeland is Racist” “Homeland is not a series” “Homeland is a watermelon”. The directors did not catch this and filmed their scene anyway to later find out. This blog post depicts why these graffiti artists did what they did and provides many pictures of the different messages they had put out there. This blog post extended my own ideas on what Homeland’s political message is to its viewer and the different inaccurate and bigoted portrayals it has on Muslims and people in the Middle East. The directors of Homeland being unaware of the graffiti that read, “Homeland is racist” in their scenes has prevailed to me that “The truth always comes out”.

Below are photos of the graffiti:

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MIDDLE EASTERNERS IN POPULAR CULTURE: COMMERCIAL


This is a Coca-Cola Commercial titled “America the Beautiful” that aired during the 2014 Super bowl. Its purpose was to send out a positive message showing people of all different backgrounds and multicultural identities together enjoying the same product.

Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vUGDQo2Pb6g

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This commercial includes a belief that needs to be reinforced more often in media. This is one of the few positive messages I have seen in advertising that promotes unity with different cultures here in America. Some people might have taken this commercial for the positive message it was intended to give but others took it in a negative direction. There had been a lot of controversy on this commercial. After watching the commercial, could you guess why? Take a look at these Facebook comments, and tweets. Now can you guess why?

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People had displayed that it is offending Americans due to portrayals of a Muslim women wearing the traditional headscarf or “Hijab” and the big one, “America the Beautiful” being sung by bilingual Americans in seven different languages: English, Spanish, Keres, Tagalog, Hindi, Senegalese French and Hebrew.

 

A YouTube video had brought this controversy to my attention.

Link: https://youtu.be/S5oRAF00RHA

This video is of an analysis review of the Coca-Cola ad “America the Beautiful” Super Bowl commercial titled “Coke’s Superbowl Ad Drives Right Wing Racists INSANE” by the TYT University YouTube channel called the “Common Room”. This video has 4 people; two males and two females who are discussing the dilemma that America had on the Coca-Cola commercial. They discuss how this ad had been depicted and analyzed in media by the number one factor being; the song “America the Beautiful” was sung in another language other then English. Immediately in this YouTube talk review one woman had said the “problem” with the commercial was “Muslims” which I had found provocative. After watching this I had noticed that I don’t typically see woman in the traditional Muslim headscarf the “Hijab” in ads by companies who are trying to sell their product.

Coca-Cola linked a positive advertising technique that touched me emotionally which is my opinion is a strong tactic in selling their product. This commercial featured happiness and pure joy with smiles and laughter while also being surrounded by loved ones and enjoying a refreshing coke. This commercial is one that I think represented people of different multicultural identities in a positive light. The bright colors and different sceneries set the positive tone and mood of this commercial. By having everyone enjoying the same thing, the refreshing coke, and the “America the Beautiful” song sung in different languages is what made the connection and brought the cultures all together.

SIGNIFICANT LEARNING MOMENTS


 

There had been many significant learning moments throughout this term but there was one moment that has really help shape the way I think, and has really enhanced my critical think skills. During week 3 and 4 of this course we discussed first the history of adverting and the influence of advertising. While using the steps of the “Deconstructing A Advertisement” model, I was able to further look into the meaning of advertisements and I have applied these rules when analyzing the Coca -Cola ad in my big picture blog post. I also have been applying these techniques to other classes such as my sociology class. After being introduced to the book Ways of Seeing by John Berger, I was blown away but how much I had learned, and how I had never thought of how to look at certain pieces of artwork or advertisements the way it assists you too.

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Another significant learning moment would be this big picture blog project. I was able to chose an identity of mine and really go into depth and see how it is portrayed in popular culture. By doing this I got to ask myself questions I had never had been asked before, and learned a lot more about who I am and how the news, media, anything in pop culture affects me.

BIBLIOGRAPHY


 

         TYT University YouTube Channel. “Common Room” “Coke’s Superbowl Ad Drives Right Wing Racists INSANE”, 8 Feb. 2014. Web. <https://youtu.be/S5oRAF00RHA>.

Amin, Heba Y. ““Arabian Street Artists” Bomb Homeland: Why We Hacked An Award- Winning Series.” Web log post. HebYAmin. N.p., 14 Oct. 2015. Web.

Cooper, Elise. “Chris Kyle — a True American Hero.” American Thinker 27 Jan. 2015: n. pag. Web.

West, Lindy. “The Real American Sniper Was a Hate-filled Killer. Why Are Simplistic Patriots Treating Him as a Hero?” N.p., n.d. Web.

American Sniper. Dir. Clint Eastwood. By Jason Hall and Chris Kyle. Perf. Bradley Cooper, Sienna Miller,   Kyle Gallner. Warner Bros., 16 January 2015. DVD.

 CONTROVERSIAL: “America The Beautiful” Coca Cola 2014 Super Bowl Commercial | Political Topics. Youtube. Coca-Cola, 3 Feb. 2014. Web. <https://youtu.be/vUGDQo2Pb6g&gt;.

Gordon, Howard. “Homeland.” Showtime. Dir. Alex Gansa. N.d. Television

 

 

 

Female Athletes and Media

Initially, I just wanted to take Pop Culture for my Sophomore Inquiry class because I thought it would be an easy A, yet interesting at the same time. This class has actually turned out to be very hard, but very beneficial. Through Pop Culture, I have learned the importance of thinking critically and questioning what I am seeing or reading. These skills were utilized while analyzing how the media portrays a certain part of my identity, an athlete, and also while analyzing different perspectives on a subject and the psychology behind advertising.

Individuals are made up of their many different identities. I am a daughter, sister, student, barista, athlete and shopaholic. I chose to focus on media’s portrayal of female athletes for my essay. When female athletes are portrayed in the media, the focus is on feminine characteristics, especially regarding appearance, and sexualizing them instead picturing them as strong, accomplished athletes they are. Aimee Lamourex summarizes my main point very well in her blog post on WordPress: “Girls also see a double standard in covering women’s sports. When male athletes receive media attention, such coverage is primarily focused on their skills and performance. When female athletes receive media attention, the media is much more likely to focus on their physical attractiveness or non-sport-related activities” (Lamourex).

One example I found of media’s tendency to focus on physical attractiveness is a photo shoot of MMA fighter, Ronda Rousey for Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition.Ronda1

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How are these pictures showing her as an athlete when they nothing do with the fact that Rousey is number one fighter in her weight class? This is where the problem arises: focus on sex appeal, rather than athletic achievement.

Matthew Curtis, who wrote his entire college thesis about the portrayal of US athletes in the Olympics, summarizes the qualities that were focused on in women’s sports were “emphasized aesthetics- grace, form, and beauty” (Curtis). I found a similar example of this on the cover of ESPN’s Body Issue 2015.

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The US Olympic Swimmer, Natalie Coughlin, is shown above. Is one supposed to infer that she is a swimmer just because she is sitting in water? Here, ESPN is not advertising Coughlin as an athlete, but advertising her body instead.

Finally, what I think is the ultimate example of the sexualization of women’s sports is summed up in the following clip: Lingerie Football League:

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XUI5NdGVVlw

Why do female athletes allow themselves to be portrayed this way? Some possibilities are more money, increased popularity, branding, and it may just be their form of self-empowerment. I think the main reason female athletes are portrayed this way is because provocativeness attracts the most attention in a day where attention spans are so short. It gives them exposure and popularity, something that is sometimes hard to come by in women’s sports, but does it really make them a more credible athlete? No; it may increase their popularity, but decrease their reputation, especially amongst other women. These athletes have an opportunity to be role models for thousands of girls and women; however, by allowing the media to portray them this way just sends the message to girls that they have to take their clothes off to be popular.

To accurately access media’s representation of female athletes, it is vital to consider their role in how they are portrayed as well. In the paragraph above, I mentioned that some woman display themselves, such as the ones pictured above, because it empowers them as women. Because these women do so much with their bodies every single day, showing it off might not seem like a big deal. It’s a way of celebration and showcasing their success. Swimmer Ashley Tappin echoes this saying “We’re healthy. We’re fit. And we are not just cute; we do good things with our bodies. They are functional. Why not show them off?” (Sexploitation). Women in athletics face the challange of balancing their femininity and their athleticism, so sports are a question of “how do you maintain femininity?”. While some female athletes want to show off their bodies, the marketing and branding of a female athlete is a game of who is sexy enough to be advertised. Some choose to capitalize on this, and some don’t. Some athletes are okay with using their bodies for exposure; it is just an individual decision.

The bottom line is, these women shouldn’t have to make this decision: media should advertise these women based on what they are: athletes. As much as provocative advertising can help these women become more recognizable, it doesn’t actually increase their popularity or following as athletes. So, it is not sex, but talent that sells. (Fagan).

Some companies are beginning to recognize, and respect this. Nike, in particular, encourages women empowerment, not through showing off their bodies, but showing off what their bodies can do. One famous example of this is Nike’s ad featuring tennis star Maria Sharapova. Sharapova is famous for being one of the pretty faces of the tennis world. The ad mocks the way media has focused on her appearance, and shows why she is really famous: her talent.

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=au17YpGAa-s

 

Additionally, there is coverage of women athletes that don’t mention a word about their appearance.

