The media plays a large role ruling almost everything and everyone and creating social norms in today’s society. Because there are so many various ways to consume media through advertisements, television, and magazines, it’s almost impossible not to think about it. This is the starting line from where stereotypes are perpetuated and presented in the media, sometimes intentionally and sometimes not. Myself, coming from a conservative European background, and being a woman, i’m expected to clean, cook and be a stay at home mother. This by no means is a gender role assigned and portrayed through various forms of influenced media that should not be admired. By closer examining advertisements, movies/films, and articles, I was able to find many different ways women are stereotyped in the media.
Wonder Woman is a revolutionary female superhero film and is a successful victory that deserves to be recognized for having a lead female actress, Gal Gadot, and a female director, Patty Jenkins.The production of this movie is an advancement for women living in this country and even in Hollywood production.The article, Inequality in 700 popular films opened my eyes to realize how poorly underrepresented groups/genders are portrayed in films and the immensity of the inequalities that are distributed within the making of the films. In the article, statistics show that across the 100 top films of 2014, only 15.8% of content creators working as directors, writers, and producers were women.Although it was directed by a woman and was classified to be a feminist empowerment movie, there’s a controversial side as well, coming from a sexual objectification standpoint. Women are already underrepresented in films, and when there are films such as Wonder Women, with a strong female character rold , the film industries still feel the need to objectify women, and make them feel weak as if they must be saved or liberated by man. Not to mention, Chris Pine’s role as the protagonist for the most part of the movie, while Diana just took demands from him. The only ultimate heroic act she displays is at the end when she has her final battles, whereas for the other part of the movie she’s just biding to him. Also the fact that her beauty is showcased and acknowledged throughout the movie undermines the purpose of her heroic traits. Not that there is something wrong with showcasing beauty on screen, but that takes away the moral of the the films dialogue regarding the heroine part of it. Instead of upholding the truths of her cultural past and Godly power inheritance, it takes away the empowerment part of the films agenda.
Killing Us Softly:
Killing Us Softly 4 Advertising’s Image of Women is the newest update of Jean Kilbourne’s examination of the way female bodies are scrutinized, objectified and derided in advertisements. Kilbourne portrays countless images she’s collected over the years. Though the ads seen in this film offer a wide variety of products, they share an unsettling common ground in the way they use a narrow, unattainable standard of female beauty and sexuality to sell them. The result is damaging to our collective psyches as far as the way we view real women and ourselves.
From this film, I can relate to the messages that it sends because, advertisements influence the clothes I wear and things that I like. This film also relates to my topic of how women are stereotyped and portrayed, even in the media. We get caught up to aspire the looks we see on television and in advertisements.
Gender Stereotype Susceptibility:
Gender Stereotype Susceptibility is a research article about stereotypes on males and females and how females are more influenced and affected by stereotypes. The article says that gender affects the performance on a variety of cognitive tasks and how they impact many cultural factors all because of our gender. The results are that there is a more pronounced impact on females, and that the valence of stereotype messages affect performances and negative influences are much stronger than those of the positive ones. The article deeper explores how gender relates to fluctuations in both cognition and behavior.
The way I can relate to this article is that since i’m a female and identify as one I am also influenced by stereotypes. It makes sense that females are impacted much more when it comes to the stereotype messages than men, and that’s also because we are known to be ‘weaker’. That again is another stereotype, that men are stronger and tougher, and women are weak.
A learning moment that came to me was during week 5 when we talked about Reflections in Hollywood films. There was an article that showed statistic on how underrepresented groups are protonated in Hollywood films. It was interesting to read about the Race and Ethnicity of characters coded in the top 100 films in 2014. Of all characters, 73.1% were white, whereas the rest were split between underrepresented racial/ ethnic groups. The statistics show that just over a quarter of characters in action and adventure films are from underrepresented groups, and this represents no change from 2007-2014. In comparison to the the top animated films of 2007, there has been an increase of underrepresented characters of 25.4%. Also in 2014 there were 17 films that did not feature on single black or African American character, and to compare that to directors, only 4.7% of directors were black across the top 100 films. These statistics show just how poorly underrepresented groups are portrayed in films, and shows an immense of inequalities within films. The statistics from this article helped to make some ties with how females are represented throughout films and associated with my research.
Bastien, A. J. (2017, June 02). Wonder Woman Movie Review & Film Summary (2017) | Roger Ebert. Retrieved November 28, 2017, from
Jhally, S. (Director). (2010). Killing Us Softly 4: Advertising’s Image of Women [Film]. Cambridge Documentary films Inc.
Pavlova, M., Weber, S., Simoes, E., & Sokolov, A. (2014). Gender Stereotype Susceptibility. PLoS ONE, 9(12), PLoS ONE, Dec 17, 2014, Vol.9(12).
Media, Diversity, & Social Change Initiative. (n.d.). Retrieved November 28, 2017.
Male vs Female Gaze in Cinema
Cinema is a male dominated environment where a majority of the films are directed, produced, and written by men. This creates an art form in which the underrepresented population must adapt to the perspective of the better represented population. Women specifically are made out to be “fantasies and obsessions through linguistic command by imposing on them the silent image of women still tied to her place as bearer of meaning, not maker of meaning” to the male gaze (Mulvey, 56). The theory of male gaze in cinema is a prominent topic for its relevancy throughout film’s vast history, since a majority of the first films were made by men it has become the new medium for people to experience films in the perspective of a hererotsexual man. This leads to the objectification of women and plots and stories that are only relatable to heterosexual men, leaving out a huge market of potential consumers for the art. There has been a huge push starting in the 70’s for film to include a more feminine, or female gaze, driven dialogue, in which women are the dominant protagonists in the films to open a more diverse narrative. With this new dialogue in place the future will see the male gaze become part of the past with new forms of narrative guiding society to a future with a more respectable view for women in cinema, on and off the screen, creating a more diverse cinematic universe.
Cinema is a humongous part of our culture and can drive the forming of new perspectives not only for ourselves, but for those around us. Films help to bring attention to issues we may have never known existed, helping to enlighten our everyday lives for the better. Although, when viewing blockbuster hits, such as the Marvel superhero franchises it is a common trope to see women being objectified whether is by their clothing or the weight of their roles in the movie. This is a good representation of how the male gaze seeps its way into cinema in the most mundane films. The male gaze in cinema has a great affect on “how men look at women, how women look at themselves and finally, how women look at other women” all in the lens of an objectifying tone (Sampson). Laura Mulvey explains in her essay “Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema” that women are feared by men for women are seen as symbolizing “the castration threat, by her real absence of a penis” (Mulvey, 57). This fear fuels the desire for men to either objectify and sexualize the woman for she lacks, becoming obsessed by the foreign form or punishing her for her inability to be born as a man. Because of this fear of losing one’s manhood, or castration, women are showcased to be the opposing force to men, representing his temptation or possible downfall. In cinema the castration theory can be seen in the most subtle of ways which can stem from the very technique of the camera.
