The Portrayal of American and Thai females in Popular Culture

When you think of American and Thai females, what comes into your mind? It may not be good images since many people tend to think movies get an influence from real life. American and Thai females portrayals are similar because they are both aggressive, competitive, and bad influencers, but they are portrayed differently in strict parent, stereotyped and chameleon.

What Media Says:

Girls are portrayed to be aggressive in the media. In Mean Girls, they talk to each other behind their back without sincerity in their Plastic group. Regina George is known to be “Queen B.” in her school. Cady and her original friends made an aggressive plan to make fun of Regina. The female teacher mentions how males would respect females if they still call each other names and act aggressively against each other. Girls don’t even respect each other so why they should respect them? Golden Orange Flower is also one of the popular drama series in Thailand, which is about snatching husbands. Reya wants to be an air hostess and in order to be one she needs to have a bachelor degree, so she sneaks to see the manager and accepts his offer to be his minor wife. She does all the mean things to get what she wants. Moreover, she’s even more aggressive to her own mother, which is very disrespectful in Thailand. After being the manager’s minor wife, she still goes after 2 more guys who are married. In Hormone series, Toei’s girl friends talk behind her back. They’re judgmental because Toei is so cool with many guys since she thinks guys aren’t as complicated as girls. Later, she finds that they talk behind her back, and then she stops being so close to her girl group.

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Girls are portrayed to be competitive. In The Hot Chick, they would try to get at each others throats for cheer competition. In the article, “Competition is a double edged sword for teenage girls.” by Mental Health, states that fierce competition has more serious effect on emotional well-being, which creates stress, depression, and anxiety. Competing to win has less effect on friendship with girls. This affects more of higher levels of depression and loneliness. Before getting into the universities, Thai teenagers have to study really hard, many parents force their children to go to tutoring school after normal school. Because the entrance exam to top university is very hard, this turns their lives into constant competition. The fierce competition forces them to think only for themselves and they all want to be number 1.

Cady Heron from Mean Girls and Sandy from Grease represent American girls as a chameleon. They both change their identities in order to get boys to like them. Cady slowly transforms to be the real Plastic’s leader in place of Regina George and she becomes the new Queen B. Everything that she does shows the audience that she’s a real mean girl without realizing it.

Teenagers are easily influenced from media in how they see Thai and American girls today. The results have influenced both males and females teenagers in a bad way. Cyber bullying is one of bad influences that they receive from the media. It’s an aggressive behavior over the Internet. In Total Telecom Magazine, 41% of American teenagers experience cyber bullying. The young generation can be influenced from online world and see how others are doing bullying. Cyber bullying must not be allowed to continue. It could only get worse because new technology is also progressing so fast.

The media should consider the content of what they show to the mass audience. In 2014, there was a well know case of a mass shooting in Colorado during a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises. The CNN news report stated that the gunman did it because he saw such scene in the movie and he wanted to experience it. In Hormones series, females and males students talk in bad language and have inappropriate behavior in some parts. There are new reports that kids are watching this series without their parents and their behaviors have changed. After that trend, producers always have a warning in the beginning of the episodes that children who are below 18 shouldn’t watch it without parents’ suggestion through the series.

Watching both American and Thai movies, we can clearly see how each culture is different. Thai female are portrayed to be strict. Hormone series shows how Dao has a very strict mom and she tries to force Dao to go to tutoring school even during summer break. Most Thai students always go to tutoring school on the weekend while American students are hanging out after school, playing sports or doing outdoor activities as we can see in Mean Girls. They have their own time instead of studying.

Mean Girls also portrays how American females stereotype themselves in society. The first time when a principle introduces Cady to the class, everyone thinks she would be a black person because Cady is from Africa. Janis is Cady’s original friend who draws lunch table map in the cafeteria differentiated by stereotypes such as Asian nerds, varsity jocks, unfriendly black hotties, and etc.

