Women Chefs in Hollywood

Imagine yourself getting ready to watch a movie. You grab your butter filled popcorn, your favorite soda, and the best seat in the house. The lights start to dim and the introduction starts. You are set for the next two hours of entertainment and you’re loving every minute of it. What if I were to tell you that those two hours are influencing your thoughts about how we view the world? Whether we like it or not, the media is constantly influencing us. It can be as small as a Facebook post to as big as a billboard. To be more specific, media enjoys feeding us thoughts on how we perceive women, especially in a restaurant workforce environment. Women chefs portrayed in the movie industry are viewed as over emotional, not respected and constantly having to work twice as harder than men.


No Reservations


No Reservations, Warner Brothers, 27 July 2007 (http://www.worstpreviews.com/images/noreservations.jpg)

The first Artifact that I dived into was a movie called “No Reservations” (Story by Carol Fuchs and Sandra. Directed by Scott Hicks). This is a romance mixed with a little drama in the kitchen and in Kate’s (the Chef) personal life. Kate is all about the kitchen and never tends to go outside of her realm. It was until Kate’s sister dies and she has to take Sarah (her niece) in her custody. While Kate takes leave a man takes over and works beside her through the whole movie, this is where the drama begins.


Kate tends to constantly be uptight and is looked at as overemotional. Kate definitely struggles with taking care of her niece while trying to continue with her career, which makes it feel like women taking care of a child isn’t easy. Her coworkers are constantly trying to tell her to quit, pushing her towards the stay at home mother stereotype.


There is a moment in this movie where a customer complains about a dish and asks to see the chef. He continues to complain to her and starts to call her pet names such as “honey” and “sweetie”. Kate is obviously receiving no respect at this moment. Kate has a very short temper and really doesn’t put up with anyone who doesn’t give her respect. When she’s in the kitchen you can feel a sense of tension that knows one wants to make her explode. In a professional environment, there is that intimidation and tension present, however, the intensity shown in this movie feels a little over exaggerated. As a viewer, it makes me feel like women can’t be taken seriously because they are being portrayed as too sensitive. Is this characteristic okay to pass on to our community? Absolutely not.




Julia & Julie


Julia & Julie, Columbia Pictures, 7 Aug. 2009.(https://static01.nyt.com/images/2009/08/07/arts/07julie600.jpg)

Julia & Julie (Story Julia Child, Julie Powell, Alex Prudhomme. Directed by Nora Ephron) is one of my favorite artifacts that I looked into. The movie is about how Julie Powell embarks on a project to prepare 524 recopies Julia Child’s cookbook. It is a mix with the true story of Julia Child and her journey to success. Julia is played by Meryl Streep and Julie is played by Amy Adams. This movie is about never giving up on what you want in life and how it is never too late to change your dreams. Julia’s story is quite amazing and she was never afraid of failure.


One important moment in this film is when Julia is taking her first cooking lesson. Her first class was with two other women and the teacher was teaching them how to boil an egg. Julia goes back to the school counselor and asks for a class that’s more advanced. The advisor then proceeds to tell her that she is not an advanced cook. The counselor gives her a suggestion for a different class that is described as a professional class. However, the counselor tells Julia that she will never be a professional cook because she is a woman and the class is filled with successful men. This does not stop Julia from showing how wrong the counselor was. The first class she attended men looked at her with disgust and impatience. When Julia arrives home she then tells her husband that the men in her class kept looking at her like she was a hopeless housewife trying to kill the hours in the day. However, after much practice, Julia ends up exceeding in her class. But as if that wasn’t enough she has to be better than the men rather than just as good.


This movie has a great motivation that women can do anything if they are passionate about it. Unlike most movies, this movie focusses on the hard work of success. Even Scott from the New York Times stated, “Most strikingly, this is a Hollywood movie about women that is not about the desperate pursuit of men.” (Scott, New York Times) However, the fact that Julia had to earn her respect made my stomach churn. I was happy and excited when Julia finally gained her respect but made me question why she had to work twice as hard to earn it in the first place. I’m sure if it were a man in her position he would have to work hard, but just not twice as hard like Julia had to.

However, some people might think, “Aren’t all chefs supposed to prove that they are worthy to take over such a big task like running a whole kitchen?” Not necessarily. People who are hired as chefs are already looked at as worthy. Unless you completely burn the kitchen down, almost all of your associates will respect you. The Secret Code article explains it this way, “You show respect for the food, for the Chef, and for how we want things done at THIS restaurant…” (The Kitchen Code: Ethos of the Professional Kitchen). The article goes on to explain that no matter the circumstance, you respect your chef, male or female.




Chocolat, Miramax, 19 Jan. 2001. (https://static01.nyt.com/images/2009/08/07/arts/07julie600.jpg)

 The year is 1960 and a woman and her young child move into a small town in France. This town is very traditional and will not accept any change. However, Juliette (the women) and her young daughter slowly start to change the town and their beliefs about tradition. This movie was based on a book written by Joanne Harris.


This movie was about how adding a new person to a little town can change things for the better. Like any other movie, drama and romance were infused in some way or another. What is funny was there was really very little romance in the mix with the main character. But I can see how other people view it as just a romance movie. I don’t feel that much different than Juliette does. And I’m sure a lot of other women cooks can agree with me. Juliette was really shamed upon for being a woman who cooked. Then she had to prove herself. How did she do this? By creating the best chocolate shop in the town.


The fact that she had to prove herself to this town was very upsetting. But she’s new, right? So she had to prove herself. However, shouldn’t one be welcoming to a newcomer?  There was a moment in the movie where she was being called a bad example by the Mayor which didn’t make sense. The Mayor really does not like Juliette and wants to get her out of the town, but she really is doing absolutely nothing wrong. He goes as far to say that everyone in the town should stay away because she is a horrible example. This woman is a single mom making a living and succeeding at it. How exactly is she a bad example? If they want to talk about bad examples they should have gone to the café two doors down where a man who is constantly drunk runs it. I don’t hear them saying he is a bad example. I also found it very upsetting that it took the Mayor trying the chocolate at the end of the movie to make him realize he was in the wrong. I don’t think he needed to try the chocolate in the first place to realize he was wrong.




