The Portrayal of Black Women in Reality TV Shows



            Reality television is defined as, “A genre of television programming that documents supposedly “unscripted” real-life situations, and often features an otherwise unknown cast of individuals who are typically not professional actors, although in some shows celebrities may participate.” For my blog post, I chose to analyze three different reality TV shows. The shows are The Bad Girls Club, Real Housewives of Atlanta, and Married to Medicine. Reality TV shows portray black women in a negative stereotypical way, such as loud, angry, aggressive, trashy, and “ghetto”.

The Bad Girls Club:

BAD GIRLS CLUB -- Season:11 -- Pictured: (l-r) Teresa, Jazmone, Milyn, Tiana, Stephanie, Sarah, Gina -- (Photo by: Gavin Bond/Oxygen)

Season 11 Cast, The Bad Girls Club, Oxygen, 6 August 2013

 The Bad Girls Club (BGC) is a reality TV show that airs on Oxygen. The show was made by executive producer Johnathan Murray and Bunim/Murray Productions (BMP). The show puts 7 “bad girls” in a mansion together, the location of the show changes every season. Something interesting that I found out was the cities the show is filmed in typically have a high minority population, for example, Atlanta, Miami, and Chicago. They stay in the mansion for about three months and they live a pretty luxurious lifestyle. The show mainly focuses on arguments and physical fights between the cast. The purpose of the show seems to show the journey these “bad girls” take, a lot of them feel changed and very impacted in a good way by the time the show ends, almost a rehabilitating experience in a way.

Black and minority women are generally stereotyped to be more of the aggressors, loud, and angry ones while white women in media are generalized as sweeter, kinder, and almost more “angelic” in some ways. On BGC, black and minority women are undoubtedly in the negative light especially compared to their white counterparts. On the show they’re portrayed as always being mad, angry, easily irritable, violent, loud, trashy and “ghetto”.

A detail about BGC that was pointed out by Elijah Mercer in an article titled, “Good Girls Gone Bad: Race and Gender in Oxygen’s The Bad Girls Club, is that with each consecutive season the cast for the show was more racially diverse. The first season of the show had only two black women. By the ending of the 7th season, 30 out of 62 total cast member were from a minority racial group. (When his article was written only seven seasons of the show had been aired, the show is currently on its 16th season now). Two seasons, four and seven, had some of the most diverse casts, they also had the most-watched episodes and highest ratings, the most drama, conflicts, and fights. This suggests that predominately black casts equate to more drama and conflict which lead to higher ratings. “Increasingly casting more minority women, there will without a doubt be more violence, physical fights, and drama…Boylorn and Hooks affirm this notion by arguing that images of black and minority women on television have been historically manipulated to leave a particular impression on audiences” (Mercer).

The Real Housewives of Atlanta:


Season 9 Cast, The Real Housewives of Atlanta, Bravo, 6 Nov 2016


The Real Housewives of Atlanta (RHOA) is a reality TV show that airs on Bravo. The show follows the professional and personal lives of about 7 to 8 women living in Atlanta. RHOA is one of them many shows in The Real Housewives franchise other ones take place in cities like Orange County, New York, and New Jersey. The cast of RHO is a predominately black cast.

The RHOA is the highest rated show in The Real Housewives franchise and it’s also the most-watched TV series on Bravo. But even though it’s the most watched series in the Real Housewives series its looked down upon by society and even other women on in the franchise. Bethany Frankel from RHONY said RHOA, “is a mixture of ‘MTV Cribs’ and ‘Jerry Springer’”. Although the cast of RHOA acts exactly like the casts on other Real Housewives series they’re viewed as loud, ghetto, trashy, angry black women. On the Season Six Reunion episode two of the cast members, Kenya Moore and Porsha Williams, had a brawl. Many viewers thought this fight was heavily instigated by the host Andy Cohen who even provided Moore with a bullhorn. This altercation was also promoted for weeks. A civil rights group ColorOfChange is asking Bravo to enforce a policy of no excessive physical altercations like VH1 has. The group stated, “Research shows that dehumanizing portrayals of Black people on television lead to real-world consequences for Black folks — influencing how we are treated by doctors, judges, teachers and lawmakers. No matter how entertaining, this should be the last fight between Black women that Bravo profits from”.

What is revealing to me is that RHOA is the most viewed series in the franchise. With a predominately black cast, it almost seems like the producers of these kinds of reality TV shows are trying to make a correlation between having a predominate minority cast and the amount of drama and conflict is on the show. As seen with these reality TV shows, having an increased minority cast has proven to result in more drama and conflict. But the race of the cast has nothing to do with why this is true, it’s how the producers choose to produce the show and how they portray each cast member. The women on RHOA act like the women on all other Real Housewives shows so just because they’re black they’re being judged. Black women are stereotyped as being angry, loud, ghetto, and aggressive so when shows like these are put out in media it only adds to the negative image black females have in our society. Generally speaking, all the Real Housewives shows all women in a negative light but the cast of RHOA is seen the most negative way just because of the world we live in.

Married to Medicine:


Season 3 Cast, Married to Medicine, Bravo, 7 June 2015

 Married to Medicine, unlike other reality TV shows with mostly black cast members, like Basketball Wives, Love and Hip-Hop, and Real House Wives of Atlanta, all the women on this show are college educated. Married to Medicine is a reality TV show that also airs on the TV network Bravo. The show follows the lives of seven women living in Atlanta, Georgia. Three of the seven cast members are doctors while the rest are married to doctors. Just like all other reality TV shows Married to Medicine is filled with drama and conflict. Even though these are all professional women on the show, that’s not how they’re seen or portrayed as. During an upscale party celebrating the birthdays of Kari and Mariah husbands’, Mariah and Toya, both college educated black women, got into a fight that ended up with Mariah being kicked out even though it was her husband’s party and the event was also shut down.

The show had a petition made against it by a group from Howard University College of Medicine. The petition stated, “Black female physicians only compose 1% of the American workforce of physicians. Due to our small numbers, the depiction of Black female doctors in media, on any scale, highly affects the public’s view on the character of all future and current African-American female doctors…heavily associates Black females in medicine with materialism, “cat fights”, and unprofessionalism”. What is interesting/revealing to me is how the producers went about this show. There’s plenty enough reality TV shows out there that show black and minority women in a bad light, why does another one especially about doctors and educated women need to be made? Like the Howard University petition mentions there are only 1% black female physicians in the American workforce, so why not make a show that promotes why people should be doctors and go to school. Shows that would teach young black and minority women that they are more than what these stereotypes media constantly pushes and portrays them to be.

If viewers see how these black women act, how will people be able to trust them with their lives’ and health? The show can only do harm to such a small community of black female physicians. All this show does is keep stereotypes about black women around. Black women are already looked down upon so much by society so when stuff like this is on TV it is more detrimental to our images than compared to people of other demographics. This show will make it easier for the audience to associate professional and college educated black women with unprofessionalism, not being able to control themselves in public places, and lacking the skills to avoid conflict. As a young black woman who wants to pursue a career in the medical field all I feel this show does is taint our image. It’s already hard enough for black women to get into medical school, we don’t need another obstacle.