Link: http://www.bustle.com/articles/64938-the-lindsey-vonn-foundation-empowers-girls-sets-an-excellent-example-of-overcoming-obstacles

Olympic skier Lindsay Vonn started a charity called the Lindsay Vonn Foundation to help support programs that help empower young girls and increase their self-confidence.

Learning Moments

This brings me to one of my biggest learning moments for the term: considering both sides of a story. This importance of this became especially apparent when analyzing news and current events in week 5. One of my classmates exhibited this very well, using the example of the Portland housing market. I never even considered that someone could think it was anything but terrible:

*…As a person who is easily influenced by information, I think my consumption of news hinders my perspectives and actions. For example, my step-dad is a housing developer in Portland and has been responsible for the demolition of many homes in the city. Having just read a strongly worded, biased article from Willamette Weekly about the destruction, the evils of gentrification, and what kind of city Portland is turning into, I spoke to him about my concerns. I was very surprised when I was met with an entirely different point of view and set of facts that the article did not include. Although I am still on the fence about whether or not housing development is good for the city, it was an important conversation to have with my step-dad because it reminded me to always ask questions, stay curious, and not let any one person or source determine your belief in something. Even your own parents.

The comment posted by my classmate helped me realize the importance of considering both sides of a story. I never even considered that someone could think different. I think this experience will prevent me from being so black and white about certain subjects in the future.

Another significant learning moment of mine was when we analyzed John Berger’s “Way of Seeing”. This was probably the biggest wake up call of the class. Not only did the tactics he described help me analyze advertisements more effectively for my mirror insight, but also he stated the all too real truth of the psychology behind the advertising/purchasing pattern. I think he encapsulates my whole response process to media and advertisements perfectly. At the root, everyone wants to be glamorous and beautiful, to be envied, to have status…. That is what drives me to continue to buy and buy and buy. As bad as it sounds to some people, appearance will tell you a lot about a person (which is why I think way the women athletes pictured above bother me so much). I want to appear as someone who has it all together, that is fashionable and confidant and most of all, worthy. These are the feelings advertisers prey on. They tell me “if you use this perfume, it will make you sexy”, “if you have this kind of jeans, it means you’re classic”, “if you pose in this bikini, guys will give you more attention”… The list goes on. The difference is, and what I learned from Ways of Seeing, was that I can analyze these messages advertisers are trying to sneak into their ads, and respond to them less emotionally and more rationally.

Analyzing how media portrays parts of my identity, gave me a better perspective to why these parts of portrayed this way, the effect it has on me, and the effect it has on others. From my research, I have learned that female athletes are objectified, the focus on their aesthetics and physical appearance, rather than athletic ability. Despite this, there are efforts to counteract this kind of advertising. Companies, such as Nike and Under Armour, are focusing on empowering women and rather than displaying them. Through this essay and significant learning moments, I have learned to interpret media messages more effectively, in turn making more rational decisions and not just being comfortable accepting the way media shows something, but analyzing the reasons it might be shown the way it is.

References

Curtis, Matthew K. “America’s Heroes and Darlings: The Media Portrayal of Male and Female Athletes During the 2014 Sochi Games.” BYU Scholars Archive. Brigham Young University, 31 May 2104. Web. 7 Nov. 2015.

Fagan, Kate. “Sex Sells? Trend May Be Changing.” ESPN. ESPN Internet Ventures, 15 Oct. 2014. Web. 29 Nov. 2015.

Lamourex, Aimee. “How the Media Portrays Female Athletes.” How the Media Portrays Female Athletes. 22 Apr. 2012. Web. 7 Nov. 2015.

“Ronda Rousey Swimsuit Photos, Sports Illustrated Swimsuit 2015.” Sports Illustrated. 1 June 2015. Web. 30 Oct. 2015.

“Sexploitation: Helpful or Harmful in Female Athletics.” The Communique. University of California, San Diego. Web. 28 Nov. 2015.

Stanek, Becca. “The Lindsey Vonn Foundation Empowers Girls & Sets An Excellent Example Of Overcoming Obstacles.” Bustle. Web. 8 Nov. 2015

Williams + Hirakawa. Natalie Coughlin- Bodies We Want 2015. N.d. ESPN Body 2015. ESPN GO. Web. 28 Mar. 2015. <http://espn.go.com/espn/photos/gallery/_/id/13174028/image/37/natalie-coughlin-bodies-want-2015&gt;.

 

Male Artist in the Media

Male Artist in the Media

By: Griffin Lutz

Throughout history people have always used stereotypes to classify, associate, or to make people feel inferior. Fifteen years ago, stereotypes were passed between friends on the playground, down from generation to generation within a family or seen on television and posters. The concept of bullying didn’t exist outside of school and the only form communication was the landline or the mail. The twenty-first century gave birth to the digital age making everything you wanted at the tips of your fingers. Social media, videos, music, you name it could all be found for the first time in one collective space.  Unfortunately, with everyone being able to post their opinions/beliefs online, it soon became hard to tell the difference between fact and fiction. In this class, we have learned to read and analyze the different types of media that a majority of us come in contact with on a daily basis. Before this class, I never really paid much attention to where people got these ideas of “how male artist are supposed to act”. I found that television is one of the largest culprit of providing this false sense of reality. This paper will address three major stereotypes that promote and provoke society into making assumptions about how male artists behave: the flamboyant artist, the hipster artist, and the womanizer artist.

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First, I chose look at the stereotypical flamboyant artist. This stereotype is the loudest and most expressive of all the stereotypes. A fun character that doesn’t generally take anything too serious and is at times is emotionally unstable. This can be seen in movies such as Zoolander (Will Ferrell) and of course Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (Johnny Depp). These lovable characters possess over the top qualities.  Fortunately, most viewers are smart enough to be in on the joke.  It would be rare to find individuals who do not realize that these are ridiculous exaggerations.  A recent and tamer example of this is seen in FOX Entertainment’s Empire; Season 2 Episode 4 “Everything We Know”. The show is one of the first to promote LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) which is groundbreaking considering the treatment of people belonging to the LGBT community in the past. However, this is the same character that Will Ferrell played in Zoolander.   The only difference is this character lacks the of over the top flare (goofy hair, obviously too much eye makeup, matching outfit with his dog, etc.).

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Next, I decided to look at a trend that is not specifically linked to male artist but when searching for examples it was prominently observed in the media. The hipster is described by Urban Dictionary as “A subculture of men and women typically in their 20’s and 30’s that value independent thinking, counter-culture, progressive politics, an appreciation of art and indie-rock, creativity, intelligence, and witty banter.” The two shows that I want to focus on; Modern Family’s season 7 premier “Summer Lovin” and Brooklyn Nine-Nine season 3; episode 3 “Boyle’s Hunch. Not really knowing what a hipster was at first, I had a hard time trying to decide if this was actually a negative stereotype.  After watching both shows I found that in these two examples the stereotype is being portrayed in a negative way; solely because both of the characters were pretending to be this hipster persona. Yes, I understand they are actors on a television show, but the characters on the show where simply pretending to be something they weren’t. Of the two, Modern family is the best at showing the transition from an up-tight lawyer to a deep thinking painter. It forced me to realize that I have even fallen victim to this stereotype. Just because I wear Oxford shoes, have a tucked in shirt, and happen to be standing outside the art building with my portfolio, people make assumptions and ask me if I am “one of those artist that is all in touch with himself and if I am reflecting on some big philosophical meaning for why it’s raining”. My answer always seems to be a version of “no I am standing under the cover because I have to go to work after this and I don’t feel like being soaking wet”.  They are trying to use the hipster artist stereotype to define me.  Unfortunately, not helping the situation is the fact that there is usually some other student next to me that quickly says “yes that’s exactly what I’m doing” which only solidifying their preconceived notion of what a hipster artist is.

The final stereotype that I chose to look at is the womanizer artist.  A study done by HsinSheng College of Medical Care and Management in Taiwan set out to find the gender stereotypes of male and female artist in the media. A total of one hundred and one Taiwanese newspapers were used, taking articles from the entertainment columns. They then conducted a survey to find what people gathered was the main response of these articles. “Results showed… portrayals of male artists focused on personal defects in physical appearance and love affair” (Language and Ideology).   This stereotype often perceives male artist as deep thinking, passionate individuals who use their creativity to seduce woman. The example is from the CW’s iZombie Season 1; Episode 2 “Brother can you spare a brain”.  In the episode after eating the brain of the recently dead artist, she gains his personality. As a result, she starts questioning the meaning of everything she sees and tries to explain it though painting. She also can’t help but flirt with attractive women throughout the course of the episode. This proves that most people see male artist as cheating womanizers.  While for most, the reputation of being a womanizer doesn’t seem so horrible, it might actually bother an artist who has been turned down by a woman he is interested in just because of this sterotype.

Stereotypes do not have to be harmful.  As human beings, we should be able to laugh at exaggerated forms of ourselves.  The idea of comic relief has been around for centuries. However, we all have to be in on the joke.  We can not allow sterotypes to The problem interfere with our daily lives in which we make assumptions about individuals before we actually know them.  The lack of an ability to break down the media wether it be television, social media, newspaper, or the movies, could causes us to misinterpret what they are really trying to say. Our lifestyle has become one of believing everything we see and not taking the time to stop and think if there is another meaning behind it. We have lost the art of thinking before we speak or more commonly these days thinking before we type.