It is theorized that the camera is the physical embodiment of the male gaze in cinema. The camera has the ability to capture the most minute details, this ability that the camera possesses exemplifies the male gaze in cinema through camera and editing techniques to centralize the on the man. Often when a woman comes onto the screen she is something for the male character to fawn over. She can become a potential love interest or the sexual desire for the man. This is done by reaction shots, when the camera points towards the male’s face and then we immediately follow his gaze which is the woman entering the scene. Another way close ups can be used is bringing attention the woman’s cleavage or any bare skin that she might be showing in the scene. This trope is often seen in teen flicks where the once “ugly duckling” is turned into a beauty all for the attention and admiration of the boy she wishes to date. A prime example of this is in the film John Tucker Must Die which takes the nerd to beauty trope and gives a little comedic spin. There is a group of girls, they are the “hot” girls of the school, and they all found out they are dating the same person, which is John Tucker. They take the average new girl Kate, played by Brittany Snow, and turn her into a woman of John’s dreams. The girls are always focused on John Tucker and pride themselves on the ability to attract a man attention and they teach these skills to Kate so she can become the ideal woman. Towards the end of the film they begin to make a video to get back at John citing the words he told all of them when he broke up with them. This scene is intercut with John telling them those words as they say the same words into a camera. This brings the attention back to John rather than the scene being a potentially empowering scene for the girls when they are throwing the words back at him. By cutting in shots of him with shots it takes that potentially empowering tone and makes of a weak cry for revenge, which plays well with the plot of the film. The film also ends with the women feeling sorry for John and what they have done which agains brings the attention back the male’s feeling and perspective.
John Tucker Must Die is an interesting film as far as its approach to male gaze for the fact that is was also directed by a woman. This brings the question into play of if a woman directs a film, does that automatically make the perspective from a female’s point of view? From films like John Tucker Must Die it is seen that whether a film is directed by a man or woman, this has nothing to do with the film portraying a male or female gaze. There are countless scene in John Tucker Must Die that rely heavily on the male gaze to complete the themes of nerdy girl to hot girl with a revenge twist to the plot. One of the more well known scenes in John Tucker Must Die is when Kate is receiving kissing lessons from Beth, played by Sophia Bush. The two girls lightly kiss they are then caught be a teenage boy who proclaims to “kiss her again” bringing the attention back to men and their obsession with female sexuality especially when this sexuality is being emitted towards another female. The sexual exploitation of women is used so much in film for “the male figure cannot bear the burden of sexual objectification” (Mulvey, 63).
It is important to remember that allowing the camera to embody the female gaze in cinema does not necessarily require a female director, although that can never hurt. The female gaze in cinema is not defined by the gender of the director, but how the characters are portrayed, and how the story is told by said director. In movies such as John Tucker Must Die the male gaze is focused on through constant objectification of women by seeing John date a wide variety of women, and then in end not even changing his ways, the need for attention the main group of women desire from their male peers, and the way the female characters are dressed to exemplify various aspects of their bodies. These characteristics are common in films that focus on the male gaze, and are therefore common in most films all together.
In blockbuster hits, such as The Transformers the objectification of becomes a common theme in the franchise. Director Michael Bay continously feels the need to include female characters, but only as the beautiful assistant to the main male lead. The first offense started in the first Transformers movie with Megan Fox being the romantic interest to Shia LaBeouf’s character. One of the most notable scenes where the male gaze is most prevalent in the film is when Sam Witwicky’s, Shia LaBeouf’s character, car breaks down when he giving Mikaela Banes, Megan Fox’s character, a ride home. In this scene Megan fox can be seen leaning over the front of the car in revealing clothing fixing the problem with the car. Through the lens of the male gaze we witness the objectification of Megan Fox and her only real role in the movie is to be the “hot” girl for which Shia LaBeouf to fawn over and save. The focus on the male gaze is starting to be hidden behind women being intelligent in some way, but still the main factor of them is that they are good looking. Mikaela is a knowledgeable character when is comes to cars yet this knowledge is only put into place during scenes where she sexily leaning over various vehicles. In Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen the opening scene introducing Mikaela back into the film shows he Megan Fox leaning over a motorcycle as she tinkers with it in a body shop. She is bent over the motorcycle with the camera shooting towards her butt giving a very clear example of how women are thoroughly objectified through the embodiment of the male gaze through camera positioning, techniques, and editing techniques.
The female gaze in films is not solely based on if the film centers around women, which in John Tucker Must Die case it did. The female gaze is based more on how those female characters are portrayed and treated. Female characters can often be seen as having a strong and dominant presence in the film, and by having this presence the films focusing on a female gaze often have the a woman as the main character. In recent times there is more and more of a push from audiences to have a powerful leading lady in movies. This can be seen in the success in films such as The Hunger Games trilogy and the most recent the new Wonder Woman film. Both of these films feature not only powerful, strong willed leading women, but they are also action movies, in which women are not normally allowed to be seen in such a masculine light.
Female’s being featured as the tough protagonist in films exemplifies the female gaze for it does not put a beauty glow on women when in normal situations it would call for the exact opposite if featuring a male character. It is common for it to be okay, even at times attractive, for men to be covered in filth after completing a tumultuous journey coming out the hero of the film, while their female counterparts are always seen as perfectly primped and clean after finishing the same adventure. This creates an unrealistic standard for women always to put beauty first and foremost. Although in the newer films coming out that feature women getting filthy when the situation calls, you can see the female being in films becoming more humanized instead being just the object for the man to save and then bed in the films. In The Hunger Games you not only see the emotional turmoil that Katniss goes through, but also the physical abuse that she must endure. You see her cut, beaten, and stung so bad that massive warts form on her hands and neck shedding the light on the fact that women are not meant to be art looked upon by men.
Films featuring the female gaze are starting to focus more on the gritty realism of empowering females. In Suffragette, women are the main focus and the empowerment of those women is the story and plot. It focuses on a group of women as they fight for their right to vote in Britain. You see as they are willing to become physically aggressive for their cause, which is not something normally portrayed in films featuring women. The film focuses on the emotional journey for these women as they fight for their rights. The director, Sarah Gavron, use uptight close up shots that focuses on the women’s faces to show the emotional and mental turmoil that they go through throughout the film.
Unlike in films where the male gaze is dominant the close up is used to feature the characters mental state rather than the various skin showing on her body. By doing so the audience creates a connection with the character that is mostly given to the male characters in male dominant movies.
From the beginning of the film it is shown that women are going to be the ones taking action. It is not to far into the film where we get a scene of women coming out of the crowd as they line up to create organized chaos, as they throw stones into a store front window. As they throw each stone you hear them yell “for the right to vote!” You see the main character Maud Watts, Carey Mulligan, run from the violent scene as she is still in the persona of domestic women, but she can not outrun her desire for justice. Before she gets away completely she makes eye contact with a fellow co-worker of her’, Violet Miller, as she partakes in the stone throwing. When she meets up with this co-worker later and asks her why she partook in such destruction and did not respect the law Miller simply answers “I’ll respect the law when it respects me” a truly powerful line to sum up the tone of the film. As stated before it is not necessarily if a film features a woman as the main character or if a woman directs the film, it is what is done to the story and women in the film to truly create a film focused on female gaze. This film starts off by showing women participating in violent acts, speaking for their rights, and given them empowering statements that can send shivers down your spine. In these ways Gavron used the female gaze to create a film that does not back down from the heavy topic of equality for women and the strong role it plays not only then, but also in our society today.