Our society and many forms of pop culture have portrayed black women in a negative light. The form of pop culture I chose to focus on was reality TV shows. All three very popular shows, The Bad Girls Club, Real Housewives of Atlanta, and Married to Medicine have portrayed black women in a negative stereotypical way. Black women are seen as angry, loud, aggressive, trashy, promiscuous, and “ghetto”. As a demographic that’s very disadvantaged in many ways in our society I feel as those we need more positive representations of black women in pop culture.

Learning Moments:

A learning moment I had this term was the “Searching for Resources” assignment. I usually only use Google Scholar to find sources for research papers and I always have trouble narrowing the search down but this assignment definitely benefited me a lot. I was not really familiar with the online PSU library before this assignment but now I feel like I’ll be able to apply these new skills to future classes and assignments. With this tutorial, I was able to learn how to look for different forms of artifacts and how to so more specific searches. Another learning moment I had during the term was the Week 6 discussion post, “Finding, Evaluating, and Analyzing Primary and Secondary Sources”. It was really interesting to see how much could be analyzed from such a short ad. Also, it was cool to see how everybody was able to interpret the ad in their own way.


Abrams, Lindsay. “What Does ‘Married to Medicine’ Say About Black Female Doctors?” The Atlantic. Atlantic Media Company, 01 Apr. 2013. Web

Anderson, Matt, Nate Green, and Mariah Huq, prods. Married to Medicine. Bravo. Atlanta, Georgia, 24 Mar. 2013. Television.

Hersh, Glenda, prod. The Real Housewives of Atlanta. Bravo. Atlanta, Georgia, 7 Oct. 2008. Television.

Mercer, Elijah. “Good Girls Gone Bad: Race and Gender in Oxygen’s The Bad Girls Club.” Inquires Journals 4.7 (2012): 1-3. Web.

Murray, Johnathan, and Mary-Ellis Bunim, prods. The Bad Girls Club. Oxygen. 5 December 2006. Television.

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 (

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.(

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. (

 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 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 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 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



Legend, J. [johnlegendVEVO]. (2009, February 24). P.D.A. (We Just Don’t Care). [Video File].     Retrieved from



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





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-

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

Sava, O. (2016). Jane and Petra face off on <i>Jane The Virgin</i>’s Mother’s Day showdown. Retrieved November 14, 2016, from

@. (2016). Season 2 GIF – Find & Share on GIPHY. Retrieved November 30, 2016, from
@. (2016). ABC Network GIF – Find & Share on GIPHY. Retrieved November 30, 2016, from


















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,

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. <;.

Patton, Vince. Hyla Woods. Portland: OPB, 2015. <;.

Caswell, Helen. Forest for the Trees – Crisis in Oregon’s Privately-Owned Timberlands. Salem: Salem Weekly, 2016. <;.

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:

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. 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,

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.

Can I Take Your Order?


When you think of a fast food worker, what do you see? Probably something along the lines of a teenager that may not be too bright. The portrayal of fast food workers in pop culture has largely remained the same over the years. What you usually see is an uneducated teenager who is constantly messing up. While these portrayals are often used to incite laughter, it has become a classic stereotype. When something in pop culture or the media is constantly repeated, it can be easy to start thinking that it is the truth. Through shows like Mr. Meaty and movies like Good Burger, the image of a fast food worker has been made to resemble an uneducated teen that messes up on the job. However, trends in the fast food workforce show that the current stereotype isn’t completely accurate.

Mr. Meaty

Mr. Meaty is a show centered around two teenagers, Josh Redgrove and Parker Dinkleman. Each episode is focused on the two as they work at a burger joint called Mr. Meaty and get into some wild situations. In one episode, Josh and Parker are forced to get inside a buffalo costume to advertise a new item on the menu. It’s pretty obvious at this point that something bad is going to happen. Shortly after getting in the costume, Parker farts in the costume and chaos ensues. Josh tries to get out of the costume, but in doing so, he just keeps ramming into customers causing a huge mess. This scene depicted a few common stereotypes of fast food workers. The first is that they depict both of the workers as pretty dim-witted. You would think that they would have been able to handle the situation better than going on a rampage and knocking customers over. The second is closely related to the first in that they are messing up to the dissatisfaction of the customer. Their inability to rationally deal with the problem caused them to make such a huge mess. As a whole, the show also chooses to center around two teenagers, another common stereotype among fast food workers.


Good Burger

Good Burger is a movie about two teenagers, Ed and Dexter Reed, as they try to help their restaurant from going out of business due to the competition across the street. One scene that I found both funny and very over-the-top was during an interaction between Ed and a customer. In the movie, all of the items on the menu at the Good Burger restaurant begins with the word “Good.” The scene begins with a customer asking Ed for a Good Shake. Ed responds with “OK,” and proceeds to vigorously shake the customer thinking that the customer wanted a literal “good shake.” I think most people would agree that fast food workers or people in general wouldn’t be that dense. Still, Good Burger depicts fast food workers as brainless employees that can’t do their job right.


Fast Food Workforce Statistics

Contrary to what is shown in pop culture, not all fast food workers are teenagers. John Schmitt and Janelle Jones, a Senior Economist and Research associate, respectively, conducted an analysis of government data on the fast food workforce from 2010 to 2012. Their research showed that just 30 percent of fast food workers were teenagers. Furthermore, they found that over 40 percent of fast food workers were at least 25 or older (Schmitt & Jones). The classic teenage fast food worker that is shown in pop culture no longer an accurate representation. When over two thirds of the workforce is comprised of people 20 or older, using teenagers to depict the average fast food worker isn’t fair. Another stereotype or trait that is commonly associated with fast food workers is that they are either uneducated or not very smart. Using the same set of data, the analysis showed that over 70 percent of the workforce has at least a high school diploma or the equivalent. It also showed that almost a third of the workforce has some college education. With the majority of the workforce having a high school diploma (or the equivalent) and nearly a third having some college education, the stereotypical dim-witted fast food employee is a poor representation.


From the two artifacts that I examined, the overall representation of a fast food worker was that of a dim-witted teenager. Pop culture seems to do this more as a way to get laughs than to make fun of fast food workers and that is understandable. It just becomes a problem when it is perceived as a fact. However, data suggests that these depictions aren’t accurate. The large majority of the workforce is comprised of people 20 or older, not teenagers. They also have at least a high school education or higher. Even though the depictions of fast food workers aren’t entirely accurate, I can understand why some of the stereotypes have stuck around. Where I work, I’m considered one of the older workers at just 20 years old with the majority of the employees being teenagers.

Learning Moments

One learning moment for me was Week 9’s blog topic. Media literacy is extremely important now more than ever considering how readily available information is for everyone. One google search can lead to millions of results, but not all of them are reliable or trustworthy. It’s important to be able to distinguish between what is reliable and what may be skewed in a way that is limiting some of the information.

Another learning moment was breaking down advertisements. Looking at ads critically and breaking them down to understand what they are doing and why was both informative and fun. It helped me understand why some companies choose to portray products a certain way and why other companies choose a different direction. It was interesting seeing the ways companies would try to get you to remember their products.