Learning Moments

One significant learning moment for me this term was when we talked about the different ways to break down an ad. I never really didn’t pay attention to ads.  I just assumed they were only trying to sell me something so I tuned them out.  However, I never actually broke an ad down and analyzed it to see what they did in order to get your attention and keep it.  The strategies and work that goes into creating these ads is impressive.  A second significant learning moment for me would probably when we looked at evaluating the news. I had been somewhat connected with the news, but I haven’t been as on top of it as I would like to be. Learning all the tricks to break it apart so you can understand what is actually happing was really useful and I find myself doing it now when I’m either watching or reading the news.  I have gained a better understanding of the media and how it relates to the world around me.

Bibliography

“‘Modern Family’ Premiere Recap: Not Everyone Had the Perfect Summer…” Entertainment Weekly’s EW.com. Web. 16 Nov. 2015. <http://www.ew.com/recap/modern-family-season-7-premiere&gt;.

 

 

“Empire Season 2, Episode 4: Everything We Know.” Wetpaint Inc Empire Season 2 Episode 4 Everything We Know Comments. 2 Oct. 2015. Web. 16 Nov. 2015. <http://www.wetpaint.com/empire-season-2-episode-4-1444261/&gt;.

 

 

“Language and Ideology: Gender Stereotypes of Female and Male Artists in Taiwanese Tabloids.” Language and Ideology: Gender Stereotypes of Female and Male Artists in Taiwanese Tabloids. Web. 16 Nov. 2015. <http://das.sagepub.com/content/20/6/747.abstract&gt;.

 

 

“Modern Family: Season 7 Premiere: Summer Lovin’ Recap – Season 7 Episode 01.” ABC. Web. 16 Nov. 2015. <http://abc.go.com/shows/modern-family/episode-guide/season-07/1-season-7-premiere-summer-lovin&gt;.

 

 

“Review: IZOMBIE Episode 2: Brother, Can You Spare a Brain? | Nerdist.” Nerdist. 25 Mar. 2015. Web. 16 Nov. 2015. <http://nerdist.com/review-izombie-episode-2-brother-can-you-spare-a-brain/&gt;.

 

 

Looking At Female College Students in Media

Looking At Female College Students in Media

By: Natasha Poole

Typically, during your senior year of high school you were either looking what colleges to apply for or what other direction to go in. In 2008, about 11,000,000 females and 8,000,000 males were in college that year (2012, Forbes). College plays a big role in people’s lives, whether it is how it helped them prepare for life, get them a career, or helped them meet their future spouse or long-time friends. When I look at popular culture media today, I see female college students depicted as sex, drug, and party, crazed people, with no ethics or morals. I see this as a major problem today, because only 45 years ago 2,500,000 females were in college (2012, Forbes), and now they are wrongfully being portrayed as wild girls with bad intentions. I examined three examples of how this is presents in today’s media, the film, The House Bunny; a popular website and YouTube channel, Collegehumor; and the film, Spring Breakers.

The House Bunny, a 2008 comedy film directed by Fred Wolf, was an obvious film to use, because of their theme of self-transformation to look like a typical college girl. The main character, Shelley Darlington, recently got kicked out of the Playboy mansion for being too old, sets out to find a career and lands a job as a den mother for an unpopular sorority. Shelley has blonde hair, wears copious amounts of tight, pink clothes, and plays the dumb role a little too far. As the movie progresses, she notices her sorority is the weird one, there are shy, smart, and nerdy girls in the house, including one girl with a back brace. She then decides to give them a makeover to make them fit in more at their university, which includes long extensions, tight clothes, and lessons on how to talk to boys and be “slutty.” The girls eventually learn that they they should be their true selves and tone down their new look, while still incorporating it into their lives. I found that many people agree with me, why does physical appearance impact your college career?  This movie shows that in order to go anywhere or do anything productive, you must “look good” while doing so. It shows that these girls’ lives are greatly improved due to a make-over (2008, MEDIA PORTRAYAL OF SORORITY WOMEN). But in a study on women in college shows that women who show more of their identification were less likely to pursue math related careers and women who showed less of their gender identification were more likely to pursue math related careers (2007, Keifer). This source made me think more about my argument and made me think that appearance may place a role in college academics. I also found that it just wasn’t the physical appearance that made them fit in with the other female college students depicted in the film, it was how they acted with others. They were told to tone back their quirky personalities and hobbies, while acting more provocative towards the opposite sex. One part of the film really highlighted this, when Shelley decide to throw a party and pushes the girls to have sex with the opposite sex. As a female college student, I am ashamed to be depicted this way. I know many girls that are not “slutty,” do not wear pink, provocative clothing, and dumb themselves down for attention. The behavior in the film is extreme and a bit offencive for real-life female college students.

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The House Bunny, Shelley Darlington

Another source of media that misrepresents female college students in the same way is College Humor, a website containing comical articles and short videos. One article that I found was called “The ABC’s of College.” It had a word for each letter that had to do with college life. Some examples are, “A is for alcohol, H is for high, R is for ragers, S is for sex, etc.” I found that each example is a major stereotype for college students, including females. As I kept reading through the website I thought of the site as a satire, something funny that pokes at real life situations. Yes the “The ABC’s of College” is mainly pointing out stereotypes and making fun of them, it is also reinforcing them by not explaining why they aren’t always true.

My last source was the film, Spring Breakers. The movie is about four female, college students who are looking do something fun on their spring break. They steal and cheat their way to have a good time in Florida where they end up going to jail for possession of drugs. The next day they get bailed out by a popular rapper by the name of Alien. He introduces them to more drugs, sex, and violence. I found that spring break was a major part of students’ college career in a movie review of spring breakers (2013, Lemire). The article brought up the point that Spring break seems like a time for students to be free from school and have fun, so I think the film was perfect for seeing the stereotypes of what female college students and what they do on their spring break. In the film, we see them wear swimming suits the whole time and experiment with drugs brought to them by Alien. The movie review by Christy Lemur in the Huffington Post, states that the director of the film, Kornie, states that the movie is a sad reality. I think that this is true because of how popular culture enforces the trend of college students going wild for spring break.

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Spring Breakers

The course has really helped me view media in a different way. I found week six’s activity very valuable because I learned how to really pick apart a piece of media, the Adidas commercial, for the first time, also I got a lot of new and unique ideas from my classmates. I also learned a lot from week 4 when we looked at advertisements. I found that there are a lot of trends in advertisements, like some of their humor targeting men in particular. I related this to my essay and the trends I saw in my sources. Looking back at my sources, the film, The House Bunny; a popular website and YouTube channel, Collegehumor; and the film, Spring Breakers.  I see female college students depicted as sex, drug, and party, crazed people, with no ethics or morals. This is a problem because the feminist movements throughout the sixties until now, has made it possible for about 11,000,000 females to attend college, and with the misrepresentation of female college students in popular culture media, I feel like we are downgrading female students and making it harder for them to be taken seriously with the high impact of popular culture.

 

Works Cited:

(2012, July 16). Retrieved December 2, 2015, from http://www.forbes.com/sites/ccap/2012/02/16/the-male-female-ratio-in-college/

Media Portrayal of Sorority Women. (2008, December 11). Retrieved December 2, 2015, from http://issuestereotypes.blogspot.com

Kiefer, A. K., & Sekaquaptewa, D. (2007). Implicit stereotypes, gender identification, and math-related outcomes a prospective study of female college students. Psychological Science, 18(1), 13-18.

Rosen, C. (2013, March 14). ‘Spring Breakers’ Review: Harmony Korine’s Titillating Nightmare Also Has A Lot To Say. Retrieved December 2, 2015, from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/14/review-spring-breakers-is_n_2874790.html

The House Bunny [Motion picture]. (2009). Sony.

Korine, H. (Director). (2013). Spring breakers [Motion picture]. Lionsgate.

CollegeHumor – Funny Videos, Funny Pictures, Funny Links! (n.d.). Retrieved December 2, 2015, from http://www.collegehumor.com

 

The Latina Woman in Popular Media

Throughout history, Latina women have been stereotyped as sexy, spicy, and wild. Influenced by politics, Latinas stereotypes are common and stubborn portrayals, repeatedly shown in popular media. They affect Latina girls watching as much as they influence everyone else’s perception of Latinas and while there are a few exceptions to these stereotypes, the entertainment world mostly offers only stereotypical roles for Latina actresses.

History and Politics:

During the time of the Mexican-American war, anti-Mexican sentiment was alive and thriving. Areas of Mexico had been forcibly taken and made into U.S states like “California, southern Texas, (and) Arizona” (Greenberg). Film reflected this anti-sentiment by portraying Latinos as “dim-witted” and “dangerous” and Latinas as morally corrupt “seductresses” (“Stereotypology: Spicy Latinas”).

From Dolores del Rio to Carmen Miranda, Latina women were pressured to play characters embodying the sexy, wild stereotypes associated with them. Dolores del Rio’s appeal and fame reached international levels, helping not only the inclusion of Latinas in film, but also, no doubt, the stereotyping and commodification of Latina women.