It’s the end of the movie now and you’re ready to pack your things and go. You sit there for just a moment longer and think about how those movies were portraying women chefs as over emotional, not respected and how they were working a lot harder than men. You pass on what you learned to your friends and they pass that to others. Hopefully, you are better than the regular consumer who is easily influenced by the media. Lastly, you realize the fog is lifted from your vision and you can see how Hollywood views women chefs.


Learning Moments

This was a very awesome class that I always looked forward to each week. There were a lot of great learning tools each week and there was never a dull moment. One lesson that I found particularly interesting was week 7’s topic about borrowing and stealing other people’s work. I think this is something that not only myself but everyone should learn and benefit from. It also helped me be extra careful with my paper and quoting others.

One other awesome tool that I learned was the history of media literacy. It really made me realize how people need to learn about what is real and what is fake. It made me also realize how important it is to teach these things at a young age. It’s not something that I learned but I wish I had learned! But, I was very excited that this class provided the opportunity to learn more about it. Overall, I really enjoyed this class and its quality education.


Works Cited

 Chocolat. Dir. Lasse Hallström. Perf. Carrie-Anne Moss and Johnny Depp. Chocolat. Miramax, 19 Jan. 2001. Web. 12 Nov. 2017.


Decker, By Fred. “Male Vs. Female Chefs.” – Woman. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Nov. 2016.


Julie & Julia. Dir. Nora Ephron. Perf. Amy Adams and Meryl Streep. Julie & Julia. Columbia Pictures, 7 Aug. 2009. Web. 12 Nov. 2017.


No Reservations. Dir. Scott Hicks. Perf. Catherine Zeta-Jones and Aaron Eckhart. No Reservations. Warner Brothers, 27 July 2007. Web. 12 Nov. 2017.


Scott, A. O. “Two for the Stove.” New York Times. NYT, 6 Aug. 2009. Web. 5 Nov. 2016.


Seitz, Matt Zoller. “If You Can’t Stand the Analysis of Work and Parenthood, Get Out of the Kitchen.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 26 July 2007. Web. 12 Nov. 2016.

“The Kitchen Code: Ethos of the Professional Kitchen – Chefs Resources.” Chefs Resources. Culinary Knowledge for Professional Chefs & Culinarians, n.d. Web. 23 Nov. 2016.




Brazilian women, so sexy.


Brazilian, as defined by the Oxford Dictionary is known as a native or inhabitant of Brazil, or a style of waxing a woman’s public hair in which almost all the hair is removed, with only a very small central strip remaining (see the Oxford English Dictionary at http://www.oed.com.proxy.lib.pdx.edu/). As a female American/Brazilian citizen it is quit terrifying to see that in the definition of Brazilian, in the English Dictionary, as a definition for modification on a women’s body. Since my ethnicity makes up a huge part of who I am and, who I am continuing to become, I wanted to study something in our modern popular culture that would interest me. Therefore, I decided I would research how the representation of Brazilian women in music videos such as: I Got It From My Mama, Beautiful ft. Pharrell Williams, and P.D.A. (We Just Don’t Care), gives the wrong idea of how Brazilian women are outside of American culture.

I Got It From My Mama, a well thought out music video produced by will.i.am and A&M, is dedicated to the Brazilian women. In the opening scene of the music video you notice advertising for Rio De Janeiro, Brazil in the magazine that will.i.am is holding. When the magazine is lowered you are on one of the beautiful beaches of Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. The camera pans from one beautiful tan/dark women to the next, dancing in their small sized bathing suits. In this music video the women are used as objects to express their status and identity.

Meaning women are used to show the rappers status in society, and the identities of their culture, in this case Brazilian’s are represented as sexual. Consumers consuming this video now relate Brazilian women with a consumer culture. They want to have Brazilian women on their arms to represent them in society and to showcase the identity of these “sexual” women by their side. The whole music video only purpose is to portray/show beautiful Brazilian women, and how their sexual identities can hold up a rapper’s status in society.

In artifact two, Beautiful ft. Pharrell Williams, we see another portrayal of Brazilian women and their “sensual” bodies. The music video was directed by Chris Robinson of Partizan Entertainment and produced by Renata Chuquer. This music video took place in Lapa district, Rio de Janeiro, which they conveyed as the Brazilian favela. A favela is known as a shabby town, also a town where all the poor people of Brazil live. The music video opens up with a little boy speaking Portuguese and handing Snoop Dogg the phone, then the video starts.

The music video shows a lot of Rio De Janeiro, Brazil and then it starts to primarily show the women of Brazil.  In the beginning scenes you see the women of Brazil in their small bathing suits, hanging around Snoop Dogg and Pharrell. It starts to create a certain allusion, of the women of Brazil. The allusion is created by what Author Jasmin Mitchell would call the Imagining of the Mulatta. The main purpose of this article is to essential discuss how popular media represents mulatta/mulata (woman of African and European descent). In particular, this video specially sexualizes mulatta women and portrays them as the dominate in the Brazilian culture, although they are the least dominate. Again, Snoop Dogg and Pharrell are using women to represent, and demonstrate their status in society.

In my final source, P.D.A. (We Just Don’t Care), the music video concerns the sexual attractiveness of women through the lyrics. In the opening of the music video you are introduced too, two different couples exploring Brazil in different ways. The younger couple exploring the more rundown areas of Brazil, the favela. They are riding around in a little motorcycle smiling and laughing. The older couple is exploring Brazil through black and white camera in a more sophisticated manner. They are getting lost in their love through the camera lens.