Suffragette shows a group of women working together for the basic rights of humanity. This a trope that should be used a lot more in films that focus on the female gaze. It is common misconception that women must compete against each for the attention of men, much like what was shown in John Tucker Must Die, although for some of the films that feature strong, independent leads they normally do not feature many female characters besides the lead. Like in the Hunger Games, Katniss is a strong character sacrificing herself for her sister, yet through the films she is constantly surrounded by men. Although there is something empowering of seeing a woman hold her own in a group of men, it is a common trope that is used to show the female lead to be more tough and masculine. In Suffragette the women come together from their daily routines of being mothers and wives to fight for their rights and future women’s rights. They do not need to hold their own in a room full of men for they all prove time and time again that they are more than capable of handling themselves. The power that comes from the films where one woman is surrounded by men is felt in the masses of women who are willing to literally fight for their cause.
The female gaze in cinema can do more than just highlight the ever growing empowerment of women in cinema. It can also help to emphasize the need for equality for not just women, but people of color as well. Although Suffragette offers a great narrative for analyzing the female gaze in film it lacks a huge amount of diversity in the film. The entire main cast is white and even a majority of the extras are white as well. The theory of female gaze opens discussion of proper representation in films, and this can be applied to proper representation in diversity of both race and gender. A recent film to accomplish this narrative is Hidden Figures which not only incorporates the importance of the female gaze, but also intertwines this with the importance of representation for people of color and even more specifically women of color.
The inclusion of the female gaze in cinema is becoming more common now and days, but much like the early forms of feminism it is being held for white female empowerment rather than including all female empowerment. It is important to understand how women can still be objectified in films even if the film seems to have a vast majority of the female gaze characteristics. This is done when the film focuses on feminine empowerment, but seems to leave out a good number of women, the women of color. In films such as Suffragette the audience can see the female gaze being well formed throughout the film giving the spotlight to women for who they are and not what men perceive them to be. Yet the film can not be truly be a form of the embodiment of the female gaze in cinema for it is missing the representation of women of color as well. In that powerful first scene where women are throwing stones into the storefront window there is no woman of color insight. Therefore the female gaze can only truly be embodied in cinema with the inclusion of all women and not just white female empowerment.
The film follows three women of color all employed at NASA working to help NASA beat the soviets into space. This women not only fight to prove they are just as smart, if not smarter, than their male associates, but also fight to prove that no matter the color of their skin they are the best of the best. Again the incorporation of female empowerment through groups of women coming together is portrayed in this film. All these women are working towards the same cause and by doing so they work together and build each other up. One of the most compelling scenes in the film is when Katherine G. Johnson is given the floor to speak in a boardroom filled with white men. Again the camera is fixated on her face as she begins to explain the theory. The audience’s full attention is words and her intellectual power instead of the close ups that objectify women for the male gaze. Flipping the narrative of what was first theorized from the male gaze using close ups to objectify women and bring ownership to various body parts for men’s viewership.
The incorporation of the female gaze in cinema is important not only for the advancement of storytelling, but also for tomorrow’s youth. Cinema has a huge influence in our culture and by creating a more open dialogue for women to be represented as people and not the object for men’s desire can help to shape our society for the better. The increase in cinema featuring the female gaze has made for a lot of change in cinema, but there is still a focus on white female empowerment rather than the empowerment of all women in film. This is why films such as Hidden Figures must be acknowledged in our meeting for testing those boundaries and creating a truer form for the female gaze. Although Hidden Figures is not without its faults and is by no means a perfect representation for a more inclusive female gaze trope, it is a step in the right direction.
Cinema that focuses on the female gaze creates a narrative that the mass can enjoy. As a society we have become to accustomed to seeing cinema in the perspective of the male gaze that when we are shown films focused on the female gaze it can be seen as jarring or innovative, when in reality this should be the new norm for cinema. When there is more a push for cinema that features the female gaze this will initiate more of a push for female writers and directors. There is such a lack of female writers that creator of Family Guy Seth Macfarlane explained the reason the teenage daughter of main character Peter Griffin gets so picked on so much is because all the writers are male and none of them knew how to write for a female girl. Although this was said more on the joking side, there is still a huge amount of truth to the statement. There is a ginormous lack of women in cinema, making the increase of cinema focused on the female gaze a slow battle. Although with films like Suffragette and Hidden Figures that focus on the female gaze and also the empowerment of women in groups, this can create more dialogue for incorporating this narrative throughout all cinema.
Sampson, Rachael. “Film Theory 101 – Laura Mulvey: The Male Gaze Theory.” Film Inquiry. Film Inquiry, 13 Apr. 2017. Web. 20 May 2017.
Bay, Micheal, director. Transformers (2007). Paramount, 2007.
MacFarlene, Seth, director. Family Guy. Fox, 2001.
Lowell, Jeff. John Tucker Must Die. Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation, 2006.
Melfi, Theodore, director. Hidden Figures. Atlanta, Georgia, 2016.
Gavron, Sarah, director. Suffragette. Film4, 2015.
The portrayal of Mexican-American players is racially stemmed and bias, often branching from the idea that they are ‘not from here’, and has a negative impact on this large group of individual’s students, parents, supporters, and fans tend to show negative comments towards a team that is completely full of Latinos / Mexican-Americans. Throughout my research, I was able to identify multiple resources to support the idea that Mexican-Americans or Latinos are portrayals negatively in today’s generation.
Mexican-American athletes encounter in the enculturation process while playing sports in a foreign country, and ways that team management can help ease the process of adapting. There’s an idea that more assistance the athletes receive from their team, the easier and smoother the adjustment process is. A snowball sample of 26 professional athletes was in this study. The survey was divided into 4 parts that included general information about their work adjustment; team management’s role in helping make adjustments, improvements the athletes think would help with adjustments and demographic information. The results demonstrated the more involvement management gives to the professional athletes, the easier it is for the professional athletes to adjust.
I can speak from my perspective as a soccer player, not a professional player, but someone that loves the game. Depending on the accommodations the club proves you, there could be a smoother adaptation that results in a positive team. Who doesn’t like receiving support? If you take into perspective that many soccer players go through a lot such as training, meetings, traveling, not being close to home and at times, away from their families. There’s definitely stress already before even stepping into the field. Now, during this survey we are just looking at how soccer players feel about the club and the support but what about other soccer players? How do they perceive playing against a team full or at least majority being Latinos or Mexican-American players?
Woodburn, OR is also known as “Little Mexico.” Just a few blocks away at Woodburn High School, the scene is no different from any American suburb. More than a dozen teenage boys practice soccer, preparing what they hope will be a deep run into the playoffs. Senior, Martin Maldonado, and his teammates face multiple struggles when they play against other high school teams. Woodburn High School has made it to the playoffs 25 times but with no success in winning the state championship. Chris Lehman, an ex Woodburn High School student, follows the team for an entire season, making relationships with players, coaches and supporters.
Martin Maldonado, says he and the other boys on the team were well aware that Woodburn’s diversity gave it a reputation as a gang-infested town. “We’d go to games and people started acting different, and we kind of noticed that as we were growing up. ‘Hide your wallet, Woodburn’s coming,” This quote impacted me because young high school athletes are getting attacked by their race and their diverse team. I feel the portrayed of young soccer players in Woodburn is absurd, knowing that the team has made it to the playoffs constantly more than 25 times which tells you that they are doing something good. This source reminds me of the movie Goal: The Dream Begins which came out in 2005.