Works Cited

Good Burger. Dir. Brian Robbins. Perf. Keenan Thompson and Kel Mitchell. Paramount Pictures, n.d. 1997

Lenz, Jack, prod. Mr. Meaty. Nickelodeon. 30 Dec. 2005. Television.

Schmitt, Josh, and Janelle Jones. “Slow Progress for Fast-Food Workers.” The Center for Economic and Policy Research. N.p., 6 Aug. 2013. Web. 14 Nov. 2016.

African-American Women in Popular Culture

In choosing an identity, I did not think just researching woman, or African-Americans seem to draw a complete picture of who I am. Also, the two identities, female and African-American, are seen in a different light when standing alone compared to African-American woman as a group. I decided to narrow my research to looking at just movies and T.V. shows, rather than including the news, music videos and other forms of popular culture. I chose to look at the roles actresses Drew Sidora, who plays Shaunice and Faune A. Chambers who plays Gina, in the movie White Chicks. As well as the actress Kerry Washington for her portrayal of Olivia Pope in the T.V. series Scandal, and, Viola Davis who plays Annalise Keating in the T.V. series How to Get Away with Murder. I ultimately chose to look at how the portrayal of African-American women has been evolving and changing. The portrayal of an African-American woman in popular culture has evolved from what it once used to be. Though, due to a the lack of opportunity for African-American actresses to take on more complex characters, they are typically left with secondary roles. These roles are one-dimensional and very stereotypical based, which allows the viewers to generalize African-American woman to only these negative stereotypes being portrayed, such as being loud, angry and problematic.


The first artifact I evaluated was the movie White Chicks. This movie is a comedy about two brothers, Marcus and Kevin, who are FBI agents who pose as two upper-class sisters in order to catch a kidnapper. They go from being two African-American men, to two blonde white women. The movie was released back in 2004 so it is about twelve years old but many people are familiar with the movie and quote it to this day. In the movie, Marcus’ wife, Gina and her friend Shaunice, are led to believe they are going to catch Marcus cheating with another woman when in reality it was actually his brother Kevin still dressed as a woman. Gina becomes really angry and hurt and she and Shaunice leave Marcus and the “other woman” in a hotel room after finding her in the room with Marcus. Later in the film you see Gina and Shaunice planning to fight the “woman” Marcus was cheating on her with. Also in the movie you see her being the stereotypical black woman, who is mad and problematic when she is yelling at Marcus to pay more attention to her. You see her giving him attitude and using a lot of hand gestures which can be seen as “acting ghetto” or not acting with class.


This almost suggests that if you are with an African-American woman, that she is going to have an attitude often or she is going to ask for a lot of attention. People might also assume that they fight often, or they are angry all the time when in reality, the feeling of anger is not only subjected to one racial or gender group, everyone gets mad or angry at times. Some African-American woman resort to physically fighting when angry, just like any other racial group can, and to try to say that African-American woman do more so is not only false but it is generalizing an entire group of people.
According to undergraduate students, the characteristics assigned to African-Americans in popular culture holds truth to it (Punyanunt-Carter, 2008). Meaning most of the ways in which African-Americans are illustrated on T.V. and movies, many believe to be true. Which in turn means many will take what they see in our media at face value and deem it as true. I feel this shows how powerful popular culture is.  These are the secondary roles that many women of color are left to play because of the lack of diversity in roles.

Although, as the years go on the image surrounding African-American woman has taken a turn for the better, roles available to the actresses are still very limited. The next two artifacts I researched are shows that illustrated the capabilities of a woman of color. They show that if the roles were there, they could, without a doubt, be up to the task and perform well in them. I chose the pilot episodes for both the following shows because it is the first impression you get from the characters, which is very important to the storyline that follows them.

     Season 1, Episode 1:

The first is Kerry Washington’s portrayal of Washington D.C.’s fixer Olivia Pope. In the pilot episode of  Scandal, you see the newcomer, Quinn Perkins get a job at Pope and Associates, a crisis management firm. In the beginning of the episode, you watch in awe how powerful, demanding, and strong Olivia is and how she does not take no for an answer. As well as throughout the episode you see why so many in the show think of her as a legend in a sense. Then you start to the see complexity of her character come out when her ex-boyfriend, Fitzgerald Grant or the President of the United States in the show, has a crisis of his own that needs fixing. You later see how vulnerable she becomes when around him and the effect they have on each other (Shonda, 2012).


Season 1, Episode 1:

Then there is Viola Davis who plays Annalise Keating in How to Get Away with Murder. The episode starts off with a flash-forward of the season to come. Then comes back to the now and you meet five students about to attend their first class in Professor Keating’s classroom. She is shown as strong, independent, brilliant, and someone who you do not want to get on their bad side. Nowhere in the first episode do stereotypes come out in Keating’s character. I feel the writers did a good job showing how demanding and strong she is. Though, like Pope, as the episode goes on you start to see the different characteristics of Annalise. You find out she has a love interest who is not her husband. Since I watch the show, I know that just like Pope, Keating is a very complex character who you find yourself rooting for and sometimes not (Nowalk, 2014).

These are the kind of roles many African-American actresses are after, roles with depth and complexity, not a one-dimensional character. Olivia Pope shows how African-American woman can achieve something, be strong-willed, be classy and be anything other than the negative stereotypes placed on them. Both of these characters do a great job defying these stereotypes and creating a new image for women of color, an image that says that everyone is different and women of color are all different. You get to see the set up of both Pope and Keating, then see the hard shell around them crack slowly and get a glimpse into the depth of each character. As Davis said it is because of director and writers like, Shonda Rhimes, that create opportunities for a woman of color to play these dynamic roles (ABCEntertainment 2015). It is because of the secondary roles that are given to a woman of color that they are so easily seen as being angry or “ghetto”, those roles being illustrated in white chicks.  “White women are depicted that way on television, too. The difference is that they’re also given balance. … She’s also a mom and she’s sweet. She’s also sexy, she’s also sophisticated. So, what America gets to see is a balanced woman, and that is the real human experience” (Thompson, 2013). Which is something that Scandal and How to Get Away with Murder do so well, they are starting to also be given that balance to African-American woman roles.


Overall, I found that there is a lack of opportunity for an African-American woman to play roles with dimension. More chances for a woman of color to show that there is more to this community than what is being displayed in movies and T.V. shows. Though we have T.V. shows such as Scandal and How to Get Away with Murder, the opportunity for these roles is not there. It is important because so much generalization is happening and if you are not exposed to African-American woman, or all the exposure you get is from the media, or of any group of people for that matter, it becomes easy to take what you see in popular culture at face value

Learning Moments:

One learning moment that I feel has now helped me, and I believe will continue to help me throughout my college career, was learning the difference between primary and secondary sources. I honestly did not know there was a difference so I am really glad I learned that early in my college years.

Another was in week 4, the viewing of “Ways of Seeing” and the comparison of oil paintings and publicity. I found it really interesting that he pointed out that the purpose of these types of advertisements is related to the principle that you are what you have. The idea that publicity is appealing to a way of life that we want or think we want, is something I find to be true. I know first hand that feeling of, “If I could just have this one thing, my life would change drastically.” The ideas behind publicity that he talked about really opened my eyes to the world we live in as well as the value I have put and currently put on materialistic things.