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Dolores del Rio

Modern Stereotypes and their Effects:

In the 21st century, it is not uncommon to see the same Latina stereotypes, even if they are slightly modified from the original and from each other. Specifically the over-sexualization of Latina women, enforced by portrayals of sexually promiscuous Latina characters, is a common occurrence in pop culture and used to commodify Latina bodies.

The film Bandidas, although featuring two Latina leads, contains several scenes in which both women are over-sexualized for the benefit of the male gaze.

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Salma Hayek and Penélope Cruz in Bandidas

First of all, the title Bandidas means “bandits” and enforces a Mexican stereotype seen in films portraying Latinx people as criminals. “The film’s title and the outlaw theme intend to evoke familiar cinematic representations of Mexicans and Mexican-Americans in Hollywood and in America’s history: bandits, villains, cowboys, and vaqueros…” (Ruiz-Alfaro, 200) Despite the fact that the two women are bandits, the film is careful to keep the violence tame and the girls attractive. “Behind this female characterization is Hollywood’s strategy of presenting them as aggressive and rebellious, but only up to the point that they continue to be sexy and charming, and therefore still highly “enjoyable” and attractive to the audience.” (Ruiz-Alfaro, 204) It is important in the film that the women remain part of the male gaze. They don’t go too far in breaking comfortable stereotypes and although the women seem rebellious and independent, they frequently go to men for advice and the story puts them in compromising situations (as seen in the image above).

Despite Bandidas enforcing stereotypes, it does not go quite as far as the music video for David Guetta’s “Play Hard”. The music video takes place in what seems to be Mexico. It begins with a stereotypical gangster scene, but instead of exchanging drugs (which is commonly seen in pop media), they are paying for boots. This could be considered a twist on the stereotype, a purposeful misdirection to point out your own misconceptions, but the video does not live up to such hopeful interpretations.

Video:

Play Hard Screenshot

A screenshot from “Play Hard”

The video not only exaggerates and makes a mess of several Mexican cultural artifacts, but also sexualizes Mexican women entirely. Because “Play Hard” is a music video, the ability for women to speak is completely taken away. This already puts them in a disadvantageous position. A woman is constantly dancing and the emphasis is clearly on her body, particularly on her bottom (shown above). We don’t see her face until a more than a minute into the video, further concreting the focus on her body. Younger women showcase their body, quite literally (shown below).

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Another screenshot from “Play Hard”

It is also worth noting the different ways the video treats Mexican men in comparison to women. Although many of the men are also highly stereotyped, they are not sexualized at all. This is most obvious when it comes to the dances. The men dance in what seems to be a formal competition and there is no sexual nature to it. The few instances we have of women dancing include the woman in the leopard print pants and pink sweater and beauty pageant contestants standing awkwardly half naked on stage. Latinas suffer from both gendered and racialized stereotypes.

Stereotypes have a very real effect on Latina women’s lives. “Latino immigrant women are mainly affected by different stereotypes that makes them more vulnerable to negative experiences (e.g., sexual harassment, discrimination, etc.).” (Lopez, 102) The constant sexualization and assumptions (e.g “Latinas are wild”) make it so Latinas are less likely to be taken seriously and seen as more inherently sexual. Because Latina women are seen as more sexually available, overemotional, and “willing to work in positions that offer low salaries” (Lopez, 102) they are more likely to be paid less, given more work, and mistreated by employers. According to AAUW website, Latinas made 54 percent of what white men made in 2013 when white women made 90 percent.

Exceptions:

The film Frida’s portrayal of Latinas and Mexico sparked controversy and both positive and negative responses from online forums and news mediums.

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Maybe because the film is based on the life of a real person who was a disabled, feminist, bisexual Latina woman, the film complicates common Latina stereotypes. “Over the past 10 years, Latina bodies have become a key visual symbol for panethnic identity formations among U.S. Latina/o communities and for an exotic racial difference that is socially acceptable and consumable by domestic and global audiences.” (Guzmán, 247) As Guzmán points out, Latina bodies have been commodified to make them easily, shallowly understood, but Frida does not allow for the same easy going interpretations. Shown through the way media reacted to the movie, “The identity narratives in Frida, the Latina/o news coverage, and on-line chat streams demonstrate the complex act of crossing through borders…” (Guzmán, 248), Frida forced audiences to examine and rethink Latina identity as shown the film. It made Latina identity as seen through the film incapable of the same commodification pushed onto stereotyped Latina women in other pop culture.

Frida Screenshot

Screenshot from Frida

Frida does not hold back punches. It is unapologetic in its portrayal of Frida Kahlo and her life and pain. The image above is from a clip in which she mourns the death of her relationship and much like the scene showing the bus accident that left her permanently disabled, this scene does not try to make her pain attractive or easier to bear. The music encourages us to feel pain, her clothes are typically masculine and do not at all encourage her sexualization (in fact, it seems to do the opposite), and the way she cuts her hair is rough and angry (not what is typically seen in scenes in which women cut their hair).

Frida cuts her hair clip:

Bus accident clip (cuts out what she looks like after receiving the injury, which is shown in the movie, but is still violent/difficult to watch):

Historically and presently, Latina women have been stereotyped and their bodies commodified in popular culture so thoroughly the effects bleed into the lives of real Latina women. The “sexy spicy” Latina is the one of the few and most common portrayals of Latina women in popular culture. Films like Frida disrupt the pattern and portray more realistic and complex characters than the U.S public is used to. Films like Frida break stereotypes and make commodifying Latina women more difficult.

Learning Moments:

Throughout my time taking this Popular Culture class, I have learned quite a bit to do with advertising and interpreting media.

Specifically, early in the term, we learned how to discuss whether or not an ad is effective, who it is marketed towards, and how this is shown through an ad for electronic cigarettes. It was my first time looking at an ad that way and it certainly gave me a new perspective.

Another example is learning how to go into detailed responses about popular media without making anything too personal. I have always had trouble not including my personal experiences with things I see in the media, but reading other people’s responses really helped in giving me an example of how to go about things without being too emotionally invested. It also helped me improve my online communication skills, especially with my responses to other people.

Works Cited

Greenberg, Amy S. “The Origins of the Latino “Immigration Problem”” History News Network.N.p., 26 Nov. 2012. Web. 15 Nov. 2015.

“Stereotypology: Spicy Latinas.” YouTube. YouTube, 20 Oct. 2015. Web. 15 Nov. 2015.

Lopez, Johana P. “Speaking With Them Or Speaking For Them: A Conversation About The Effect Of Stereotypes In The Latina/Hispanic Women’s Experiences In The United States.” New Horizons In Adult Education & Human Resource Development 25.2 (2013): 99-106. ERIC. Web. 15 Nov. 2015.

Molina Guzmán, Isabel. “Mediating Frida : Negotiating Discourses Of Latina/O Authenticity In Global Media Representations Of Ethnic Identity.” Critical Studies In Media Communication 23.3 (2006): 232-251. Communication & Mass Media Complete. Web. 8 Nov. 2015.

Ruiz-Alfaro, Sofía. “Between Women: Bandidas And The Construction Of Latinidad In The U.S.-Mexico Borderlands.” Quarterly Review Of Film & Video 31.3 (2014): 199-210.Art Full Text (H.W. Wilson). Web. 8 Nov. 2015.

“David Guetta – Play Hard Ft. Ne-Yo, Akon (Official Video).” YouTube. YouTube, n.d. Web. 01 Dec. 2015.

Bandidas. Dir. Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg. Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp., 2006.

Frida. Dir. Julie Taymor. Perf. Salma Hayek. Miramax Films, 2002.

“By the Numbers: A Look at the Gender Pay Gap.” AAUW Empowering Women Since 1881 By the Numbers A Look at the Gender Pay Gap Comments. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 Dec. 2015.

“Frida (8/12) Movie CLIP – Frida Cuts Her Hair (2002) HD.” YouTube. YouTube, n.d. Web. 01 Dec. 2015.

“Frida (1/12) Movie CLIP – Bus Crash (2002) HD.” YouTube. YouTube, n.d. Web. 01 Dec. 2015.

The Evolution of the Portrayal of Hijab in Popular Culture

The Hijab has evolved from symbol of oppression to fashion statement to those who don’t understand what the the veil (Hijab) symbolizes. In Islam, Hijab is a symbol of piety and obedience to one’s lord. Since the age of Orientalism when veiled women were portrayed as exotic and a subject of fantasies to now an age where the hijab is a symbol of empowerment and women reclaiming their body image from men and from being objectified. (The Muslim Veil in America) As I was conducting research to further prove this point I noticed that in the artifacts I have chosen that depict veiled Muslim women in popular culture (popular blog, new show, and a prominent magazine) as empowered and show the hijab in a positive light. The 3 different artifacts depict 2 real women and 2 fictional characters succeeding in all spheres of life from education, career, and the fashion.