The director of this film, Danny Cannon, makes Santiago Muñez a talented soccer player from Mexico the protagonist. His family flees from Mexico looking for a better life in the US. In the beginning of the movie, the family wakes up Santiago to go to the United States and he only takes a soccer ball with him but on the way, he loses his ball, leaving it behind. He kept playing on a soccer team close to his neighborhood where he exposed his skills to everyone who went to see them play. Santiago didn’t think about becoming a professional soccer player until a scout agent goes to one of his games by accident. He sees the talent Santiago has and decided to give him a chance, finding out he worked as a scout agent for the famous Newcastle United. Not everything was happiness though, as a Mexican soccer player looking for a dream in England, many players made his life difficult since day one as a Newcastle United player.
Now, as in the situation of the Woodburn High School soccer team, it’s unbelievable that many communities around Woodburn continue to discriminate against people with different color and media doesn’t make a big issue about it. Media happens to do the same. Carmelo Antony became the first men’s basketball player ever to win three gold medals in the Olympic Games. However, most of the media identify Melo as black, while his Afro-Latino heritage often gets overlooked. Melo doesn’t hide his background, and the Puerto Rican flag tattooed on his right-hand serves as a reminder of his rich Latinidad. How does media play a part on this? Well, I have an article that relates to this scenario and constantly keeps happening with media. They tell the story but to their own benefit, sometimes it’s not to tell the news, sometimes is to sell the news.
In 1968, Mexico was the first country to broadcast the Summer Olympics live and in color, it was an opportunity for the government and media to portray the country as modern and progressive. However, a growing student movement opposed to it, when the country was spending around $176 million U.S dollars to host the Olympics while half the population of Mexico City lived in squatter settlements. I picked this article because I wanted to show the power of media, in this instance, Televisa used his resources to show the good side of the story while the government sent troops to kill innocent students during the movement. Now, this makes me wonder in the soccer life when media shows us the “good” side, what does it really mean? What critical factors do they take out to make the story/article more interesting? Are they telling the story, or selling the story to obtain better ratings?
We sadly live in a society that politically speaking, isn’t working together. What do I mean by this? We are being divided by our own personal believes which can be from our background, culture, beliefs, religion. President Donald Trump identified Latinos and Mexicans as “Some are rapists, some are killers and I assume, some of them are good people.” President Donald Trump has made it difficult to have a peace around the whole United States with his racial comments towards Mexicans or Latinos.
I could pick from a variety of articles in which President Donald Trump
has spoken negatively about Mexicans but I rather talk about an article that involves more of the topic we are discussing right now which is sports. During a basketball game in Iowa, two Catholic high schools faced each other during their regular season games. Students from Andrean High School held a cutout showing Trump’s face and chanted “build a wall! Build a wall.” against Bishop Noll Institute, which has many Latino students – highlighting Trump’s pledge to erect a barrier along the U.S.-Mexico border.
It’s unacceptable that school districts allow this kind of acts, especially during a school event. I agree that people have to express their beliefs and their freedom of speech. However, there is a line that shouldn’t be crossed just because President Donald Trump agrees is okay. In my personal perspective, I think people that have different beliefs or point of views should be respected even if their ideologies do not correlate to yours.
Mexican-American athletes have it really hard. They are constantly facing a double life by having to speak Spanish at home and English at school. I want to quote Selena’s father during the movie, ‘Selena’ that says, “We gotta be more Mexican than the Mexicans, and more American than the Americans, both at the same time. It’s exhausting.” I cannot agree with that quote enough because I love speaking Spanish everywhere. Now, when people that aren’t used to a diverse community make negative comments towards us, it frustrates me.
I want to finish up this assignment with a personal scenario that happened when I was in High School and makes me relate to the Woodburn soccer team, mentioned previously and the main reason why I wanted to write about this identity. I was born in Hillsboro, OR when I was two years old, however, my parents got divorced and my mom wanted to go back to Mexico so she took me with her. When I was twelve years old, I wanted to come back to be with my dad. Long story short, I had to learn the language and many people made fun of me for it. Throughout my high school soccer career, we were considered a really diverse team with players from Mexico, Texas, and mostly, Oregon. At one of the soccer games during the playoffs, we faced against an all-white soccer team and while it didn’t bother us, we played the game. During the first half, we were already down 2-1, and many fans from the other team started chanting “Let’s go, let’s go, West Linn, let’s get this Mexicans from the league.” We felt upset and attacked. Some of the Hillsboro School district staff were at the game and yet, none said a word in regards to the issue.
I want to make awareness of the issues that go not just politically speaking in the communities but also, within athletes in the different schools.
The media is an interesting combination of the public opinion, marketing tactics, and the product. From advertisements and tv shows to hollywood blockbusters there is an intended audience, and a plethora of generalizations and skews that are catered to that audience. Misrepresentation is something that comes as a natural bi product of that, and in one way or another effects the relationship those people being generalized have with the rest of the population. No one is safe in this realm of popular culture. Foreign cultures and unfamiliar customs are often the ones that get the short straw, but all too often its the individuals in our own community’s that are being misrepresented.
As a graphic design major and a photographer I consider myself very encapsulated by the realm of art. I go to Portland’s “First Thursday” whenever I can, and enjoy meeting and making conversation with fellow enthusiasts and creators. I also volunteered at an art gallery for about a year. Through that I got to meet a lot of the artistic spectrum. From my interests I constantly get a better idea of what an artist is and is not. To my surprise the artist type is one of the few personas that isn’t necessarily misrepresented in the media, but rather occasionally exaggerated. In these instances the generalizations seem to be more concerned with the driving force behind an artists inspiration, rather than feeding into any preexisting fallacies.
Starting with a crowed favorite, Bob Ross is perhaps the most universally known artist today. His show “The Joy of Painting” was a widely influential painting show on PBS that ran from 1983 to 1994. Since then, the icon that is Bob Ross has turned into much more. From books, art supplies, and even internet memes, this man is the face and the expectation of the painting persona. He’s been depicted in commercials along side Leonardo da Vinci, and Andy Warhol, and has been featured in shows like Family Guy and The Boondocks. His presents continues today in cameos of all sorts of mediums, even though he hasn’t physically been around for more than twenty years now. So what has kept him in the public domain? Its a perfect combination of his amazing ability to lay paint down on a canvas, his aloof demeanor, and the perm. He is featured in comedies like Family Guy because he is seen as the epitome of the artistic type. It would appear that he creates visions for the sake of it. He embodies the expectations of a character from the 70’s. He’s so laid back its almost painful. This all adds up to an interestingly quirky guy that I would happily want to learn from. And based off the marketing for his art supplies I would say someone out there agrees with me. According to articles and personal accounts, he wasn’t acting either. He really was a pleasant man who said things like “happy little trees” as he painted to keep people engaged and give life to the process. Our first account was on an actual painter, and perhaps the most influential of them all, but how are artists shown in something more scripted?