In the middle of the music video you see a little bit of an allusion of the younger couple being a reflection of the older couple. After this scene you see the older couple getting lost in making love in the bedroom, while the younger couple gets lost in the night life of Brazil. It is a small demonstration of the country of Brazil and more a storyline of the love of the couples. Although the music video does a good job at keeping sexualized images to a medium. We still uncover the dominate theme of Brazilian women used as status for the artist singing. We see this in the filming of the video, and through critically analyzing the lyrics. The women in this video are more reserved in identity, but are still extremely sexualized.


With the critical investigating of these three music video I discovered that majority of music videos that have depictions of the Brazilian women, the mulata women, as extremely sexual and a social status. Although all the depictions are similar because they are music videos, I would challenge my finding when looking at other popular culture mediums. A wide range of other mediums (news, social media, and etc.) also portray Brazilian women in this sexual manner. I strongly believe that major of mediums involving Brazilian women are sexualized and unorthodox. When was the time you saw a Brazilian women represented differently?  Thus is why I feel that Brazilian women are poorly represented in modern popular culture. Do you feel the same?

Work Cited

Crean, L. (2001) Women, Race and Popular Culture in Brazil, Journal of Beliefs & Values, 22:2,      229-230, DOI: 10.1080/13617670120079523


Dogg, S. [emimusic]. (2009, February 24). Beautiful ft. Pharrell Williams. [Video File]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_FE194VN6c4



Legend, J. [johnlegendVEVO]. (2009, February 24). P.D.A. (We Just Don’t Care). [Video File].     Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZwbNesQeods



Mitchell, J. (2000). “Popular Culture Imaginings of the Mulatta: Constructing Race, Gender,    Sexuality, and Nation in the United States and Brazil”.


Will.I.Am.[williamVEVO]. (2009, November 22). I Got It From My Mama. [Video File].       Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XomQLhjCYYk





Typical Asian Stereotypes

In Fall 2016 term, I decided to take Popular Culture to learn more about society and how media and what not influences people. Over the course I researched some information regarding my identity and how it portrays in Popular Culture. I chose to do my research on Asian cultures and stereotypes within the culture.

While conducting my research I came across a few stereotypes towards Asians. Some of the stereotypes were a common stereotype and there were some that I never even heard. I chose to write about some of the stereotypes because, I got curious on how some of the stereotypes even got created? Some of the stereotypes that I will be looking into is, the “China doll stereotype”, how Asian actors know are portrayed in Hollywood movies and lastly why others think Asians must marry in their own race. One of the first stereotypes that caught my attention was the “china doll stereotype”. This caught my attention because many young girls like to dress up as a geisha or what not for Halloween. Some young girls even look up to Mulan. But there is a part in the movie where Mulan is dressed as a geisha. Here is a clip of the scene.


Typically in the Asian culture, a woman that is dressed as a geisha means, a woman is submissive, dominant, promiscuous, and is usually a sex icon. But there are also people who think geishas are just a fashion icon.

When I first thought of geishas or china dolls growing up I never thought much of it being a sex icon. But when I was finding some of the common stereotypes within Asian cultures, I learned that basically a woman that is dressed as a geisha, is a prostitute.

Another stereotype that caught my attention was Asian actors. When doing my research I noticed that there were not that many Asian actors in Hollywood, compared to all the other races. But one thing that stood out to me was if an Asian actor played in a movie, they all typically had the same role. They were either the villain, the nerd, or the person who knew karate.

For instance Jackie Chan always is a character who knows how to fight in almost all the movies he acts in.


Another stereotype that I learned within Asian actors in Hollywood films, is that the directors and producers portray the actors as a nerd, or the villain. Which I found kind of weird. Because most movies that I have seen portray that Asian actors as a good guy or a superhero of some sort and they usually have the actors play dumb. For example like London Tipton from the show “Suite Life of Zack and Cody”. Here is a clip of London Tipton learning how to drive- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PW1QkW2jBu8

A stereotype that was brought up to me was, Asians marrying other Asians. I found this stereotype to be kind of true but then again biased. As I notice in my own personal family, all my family are married or in a serious relationship with someone of the same race. I also noticed this for all Asian races. I do not think that this stereotype is a bad one, but it kind of makes you open your eyes and think about all the stereotypes.

Overall within the research that I was conducting on Asian stereotypes, I learned quite a bit and how each stereotype occurred. I also found out some more stereotypes that I have not heard. I came to a conclusion that not all stereotypes are true, but can contradict itself.

In this class so far I thought that analyzing a commercial ad was interesting. I never thought that each commercial had a real meaning behind it. Also thought it was interesting how companies would try to persuade consumers to purchase their products, with relating to their audience.

Another thing that I learned was the difference between a primary and secondary source. At first I was super confused on what the difference was, but now I can pretty much tell the difference and choose the correct sources for each.

Slavic Women Identities

Ever since I was a young girl, I had always been interested in TV shows. Yes, it can be time consuming, but it has always helped me relax and take a break from reality. After all, that is what you’re doing, you’re participating in someone else’s reality and watching their lives play out before your eyes. My sister and I certainly build our relationship and friendship around watching T.V. shows together, it was our way of bonding. Of course she always got a head of me since she had more free time on her hands. Throughout the years, I can honestly say I have learned so much from a wide variety of characters, and the majority of them have shaped the way I live today. My favorite is Meredith Gray from Grey’s Anatomy, she is a strong resilient woman, however, not all female characters are portrayed this way. A pattern that I have noticed throughout social media and the film industry is that Slavic women are often misrepresented in popular culture, particularly T.V shows, and the characteristics often assigned to these characters are negative ones. The character of a Slavic woman is very stereotypical and can lead to an over generalization of the entire group of females.


After some extensive research, I realized that I am not the Slavic woman that the media displays us to be. One of the sources that immediately came up to mind is a show called Jane the Virgin. The character I am referring to is Yael Grobglas. She is originally from Czech Republic. This character is perfect example because she perfectly portrays what the media sees Slavic to be, which is completely misleading. In this show, her character is lying, jealous, and deceiving, manipulative. For example, in one of the episodes she purposely inseminated herself with her ex husband’s sperm, she did this because she wanted to restore their marriage and she thought that if she had his child he would want her back in her life. Her character is very jealous and manipulative. Yael did this without thinking about the consequences and without consent. She proceeded with her own desires and wants. Throughout the show she lies about murders that people have committed and even helps cover up evidence. This behavior is a pattern that I’ve noticed of her character throughout the show. Despite her mistakes, Petra has a change of heart.