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The second artifact I have chosen is a fictional character as opposed to the Individual World Poetry Slam champion and the first veiled Muslim model for the H&M campaign. All the artifacts I have chosen show Muslim women who wear the veil in a positive light. The women are empowered, strong, and educated. This recurring pattern is giving me hope that our society is becoming more accepting and knowledgeable. When I see one of my most important identities portrayed in the media in a such a way I feel proud to be an American. The media is the greatest challenge that Muslims face in their day-to-day lives because most media coverage concerning Muslims is slanted, portrays Muslims as being hostile, and implies negative tensions between Christians and Muslims. Much of this information is propagated by Islamophobes who either don’t know anything about Islam or have an agenda of their own. (Smearcasting: How Islamophobes Spread Fear, Bigotry, and Misinformation)

In the article that we read in class The Urgency of Visual Media Literacy in Our Post-9/11 world: Reading Images of Muslim Women in the Print News Media, it was interesting how she introduced Edward Said’s Orientalism to teacher candidates so she could familiarize them with the concept of “othering”. Orientalism has several different but interrelated meanings. Generally, the word Orientalism describes the way the West understands the Orient in context to Western experiences. While Western scholars, Orientalist, attempt to form a collective body of knowledge of an entire half of the Globe, including Eastern philosophy, history, religion, culture language, and social structure, an entire half of the globe is generalized and categorized. But the political connotation of Orientalism was a political vision of reality whose structure promoted the differences between the familiar (west) and the strange (the east). This idea of the minority being viewed as the other is not a new concept.

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As a minority population in America, Muslims women face many challenges and difficulties. Some of these challenges can be overcome easily and others require a bit more effort and struggle. They are faced with discrimination and prejudice. They also have trouble assimilating into the current Western culture. It’s even more difficult for them when the people who are the majority are trying to keep them from integrating and assimilating with them because of ignorance and miscommunication. The media is the greatest challenge that Muslim women face in their day-to-day lives because most media coverage concerning Muslim women is slanted, portrays them as oppressed, subjugated, and victimized. Much of this information is propagated by people who don’t understand what veil signifies. I know firsthand what it’s like to be categorized, stereotyped, and discriminated against because I too wear the veil. As a Muslim women I am constantly and cautiously aware of how I carry myself and how present myself. For many people I maybe the first veiled Muslim Women they come into contact with in an academic or professional setting. And whether or not I like it they will, consciously or subconsciously, use me as an example of what a Muslim Woman is like. (Smearcasting: How Islamophobes Spread Fear, Bigotry, and Misinformation)

I found the original article on buzzfeed through FB. It describes the events that went down on the grounds of Yale university. However, the article was written by a community user so I wanted to make sure that the information was factual. I looked up the information and found the same information on a more credible site. The article was written to recognize Emi Mahmoud for her award. The target audience of Buzzfeed is millennials, tech savvy, global, and cosmopolitan, an increasingly more tolerant and open minded generation.

At the Annual Eid celebration, Emi Mahmoud Neo-Priestess is recognized as the Individual World Poetry Slam champion of 2015. The title of the article, Muslim Girl breaks the internet. The last time the internet was broken, thanks to Kim K, it was due to her almost nude body covered in oil, alcohol, and a tasteless black garbage bag. Now the internet is “broken” because… an empowered Muslim women wins a global award while wearing the hijab and getting an education at Yale. Fans worldwide reply with adulations of “SLAY” and “this is so lit”. What I found very interesting was that almost all captions that went along with the pictures from the event made some reference to pop culture. The setting; hogwarts, the girls poses; Solange inspired,  their ootds and makeup; Flawless (Beyonce), and the title; Kim K. I never expected Muslim women who have reached acclaim to be compared to other “notable” women from the Knowles sisters to the more notorious Kardashian, classy or not. Why does their presence need to be compared to these other women in order to be recognized as influential or distinguished? By comparing Emi to these women, the connotation is that we cannot see or understand her success without comparing her to other popular figures in our “culture”. In a way it’s demeaning as well because her success cannot stand alone without that comparison.

The piece definitely showed veiled Muslim women in a positive light.The article used the title to grab the audience’s attention. Muslim girl breaks the internet. The last time the internet was broken by Kim Ks almost nudes. However, the reader quickly realizes that this blog post is very different. Veiled Muslim women can take the stage and do awe inspiring things

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The writer of the piece on Buzzfeed thought that Emi was a “Queen’ who “Slay[ed]”. In current popular culture to be described as a Queen who as slaying (doing exceptionally well) and then to have your art described as “lit” (amazing; turnt), is the highest adulation you can receive.

As a Sudanese American attending an Ivy League, Emi has probably overcome a lot of discrimination and challenges to get to where she is today. Some people might say that the only reason she got accepted to Yale or won the award is because of affirmative action. As a survivor who endured so much, escaped Darfur with her family and who is trying to achieve her goals and fulfil her grandmother’s dreams, I see her as a role model and someone who I want to aspire to be like. When you read her story regardless of whether or not you identify with her you should feel inspired as I do. Even though the odds were stacked against her, she came out on top, a victorious Queen.

Here is one of Emi’s more recent pieces:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uaWw6-3GrcU

The ABC drama Quantico, premiered this fall. According to Variety, Quantico ratings are climbing especially for a show that runs on Sundays at 10. An arresting drama set at an FBI training school, with diverse characters. ABC networks writer/executive producer Josh Safran for Quantico says that the writing staff is very diverse even including a Palestinian Muslim. He wants to start conversations in America’s living rooms.

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What makes this show so enthralling? The demographically diverse characters? The depth of characters who ask questions that are necessary for our nation to move forward and develop? The most interesting character (in my opinion), Nimah Amin, is a Muslim woman who wears the hijab and has an accent. Later in the show it is revealed that she actually has a twin and the both of them are there as one student for an experiment run by the deputy director, a black woman who is also the highest ranking women in the FBI. “Nimah” is bold, brazen, and sometimes brash. A far cry from the stereotype of the demure, subservient victim that is often portrayed by Hollywood. She makes her opinions known, and makes sure everyone knows that she doesn’t especially care about their opinions of her. She’s there to become an agent because “she” is gracious for the opportunity that America has given her.

From the very start the audience knows that the show is about finding the identity of the person responsible for the largest terrorist attack against New York since 9/11. Alex Parrish (Priyanka Chopra) the “protagonist” and a brown girl as well is framed for the attack. It later become obvious that the terrorist is one of the FBI’s students. As the episodes go along and more information surfaces, certain clues make some of the students look guilty. The blonde debutante heir to a fortune who is becoming an agent to avenge her parents death in 9/11; the “gay” Jew, former CPA, former IDF soldier who lived in Palestine who wears fake glasses; the resident golden boy blonde and privileged by all accounts and a notorious underachiever who only got into the academy because of his parents have all gotten their turn under scrutiny. However, the veiled Muslim women with the accent has been shown in the most positive of lights. She is shown as an empowered and educated agent. Is this a bureaucratic decision made so as not to offend or is there a deeper meaning behind this decision to keep this character from coming under scrutiny?

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The creators behind Quantico come from diverse backgrounds and it is reflected in the content of the show. The most obvious and important way it’s reflected is the characters are demographically diverse, not whitewashed nor do they conform to mainstream stereotypes. It’s refreshing to see diverse characters on TV played by their respective identities.

It’s a show on ABC network that’s gaining viewers and ratings. Since there are commercials in between I’m assuming that’s how they make their money. They have to keep ratings and viewings up so that may influence the content of the show. They have to make sure that the plot twists and character addition if any, don’t upset their viewers so much that it affects the ratings. In one of the earlier episodes, a Mormon character is shown in his temple garments. Later it is revealed that said character should have been ex communicated on grounds of misconduct while on a mission and tried for criminal deeds. This caused an uproar in the LDS community but obviously not enough to lower ratings and views.

Often times when ethnic or diverse characters are shown on major networks are whitewashed within an inch of their identity. Sometimes you will have a white actor playing a person of color. As recently as the beginning of this year in the movie Aloha, when Emma Stone plays a Hawaiian and quarter Chinese character. Some think that one of the reasons that the movie did not do well at the box office was because of this “cultural insensitivity”.

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Another cultural insensitivity in episode 6 when Simon and “Nimah”’s friendship becomes more than just that and culminates in a passionate expression of “Nimah” removing her scarf and telling Simon it’s ok for [for him to kiss her presumably].  This bothers me because so far the producers of this show did everything so well in presenting this character. The scarf is a symbol of submission to her Lord, only her family and her husband can see her without her scarf, and pre-marital relations are forbidden in Islam. Entertainment media is often not synonymous with accuracy but I would like to see how their relationship develops or doesn’t. Especially when they examine his Zionist background and her Muslim family.

The tentative caress:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GGji3u4RtbM

In an age of fast paced technology and social media a phenomenon “the Instagram model” as emerged. That’s how, Maria Hidrissi, the first veiled Muslim women in a H&M campaign was discovered. As I conducted further research I found out that this campaign, H&M Close the Loop – Sustainable fashion through recycled clothes was released September 2, 2015 on youtube. The campaign released by H&M hopes to reach its diverse customer base by featuring Sikh men, a transgender women, an amputee, and a veiled women. Maria, an entrepreneur of Moroccan and Pakistani descent, owns a beauty salon in London where she calls home. A budding fashion blogger, she was surprised when H&M contacted her. Her initial response, they know I wear a scarf right?

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You can view the full campaign ad here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s4xnyr2mCuI

According to their website, H&M is the second largest global clothing retailer and they continue to expand. Where does their success come from? They aim to provide fashion and quality sustainably at a great price. They also collaborate with prominent celebrities fashion houses and designers. Their newest collaboration with the fashion house Balmain will hit the stores in November. The campaign urges its target market that the only rule of fashion is to recycle your clothes. The video features a demographically diverse group of people.