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Conclusion:

How females are portrayed in popular culture media is an important issue. In today’s society, females are different than how they are portrayed in the movie. Some teenagers don’t know that because they think everyone is supposed to be like in the media. It’s an important subject because media can effect real life. In the real world, gender inequality is quite common. Females are treated differently than males. Beyoncé mentioned, “You know, equality is a myth, and for some reason, everyone accepts the fact that women don’t make as much money as men do. I don’t understand that. Why do we have to take a backseat?” Various media people continue to make females look like they’re inferior than males.

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Learning Moment:

-Discussion post during week 5 has made me realize that I should pay more attention of what goes on in the world. I used to neglect current events. It’s important to know these things in order to be successful in business world since I’m currently a business major. There are many sources of news. Some are true and some are misleading information. I’ve learned that whatever I read, I should read it without any judgment to get all the information that the source wants to inform us.

-I read an article by Rosin during discussion in week 2. Rosin states how society makes fun of dads who stay home and take care of their children in some movies i.e. American Dad. Fathers are expected to be working for raising the family. That’s the stereotype of a dad. It surprises to me that a father can be responsible to raising kids and stay at home. Since it’s usually a job for mom. It doesn’t mean that fathers can’t do it. I believe when couples want to have kids, they both are ready to great take great responsibility of another life. However, I can see why fathers are portrayed in such way in pop culture media because the higher rate of teenagers is pregnant when they’re not really ready.

Reference

“41% of US teenagers experience cyber-bullying.” Total Telecom Magazine, 19 Jan. 2012. Business Collection, go.galegroup.com/ps/i.do?p=ITBC&sw=w&u=s1185784&v=2.1&id=GALE%7CA277541014&it=r&asid=01f625adf6f70edae176685411da914b. Accessed 3 Nov. 2016.

“Competition is a double-edged sword for teenage girls.” Mental Health Weekly Digest, 19 July 2010, p. 55. General OneFile. <http://go.galegroup.com.proxy.lib.pdx.edu/ps/i.do?&id=GALE|A231882609&v=2.1&u=s1185784&it=r&p=ITOF&sw=w&authCount=1#>

Duncan, Kirsty. “Will Canada Commit To Addressing Gender Inequality in 2015?” The Huffington Post. N.p., 12 Jan. 2015. Web. 13 Nov. 2016. < http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/kirsty-duncan-/canada-gender-gap-_b_6448758.html >

Gonzales, By Erica. “22 Celebrity Women on Gender Inequality in Hollywood.” Harper’s BAZAAR. N.p., 26 Aug. 2016. Web. 13 Nov. 2016. <http://www.harpersbazaar.com/culture/a12666/sexism-in-hollywood/>

Punpun Sutatta. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Nov. 2016. < https://www.tumblr.com/search/punpun%20sutatta >

“Quotes.” Pinterest. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Nov. 2016. < https://www.pinterest.com/pin/544443042424688972/ >

“Stereotypes & Gender Roles.” You Cant Sit With Us. N.p., 10 Nov. 2013. Web. 13 Nov. 2016. < https://meanprgrads.wordpress.com/stereotypes-gender-roles-2/&gt;

Stuartbrazellofficial. “HomeTHE 10 BEST ‘MEAN GIRLS’ QUOTES.” Dirty and Thirty RSS. N.p., 03 Oct. 2015. Web. 13 Nov. 2016.< http://www.dirtyandthirty.com/dirt-of-the-day/10-best-mean-girls-quotes/ >

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One thought on “The Portrayal of American and Thai females in Popular Culture

  1. Hi Karnsinee!
    Your post was super interesting. I have never seen a Thai show before, but from your description I could tell how different their media industry is compared to America. It’s interesting to see how Thai portrays women in a strict manner, while America is more about freedom. I never really see how people are forced to go to cram school or even study outside of school in American television series, but this is super common in Asian media. It’s interesting to see two different sides in both cultures, and it would be interesting if they switch their customs. I’d like to see this to happen in the future, and it would be even more interesting if it combined all the cultures in one, like Thai, Japanese, American and more. I’d also like to see more media contents related to Thai, because I never really see them often. Nice job!

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