Works Cited

ABCEntertainment. 2015. “Viola Davis wins Emmy Awards 2015.”. Retrieved November 7, 2016 (

Cheung, Ariel. 2015. “Black women’s progress collides with media stereotypes.” February 11.

Nowalk, P. (Writer), & Offer, M. (Director). (2014 September 25). Pilot [Television series episode]. How to Get Away with Murder. ABC. USA.

Punyanunt-Carter, N. M. (2008). The perceived realism of African American portrayals on television. Howard Journal of Communications, 19(3), 241–257. doi 10.1080/10646170802218263

Rhimes, S. (Writer), &  McGuigan, P. (Director). (2012, April 5). Sweet Baby [Television series episode]. Scandal. ABC. USA.

Thompson, A. (2013, December 17). Where are the black women in Hollywood? . Retrieved from black-women-in-film-tv/3443751/

Wayans, K. (Director). (2004). White chicks [film]. USA.


It is easy to count the amount of Latina actresses in present Hollywood on one hand. Within that group there is not many Latina actresses that play realistic roles. The portrayal of Latinas in U.S. television has been an inaccurate representation and has lead to the inadequate role models available for young Latina women. I have noticed that most roles that are given to Latina actresses are those that depict sexy and curvy women. This is true for Desperate Housewives and Modern Family, shows that started on ABC several years ago. Jane the Virgin on the other hand, is a fairly recently made show that contrasts the other two mentioned. This show depicts an independent mother that goes to school and works, whereas the other two display a husband-dependent housewife.

Desperate Housewives
This  television drama consists of five housewives that live on Wisteria Lane and was first aired in 2004. One of the housewives is a retired model Gabrielle Solis who is played by Eva Longoria. Her character married a rich Carlos Solis and moved to the suburbs where she spends her days shopping or ordering her maid to clean. She waits for her husband to return from a long day at work in her sexy lingerie like she is some kind of trophy wife. She has no kids at the beginning of the show and is tricked into having some by her husband. She is financially dependent on her husband and she has no problem with that. I think this is an inaccurate representation of a stay at home Latina mom, and also does not serve as a role model for young women who watch the show. It can be easily translated that if there is beauty, all troubles will seem minimal because you could simply be a model and marry rich, when this is not the standard that young women should have. Young women should learn to be successful and not have to rely on anyone else to take care of them. They shouldn’t be taught that in order to live a lavish lifestyle they will have to be “sexy enough” for their spouse to love.

Modern Family

Modern Family is a comedy that unlike Desperate Housewives still airs on ABC and has been on since 2009 and the Latina character in this show is Gloria, played by Sofia Vergara. She is a beautiful woman with very curvy features and a thick Spanish accent. I think Sofia has a thick accent in real life too, but the show seems to emphasize this greatly and run on funny skits and scenes about it throughout all seasons. The other characters can’t understand her so she is constantly repeating herself and creating issues because of mispronunciation. Her son is the only one who knows what she is saying and serves like a “translator” to the others even though she is still speaking English. She is married to an older man and is a stay at home mom. This displays a passion that Latina women embody but I think in a overly dramatic way. Gloria is constantly yelling about something and talking with her hands, which I think is a stereotype of Latinas. Her curvy body serves as an unrealistic goal for young women and raises the expectations for what their bodies should look like, even though everyone’s body is different.giphy3

Both of the ABC shows depict a dependent housewives that don’t really contribute to society and are just there to basically “look pretty.” Both characters are known to show more skin and wear body hugging clothing, where the other white women in the show don’t have a wardrobe a revealing or bright. I think that adding diversity to their shows will attract more latino viewers, but I also think that there is a right way to do it.

Jane the Virgin

Jane the Virgin is a show that plays on The CW and has been airing since 2014, so this makes this show the most recent of the three. The protagonist of this show is Jane Villanueva, played by Gina Rodriguez and is accidentally inseminated with sperm before having sex so she is a pregnant virgin. It is themed like a telenovela and has dramatic scenes with ironic narration. Jane lives with her grandma and her mother in Miami and works while going to school. She pursues a higher education despite being pregnant and defies the odds against her. This show has quite a few differences than the other two and I think adequately represents what a role model should be. Gina is not as petite or skinny as Sofia or Eva and displays a more acceptable body type for many women watching. In the other two shows, Sofia and Eva are the only Latinas casted, whereas this show includes even more diversity with  several Latina actors and actresses. This show is more culturally appropriate as well with an immigrant grandmother who only speaks Spanish that I think many can relate to. This is an example of how Jane the Virgin presents a more accurate representation of Latinas in popular culture.

Lesson learned
Through this class many people shared the misrepresentation of their culture in the media. I realized that American shows, movies, and even commercials portray inaccurate representations of many cultures and not just Latina culture. What I have seen on television shows about other people’s ethnicities and cultures have been wrong. I now know that most ideas shown by media feed into stereotypes. I have also learned that the way an advertisement is taken, is exactly how producers planned it to be. They want consumer to feel and think a certain way.

Growing up I have always searched for the Latina role model. Being Latina I always felt that there was an inaccurate portrayal of Latinas in U.S. television with negative role models. I have never felt connected to a character like the motivated one from Jane the Virgin. This shows that the depiction of Latina women is changing and evolving for the better. Hopefully shows like this continue to rise and spread so that the Latina community can be perceived as it is.

Beltran, Mary. “The Hollywood Latina Body as Site of Social Sturggle: Media Constructions of Stardom and Jennifer Lopez’s “Cross-over Butt”” Quarterly Review of Film and Video 19.1 (2002): 71-86. Web.

Concepcion, Nina. “9 Times “Jane The Virgin” Got Latino Culture Right.” We Are Mitú. We Are Mitú, 20 May 2016. Web. Nov. 2016.

Guzmán, Isabel Molina, and Angharad N. Valdivia. “Brain, Brow, and Booty: Latina Iconicity in U.S. Popular Culture.” The Communication Review 7.2 (2004): 205-21. Web.

Merskin, Debra. “Three Faces of Eva: Perpetuation of The Hot-Latina Stereotype in Desperate Housewives.” Howard Journal of Communications 18.2 (2007): 133-51. Web.

“Modern Family: The Many Mispronunciations of Sofia Vergara’s ‘Gloria’” Guyism, 21 Sep 2011.

The Medias Portrayal of Low Income Students

When I first started this project, I already had thoughts in my heads about how low income students are being portrayed in pop culture media. My thoughts were that low income students were seen as helpless and did not want to accept the reality of their situations. What I discovered through my analysis and my pop culture media pieces was that there were patterns of how low income students were being portrayed and their willingness to accept help. Patterns such as being a minority, living in the “ghetto”, going to a school that was in a bad neighborhood/environment, and being a “hard head”.