As a relatively new company (68 years young), bringing revenue of billions of dollars, remaining  socially responsible, and environmentally sustainable is difficult. And now this campaign released before the release of one of their largest collections and collaborations with Balmain (French fashion house). If H&M was not known as a socially responsible company people might have “thrown shade” towards them for engaging in such common marketing tactic. New companies are generally expected to be sustainable in order to be successful on the long run. However, the campaign has come under the radar because they might be using the diverse models as a marketing tactic and not actually because they believe the society has become more accepting. This is important because people need to be conscious consumers and as Americans we are “brainwashed” by million of dollars of marketing and we often buy into such campaigns when in reality they are not as socially responsible or environmentally conscious as they say they are.

The creators of this campaign ad believe in being socially responsible and environmentally conscious. If you associate or identify with any of the minority identities featured in the campaign you might feel like the fashion industry is becoming more welcoming and accepting. As a person of color, and a veiled Muslim women who shops at H&M I definitely feel good about being represented by the brands that I like to shop from. Even though the fashion industry in general has a long way to go before they can be classified as progressive or accepting I do feel like H&M is changing the game.

There is no doubt about the commercial purpose of the campaign ad. H&M is a company that has a combination of good company values and a great marketing advertising department. According to AJ+, Muslims are expected to spend an impressive $484 billion on clothes and footwear by 2019. Not advertising or tapping into this niche target market would be essentially throwing away money. In the fashion industry many designers and brands choose white models with certain body types (fit/toned for men and underweight for women). The models must conform to certain standards of “beauty”. These standards rarely if ever represent the majority of the population. It is refreshing to see such a big company take that leap and be one of the first to break these constructs.

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It is interesting to see how increasingly veiled Muslim women are showing up in recent popular culture. Growing up, I can safely say that I did not see veiled women on TV or magazines or blogs. It’s fascinating to see how the preconceived notions about veiled Muslim women have evolved over time; especially since 9/11. During the rise of Orientalism, the veil woman was seen as exotic or someone to fetishize. After the decline of peace in the Middle East, the veil became a symbol of oppression and victimhood aa way to silence women. Now there are prominent veiled Muslim women are coming into the limelight for doing incredible things; Ibtihaj Muhhamed who is on the American fencing team, Asia AKF a fashion blogger and entrepreneur with over 1.5 million followers on Instagram, and many more. These are the faces under the veil.

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There is a newly emerging “Islamic” culture industry specifically market towards muslim women. These Muslim women have been active as consumers and producers in this new industry. Many of these women are writers editors models and business owners. The entrepreneur in specific have paved a new road while combining Islamic teachings with new concepts of fashion, lifestyle, and beauty. Since Muslim women’s needs are specific this creates a niche market that is constantly changing and redefining how the Muslim woman is shown. In specific, this paper will discuss how images and ideals of the Muslim woman are produced, broadcasted, and consumed by an increasingly capitalist global market.

There are social implications that comes with what it really means to be a Muslim woman who wears the veil in the market as a producer or a consumer in a capitalist society. Many of these women have to navigate between stereotypes and preconceived notions of the orientalist days while presenting themselves as independent and professional. Much like the feminist movement in America, Muslim women want to challenge and reify stereotypes by making their voices heard. (Introduction: Muslim Women, Consumer Capitalism, and the Islamic Culture Industry)

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There is also a growing Muslim lifestyle magazine industry that has emerged for an increasing Islamic Bourgeoisie. Namely fashion editorials but unlike the ones we are familiar with, such as Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar, these magazines feature veiled and modest women. The different magazines have appeal to a variety of Muslim women and present different lifestyles from the elite fashion bloggers to the working professionals. These magazines prove that you can be a modest veiled women and lead a fashion forward lifestyle. They use different aspects to appeal to these women. Some use the common cultural aspects, socioeconomic status, or degree of “piety” to attract certain consumer/customer base. However. the different magazines discussed all had the same challenge of overcoming the politics of how they represented Muslim women.

This reminds of the discussion we had in class of the influence of the media. In the media saturated world we live in today, we are constantly bombarded with images of the ideal. Doctored images, of what perfect people look like. At every turn, we are besieged with images of what we are suppose to look like. The magazines and commercials that extol the beauty of the size 0 figure are endless. Girls, before they even reach puberty are affected by these images so much that they feel that they are lacking, or will never be beautiful. This is also the same media platforms (Instagram mainly) that is also helping Muslim veiled teens find their style or fashion inspiration from the likes of ASCIA_AKF and YAZTHESPAZ89. Media influence can be used positively in this case of this Muslim girls who might feel that they are not represented by their favorite actors, models, and musicians. (Marketing Muslim Lifestyle: A New Media Genre)

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Muslim media such as these lifestyle magazines face challenges when it comes to depicting veiled Muslim women. The point of contention is modesty. Some consider the veiled women in the magazines as not modest enough and others say the women are too modest. Another interesting point I came across in my research is how the identity of Muslim women has been materialized or commercialized. The veil is required for Muslim women to wear as symbol of submission and piety to their Lord. On the other hand, many fundamental components of capitalism “self-indulgence, conspicuous consumption, this-worldly orientation, materialism, and individualism” is against the basic principles and teachings of Islam. Not to mention the fact that the veil, a symbol of reverence and devoutness, has been commercialized.  (Introduction: Muslim Women, Consumer Capitalism, and the Islamic Culture Industry)

One thing that fascinated me is how the Hijab has evolved from symbol of oppression to fashion statement to those who don’t understand what the the veil (Hijab) symbolizes. Since the age of orientalism when veiled women were portrayed as exotic and a subject of fantasies to now and age where the hijab is now a symbol of empowerment and women reclaiming their body image from men and from being objectified.

Works Cited

Bee, Zenith. “Community Post: Muslim Girls Break the Internet.” BuzzFeed Community. N.p., 7

Oct. 2015. Web. 30 Oct. 2015.

Bhagwati, Anu. “ABC’s ‘Quantico’ Is A Breakthrough for South Asians on TV.” New Republic.

N.p., 27 Sept. 2015. Web. 01 Dec. 2015.

Castellanos-Monfil, Román. “Yale Senior Wins the Individual World Poetry Slam

Championship.” Yale News. YaleNews, 26 Oct. 2015. Web. 30 Oct. 2015.

Cohen, Lori, and Leyna Peery. “Unveiling Students’ Perceptions About Women in Islam”.The

English Journal 95.3 (2006): 20–26. Web.

H&M Close the Loop – Sustainable Fashion through Recycled Clothes. H&M, 2015. YouTube.

Gökarıksel, Banu, and Ellen McLarney. “Introduction: Muslim Women, Consumer Capitalism,

and the Islamic Culture Industry”. Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies 6.3 (2010): 1–18. Web.

Lewis, Reina. “Marketing Muslim Lifestyle: A New Media Genre”. Journal of Middle East

Women’s Studies 6.3 (2010): 58–90. Web.Porter, Rick. “Where ‘Quantico’ Goes From Here: Creator Breaks Down the Twisty Premiere.”

The Hollywood Reporter. N.p., 27 Sept. 2015. Web. 01 Dec. 2015.

Rendall, Steve, Isabel MacDonald, Veronica Cassidy, and Dina Marguerite Jacir.Smearcasting:

How Islamophobes Spread Fear, Bigotry, and Misinformation. Ed. Julie Hollar and JIm Naureckas. NY: FAIR, 2008. Print.

Watt, Diane. “Journal of Media Literacy Education.” “The Urgency of Visual Media Literacy in

Our Post-9/11 World: Reading I” by Diane Watt. N.p., 10 Sept. 2013. Web. 01 Dec. 2015.

Obsessions, Compulsions, and the Media

Featured

Willow Rickert-Osborne
Pop Culture 254

When examining the media and its content it’s often found to be loaded with stereotypes. The effect of these over exaggerated characters are supposed to liven the television show or movie they are placed in. However, sometimes these stereotypes are damaging to the viewers. For example, obsessive compulsive disorder is the focus of this paper and was analyzed through three different popular culture artifacts: As Good As It Gets, Monk, and The Big Bang Theory. After dissecting each primary source there were a few comparisons that lead me to my conclusion: characters with OCD stay the center for comic relief while half of the disorder is disregarded. Because of this, the media is reinforcing negative and unrealistic stereotypes as opposed to breaking them.

To give some context on the disorder Heyman et al states that OCD is a widely common mental illness (424). Symptoms associated with the illness include the patient suffering from obsessions and compulsions (most of the time). Sometimes obsessions and compulsions can be separate. Thus, recurring similarities are “…anxiety about harm… a need for symmetry or orderliness, often associated with counting, ordering, and arranging compulsions; unwanted fears and images about committing aggressive or sexual acts; and compulsive hoarding” (Heyman et al 425). In other words, OCD is a branch of an anxiety disorder that causes the brain to have unwanted thoughts that result in some of these compulsions listed above.