The source that I have selected summarizes and gives a better description of what happened at this specific Mother’s Day event in the show. I choose this particular event because it is a turning point for this character Petra, “Yael Grobglas is doing strong work making her a captivating addition to the cast by positioning her as an extreme contrast to her twin sister.” She puts all of her selfishness aside and creates a special brunch for her friends and family, something that is very unexpected of her because of her relationship with each of the individuals. She surprises everyone with her commitment to make these relationships work and reunited all of the people that truly have a great impact on her life. This comes to show that the core of a Slavic woman’s character is loving, enduring, and forgiving. The media often does not show this viewpoint, which is why Petra (Grobglas) is such a great character, she displays both the positive and negative characteristics of a Slavic woman.

This scene in the show is a turning point for Petra, she was never one to show personal interest and concern for her friends and family. Her character was emotionless and cold. Nonetheless, the young lady has transformed and evolved. This change doesn’t happen overnight, it happened throughout several episodes, I think her turning point was when she makes the effort to restore her family and truly forgive.


According to an article that I’ve research called, Way to Russia, written by Dmitry Paranyukshkin, and published on January 30, 2015, he talks about three main points, the environment, statistics and sexual desire for Russian women. A Russian girl’s character is shaped by her environment. Most of Russian girls live/lived in an environment that is no where near friendly, its often aggressive, manipulative, it full of lies, and drama. So like anyone, they develop an attitude in order to protect themselves. Throughout the media I have noticed that Russian women are typically used for sex, or sexual desire, this article says that “on average people search for the “Russian Girls” about 1 million times a month. We also see that most of the searches occur in the context of “dating” and “sexy”.” This furthers supports may claim that more often Russian females are looked at as objects of sexual desire. For example, in the movie Saint Vincent, Naomi Watts plays a Slavic prostitute.

Prostitution is a misleading identity in the Slavic community. I personally don’t know anyone that is a prostitute or has ever been one, the media makes it seem as though they are common. A lot of our Slavic mothers, sisters, and daughters are home makers, business owners, entrepreneurs, musicians. This perspective needs to be uncovered in popular culture. I come from a Slavic community and background and I can say with confidence that being a Slavic is amazing, the food, the culture, the traditions. We are very family oriented and protect our people, we carry traditions from generation to generation especially when it comes down to homemade recipes. I think I can speak for most Slavic woman when I say that our character is honest, it may be rude at times but we don’t like to sugar coat the truth. Another character trait that I find common the Slavic community is the work ethic. I constantly see this in my parents, they are always available for opportunities in their businesses, I am proud to say that I have inherited that work ethic and always look forward to improving and growing.

Popular culture can be interesting; it seems as though it only focuses on the negative stereotypes. I would love to see more honest Slavic characters in the T.V. show and film industry.


Learning moments. . .

Throughout this term I have learned how to use the PSU library effectively. How to narrow down my searches and dig for the information that only relates to me. I’ve known how to use the library prior to this class, however, since we had to do so much research for primary and secondary sources, the PSU library Guide has been a life savor.

A learning moment for me has been Week 9- Media Literacy. The course blog for this week was really interesting and informative, especially in the text, Media Literacy: An Alternative to Censorship. This showed me a new perspective into the literacy world and how important it is for everyone to have this skill in today’s society.


Works cited

Paranyushkin, D. (2015). Russian Girls: Stereotypes, Statistics and Sexual Desire. Retrieved November 14, 2016, from http://waytorussia.net/WhatIsRussia/Women/YoungWomen.html

Sava, O. (2016). Jane and Petra face off on <i>Jane The Virgin</i>’s Mother’s Day showdown. Retrieved November 14, 2016, from http://www.avclub.com/tvclub/jane-and-petra-face-jane-virgins-mothers-day-showd-236167

@. (2016). Season 2 GIF – Find & Share on GIPHY. Retrieved November 30, 2016, from http://giphy.com/gifs/jane-villanueva-jtvedit-jtv-kVx5JZQRcUMCI
@. (2016). ABC Network GIF – Find & Share on GIPHY. Retrieved November 30, 2016, from http://giphy.com/gifs/abcnetwork-greys-anatomy-greysanatomy-3ornk5RuEgyXqD1y6s


















Stereotypes, Strides, and Setbacks of Professional Women

Women have made great strides throughout history, with revolutionary acts stretching from the right to vote, to the ownership of businesses, progress in the professional workplace, and so many beyond. However, while women have made so many great strides throughout history, we are far from complete. It is the end of 2016 and despite the great strides we’ve made to this point, we are still faced with a multitude of stereotypical problems both in and out of the workplace. The movies I have chosen to analyze, take place over a recent ten-year span, and yet to this day women face the same problems.

The Movies

The Intern (2015) is a movie is focused primarily on two characters, whom appear to be distinct opposites. Ben (Robert deNiro), the retired widower who is looking to get back into a scheduled working life (the intern), and Jules (Anne Hathaway), who is the founder of a rapidly growing, and increasingly popular online fashion site. Simply, it is a heartwarming movie that appeals the a large majority of people, but with perspective, it is a movie that depicts a successful woman, challenged with stereotypical problems, as well as her battle and growth to overcome them. Jules is a star. An overworked, nonstop, blur of a star. She is a mom to an adorable little girl and wife to newly turned stay at home dad. Once she embarked on her journey to chase her dream and start her own company, her then successful husband decided to step down and let her pursue this dream. In an incredibly short time frame, her business rapidly grew, and continues to do so, presenting her with a large amount of managerial responsibilities, problems, and non stop activity. While she seemingly appears to be a pro at it all, we quickly come to realize her dilemma of being told that it is time for her to consider hiring a CEO, and taking a step back so someone more experienced with growing companies can step in. Supposedly, this is best for the overall good of the company and well as Jules herself, but why would she want to give her company to someone else? She loves to be hands on and involved in every single aspect of this company and now she is being pushed to let go. While dealing with her professional dilemma, she is also faced with personal problems as well. She finds that while she is being judged by the stay at home moms, among other common annoyances, her husband has been having an affair. Thus, seemingly by hiring a CEO she will have more time at home, and be able to save her marriage while remaining the founder of her business, but with little to no power compared to what she knows. 