What I discovered in the media was that there was always help being given to these students. I’m certain that pop culture media has a vision for the audience to see that these students are all of low income but there is always some help that will be there to guide them. All that needs to happen is those that are in need of help need to be willing to accept it. With two of the pop culture medias that I am analyzing, you will be able to see that there are students that make it hard to accept help, however, with my third media it can be seen that help was wanted and appreciated.

Freedom Writers:

freedomwritersThe first piece of pop culture that I analyzed was a movie produced in 2007, The Freedom Writers. This movie is about a white teacher who comes in to teach a Freshmen English class at Wilson High school in Long Beach, California. This school is a diverse school and the class she is teaching has students of violent and abusive backgrounds. These students are all of minorities; African American, Asian, and Latino (however, there is one caucasian kid).

The New York Times did a review on this movie and called them “extraordinary young people1”. These young kids in the movie have all different kinds of stories. There is a African American girl who goes to school and takes care of her sister, feeds her and helps her with homework. While her mom and dad are constantly doing drugs and fighting with one another. There are kids that are dealing drugs and are in gangs. Kids that are homeless. All of these students that are in this class come from low-income families that can not afford to be there for their families and thus they compromise themselves with drugs, gangs, etc.

Actress Hillary Swank, who plays the teacher in this movie, really encourages the students to open up and realize that they are useful in society and they have a much better path that they can take. Once I began to analyze her role in the film, I realized that she was the help that these students needed. The media portrays these kids as “hard headed” and at first they do not accept the help from her and do not want anything to do with her.


Referring back to my initial thoughts on students not wanting to accept the help, as the film progresses it becomes clear that these students begin to realize that they need to accept it to benefit themselves.


Once they begin to realize that there is so much more to life that they have not seen these students begin to do better in school and better for their community. The help that was given was a dedicated teacher who did everything in her power to ensure that these students are safe and successful.

Dangerous Minds:



This piece that I am choosing to also analyze is similar to the film Freedom Writers. This film is called Dangerous Minds. The teacher in this movie, LouAnne Johnson, played by Michelle Pfeiffer, takes a teaching position at a school with mostly African American Students and Latina/o students who come from low income families and racially segregated neighborhoods that are full of drugs and gangs. These students give her a hard time at first. They do not want to accept the help that she wanted to offer to them. The New York Times review on this movie talked about her connections with the students and how at one scene she offers to take them out to eat and how she makes one phone calls and just helping them solve there problems2. She has offered a helping hand and eventually these students give in and take that hand and accept the help. One scene in the film as a parent that comes to talk to Ms. Johnson and calls her out on giving her kid all these assignments and calling it useless because she is not trying to raise a doctor or lawyer. However, Ms. Johnson never gives up she continues to fight for the students and help them. The kind of background that these students are coming from at home reflect how they do in school and what they want to strive to be and how successful they want to be. These students if they wanted, they accepted the help. 

Once again, referring back to my initial thoughts. It was true that these students refused the help at first and did not want to listen but eventually they are giving in. There’s a patter that is seen that the pop culture media wants their audience to see the attitudes that the low income students are giving and the hard working teacher that is passionate about her students and then that eventually leading to the students success. It’s a pattern that can be seen in the Freedom Writers and Dangerous Minds.

Ellen Degeneres:

ellendegeneresThis piece that I am choosing to analyze is different from my past two. This is a segment from the Ellen Degeneres Show. Ellen is known to help a lot of people out when they are in need or when they have done something good. A lot of those that need help get a surprise from her. This particular segment is about teachers at Whitney Achievement Elementary School in Frayser Memphis, Tennessee. This school is home to low income families that has this program that walks their students home because many of their students do walk home alone. These students have aspirations to go to college and want the help. This is a difference than how both the films Freedom Writers and Dangerous Minds portray students of low income. These kids in this segment want to go to college and aspire to be lawyers, teachers, chefs, etc. Also, a difference is that these students are willing to take the help right away because they know that this help that Ellen is giving to them will truly be helpful for them.


When it comes to pop culture movies, the audience can see that the pattern that I mentioned earlier, students being difficult to accept the help. However, it differs in tv shows such as the Ellen Degeneres Show. This is where my point of help needing to be wanted is wrong because here it can be seen that these students want the help and are asking for the help.


Pop culture has been portraying students of low income in several different ways. Hollywood, as seen from my first two analyzes, likes to portray students of low income having difficult life in gangs, drugs, homelessness, etc. The pop culture media from Hollywood likes to portray there characters as not wanting to accept help from anybody and being very difficult at first and finally easing into it. However, in reality and present time it seems as though these stereotypes do not define the student and the student definitely does not want it defining them (as seen in the Ellen Degeneres segment). Not all minorities undergo these struggles, they defeat the odd and accept the help around them.

Learning Moments:

One learning moment that I really found interesting during this course was during week 4: The Influence of Advertising. This unit was very interesting to me and it made me realize how much pop culture has shifted to fit into society. I pointed out in our blog post that the axe commercial had a shift of “attitude”. Professor Daneen had given us an advertisement video from axe that sexualized girls. There new commercials did not sexualize girls and instead made men feel more confident with themselves using their products. Pop culture media has been evolving with our everyday culture and our shifts in attitudes.

Another learning moment for me was when we had a discussion prompt about the history of advertisement. We had the opportunity to pick any advertisement that we wanted to and analyze it. When reading all of my peers evaluation on their ad and why they chose it and what the ad was trying to convince, it made me realize yet again pop culture is evolving. Most of these advertisements chosen by my peers were recently made. The ads are for a big audience not just for a single individual group. Pop culture media has influenced many of us with their persuasiveness and imagery their videos. It makes me realize that pop culture media plays a huge part in our lives because we value what is being put out there in the media or the world that we describe as our culture.


[1] Dargis, Manohla. “Freedom Writers – Hilary Swank – Movie – Review – The New …” The New York Times, 5 Jan. 2007. Web. 14 Nov. 2016.

[2]  Maslin, Janet. “Movie Review – – FILM REVIEW; If Teacher Is Pfeiffer, Can …” The New York Times, 11 Aug. 1995. Web. 14 Nov. 2016.












Hispanic Representation in Popular Culture


The consumption of mass media has become integrated into our society. Content comes in varying shapes and forms. From billboards, hit singles on the radio, to the newest season of Keeping up with the Kardashians. All this exposure results in the portrayal of people from all walks of life. Looking into the growing Hispanic population in the United States, it was obvious that there is a large amount of negative stereotyping in animated television, television shows, and movies.

Animated Television

Animated television is the epitome of the stereotypical Hispanic. All you have to do is turn to popular shows like Family Guy and South Park. Both these shows have been on television for over ten years and new episodes are still airing on television.