 

The first pop culture artifact I chose to analyze is As Good As It Gets, a movie filmed in 1997 with Jack Nicholson as the main character: Melvin Udall. In order to see how the media wanted this movie presented to the public it was important to watch one of the main trailers. Some of the focal areas of emphasis in the trailer start off with the Melvin Udall being extremely rude to his neighbor. After that, Mr. Udall is automatically called appalling by the narrator, a freak show, and the worst person on the earth. Watching the trailer doesn’t give the same effect as just listening the words. This is because while the narrator says these negative comments about Melvin, he is acting out in ways that are considered funny or immature. For instance, in the trailer Melvin is seen dancing around in his favorite restaurant mocking the people who are sitting in his seat, which he sits in every day, and jumping over cracks in the sidewalk. Thus, in order to really see how damaging the trailer can be it’s important to analyze it. According to college professor Bill Hudenko, Jack Nicholson did a great job at portraying the disorder in daily life compared to other media depictions. Therefore, Melvin definitely exemplifies the characteristics of someone who has obsessive compulsive disorder. A few reasons he does a successful job portraying the disorder lies in his actions. For example, Melvin has to lock his door three times before he leaves his house, his candy is separated and color coded, and he eats breakfast at the same diner every day. While you read this you may be wondering why I chose an artifact that is almost twenty years old as opposed to something current. Well, I wanted to choose an older artifact so I could compare it with some of the newer ones that will follow. While I think the movie As Good As It Gets is trying to make an attempt at raising awareness about the disorder it does it in a more negative light when compared to Monk or The Big Bang Theory. Despite the fact that Jack Nicholson successfully depicts some of the common actions that people with OCD experience he is still portrayed as an unfriendly bully who is misunderstood.

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Another primary source that displays the identity of obsessive compulsive disorder is the television show Monk. This show’s main character is a detective living a perfectly normal life with this disorder. He displays some of the more common compulsions like washing his hands and organization in comparison with As Good as It Gets. In one episode Monk was at the doctor’s office and there were a few vials of blood on the counter. Of course the blood wasn’t evenly placed in the vials, so he mixed the different blood types together in order to get them to be level with each other! He does this with decaf and regular coffee pots in another episode as well. However, the whole point of this series is to show that people with this disorder can lead normal lives and have careers. While it is a comedy it can still be inspirational to its viewers because it gives the audience the idea that obsessive compulsive disorder is something that can be conquered and functioned with on a daily basis.

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Lastly, Sheldon Cooper from The Big Bang Theory shares signs of obsessive compulsive disorder as well. This can be seen in almost every episode when he goes to visit his neighbor Penny. He has to knock on her door three times while saying her name in order for it to feel right. There was one episode where she came to the door before the third knock and he had to ask her to shut it so he could finish his ritual. Sheldon also is very serious about where he sits on the couch as well as his spot in the parking lot of the college where he works. His consistency and dramatic attitude if that consistency gets broken is common in patients with obsessive compulsive disorder.
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After reviewing all three of the pop culture artifacts it’s important to recognize that there is some truth in these stereotypes. For instance, a lot of the compulsions are very typical for people who suffer from this disorder. However, these tics are not as funny as they are portrayed in the media. Experiencing these compulsions can be extremely isolating and emotional and that is something neither one of these sources addresses. Also, the other side to the disorder is never discussed which would be the trigger for these compulsions: the obsessions. According to Heyman et al. in the Clinical Review, the obsessions are uncontrollable thoughts that the patient has and in order to eliminate the stress/anxiety from these unwanted thoughts they are acted upon through the compulsions. Thus, compulsions are unwanted actions that are uncontrollable. In other words, this disorder is something that cannot always be contained physically or emotionally.

Despite the issue that the media does not fully portray this disorder within it’s characters it is also important to realize that it can. As of now our stereotypes on mental illness in the media give the general public a preconceived idea on how people with mental illnesses act and what type of people they are. The result of this is a growing judgmental society. For instance, so far violence is one of the most common stereotypical characteristics of a person who has a mental illness (Stuart 5). This isn’t just addressed in tv shows or movies either. The news is another culprit for the negativity that surrounds mental illness. In short, news reporters want to draw in a large audience, so over exaggeration is very typical within news stories. However, there are some reporters out there that are honest and true to the story, but still choose the negative story because it will attract a larger audience (Stuart). While these are common issues in the media that shape our perceptions from early on we can start to change how our ideas are formed about mental illness. We can achieve this change in perception by putting more emphasis on positive stories or even a balance between the negatives and positives. By doing this we won’t be prone to believe people who suffer from disorders are so different from the general public.

Learning Moments:

Before this class I was pretty ignorant to the media. I think that’s one reason why I chose this SINQ. I was a hermit. I don’t have Facebook. I don’t have television. I didn’t have the knowledge to analyze the media because I wasn’t constantly interacting with it. However, this class forced me to become comfortable with this all consuming pop culture. For example, in week three we were given a hand out that would help us during the process of dissecting an ad: Deconstructing an Advertisement. This assignment was engaging on a level I had never been with advertisements. In order to test out our new knowledge we were prompted to use this handout and analyze an advertisement for e-cigs. After this, I started to really think about the ads I am subjected to on a daily basis and why or why not they interest me. Some more resources that encouraged this basis for analysis were given to us in week two which were three videos focused on analysis moves. These included “acknowledging bad habits”, “identifying purpose and form”as well as “microscope”. The first move, “acknowledging bad habits, stressed that they key to truly making a strong analysis is to be an objective thinker, while “identifying form” forced us to understand who the ad was for and “microscope” encouraged us to see details and realize that they are there for a reason. Analysis wasn’t something I was particularly good at. However, by having these resources under my belt I feel more confident when it comes to analyzing pop culture media.

Bibliography
As Good as It Gets. Dir. James L. Brooks. Perf. Jack Nicholson, Helen Hunt, and Greg Kinnear. Tristar, 1997. Film.
The Big Bang Theory. CBS. 24 Sep. 2007. Television.
Deamer, Kacey. “Cleaning Up OCD Stereotypes”. buzzsawmag.org. 15 November 2009. 29 October 2015. Web.
Heyman, D Mataix-Cols, N A Fineberg. “Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder” Clinical Review. 333.7565 (2006): 424-29. Print.
Monk. USA. 12 July. 2002. Television.
Stuart, Heather. “Media Portrayal of Mental Illness and Its Treatments: What Effect Does It Have on People with Mental Illness?” CNS Drugs. (2006). 99-105. Print.

Being Black In America

 

“We don’t need no more rappers,

we don’t need no more basketball players,

no more football players,

we need more thinkers.”

-(Tupac Shakur)

Images of black people in today’s society are vast, or rather, vastly stereotypical. Thugs. Ignorant. Criminals. Crack feins. Drug dealers. Athletes. Entertainers. But why? Why are black people perceived this way? Popular culture representations of Black people and culture are generally negative and misleading. Ultimately, these inaccurate depictions of an entire culture clout society’s view of the Black community. This blog will cover how and why black stereotypes are perpetuated throughout popular culture and how they will affect future generations.

In the popular BET show, Being Mary Jane, the depiction of Black life and more specifically, maybe, one Black woman’s life portrayed by the main character Mary Jane. She is a single black woman in America more focused on her career than a domestic life and too busy with work for a successful love life. In all actuality she is not too busy but rather busies herself to keep from realizing that she’s falling into the stigma of the “angry single Black woman.” Mary Jane’s executive producer, Kara, makes a bold statement: “be Black at home, but the minute you walk out that door, be American” (Kara, Being Mary Jane). This statement summarizes the general attitude towards the decisions that the Black community are faced with. While this idea would be nice, even desirable for some, it is illogical and impossible.

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When I walk out of my front door I am black. I cannot hide my melanin, not that I want to, but I don’t have that choice. None of us do. Regardless of what society wants to think, I am judged first by the color of my skin, and everything else comes after. Even if it’s done subconsciously, we likely all do it. It’s human instinct, and a normal process experienced by every human being. No matter your race, or the color of your skin, this is one aspect of ourselves we cannot conceal. So, I think it’s important that our society doesn’t make us feel like we have something to conceal based on skin color, or even how we choose to identify ourselves. Yes, other identities are discriminated against based on sexual orientation or religious affiliation.

Throughout popular culture, the Black community is associated with violence, materialism, and perhaps most infamously, the objectification of women (Balkaran 1999; Ruffner-Ceaser 2012; West 1993). Various forms of popular culture communicate these same negative ideas.

In his article, “Rethinking Mass Communication”  James Curran states the connection between negative racial stereotypes and the media:

“A considerable body of evidence suggests that ethnic minorities are liable to be presented in the media as a problem or threat; they are often featured in association with crime or conflict; and that racial conflicts and disadvantage tend not to be contextualized in terms of their causes” (p. 135).

These types of depictions of the Black community communicate a sense of inferiority reinforcing such “ negative ideas, behaviors, attitudes and opinions about racial minorities that ultimately support real relations of racial inequality” (A. Nama, “More Symbol than Substance”).

Despite the abundance of the detrimental influence of “negative stereotypes on the developmental experiences of Black adolescents, positive Black media images also exist” (Allen & Thornton,“Social structural factors,”; Berry, “Black family life”).