I also chose to analyze a movie review from The New York Times. This article was written as a review for The Intern, however while touching on the characters and plot, the article focuses more on the director, Nancy Meyers. I found this article both interesting and helpful because it contemplates the values and style of the director in relation to those of the movie. This is a great real world tie to the fictional one of the movie, that compares two professional women, one with total power over the other.

The Devil Wears Prada (2006) is a movie focused around women in the workplace. It focuses on Andy (Anne Hathaway) and Miranda (Meryl Streep) and the way that they do and don’t work together. Andy is a want to be journalist trying to make it and make ends meet in New York City. Miranda is the editor-in-chief of one of the biggest fashion magazines in the world. Andy is a journalist and businesswoman who is beginning her journey into the professional world, and realizing just how demanding and hard it can be. Miranda is an experienced and cut-throat businesswoman who is no doubt demanding and very intense. Throughout the movie, Miranda makes Andy’s life extremely difficult, and Andy soon adapts and conforms to better fit in and “survive.” The dilemmas faced by the professional women in this movie are endless. Everything from being labeled “ice queen” and expected to have a boyfriend at every second, are stereotypes that these women are berated with, and many except and conform, while others do not. 

I also chose to analyze a movie review from The New York Times. This article is an in-depth analysis of the film The Devil Wears Prada. This analysis is very well written and thought out. The article relates the movie to the book, and both to the real world. It describes the morals, and the depiction of each character. As well as this article, I referred to multiple personal blogs and “rants.”

The Stereotypes


To simply state the multitude of stereotypes professional women face would be impossible. The list includes:

Women being seen as weak compared to men.

  • Men commonly see women as gentler and not as ruthless, which easily undermines their authority and creates a mentality that women are not able to hold their own.
  • In The Intern, Jules is seen as incompetent to run her own business as its rapidly expanding.
  • In the Devil Wears Prada, Miranda constantly has to keep the icy, assertive demeanor to keep her position and be seen as powerful. Andy is also constantly compared to men, as she is in a fashion industry but aspires to be a journalist.

Being expected to quit their jobs to have children and be their primary caregiver.

  • For some reason women are expected to choose between a career and a family. Even when jobs try to accommodate new mothers, they act as though the woman will be the child’s primary caregiver.
  • In The Intern, Jules was her daughter;s primary care giver until she pursued her dream, but is expected to hire a CEO and go back to being more of a mother and wife as her business grows.

They are judged harshly when voicing their opinion – seen as icy or abrasive.

  • While men are respected for being assertive, direct, or persistent, women are often seen as abrasive or cold when they assert themselves and state their opinion. Ironically, women’s opinions and ideas will often be cast aside unless they are vocal and persistent.
  • In The Intern, Jules is seen as cold and sporadic, but only because she is a strong leader and manages her company so closely.
  • In The Devil Wears Prada, Miranda is seen as well “the devil” with an icy demeanor because of how she carries herself and is assertive, blatant, and blunt. Andy quickly gives in to the world of fashion, and as she essentially “sells her soul” she becomes seen as a mini version of Miranda.

They are expected to have good “soft” skills, being able to be feminine and complete simple tasks.

  • Women are often expected to be good communicators and warm welcoming business associates, and are often given simple tasks that they are assumed to be better at. ie: Cleaning, answering phones, making coffee, etc.
  • In both movies, the women are expected to be stereotypical warm and welcoming secretary types.

They are seen as secondary to their husbands and male coworkers.

  • Whether a professional or casual setting, often times women are seen as second to their husbands, whether it be being asked about their husbands careers and not their own, or even just being overlooked when being handed the bill at the end of a meal.
  • In The Intern, Jules is often being judged by the other moms at her daughters school for being a working mom, and she is constantly trying to keep up with her relationship with her husband, trying not to let it fall through the cracks.
  • In The Devil Wears Prada, Miranda is about to divorce her second husband, and is often compared to men. Andy, is practically berated for missing her boyfriend’s birthday, and while he (being a struggling chef in NYC) is in a similar boat to her own, everyone takes his side and he is seen as the victim in their relationship.

They are judged more on their appearance then men.

  • Women are often judged first and foremost on their appearance, being expected to be pretty and pleasing to look at.
  • In The Intern, Andy is always prestige in appearance while the young men she works with are unshaven, in sweats, and are un caring in appearance.
  • In The Devil Wears Prada, their entire world is circulated around appearance, and upon her first appearances, Andy is terrible judged by her disinterest in fashion and style.

These stereotypes are just a few of the most common out of a much larger multitude. Other common problems include, difference in pay, being a minority in many engineering and IT similar fields, and much more. With it being 2016, shouldn’t we be far beyond these stereotypes? Andy suffers because her husband felt inadequate and people are doubting her ability to control and run her business. Miranda is so harsh because if she shows emotion, she will be seen as weak and less powerful.


Being a business woman, myself, I have faced these stereotypes, among other as well. The biggest and most common issue I have faced is being seen as weak due to having Type One Diabetes, where when I have had male coworkers with the same thing, they are treated no differently. I have also seen women with far more qualifications being overlooked for promotions and higher level positions when up against men. Weiden and Kennedy, is one company that is geared to being an exception to these stereotypes, with a group of women in the company whom call themselves the 51%. The women make up 51% of the employees. Both of these movies not only depict women in professional settings, but they include out-of-work scenarios, as well as creative industries.