The main Latino representation in the show Family Guy is a middle-aged maid named Consuela. She has a Hispanic accent and speaks broken English. She refers to everyone as “misser” regardless of gender. Given the feeling that she is lesser than those that she serves. While working at the Griffin residence, she kicks the family dog (Brian) out of the house while constantly saying “afuera” (Beltran, 2012). Brian, is a main character of the show and is a very intellectual, talking dog. Consuela doesn’t care about that and being a hardheaded Latina woman quickly puts the dog in his place. During her upkeeping of the home, she steals $1000 in play money from the Griffin toddler Stewie. When questioned about it she openly says that she took the money and when asked to give it back she says, ‘come get b****’ (MacFarlane, 2009). This depicts that Latino maids are untrustworthy and quite frankly are criminals. She eventually gets fired by the Griffins but she refuses to leaves her job. So, Peter (father) goes to extreme measures and used chloroform to remove her from the house. Once again going into this stigma that Hispanics are stubborn and in order to get them to abide one must take violent measures. In a later episode, Consuela is shown visiting her son in prison. Further adding to the stigma that Hispanics are hardwired to be involved in criminal activity. To add to the long list of negative qualities, she can’t even be trusted to perform everyday tasks. She struggles to write down a ten-digit telephone number. According to Myles Beltran, “…Consuela fits into the negative stereotype of the unintelligent, untrustworthy, Latina maid,” (Beltran, 2012).

Consuela has it bad in Family Guy but South Park is not much different. Hispanics in this show are substituted by hand puppets (Parker & Stone, 2003). This hand puppet is representation of Jennifer Lopez. She has a heavy accent and the Caucasian character Cartman corrects her improper pronunciation of her own name. Her Spanglish is offensive because it is a very stereotypical depiction of the way Hispanics talk. She then goes on and does a little performance about the way she likes her tacos. Depicting that no matter how successful Latinos are, they still prefer to only eat tacos and burritos. Take into account that this borderline racist act is taking place at an elementary school during a cultural diversity assembly in front of the Latino Endowment Committee. The committee applauded the performance instead of being offended. This sort of encouragement was perplexing because his speech was clearly offensive and racist towards Latinos. Even Cartman’s teacher and the principal had a confused look on their face when they notice that the committee is clapping. In the end, he gets awarded a $20 award for his speech. Jennifer Lopez was actually offended by this interpretation of her. Trey Parker, co-creator of the show, stated, ‘…we heard from some friends that were on a set of a Jennifer Lopez movie she was doing and they said that when she would walk by, some of the lower people like the PAs would say, ‘Oooh tacos, I love tacos…’ And that she got so mad and had to fire people…’. If the Hispanic characters aren’t hand puppets, then they are depicted as the stereotypical sleepy Mexican. This Hispanic character was sleeping on the job, works as a janitor, and has a hat on that says ‘Yo (heart) TACO’ (Parker & Stone, 2002). Once again going with this sense that Latinos live off eating tacos. Like Consuela, the character is working a low-income job and shows no further advancement in his societal status.


Cartman’s Speech:

Television Shows 

When it comes to television actors, you are more likely to see a Hispanic play the role of a maid or a gangbanger than a lawyer or a doctor. Nadra Kareem Nittle brings up the shift from African Americans playing the role of domestic workers to now Latinos taking up the roles (Nittle, 2016). Hispanic actress Lupe Ontivero estimated that she been a maid more than 150 times on multiple occasions including the show Reba (Bryce, 2009). She states, ‘I long to play a judge. I long to play a lesbian woman. I long to play a councilman…’ (Bryce, 2009). Popular shows like Devious Maids and Breaking Bad; do a disservice to Latinos because they further support this generalization.

In the show Breaking Bad, there is negative stereotyping towards Hispanic males. Recently Hispanics males have begun to be label as violent and heavily involved in gang related activity. This sort of stigma was given rise due to the Mexican Drug War and Hollywood took advantage of this. In Breaking Bad, all the Latino males are aggressive, money hungry, self-centered drug dealers. The two main antagonist in the show are both Hispanic males drug lords (Tuco and Crazy 8).  In episode 6 a DEA agent is describing to a group of other DEA agents as the new flow of meth not coming out of, “some Mexican super lab” (Woods, 2013). It might seem insignificant, but all these negative connotations actually affect the perception of the Latino population in the United States.

The show Devious Maids is a show with an all lead roles taken up by Latina but they are all playing the roles of housekeepers. Eva Longoria (co-executive producer) states, ‘the show is debunking stereotypes by showing Latina maids as more than maids,’ (Reyes, 2013). Raul Reyes disagrees and say that the show is in fact reinforcing stereotypes. The show has drawn negative reactions from the Hispanic community because it fails to represent the progress of Latinas on television. He goes on to say that in the first few episodes the show managed to nail every cliché; depicted as subservient, oversexualized, and very chismosa (gossipy). Another show to add the list of stereotypical Hollywood roles. Not only are they playing the roles of low income workers but they are primarily working for rich Caucasian families. Instead of living their own lives, they live for their employers and are expected to meet their every demand.


Hispanics are extremely beneficial to the economic welfare of the United States and the movie, “A Day Without a Mexican” provides a terrible representation of what would happen if all Mexicans disappeared. In the movie, Latinos are all grouped together under the Mexican ethnicity (Rios, 2015). There is no differentiation of the different traditions, cultures, beliefs, or even languages. We don’t all speak Spanish and that’s a very common misconception. This concept that we are all the same causes lack of diversity within the Hispanic community. If you watch the trailer to for the movie you notice that the sudden disappearance of all the “Mexican” cause extreme hardship for all the Caucasian people. No one is left to park your car, mow the lawns, or serve you your water at a restaurant. This just goes to show that Mexican’s occupy all the undesirable jobs. The careers of the professional Latino workers are unaccounted for. They are easier to replace because there are a lot less of them. However, the dirty jobs must be maintained by the “Mexicans” in order for luxury to be readily available.


In conclusion, the generalization of Hispanics in animated shows, television series, and film. Results in an inaccurate portrayal of the diversity within the Hispanic community. It disregards the educated Latinos that are contributing members of society.

Learning Moments:

My most memorable leaning moment had to have been during Week 4: The Influence of Advertising. I got to learn about and analyze all the underlying messages that I usually don’t pay attention to on a day to day basis. I found the “WAYS OF SEEING” videos to be very informative and valid in many cases. He put a great emphasis on envy and how that leads to the consumption of more materialistic goods. I ranted on the course blog about how this sense of greed fuels us to obtain more wealth (money, jewel, stuff) and just how much emphasis companies put on it. Sales are associated with every holiday to the point where the holidays are so bland that it’s almost meaningless.

A second learning moment came with Week 6: Finding, Evaluating, and Analyzing Primary and Secondary Sources. I loved really analyzing the Adidas (House Party) ad because I got to focus on the purpose of the video. I essentially focused on my who, what, when, where, and why form of analysis and structured it to find the overall goal of the commercial. I found this task to be very entertaining because I paid a lot more attention to minute details. Like the demographic being represented, the way the clothing line was displayed, the brief appearance of celebrities, and the sexualization of people’s bodies.



Beltran, Myles. “Family Guy.” Latina/o Representation and FOX Broadcasting Company. Blogger, 27 Nov. 2012. Web. 29 Nov. 2016.

Bryce, Alison. “Latina Actress Aims To Break Maid Stereotype.” Npr. N.p., 19 Apr. 2009. Web. 29 Nov. 2016.

Cazzidy. “Some Celebs Responses to South Park Parody.” Lipstick Alley. N.p., 26 May 2014. Web. 29 Nov. 2016.