Portlandia is a cooky show that has both made and ruined the great city I live in. Its quirky cast of characters are colorful and odd. Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein go to great lengths to cover all the bases in regards to the weirdness that goes on here. The Portland artist type is something that they tackle from many angles, and over the course of 7 seasons they depict a lot of them. In one episode we see the two creators trying to meet up, but constantly run into performance based artist that delay their objective. From a fake traffic guard trying to see how people will react to mixed signals, to a row of men wearing white body suits taking up a portion of a parking spot, these artists depicted are all searching for social answers. How will people react to this? This specific type of performance is reminiscent of the Dada movement of the early 1900’s. The artists that took part in Dada would do all kinds of publicity stunts which ranged from yelling profanity from the entrance of a bar and running, to posting fake news stories. Since then this type of social experiment has continued through many artists who all seem to be curious of the cause and effect of unique and one off experiences. In this regard Portlanda isn’t too off in their depiction of the artist type. But there are certainly more types of visionaries than that. The thing that is perhaps the most skewed in this depiction is that everyone depicted as a curious artist is white. But with that considered, everyone in the skit is white and perhaps speaks more about the show than the expectation of the individual. Even still with ten or so individuals playing the role, you’d expect a bit more diversity.
In another Portlandia skit Fred Armisen takes on the role of a painting instructor at PCC. His getup is reminiscent of Bob Ross, but his attitude toward successful art is drastically different. He tells the class that he wants to be shocked, and the viewer wants to be uncomfortable to feel more obligated to buy your work. He reveals that the political statement said by incorporating Ronald Mcdonald is always a successful way to go, and precedes to critique the class on their individual “wow” factor. This speaks to another facet of the art realm, which is the desire to explore things outside of the social norm. Any art history class would confirm that this isn’t a completely fictional concept. All through out time we can see creators attempting to shock their audience. The painting “Olympia” by Edouard Manet shocked the world when it was revealed in Paris in 1865. Its depiction of prostitution was something that wasn’t considered appropriate to the public view, and its execution of oil painting was controversial to say the least. Perhaps even more iconic is “Fountain” by Marcel Duchamp. Duchamp questioned what art was by flipping a urinal on its side, signing it, and placing it as a center piece in the Gallery of Undefended Arts in 1917. The gallery prided itself for excepting all forms of art, but did not allow this installation to continue. Based off these examples its safe to say that this radical art teacher depicted by Portlandia isn’t too far off.
When considering the media its important to look at all angles. So far we have looked at an actual artist who quickly became a pop culture icon, and a television show that often depicts artists living around Portland. The last primary source I think is important to consider is the advertisements catered to the creative type. For this we will look at a commercial for the Art Institute. “Welcome to the Art Institute” is a short commercial that can still be seen on television from time to time. It has a short running length, and seeks to capture the attention of potential art students through upbeat music, a collection of artists working in their preferred medium, and some inspirational words about being an aspiring artists. Its refreshing to see an emphasis on diversity here. Not only does the cast feature a wide range of ethnicities, but they also expand the definition of artist by showing designers, painters, chefs, and fashion designers. This is a very considered commercial that suggests that being an artist could actually be a full time job. Of course that comes with the territory of creating a commercial catered to an overpriced institute that wants your money. But even still I would say that their slogan of “the hardest thing you’ll ever love” is an appropriate phrase for this sort of occupation.
Secondary sources would agree with my assertion that the way artists are represented in the media is actually fairly spot on. A review of a book dissecting the legacy of Bob Ross solidify the man and his perm as a pop culture figure for multiple reasons. The review claims that his continued presents in the media is due to a combination of his aloof nature, the way he presents himself, and his curios talent and infatuation with creating beautiful landscapes. The question of why he chose to spend so much time creating stunning landscapes is touched on, and ultimately reveals that it carried a therapeutic quality for both Bob and his viewers. In this instance the artist grew in fame because of this purpose, and is very much why his identity still exists today.
On the other side of therapy there is activism, and the most influential activist today is the chines contemporary artist Ai Weiwei. His medium is undefined, and has found success in public demonstrations, Sculptural installations, photography, and social media. A article created by Carol Yu describes his work and his ongoing legacy in light of a new exhibition he was displaying. The article continues the trend of dissecting the artists intent behind the work, and dives into some history as well. Ai has constantly fought the government of China, and eventually became exiled from the country. His message has often been concerned with the public, their rulers, and the corruption of power that occurs between the two.
It would appear that the artistic type is one of the few personas that actually is represented in the media fairly accurately. The ongoing theme is a question of why? Why do they do what they do? Why has so much time and effort been put into their craft? What do they want? Unlike most of art history, artists are actually portrayed through a fairly divers cast of ethnicities in American culture. Its clear that they come in all shapes in colors, and their preferred medium is just as varied. Perhaps this is because the term artist encompasses many professions. Maybe its because the history of human expression is constantly changing. Or maybe its because artists are the ones hired to create what the media is. What ever the reason, its one of the few niches we don’t see objectified, and that speaks just as much about our values as a society as the list of identities we belittle.
Social media in this day in age has completely changed the way people live their life’s day to-day. Through social media we often times become unmindful to what we are exposed to and what we see can become deep-rooted in our minds. The main users within social media claim their personal views of others can portray them in a way that can often times follow the stereotypes affecting races, religion and gender. Stereotypes seen in social media tend to do more harm than good. By the main users, I mean big influence people who have millions of follows. For example, news channels and famous people like our President Trump, Obama, Drake, and so many more people who are being praised and are constantly influencing the new generation. Believe it or not, the things these people say do mean something, they are highly praised meaning their young audience pays attention and can slowly be convinced that whatever these people are saying is true and grow to believe this.
As you know many people criticizing immigrants and accuse them for stealing job in the United States. Being an immigrant alone is not easy, knowing your back is against the wall since you’re not a citizen so you have to just stick through the agonizing pain and keep quiet. Immigrants don’t have the services to receive financial aid or any assistance so everything they need it has to be put into hard-working hours. The culture difference is very important too, the United States is a very different place than Mexico. Getting comfortable in this big city is very tough, you feel like your being watched and that everyone knows you’re an immigrant. You’re constantly paranoid that immigration can always just roll around the corner and get you. The amount of stress these immigrants go through is ridiculous if you actually sit down and think about it, they have so much to worry about and still manage to keep on fighting. They have to worry about the police as you can see in the movies and about family that is in a whole different country, making sure you have enough money to pay the bills. Because they have such a strong drive they are accused of stealing jobs when in reality they are doing jobs that normal people don’t want to do. They have to over-work and work various jobs just to be able to put food on the table.
I was lucky enough to grow up in a Mexican immigrants’ family in which I saw first hand the amount of discrimination and stereotyping that people like me go through. Yes, one of the biggest spot where you can see this is on social media. While scrolling through my Facebook feed I come across many of these absurd videos of ignorant people posting videos of them attacking immigrants with hateful words. Especially in the past election we just went through, things escalated and it just got worse. People felt the need to attack Mexican after President Trump famous rant of Mexican immigrant. Till this day everything has still been super sensitive and continues to be a subject that you see on news shows, discussing the topic of the famous wall.
You might ask yourself how are Mexican immigrant portrayed in social media or other public artifacts. Well sadly this question is very easy to find an answer too. Let me ask you this first, when you picture a Mexican immigrant what do you see? If we are being honest here you know you thought about a poor man working in the fields, a woman cleaning houses, someone stealing, or you picture them all gangsters or “Cholos’. Unless you know personally a Mexican immigrant you will have something positive to say, other than that we will just get something negative. But why do we automatically connect negative stereotype to immigrants? This is where the whole aspect of social media becomes such a realistic platform for stereotyping immigrants. People feel that hiding behind a screen gives them the freedom to disrespect or intentionally hurt other people because of their race. Maybe each individual had a bad interaction with one person, but they decide to take it out on everyone like them and this is unacceptable. You are expressing your feeling and posting it on social media where you don’t know who is on the other side of the screen. You might be talking about one individual but might be affecting a whole race. You know what they say, once you post something on the internet you can never take it off. All these rude comment are the cause for all these immigrant being bullied and portrayed in a negative way.