While women have made so many incredible strides throughout history, even today in the year 2016, we are facing a multitude of stereotypes in professional settings. Whether it be unequal pay, being compared to men, or facing unfair expectations, women are fighting everyday to achieve their dreams while still being faced with typical problems. Both movies that I have analyzed give examples of these stereotypes and take place 10 years apart. They provide true examples, and depict how even ten years later, women are still being confronted with the same problems. With continued efforts on both the parts of men and women, hopefully one day soon, these stereotypes and problems that women face with be another conquered remembrance.

Learning Moments

  1. I definitely learned a lot from the commercial and advertisement analysis that we did for the Big Picture Blog Posts. It helped me to analyze gender stereotypes in popular culture, and it also helped me look beyond the content of the commercials and into the company that owns the products, as well as the agency that represents that company. This allows you to research and think about how they came to the conclusion to produce the ad that they did, as well as why.
  2. A second learning moment that I found valuable was the completion of the research analysis and annotated bibliography assignments. These as well as the library resources really gave me a better understanding of secondary sources and allowed me to analyze all of my resources and ideas further than I might have done previously. I also became aware of just how many resources are available to us as students.

Works Cited

  • Frankel, D. (Director). (2006). The Devil Wears Prada [Motion picture on DVD]. United States.
  • Meyers, N. (Director). (2015). The Intern [Motion picture]. United States.

Oregon’s Timber Farmers in the Media

By Daniel Durecka


            In the modern world, a single person can represent an utterly vast quantity of cultural influences. Of personal significance to me is the identity of profession. My family has grown timber for multiple generations now; our heritage contributes this identity. Researching the representation of Oregon’s timber farmers as they are portrayed in the media yielded a mixture of both surprising and saddening conclusions that present problems needing resolutions. Journalism in Oregon tends to represent small-scale timber farmers as both greedy and damaging to the environment, which unjustly reflects stereotypes stemming from a lack of interaction permeating through Oregon residents.

Beliefs in the importance of environmentally friendly practices have shifted dramatically throughout the past 100 years. Practices once deemed acceptable and industry standard are increasingly criticized as destructive and careless by the American public. Oregon hosts a strong community of environmentally conscious writers which echo this kind of rhetoric. Forest for the Trees – Crisis in Oregon’s Privately-Owned Timberlands, an article written for the Salem Weekly by Helen Caswell, exemplifies this stance on the modern timber industry. The article criticises Oregon’s legislature for ineffectiveness in the face of private timberland owners practicing destructive agriculture, leaving “long-term deforestation and… degradation,” (Caswell, Forest for the Trees…). The article includes a quotation of John Talberth, an environmentally conscious economist, who states “Large industrial forestland owners are clearly the worst,” (Caswell, Forest for the Trees…), referring to the manifestation of damaging agricultural practices. While highlighting the industrial producers, the article does not discount the role small-scale timber farmers play in the problem. Regardless of the degree to which the differing sectors contribute, the attitude expressed towards timber farmers as a whole is negative.

Caswell’s article does, however, include a select few publicized timber farmers who are presented as success stories set in environmentally conscious operating conditions. One of these examples is Hyla Woods, which received coverage in Oregon’s foremost outdoors television program, Oregon Field Guide. The 10 minute showcase can be viewed here:


Hyla Woods, owned and operated by a single family, offers complementary views to the article’s stance on destructive forest practices in Oregon. Their position, which is used in part as a marketing pitch to local consumers, is one of lead by example. Good stewardship is praised in the report, educating viewers on the significance of diverse and healthy stands of trees. But one question remains unanswered: of the less publicized family owned forests in Oregon, how many follow a similar pattern of environmentally conscious agricultural practices? In my research, I was unable to find a figure representing even a rough estimate. If small, private timber farmers are moving towards greener practices, media sources are celebrating only those which choose to openly publicize their contributions to improving the environment. A research survey presented by the University of Colorado, Modelling Associations Between Public Understanding, Engagement And Forest Conditions In The Inland Northwest written by Joel Hartter, found that among the surveyed Oregonians, “…widespread perception among the general public and the forest landowners of the region that declining forest conditions and wildfire is a pervasive risk,” (Hartter, 21). These findings affirm that the quality of Oregon’s forests is already of concern to the general public, which includes small timberland owners. Additionally, the research study suggests “Increasing the penetration of forest extension services… may be the leverage point with which forest conditions on private lands may further be improved…” (Hartter, 21), highlighting a seemingly missing link between private owned forests and Oregonians. By increasing public awareness and interaction with Oregon’s private timber sector, the public will gain a better understanding of real conditions in Oregon’s forests.

Another angle presented by Portland area writer Nigel Jaquiss, for Willamette Week, in You Call This a Farm? argues that tax deferrals enjoyed by Oregonians holding land with agricultural potential are being used to accumulate wealth without necessarily partaking in agriculture. Included are a handful of case studies: several owners of properties containing timber stands. The article goes into great detail about both the financial characteristics associated with the property owners and their level of engagement with their agricultural holdings (or lack thereof). Absent, however, is mention of those Oregonians who are actively producing agricultural products (timber products for the purpose of my research) and receiving tax breaks, as the law was intended. Without insight offered on behalf of the law’s intended beneficiaries, the article appears to condemn such tax breaks entirely. The lack of testimony might suggest one of several conclusions. It may be evidence to suggest the public, as influenced by the author among them, are unaware of law’s importance to timber farmers. Once more, there appears to be a lack of information flowing from the private timberland owners to the public, presenting their side of the case.