MacFarlane, Seth. “Dog Gone.” IMDb., 29 Nov. 2009. Web. 29 Nov. 2016.

Nittle, Nadra Kareem. “Five Common Latino Stereotypes in Television and Film.” About News. ZergNet, 08 Jan. 2016. Web. 29 Nov. 2016.

Parker, Trey, and Matt Stone. “I Eat Tacos & Burritos.” South Park Studios. Hulu, 16 Apr. 2003. Web. 29 Nov. 2016.

Parker, Trey, and Matt Stone. “Museum of Tolerance.” South Park Studios. Hulu, 20 Nov. 2002. Web. 29 Nov. 2016.

Reyes, Raul. “‘Devious Maids’ Does a Disservice to Latinos: Column.” USA Today. Gannett Satellite Information Network, 09 July 2013. Web. 29 Nov. 2016.

Rios, Zelma. “8 Examples of the Problem Hollywood Has Portraying Mexico and Mexicans.” Borderzine. N.p., 26 Apr. 2015. Web. 29 Nov. 2016.

Woods, Justin. “CAPS Blog #5: Stereotyping in Breaking Bad (Season 1: Episodes 1-6).” Comm 211x Fall 2013. Blogger, 08 Nov. 2013. Web. 29 Nov. 2016.







The Perception of People Who Work In Business Through Popular Culture


Something that I’ve wanted to dive into was anything remotely surrounded by business. The reason why is because of a chart I came across last year in one of my business prerequisite courses. This chart revealed statistics of both the most trusted and least trusted occupations in the United States. I found it interesting because the field my classmates and I that were entering is one that isn’t necessarily trusted by the general public (at least statistically).It was interesting to see what society generally perceived of people who work in business so I thought I should explore this through Popular Culture. Something that comes up in business is ethics and how it presents itself culturally through some events that have happened in the past. Even though people of business are one of the least trusted occupants, an effort to take business ethics seriously is usually put into place through a code of ethics.  While researching, I kept in mind of the probability of the perception of people who work in business changing after the Great Recession of 2008 because I also wanted to see if that affected the perception at all. With what I have learned, it seems that the field of business must earn societies’ trust through its actions with consistency because there is and always has been unethical activity in the past as well as learning that there are businesses trying to have a good relationship with the public.

Portrayal in Popular Culture

A recent film by Martin Scorsese and Paramount Pictures probably presents the most explicit adventure and activities accomplished by any boss for a company with The Wolf of Wall Street. In The Wolf of Wall Street, Jordan Belfort, is an aspiring stock trader that desires some of the finer things in life as well as building something great with his colleagues. From the ground up, he starts his own company with a partner titled “Stratton Oakmont” selling phony shares disguised as a reputable firm. Stratton Oakmont makes news and the company continues to grow.

As Belfort and colleagues get richer, they go through a wild adventure of drugs, prostitutes, and other shenanigans. Following Belfort, he goes through a divorce after having an affair with his wife, takes expensive drugs that no one has ever heard of, and works around with other “crooked” bankers and lawyers to keep him away from prison as he opens a Swedish bank account under a relative’s name to keep some of his money away from authorities. Eventually his firm does go through a downfall from the SEC (Securities Exchange Commission) and FBI (Federal Beauru-Investigation). Belfort even admits that majority of his firm’s operations were illegal and yet he continued (Scorsese, 2013).

The success of the film generated some news since it was entertaining for the audience but also brought up a discussion from the public asking if people who work in business can be trusted. While looking at this question, I thought about the perspective of what society thinks about people who work in positions like this.

While researching, I found a study that rates occupations in the U.S. based off a survey where respondents rate the ethical standards of some occupations which was very similar to the chart mentioned earlier from my business class. This was from Gallup, a website that dedicates itself to complete surveys to present information. This particular survey was done in November 2012. The bottom thirteen occupations consisted of jobs that involved anything related to congress, banking, and business while the top three (rated with higher ethical standards) were pharmacists, medical doctors, and engineers.

This gives me an idea of what occupants are more trusted compared to others. Pharmacists and medical doctors are generally occupants that are supposed to take care of others so maybe it is not too surprising that they could have a higher ethical rating from the survey respondents compared to the bottom thirteen which contain bankers, cars sales people, members of congress, senators, and business executives which have really low ratings for ethical standards.




So after watching a film like The Wolf of Wall Street where Jordan Belfort and his company committed unethical acts that included ripping off people with selling phony stock; then this study does not seem too surprising when you see stockbrokers, business executives, and bankers given very low scores for trust and ethical standards. This does give a hint showing that people generally do care about what goes on in the workplace. Good and bad.

Does the Public Care About Ethics in the Workplace?

I started wondering if customers care at all by a company’s operations and if they do care about the ethical standards they impose. A study that I ran into while researching pertained to whether or not the ethical standards affect their decision to purchase a product or service. University of Arkansas professor, Elizabeth Creyer in 1997, did that study. Creyer conducted a survey to see whether some form of the public cares about a company’s actions in Arkansas. She gave a survey slip to parents at an elementary school providing a rating along with questions. Some notes that I found while reading her study were:

  • Ethicality of a firm’s behavior is an important consideration during the purchase decision
  • Ethical corporate behavior is expected
  • They will reward ethical behavior by a willingness to pay higher prices for that firm’s product
  • Although they may buy from an unethical firm, they want to do so at lower prices which, in effect, punishes the unethical activities.

What I have found when I read this study was that consumers genuinely care about a company’s actions and it can affect their buying decisions. If a company can be proven to be ethical then they might just be rewarded with justified pricing if that is why their product or service costs a bit more than the competition. If it is known that, they are not very ethical then consumers rather expect cheaper prices. Knowing this is interesting because it acknowledges that customers are aware of a company’s actions and though they might still purchase anything from that company, they are aware. To me, this shows that no matter what the product, there might be a sense of distrust between the customer and the company.

An example of a film that shows an ill relationship between someone who was affected negatively by a sale of a share from a stockbroker was Uwe Boll’s 2013 film: Assault on Wall Street. Boll wanted to present a film through the perspective of a victim of the 2008 financial crisis who pretty much lost everything. The main character was a security guard who had a terminally ill wife and needed some money. He was advised from a stockbroker to purchase a share that was already introduced earlier in the film to fail since a manager from that firm wanted to get rid of that particular share and wanted all employees to sell it. The security guard purchases the share and ends up losing a lot of money. His wife commits suicide through guilt and his house is foreclosed. The security guard then turns into an assassin and goes on a secret spree to kill those who were behind the scandal as the media becomes aware of the failing shares. Boll wanted his audience to be people who were affected by the Great Recession of 2008 and he did study the Great Recession for this film (Boll, 2013).

After the 2008 recession, there seems to be an increase in the negative portrayal of bankers, executives, and pretty much, anyone working in finance. That reveals itself with these films and with support from the survey from earlier, gives a cumulative sense that society does not give its full trust to those occupants.