Tyler Perry is one of many Black actors and producers that works to put an end to the misconceptions of the Black community. All of his shows and movies feature a predominantly Black cast and depict real life Black experiences. Through his work like , he demonstrates that Black people are not just the entertainers, athletes, or comedians that we are portrayed to be in mainstream media. Instead, he casts Black people in normal roles bringing them back to reality and emphasizes that we can do more than entertain.

Unfortunately, these images are far and few in mainstream media “compared with the appearance of negative stereotype characters” (Ward, “Wading Through the Stereotypes”). In other words, the bad outweighs the good. The minimal effort put forth from the media to try and override the harmful effects of these stigmatizing stereotypes is too insignificant and limited to be successful.

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This picture represents a myriad of ideas. The first that comes to mind, for me, is the posture that many of us in the Black community must put on while outside the comfort of our homes. In school or at the workplace it’s now considered normal or even appropriate to put on a sort of act in order to be taken seriously. Many of the Black community have dubbed it “Black checking” or “acting White.” Mainstream T.V. shows, and memes like this suggest that when you act pursuant to your culture (if you are a minority) that you are acting inappropriately, and this puts you at a disadvantage.

Ideas like this are disrespectful and insulting and further continue the plight of minorities in American culture. But what is worse is this idea that the Black community has instilled in us: to be better means “acting white.” To be better should simply mean to do and strive for more. But centuries of feelings of inferiority placed upon our community has made us believe that we are not as good, not as pretty, or not as successful. This must end so that the youth can feel equal to their peers regardless of their race, sexual orientation, or religious affiliation.

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In the movie, Don’t Be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood, the main character, “Ashtray,” is portrayed as an innocent young black male forced to move into the hood with his family for financial reasons. His cousin, “Loc Dog,” is a stereotypical gangster who both sells and does drugs. He also owns multiple guns and uses them routinely, shooting up his family’s house and waving his gun around at all times for no apparent reason (other than that he’s Black and poor). There is a scene where two Asian convenient store owners display extreme racism against the two cousins: following them through the store and telling them to get out. This is happening all while conveniently ignoring the shoplifting white customers. This is another stereotype that is comprised of popular misconceptions that are harmful to minorities. Instead of seeing that both Asians and Blacks are misrepresented minorities in America, they are used against each other resulting in Black and Brown alienation and separation.

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Another scene takes place at a neighborhood cookout. There’s an ex convict and his baby’s mother. The ex con is a stereotypical uneducated black man that lacks respect and morals. His baby’s mother has about seven kids each with different fathers. She is seen as a sex symbol throughout the movie and uses this to her benefit. Even though she’s pregnant, she is still seen drinking and smoking throughout the movie, stating that all her other kids turned out just fine without her having to change her lifestyle. She uses her children as pawns to receive financial assistance from the government and random men in her life.

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Though the movie was made for entertainment purposes, this is the classic reputation of a young black male in America today: a menace to society. The idea of black people being uneducated, selling drugs and making unplanned babies is misconstrued and feeble. Another aspect of black culture that has been taken advantage of is the phenomenon of Black children not knowing their fathers. I found it very revealing that this famously applauded film was created and produced by Black people and featured an almost entire Black cast. Yet, throughout the movie they trivialize these stereotypes that have been plaguing the Black community for decades. These common outdated stereotypes are perpetuated by the Black community and then exploited by other cultures to put them into a derogatory light. This movie made me realize that an intended innocent exploitation of a group of people for entertainment purposes can turn into a lasting stigma of an entire community.

Throughout the course of my research I discovered the concept of stigmatizing stereotypes and how this affects a society. So, how are Black stereotypes perpetuated throughout popular culture? Well, aside from mainstream T.V., music, and social media, the Black community may play a larger role than we think in the continuing of these stereotypes. I found it interesting that many of the common stereotypes or misconceptions of Black people are perpetuated by the Black society. It’s not that this is a new finding for me, rather I found it interesting because before we look elsewhere we must first look at ourselves when pointing complete blame or pointing out flaws in the system.

Maybe pointing blame is the wrong course of action, perhaps recognizing and adapting to these conditions is a better strategy. A whole is only as good as the sum of its parts. This idea of Black people being poorly depicted in popular culture began by putting a monetary value on a human life: slavery. But, this creation of inferiority and separateness must now find its end. Unfortunately, no matter how, why, or by whom the stereotypes are started, they are negatively perpetuated throughout popular culture, these perceptions cause the accomplishments of the Black community to go unnoticed, and even perhaps erased. We can only successfully extinguish these plaguing stereotypes by first identifying and recognizing them as a problem rather than exploiting them for monetary advancements. Instead, we should work towards the acceptance and approval of all identities and give them a place in society that we all deserve.  

Tupac’s Keep Ya Head Up, talks about the idea of a common plight for a young Black male: selling drugs, running the streets, and ending up in prison. Hip hop is commonly used as an outlet for the youth to connect and voice their ideas. He used his music to communicate to the youth that we are the future of society and its in our power to change society’s standards to fit our wants and needs. With the mistreatment of women, abuse of drugs, and desire to grow up too fast, he describes a story that is all too familiar to the Black community. He discussed the belief of Black people being set up to fail by society through drugs, alcohol, and economic status. He scrutinizes the perception of black society being thrown into this relentless cycle of dead end trials and tribulations. Throughout his lyrics he spoke as the voice of reason for his people and offered a way out.

With his role in music and his strides to improve society, Tupac proved to be a successful role model to Black youth everywhere. The youth began to realize that change begins with us. He also taught that we won’t be taken seriously as a people until we take ourselves seriously, which is an integral part of the advancement of any group of people. Whether it’s a group based on sex, sexual orientation, race, disability etc., it’s crucial that we first recognize the goal of the group and then capitalize on the benefits of these differences for the advancement of underrepresented groups in society. Children need to see that they are important and represented no matter how they choose to identify themselves or how they are identified by society.

In E. M. Roberts, Through the Eyes of A Child, she relays the idea that children’s idea of self concept is heavily influenced by what they see in the media. Roberts argues that “the absence or negative presence of Blacks from television can be destructive to the self-concepts of Black children” because it communicates their disadvantaged placement in society (Roberts, “Through the Eyes of A Child”). As children are introduced to self concept at a fundamental stage in life, they are also subject to the negativity that is placed on different cultures throughout society. By negatively depicting or leaving out an entire community or group of people, this misrepresentation can lead to children continuing these stigmatizing stereotypes further perpetuating racism and prejudice.

We need to create a society where the media properly represents everyone. A society where everybody’s voice is made clear. This way, hopefully our children can pursue and lead an inclusive and productive society. Now, more than ever the voices of our country need to be noted and understood. America is no longer predominantly white middle class. Our society is changing. More cultures are entering the mix, thus comes different viewpoints, fresh ideas and beliefs, and ultimately, a whole new generation of innovators. It is paramount that this new era is more advanced and informed than previous generations because if not we will likely regress in our slow but sure progress as a maturing society. History repeats itself. It is crucial that we don’t relive our heinous past, but rather we create new avenues that allow for the advancement of cultures and societies around the world.

Only through the progression of our youth is such an idea possible. We need to teach the next generation to see past the skin color of their peers and respect and invest in their thoughts and ideas instead. A better tomorrow starts with a plan for a better today. A better today consists of a system where media properly represents the vast assortment of racial, sex, and religious groups.  A better tomorrow is a future where there is zero tolerance of racism, prejudice, and exclusion, and ultimately, a time where these things do not even exist. Tupac Shakur wisely sums up such doctrines:

Where there is a will, there is a will to search and discover a better day, where a positive heart is all you need to rise beyond and succeed, where young minds grow and respect each other based on their deeds and not their color when times are dim say as I say “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.

(Tupac Shakur)

tupac

Significant Learning Moments

I found the the media literacy analysis to be a great learning moment. In this discussion I learned that relevancy has a lot to do with the value we place on objects and events, and thus determines how important specific news is to any given person. I also discovered that a great question to ask while determining if an article is newsworthy is “why does this information matter?”  Too often, many of us (myself included) become engrossed in the latest updates on the Kardashians or other celebrities’ lives and forget that real news is happening in the world: wars, protests, change, etc.

When we fail to see what’s really going on around us we are failing ourselves. We opt out of advancement and settle for complacency in our current situation. It’s vital that we as a society remain aware of current events because often these events shape the ever changing structure of society. If we are uniformed we allow ignorance to take over and obstruct our view of a better tomorrow. We must stay cognizant so that we can do better than previous generations and evade the repetition of our errors as a society. This is the only promise we have to evoke a substantial change beneficial to our future and our children’s futures.

Another learning moment for me was the discussion of stereotypes in the media. I learned a significant amount of information about how stereotypes are perpetuated throughout popular culture and how they affect the lives of those whom they include and exclude. This lesson heightened my sense of awareness surrounding the use of stereotypes and their plaguing side effects. Obviously, as a part of the Black community, I knew all too much about the stigmatizing stereotypes that infect societies’ ideas and beliefs of Black people. What I didn’t know so much about was the use these damaging stereotypes for more than just the sabotage of racial identities, but for the discrimination of sexual and religious groups as well. This discussion prompted me to find out more about the perpetuation of such stereotypes and their repercussions; specifically concerning one of my own identities: being black in America.

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