The question of government intervention in the industry was present in each article and the documentary. Both the authors, and the owners of Hyla Woods, present a sense of disappointment with the Oregon government over its handling of industry regulation. Further research into the question of government involvement in the industry yielded an intriguing article written by Jens Friis Lund, reflecting at a global level on the principle of participatory forestry. The idea behind participatory forestry is simple: put power in the hands of the public to manage forests. Implementation of this sort of model however, has been largely unsuccessful, and the paper mirrors criticism of the government’s mishandling of timber resources. Coming from a scholarly medium, this argument suggests that the problems of government intervention brought about in the articles and documentary are systemic and widespread. However, taking into consideration John Talberth’s comments on the management of Oregon’s timberlands, large timber industry being the greatest offenders should, theoretically, be the biggest targets for regulatory changes. If both the government and corporate timberland owners are gaining significant public criticism for their practices, it may suggest that the small, private timber farmers are leading the industry in better practices.

If this is the case, why aren’t timber farmers celebrated more by the media? John C. Bliss of Oregon State University authored Sustaining Family Forests in Rural Landscapes: Rationale, Challenges, and an Illustration from Oregon, USA, which presents a compelling case for the importance of Oregon’s small-scale timber farmers. Family forests, as he describes, are a bastion against the corporate timber industry that are increasingly threatened by, among other factors, government and more importantly, the lack of strong “social contract”. He cites indifference and unknowing, “…the

American public, which is largely ignorant of the existence of this ownership class.” (Bliss, Sustaining Family Forests). Bliss’ paper is in-depth and specific, a read I personally recommend. Drawing on his conclusions, public awareness is necessary for the survival of family farms. Government regulations, which have otherwise been seen as ineffective, might very well be changed for the better if small-scale timber farmers formed better connections with the public, who have the power to influence politics in the state of Oregon. The media can play a greater role in this relationship, but access and interaction is needed to form a clearer line of communication. Appreciation will only come from knowledge.

The research I’ve done suggests a sorry state of little to no communication between the small timber farmers of Oregon and Oregonians as a whole. But, I am left with a sense of hope. Mass media offers a breakthrough in communications, where any individual can spread a message to masses of listeners worldwide with relative ease. Increasing awareness is going to rely on increasing participation on the part of Oregon’s timber farmers in more widespread engagement activities, and communications across multiple mediums will prove critical to the success of outreach. The research was revealing, and presented an issue that I, as a timber farmer, am now much more aware of, and have a new understanding of not just how the public perceives my identity, but how their perceptions are formed. This realization will be vital in understanding and executing a viable solution.


Reflections from the Term

            If one singular fact resounds from Popular Culture, the word “identity” encompasses a vast composition comprised of each and every cultural input that forms an individual’s uniqueness. For an activity as simple as coming up with words to describe one’s identity, I found this to be of the harder activities of the class. The reason: I’ve come to realize humans have a tendency to place great importance on a few of their identities, and may largely ignore some of their lesser influential aspects that still contribute to their character. The activity provided a good example of how this phenomenon manifests itself in my life. I could think of several words to describe myself by my profession: farming. However, at the time, I hadn’t even thought to include Oregonian, United States citizen, European, the list continues… I eventually chosen to dig more into the agricultural identity, but retain a greater appreciation for a wider variety of the identities that I am comprised of. Taking the time to reflect upon this activity at the end of the class proved ever more revealing, and surprising. Going forward, I feel I will be able to better appreciate the cultural influences stemming from those identities that I might have minimized (or ignored) previously.


One moment in this class I continue to ponder comes perhaps surprising from Professor Bergland’s feedback on my initial proposal for an identity to research. To loosely quote:

“When we hear the term farmer, usually we think about farmers with crops, either who raise animals or who raise food crops. We don’t necessarily think of timber farmers. I think, more likely when people think about timber farmers, they think about Lumber Jacks.” – Professor Bergland

This particular piece of feedback offered me an angle I had neglected to consider. The purpose was simple, yet significant: make sure the audience knew what I was talking about when I stated identifiers like “timber farmer” or “timberland owner”. Growing up with this identity, there was one meaning to me and only one; we are not Lumber Jacks, a completely different identity. However, I had not fully considered that this identity, a relatively small community compared to others, does not necessarily speak for itself. Moreover, my personal understanding of the term cannot be assumed of the audience of my writing. This also ignited in me new questions, questions that influenced the direction I took my research. Not only was it a question of how were timber farmers portrayed in media, but also whether or not the identity existed in the media; does the public know what a timber farmer is? The questions remain debatable, and somewhat reliant on personal interpretation. But the fact of the matter is, these are questions, and very important questions that must be considered thoroughly when looking at any identity. I began to look at other projects with the same question in mind; do I know what this identity means? I will remember this piece of feedback far beyond the scope of this project.




Works Cited

Jens Friis Lund, Paradoxes of participation: The logic of professionalization in participatory forestry, Forest Policy and Economics, Volume 60, November 2015, Pages 1-6, ISSN 1389-9341, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.forpol.2015.07.009.

Bliss, J.C. Small-scale Forest Economics, Management and Policy: Sustaining Family Forests in Rural Landscapes: Rationale, Challenges, and an Illustration from Oregon, USA (2003) 2: 1. doi:10.1007/s11842-003-001-y

Hartter, Joel, et al. “Modelling Associations Between Public Understanding, Engagement And Forest Conditions In The Inland Northwest, USA.” Plos ONE 10.2 (2015): 1-25. Academic Search Premier. Web. 6 Nov. 2016.

Jaquiss, Nigel. You Call This a Farm? Portland: Willamette Week, 2015. <http://www.wweek.com/portland/article-24213-you-call-this-a-farm.html&gt;.

Patton, Vince. Hyla Woods. Portland: OPB, 2015. <http://www.opb.org/television/programs/ofg/segment/hyla-woods/&gt;.

Caswell, Helen. Forest for the Trees – Crisis in Oregon’s Privately-Owned Timberlands. Salem: Salem Weekly, 2016. <http://salemweeklynews.com/2016/02/forest-for-the-trees-crisis-in-oregons-privately-owned-timberlands/&gt;.