One artifact that I found very powerful is Hollywood movies. We have all at one point seen a Hollywood movie either if it was a really bad one or a record-breaking film. One of the most popular immigrant films that made headlines and was seen on the big screen is Under the Same Moon by Patricia Riggen. Under The Same Moon is a drama movie that revolves around a young boy’s journey across the U.S./Mexico border to be reunited with his mother. Adrian Alonso stars as Carlitos, a Mexican adolescent living with his grandmother while his mother works as a made in the U.S., hoping someday to send for her child. But when the grandmother dies unexpectedly, Carlitos must sneak across the border and seek out his mother. While watching the movie you notice how the scene change between two different points of views, the views of a small child in a small town in Mexico and a young immigrant lady trapped in the big city of L.A. California. You can see the two big difference of the poverty in Mexico and the poverty in the Untied States. You can also analyze the struggle of the communication they have. The small town where the son is being raised in only seems to have one phone that is able to reach the United States. You see how he has to wait in line for his mom to call and its all timely organized. And if they are able to work it out and finally talk you noticed how it’s a short period of time before the call is cut off. Although you might think this is false, this is actually very realistic, families do have a rough time reaching each other from two different countries making being connected very difficult. Another thing you can notice in the film is the role that the mom plays in this big state of Los Angeles, she works as a maid for a rich older white lady in a big mansion, but as its very common the old lady is very mean and abuses her rights because she is aware of here immigration status. After dealing with all the mean things that the old lady would do to her she would go babysit another white family son after hours giving a realistic perspective of how hard-working Mexican immigrant have to work and struggle between various job just to have enough to live. But in that very seen of the old lady you can see that Hollywood in a sense portrays the power white people have on immigrant, the fact that they can do whatever they want to them knowing they won’t be any repercussion because if they say anything they will just get deported. This is a great example of how an artifact like a movie can very well set the standards that people get from watching this movie, they will start thinking they have power over immigrants and continue to treat them unfairly with no sense of sorrow.
While reading Amy Wu, The Salinas Californian, USA Today article I was very intrigued because I know many friends and family member that can relate to this story. The is a story about a real reaction to Trumps undescribed harsh target towards Mexican immigrants. “At the beginning of 2017, speculation over how quickly President Trump would act on his campaign promises fear and anxiety ran high in Salinas schools”. Trump launched his campaign by criticizing Mexican immigrants he than later widened the list of undocumented people who would be priorities for deportation and plans to end DACA. This source goes into depth of how much of impact this man changed the lives of many dreamers and immigrant’s families, he just put a huge target on each and everyone one of those immigrant. The impact that society has on Mexican immigrants and how they are being portrayed is very difficult to overcome. The example this source uses on high school students that are the new generation of this country are being bashed on and hated by the one person that should be protecting them, the president of the united states. If one of the most important person in America is saying rude and cruel things about you and people like you, what do you except, everyone is going to think the same or is at least think of it when they see Mexicans. This is bullying in vast majority and diffidently should not be tolerated, social media one of many platforms for this man, can be distributed and engraved into many people heads setting up the overall image of the Mexican immigrants.
In conclusion, Mexican Immigrant are very hard-working people who will do anything to keep food on the table for their families and I personally been witness to this. It saddens me to see how just because some people don’t like immigrant have created such a bad image of them portraying it all over social media and other types of artifacts. We should not let media manipulate the way we think and what we believe in, we are all equal and we are here for the same reason. So lets put all this stereotypes away and be a the place where we can all enjoy to live.
As a millennial woman, I recognize that my generation grew up during a time when the world around us seemed to be experiencing a mindshift or at least the need for change. I believe that it was this need for change that has inspired us to become a “socially active, politically conscious generation that cares deeply about social justice and equality” (Johansson, 2017). When I was in elementary school, I remember being taught about the courageous men and pioneers in our history books who accomplished great things for their nation and about the wives they had at home supporting them. I remember the Disney movies I watched over and over as a kid with the same story: the Prince saves the Princess, they wed and live happily ever after and I thought “that’s gonna be me.” Fast forward to middle school and I see women my age on the screen, but I don’t see them as the wives and the helpless Princesses. In the text books, we’re learning about the women who worked for NASA to solve algorithms so they may send astronauts into space. I’m learning about Rosa
Parks, Amelia Earhart,
Susan B. Anthony,
Anne Frank, Harriet
Tubman, and suddenly,
what I knew up to this point about what women are capable of is changing. Leaving the princesses behind, my new favorite TV characters are now smart witches likeHermione Granger in Harry Potter, brave leaders such as Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games and bold and ruthless princesses such as Sansa and Arya Stark in Game of Thrones. I’m seeing my generation as pioneers now, just as the men I learned about in elementary school, we are changing the world. Now that I am brimming with this excited energy and the feeling of potential, I am looking for an outlet that I may use to help me become like my role models. “Millennial women believe in the power of positivity. They are optimistic and looking forward to the future” (States New Service, 2015) Just in time, here comes high school! High school was when I first learned about politics, social issues and climate change. I’m being told to reach for the stars, set my goals high because I will achieve my dreams. I was a part of every club, I was the captain of my team, a coach to many students and I worked at my moms business. Finally, I was helping people, I was making a difference and I was working hard for it too. Somebody did something right in raising our generation because we were inspired to be and do something greater than ourselves. “The Millennial generation is better educated and more diverse than any other generation in U.S. history” (Bently University). Unfortunately, despite all my confidence, innocence and potential, the world was not ready for me and others like me in my generation. It’s like we, all of us, hit a brick wall of stereotypes, oppression, discrimination, loans and debt, impossible expectations and hate from the generations before us.
It’s scary facing a world that seems to reject you, but millennials know not to back down and to make due with what we have. It is to our advantage that we are not alone and we need to use our biggest resource: each other. I am inspired by the young female millennials that have already made strides in their fields. Natasha Case and Freya Estreller are two young millennial entrepreneurs. Both of them women, they understand all too well the uphill battle against the stereotypes. “As women, we’re conditioned to be polite and not to ask for what we want” (Estreller, 2015). However, this has not stopped them from finding success in the world of business. “For decades, entrepreneurship has been disproportionately concentrated in populations of white men” (Johansson, 2017). In a currently very male dominated field, they were able to grow a gourmet ice cream sandwich company that began out of a van at a Coachella Music Festival and became one of the leading innovative small dessert businesses in grocery stores across the nation. However, their success is only one win for young female entrepreneurs. In a TED talk in 2015, the two women discussed an unsettling phenomena: as their business progressed and they were meeting with executives, investors, designers and manufacturers, they were noticing fewer and fewer women occupying these positions of leadership. They would interact with women from time to time, but the owners of the businesses they were working with were all male. Even though women make up over half of this country, only 19.4% of businesses are actually owned by women (Johansson, 2017). It even got to the point where Case and Estreller themselves were never assumed to be the owners of their business. “It seems like we’re poised for an ideal moment of change” -Case, 2015. Moving forward, Case and Estreller have made it their goal to change the ratio of male to female employees, executives, owners and bosses, “as women of the 21st century, it is our duty” -Case, 2015. Already their efforts have made a difference seeing as only two years later there is a 19.2% increase of women run businesses (Johansson, 2017). This is not surprising seeing as women now occupy well over half the amount of college undergraduate and graduate students. As a college student myself, it is exciting to know that “Millennial women are more likely than men to have the education, experience, and interests required in the global arena” (Stefanco, 2017). My generation is now of the age that we are having the greatest impact on our economy, our society, our culture and soon our politics. As our time in the spotlight approaches, millennial women are taking advantage of the attention to send a message: buckle up and get ready, because we are going to change the world. As a young millennial woman who is now geared up with the tools and the drive necessary to make the change that needs to happen, it is time for me to make a choice. How do I want to change the world? What impact do I want to have? I know my fellow millennials believe that “we can make a difference and create positive change today” -Rotman, 2014, but I also know that the human race is very young and slow and we take generations to make change happen. Are we the generation to make the kind of change happen that the world needs to see? Those men that I learned about in elementary school, they didn’t know what they were doing, only that it needed to be done. They had a calling, they knew they needed to change the world. So even if we don’t know what we’re doing and we face every criticism that there is to face, my generation and myself know we have a calling. We know that we need to change the world and I along with my generation, choose to be pioneers.
Case, Natasha and Estreller, Freya. Female and Millennial Entrepreneurship. July 27, 2015. [Video File] Retrieved November 20, 2017 from:
Nyachae, Tiffany M. Complicated Contradictions Amid Black Feminism and Millennial Black Women Teachers Creating Curriculum for Black Girls. August 24, 2016. Pages 786-806. Retrieved November 22, 2017 from:
WOMEN 2020: MEREDITH’S EXCLUSIVE RESEARCH STUDY REVEALS WEIGHT ACCEPTANCE AND WAGE EQUALITY TOP ISSUES FACING MILLENNIAL WOMEN TODAY. States News Service, 6 Aug. 2015. General OneFile. Retrieved November 22, 2017 from:
Society looks to the media, for varying reasons, such as news, comedy, drama, and interesting and engaging content. With such responsibility and powerful influence, the media often produces content that is not necessarily true in the real world, which directly affects how people view the subjects to this tactic. Thus, without a doubt, the media portrays Millennials in popular culture with exaggerated stereotypes which generalizes the entire age group.
The Great Indoors
“The Great Indoors” is a comedy TV show that aired on CBS in the fall of 2016 (Gibbons). The purpose of the show was to show the comedic nature of the interaction between Millennials, and non-Millennials, in the work place. The TV show was originally broadcasted on national TV.
The show involves the main character, Jack Gordon, a man of the Generation X interacting with a team of Millennials who run a magazine company. There is a clear barrier and misunderstanding between the characters. The Millennial characters live a lifestyle that is comfortable to them. The main character also lives a lifestyle that is comfortable to him. But, the two lifestyles clash, as they differ in beliefs, values, and point of views.
Gordon tries to adapt to the very different lifestyle, finding difficulties as the simple things he overlooked are complex for the Millennials.
The Millennial characters are depicted in many scenes using technology in the form of smart phones, laptops, and tablets. They are shown in many scenes to be avoiding eye contact, as they talk. Also, the sensitivity to certain words and actions in the Millennial characters is an evident portrayal of Millennials in the show.
The Social Network
“The Social Network” is a fictional adaption of the life events of Mark Zuckerberg. The movie was produced by David Fincher, and released on October 1, 2010 under Sony Pictures (Fincher). The intended audience was Millennials, and social media users at the time. The movie was originally published as a movie to be played in theaters, nationwide.
The movie takes place in a college campus setting, where the Millennial students of Harvard engage in social activities such as partying, drinking, and drug taking. Social interaction is a key message in the movie. This leads to the main character’s, Mark Zuckerburg, intent to recreate this social environment, online. Something that has never happened on a large scale. The social media page that is created is not used by the masses right away. But, once people start to use the site, usage grows exponentially. As for the depiction of Millennials, the students were of age 17-26 in the movie. There were many party scenes, both of illegal and legal activities being conducted. Alcohol and drug use was prevalent. The social behavior of the Millennials was depicted in the various party scenes. The main character went to great lengths to cater to his target audience. And the plot of the movie revolved around Millennials and their behavior without ever mentioning the word “Millennial”.
“The ME ME ME Generation”
“The ME ME ME Generation” is a magazine article produced by TIME Magazine, and was written by author Joel Stein. The purpose of the article is to describe millennials and to compare and contrast them with other generations and their qualities. The target audience are people of other generations who often are confused with the millennial generation. Specifically, Generation X, and Baby Boomers. This artifact was originally published as a physical edition of TIME Magazine in May 2013, but was later adapted to an online article (Stein).
Featured on the front page of the magazine, the title is accompanied by the caption “Millennials are lazy, entitled narcissists who still live with their parents. Why they’ll save us all.”. Under the text is an image of young woman who is pictured taking a “selfie” (a self-portrait of herself) with her smartphone. No other people or figures are part of the image, simply just a blank, light blue background.
As for the article itself, the author brings up statistical data that not only describe Millennials, but other generations too. The correlation between other generations and the Millennial generation is made. Stein touches on comparisons and differences between Millennials and Generation X. Along with stating the traits of Millennials, the anecdotes and positives are also brought up.
How do these different forms of media relate and differ?
Some key similarities that relate the three artifacts of the media are they were produced by non-millennials and in within the last decade, and the three artifacts present their own depiction of Millennials.
An essential difference between the three artifacts of the media are that the three artifacts are all of different types of sources, a magazine article, a movie, and a TV show for the Time Magazine article, “The Social Network”, and “The Great Indoors”, respectively. Furthermore, the artifacts were produced in different time periods. “The Great Indoors” was produced in recent times, while the TIME Magazine article, and “The Social Network” were produced over 4 years ago. Although they all depict millennials, there is a slight difference in context as the millennials being depicted are of different age groups at the time. And although they all are contained in the same generations; different age groups have slightly different qualities.
The anomaly described above is interesting because it offers varying points at varying time periods of the same generation. This is interesting because it reveals that trying to categorize a wide age group into a generation, then applying stereotypes to the people of the generation, is not realistically applicable with all of the age groups. This is because with every age group, the people undergo different childhoods, experiences, from companies, brands, media, beliefs that shape every person differently. Thus, analyzing the three artifacts from different time periods reveals the slight difference in the people of the Millennial generation. Although, there are some similarities, there also exist many differences. One specific example of this in “The Social Network”, produced in 2010, the Millennials portrayed valued physical interaction in social life, while in “The Great Outdoors”, produced in 2016, the Millennials portrayed value virtual interaction, using technology. This anomaly provides greater insight on the validity of generations, and their stereotypical behaviors accepted in popular culture.
How do secondary sources in popular culture media support?
Secondary sources are useful to analyze as they are good representation of how people in society view the artifacts in popular culture media.