Whitewashing Asians in the Film Industry

Hollywood today has been growing for decades, bringing in many with talent, but there is a controversy about how Hollywood is still racist today, or are they? An example of this controversy is that most people will never see an Asian American main character in modern day film, besides the typical martial art films. Why is it that you don’t see an Asian American play a major role in American films today? Well, in The New York Times, Keith Chow says producers do not want to gamble putting minorities as the face of the film (Chow, 2016). Screenwriter, Max Landis says in The New York Times that, “There are no A-list female Asian celebrities right now on an international level” (Chow, 2016), meaning that Asian American celebrities are not known throughout the world, but how can an Asian American make it big if they can’t even get a major role to front their name? Instead, Hollywood plays it safe by casting popular American actors playing Asian characters.

Thesis: Hollywood today is still whitewashing Asian characters that are meant to be portrayed by Asian actors. They’re casting roles for American actors with Asian names, portraying them as Asian, and not giving the role to Asian actors. By doing this, Asian actors will never get the limelight and become well known in the film industry.

What the Media Says:

Breakfast at Tiffany’s

The first artifact that caught my attention was the movie “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”. Long story short, this movie is romantic comedy about a woman named Holly, portrayed by Audrey Hepburn, who falls in love with her neighbor Paul, who is played by George Peppard. Within the movie, there are conflicts between Holly and other men, but at the end, she and Paul admit their love for one another. There are many films where the casting is similar to this, but this movie particularly caught my attention due to the fact that it became a controversy. In this movie, they casted Mickey Rooney, who is a Caucasian American actor, to portray as Mr. Yunioshi who is the Japanese landlord of the apartments that Holly lives in. There was a controversy about this film about yellow facing due to the fact that they made him a stereotypical “Asian”, i.e. big buck teeth, squinty eyes, and is really loud with an Asian accent. This whole scenario could have been prevented by just casting an Asian actor to play this character as who they are but not live the racial stereotype, but apparently there weren’t any Asian actors back then, so instead, the producers of “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” decided that yellow facing it would be a great idea, and caused a racial discussion.


Mickey Rooney has Mr. Yunioshi, the landlord.

Mr. Yunioshi talking: https://youtu.be/Lapak02ct3E?t=8m40s

Doctor Strange

Another artifact that caught my attention was the new movie “Doctor Strange”, where Tilda Swinton portrays an ancient Tibetan monk. Obviously by appearance, Tilda is not Asian at all. On USA TODAY, the director of “Doctor Strange”, Scott Derrickson, told Kelly Lawler from USA TODAY, that he had casted Tilda Swinton to avoid Asian stereotyping, which could have caused a controversy as well (Lawler, 2016). In my opinion, I don’t think that would have caused a controversy because a lot of Asian actors today are known for their cultural aspect, so in my beliefs it would have been more appreciated.


Tilda Swinton as Celtic from “Doctor Strange”.

The Walking Dead

The last artifact that I’ve chosen, and a positive one, is actor Steven Yeun portraying as Glenn, from “The Walking Dead”. The reason why I chose this artifact because he is a factor for breaking through the film industry, showing that Asian actors can be well known. He plays as an Asian-American, more as himself, but in an intense storyline living day by day because of zombies and other problematic issues that come up. He lasted about 7 seasons and then the show followed the comic book and he had to die, but in general, Steven himself put his name out there through this television show. He now has many fans, and is very popular on the internet and talk shows himself.


Steven Yeun as Glenn from “The Walking Dead”.


 Asian characters should be casted by Asian actors, that is that. Yes, there is an argument that the movies today need a main actor with a well known face, but shine a light through these Asian actors; the reason why they aren’t famous is because there isn’t any opportunities for them, or maybe even the director believes that the character for them is too stereotypical. If it’s too stereotypical then they could decide if they want the part, but I believe that it’s best to be stereotypical rather than start a racial controversy on white washing. There is only a handful of well known Asian actors, such as Lucy Liu, Jackie Chan, and now Steven Yeun. These actors became famous by having a major or supporting role in films, and that could be a step for the film industry to reconsider.

Conclusion: All in all, whitewashing or yellow facing characters should not be happening on Hollywood screens. Hollywood has grown to be diverse with many actors of different ethnics, yet the roles are still selective to well known or big actors just because the media already knows their face. There are plenty of Asian actors that could play a role like that, and slowly but surely, they too can become known to the media as well.

Learning Moments

One of my learning moments would have to be from week 9. That was when I realized about media literacy and that you can never have too many sources. It’s best if after you hear something on the news, which seems to be biased, is to do some online research and see if there are other sides to the story. So in general, whatever you see on the news or media, you should take it with a grain of salt.

Another learning moment would be about plagiarizing. I really appreciated high school for teaching us how to cite our sources, and learning to rephrase and such. Plagiarizing especially on the internet is a dangerous thing, due to the fact that anything that is posted on the web, will forever stay on the web even if deleted. So it’s best to type it in your own words, and or even if you use someone’s work, might as well cite it so you aren’t plagiarizing in the first place.

Works Cited

Chow, K. (2016, April 22). Why Won’t Hollywood Cast Asian Actors? Retrieved

November 14, 2016, from



Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Directed by Blake Edwards. Produced by Martin Jurow, and

Richard Shepherd, October 5, 1961. Film.

WatchMojo.com. Top 10 Racially Offensive Yet Funny Movie Characters. Online

video clip. YouTube. YouTube. September 7, 2013. Web. November 14, 2016.

Lawler, K. (2016, November 7). Whitewashing controversy still haunts ‘Doctor

Strange’. Retrieved November 14, 2016, from, http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/entertainthis/2016/11/07/doctor-strange-whitewashing-ancient-one-tilda-swinton-fan-critical-reaction/93416130/

Doctor Strange. Directed by Scott Derrickson. Produced by Kevin Feige. November 4, 2016.


The Walking Dead. Executive Producers Frank Darabont, Gale Anne Hurd ,David

Alpert, Robert Kirkman, Charles H. Eglee, Glen Mazzara, Scott M. Gimple, Greg

Nicotero, and Tom Luse. Produced by Jolly Dalle, Caleb Womble, Paul Gadd,

Heather Bellson. October 31, 2010 – Present. Television Series.