One example of how secondary sources support the acceptance of exaggerated stereotypes in popular culture media is in the article “Review: ‘The Great Indoors’ Leans on Tired Millennial Cliches.”. In this article, the author, Robert Bianco, explains that the show’s Millennial characters are depicted in cliche ways. Some of the behaviors include, socially inept, hipster, and technology focused (Bianco). Bianco explains that the show relies on the absurd characteristics of the Millennials for its main comedic effect. This is something that is not enjoyable by Millennials themselves, as they find it untrue and disrespectful. And also, not enjoyable by other generations as they do not enjoy a show based entirely on a different generation’s traits. This article shows that although the author (a non Millennial) observes that the use of Millennial stereotypes is apparent, Bianco does not mention the fact that the cliches used are exaggerated and amplified. And because of this, it is clear that secondary sources further support Millennial stereotypes in popular culture media, which in turn results in the generalization of the entire age group due to the fact that secondary sources also have an equal, if not greater, influence in popular culture.
Additionally, companies use Millennial stereotypes in popular culture to predict trends, tendencies, and create tactics to target the entire generation. This can be seen in the article “MILLENNIALS DON’T CARE ABOUT YOUR BRANDS”. The article is part of a journal, with the purpose of giving tips and explanations of Millennials and business. It analyzes the relationship between brands, and Millennials in popular culture (Pasquarelli). The author, Pasquarelli, explains that retailers have to rework their tactics in order to target the individual needs of Millennials. This can be performed by creating advertising and branding opportunities in social media, which is where Millennials are most susceptible to advertisement campaigns. Additionally, the use of brand connection to Millennials directly, is a tactic that can bring in more consumers. Overall, the article offers several tips for branding and marketing for brands targeting Millennial consumers. This is backed up by stating the needs of Millennial shoppers, by describing the behaviors of a Millennial. This clearly shows that the media, uses common Millennial stereotypes, to portray the entire generation. Evidently, the stereotypes are exaggerated and amplified when analyzed, which allow other people to easily identify who, what, and why Millennials act the way they do. It is clear that because of this, the entire generation is generalized as there is no differentiation between the individuals in the generation, as only an ideal Millennials character is created, which is used to represent the entire group.
Analyzing the Generalization made
Through the analysis of primary sources, it is clear that media produced and consumed in popular culture, depict Millennials by exaggerated stereotypes such as laziness, instant gratification seeking, and entitlement. This can be seen in the TV show series, “The Great Indoors”. This TV show’s plot is about a Generation X man who has to adapt in a workplace, entirely of Millennials. Although this happens in everyday life, in the show the two groups of characters clash constantly. This is because the show depicts Millennials poorly by portraying each character with a stereotype that is exaggerated and amplified beyond normal human behavior. In other words, the Millennial characters are so heavily portrayed by their stereotypes, that the characters do not even seem human. This is significant because it shows that the media has acknowledged certain stereotypes that pertain to Millennials, and have attempted to use that in the depiction of Millennials in popular culture, for comedic effect. This evidently generalizes the entire age group as the show depicts Millennials to have all of the same characteristics, even though the characters in the show are of age 18-25. This is only a small portion of the Millennial age group, but because of the use of stereotypes present in all of the Millennial characters, the entire age group is generalized.
Without a doubt, analyzing the movie “The Social Network” reveals information that provides a greater insight on the media’s stereotypes of Millennials and how it results in the generalization of the entire age group. The movie portrays the Millennial characters as party oriented students, who value social interaction over everything else. In addition, the stereotypes of Millennial students who are late to class, go to parties, partake in illegal activities are also behaviors that are widespread in the characters in the movie. This behavior is amplified and exaggerated throughout the movie which further supports the stereotypes of Millennials at the time. Because college students as a whole do not necessarily reach the extent and severity of the events shown in the movie, it is evident that the stereotypes used are very much exaggerated. Because of this, the entire age group of Millennials are generalized as the majority of the Millennial characters in the movie are portrayed similarly, and without any differentiation.
Additionally, another example of how the media depicts Millennials in popular culture media, is in articles that attempt to describe Millennials. Articles of this nature directly state Millennial stereotypes, and attempt to blanket the entire age group with specific behaviors. A specific example of this is from the TIME magazine article, “The ME ME ME Generation”. This article, produced by the very influential magazine publisher TIME, depicts Millennials as “Lazy, entitled, narcissistic, and still living with their parents”. They even feature the article on the front page of the magazine edition, with a young woman taking a selfie surrounded by an entirely blank background. This trend is followed throughout the entire article as the author Joel Stein backs up the given stereotypes with statistics, and her reasoning behind the basis for the behavior of Millennials, citing events in history that are probable factors. This clearly shows that the media portray Millennials by their stereotypes. This also generalizes the entire age group because the given stereotypes, which are over exaggerated, fail to target a specific demographic within the generation. In fact, the article strongly proposes the behaviors of Millennials, but does not offer a description on who pertains to this, such as specific ages, regions, or cultures. Thus, it is clear that both primary sources show the generalization of Millennials, by their blanket statement and portrayals in popular culture media.
In conclusion, through the analysis of the primary sources and the support of secondary sources, it is clear that the media portrays Millennials by exaggerated stereotypes, which in turn generalizes the entire age group. This clearly shows the influence that the media has on society, and as with all positions of power, it should be taken with great responsibility to reduce the amount of discrepancies that exist between popular culture media, and real life.
A significant learning moment during this term occurred in week 2. In the course blog, week 2 focused on the reflections of others in the popular culture mirror. The key concepts of media literacy were stated in the text. This was a critical learning moment as it provides an effective and in depth method of analyzing media in popular culture. Some of the key methods that I found important are “Audiences negotiate meaning”, and “Media have commercial implications”. Responding to the discussion prompt, “Can you think of a “type” of person or group of people that you’ve seen represented in a similar or one-dimensional way over and over in popular culture media? “, I analyzed the depiction of Asian-Americans in popular culture media. Using the key concepts of media literacy, analyzing the representation of Asian-Americans revealed new ideas that I had not known about. It also allowed me to dig deeper into the significance and real examples of media in popular culture. Looking forward, I will definitely use this learning moment in, not only my coursework, but life as well, as the media is a prevalent source of artifacts in my life. And having a reliable method of analyzing the media in culture is essential to finding bigger meanings to what is being presented.
Another learning moment during this course that is significant occurred in week 3. This was manifested in the course blog of week 3, where the topic was the influence of advertising. Additionally, the course text “Deconstructing an Ad” was beneficial as it presented different methods of analyzing and breaking down an ad to obtain important information. Some of the methods I found to be useful were finding 5 adjectives to describe the ad, and to describe the ad’s aesthetics. These two simple methods allows beginning to deconstruct an ad, easier and more straight forward. Additionally, learning that every ad has an intention and purpose behind it, usually commercial, was an important learning moment for me as it emphasizes the importance of analyzing ads before believing the information presented. Without a doubt, I will be using the methods from the course text “Deconstructing an Ad” in all of my future coursework, and life experiences as ads will always be present. Thus, being able to analyze ads to make a more informed decision will be a benefit that is gladly accepted for taking only a few minutes to critically analyze an ad in question.
Gibbons, Mike. The Great Indoors, Season 1, CBS, 27 Oct. 2016.
Fincher, David, director. The Social Network. Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, 2011.
Stein , Joel. “Millennials: The Me Me Me Generation.” TIME, Time Magazine , 20 May 2013, time.com/247/millennials-the-me-me-me-generation/.