A popular film that I wanted to include that was released before the recession was Gabriele Muccino’s The Pursuit of Happyness from 2006, two years before the recession. In this film, an aspiring stockbroker who made a bad investment tries to get a position at a firm in New York City all while taking care of his son and going through some everyday challenges. Because of the bad investment, Chris Gardner (the father) and his son are homeless and every day they try to find a place to stay in a shelter and are constantly running around either for the bus or whenever Chris tries talking to a colleague or client. Chris goes through some training for a position at a firm he wants to work for and throughout the film, you see Chris behave very politely to his colleagues and clients and is able to do well enough to get that position he desired and became a respectable stockbroker in New York. In real life Chris becomes a millionaire and a motivational speaker.

This film is different from the other two in the sense that it doesn’t show a lot of unethical activity while he is working for his firm. Gardner works hard as he is able to work well with some high profile clients that impresses his eventual bosses. A question that comes into mind while looking at these three films is that would another film like The Pursuit of Happyness, a film that presents a positive portrayal of people who work hard in business ever be produced after the recession? I believe it could if there is a story like Chris Gardner’s where he did have to overcome some adversary.


In reality, businesses are now more than ever trying to gain the trust of customers by advertising and implementing practices that supports their code of ethics in the workplace. I came across an article by David K. Williams, the CEO of Fishbowl Inventory which is a company based in Utah that produces inventory management software (Williams). As someone who works in business he understands that an important aspect of business that is hard to measure is trust. He brings up that the relationships created with his customers matter to his company’s success, which is based off trust. When there is a healthy and lively environment in his business, completing difficult tasks and earning trust from customers does not become an issue. Some traits that he wants his employees to have are:

  • Being loyal to each other
  • Seek to understand instead of judge
  • Take issues directly to the source
  • Express genuine appreciation with everyone
  • Help others with critical tasks, employees or clients, “We’re all in this together”

This to me shows that businesses are trying to build relationships that involves loyalty and trust with customers, which doesn’t match what popular culture makes of this portrayal. A famous example of another company would be Google Inc. where the first line on their code of ethics is “Don’t be evil” which then became their model. Not all companies, but some are trying to represent themselves well to the public.


With what I’ve learned, it seems that generally the field of business must earn societies’ trust through its actions with consistency. I say with consistency because having a track record of ethical standards taken seriously is a way to help change the perception. Preventing unethical activity constantly in the workplace is a good start and it will take some time to change the perception of the public. What I’ve also learned is that people do care about what is going on in the workplace in all businesses. In addition, some businesses do care about what the public thinks because it is beneficial for both parties to have trust established.

Work Cited

Assault On Wall Street. Dir. Uwe Boll. Lynn Peak Productions. 2013. DVD.

Creyer, Elizabeth H. “The Influence of Firm Behavior on Purchase Intention: Do Consumers Really Care About Business Ethics?” Journal of Consumer Marketing 1997: 421-432.

Scott, A.O. When Greed was Good (And Fun). 24 December 2013. 6 November 2016.

The Pursuit of Happyness. Dir. Gabriele Muccino. Overbrook Entertainment. 2006. DVD.

The Wolf of Wall Street. Dir. Martin Scorsese. Paramount Pictures. 2013. DVD.

Williams, David K. The Most Valuable Business Commodity. 20 June 2013. 4 November 2016.

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.


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.



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.

Studio shot of two jars with coins labeled

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.


“41% of US teenagers experience cyber-bullying.” Total Telecom Magazine, 19 Jan. 2012. Business Collection, Accessed 3 Nov. 2016.

“Competition is a double-edged sword for teenage girls.” Mental Health Weekly Digest, 19 July 2010, p. 55. General OneFile. <|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. < >

Gonzales, By Erica. “22 Celebrity Women on Gender Inequality in Hollywood.” Harper’s BAZAAR. N.p., 26 Aug. 2016. Web. 13 Nov. 2016. <>

Punpun Sutatta. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Nov. 2016. < >

“Quotes.” Pinterest. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Nov. 2016. < >

“Stereotypes & Gender Roles.” You Cant Sit With Us. N.p., 10 Nov. 2013. Web. 13 Nov. 2016. <;

Stuartbrazellofficial. “HomeTHE 10 BEST ‘MEAN GIRLS’ QUOTES.” Dirty and Thirty RSS. N.p., 03 Oct. 2015. Web. 13 Nov. 2016.< >

The Representation of Portlanders in Portlandia

          Portland is known as a safe haven for hipsters and people that support counterculture. portlandia-s5-opie-blue-series1The show Portlandia has influenced that, and created this view of Portland. Carrie Brownstein and Fred Armisen, the two lead roles in the show, did this by representing Portland and its stereotypes into a show. Every episode is filmed in Portland, and every set is volunteered by locals. The only issue with this show, is that people either like and relate to the shows portrayal or find it insulting. The show Portlandia does a great job portraying the stereotypes of Portlanders, in ways that include the way they are extremely polite, how they support their bicycle rights, and how they are into artisan stores.  

Courteous Drivers

  • The first clip that I wanted to analyse was a clip from episode three in the second season of the show. The clip is called, “No You Go,” and it is about the interaction of two people, and how they stop at a 4-way intersection. They both end up being polite, and try to let the other person go first. Then they proceed to telling the other person to go, and they do this back and forth for a while. Soon they both are doing ridiculous thing to try and make the other person go. These include ordering food, doing a crossword in a newspaper, suntanning, washing their car, and acting like they are direction traffic. During the whole video, one person doesn’t even have a stop sign. This clip is used to portray the over-courteous people in Portland. It gets a little over the top, but it is supposed to be a parody of something so simple. This being that being people are courteous. Personally, I see this happen around my neighborhood, and it is at a 4-way stop close to my house. People are always waving for the other person to go ahead, and it is always nice to see this happen.

Bicycle Rights

  • The second video is about Portlanders and their bicycle rights, and it was on the fourth episode of season one. The video goes really fast, but there are a lot of stereotypes listed in the video at random points. Some stuff said in the video include, “I don’t have drivers licence, I don’t need it,” “go vegan,” and “bicycle rights.” The character, who is played by Fred Armisen, is represented in a certain way to give the unique look that sets him apart from the norm. This is one of the things that sets Portland people apart from other people in the world. People in Portland aren’t ones to criticize verbally, so people just where what they want. They gave him this by making him have a scruffy beard, big gauges in his ears, patchy shirt, and a colorful hat. As you may not of known, Portland has the nation’s highest percentage of bike commuters, and it has 315 miles of bikeways. Going to PSU really helps explain the importance of biking, and this is because so many people depend on them to get around campus. There are bike racks all over the place, and they always are almost full during the busy parts of the day.

Artisan Knot Store

  • The third video that I analysed, was about a artisan knot store, and it is a parody of Portland’s artisan products. This was a skit in the second episode from the second season of Portlandia. The store owner is played by guest star, Jeff Goldblum, and he is trying to sell them his knots. In the beginning of the video, you can see a newspaper that says, “Do “knot” miss this trend,” and that is about how Portland is always having new trends all the time. It may be true that there is not a artisan knot store in Portland, but there are plenty of different artisan stands at the Saturday market on the waterfront. From what I’ve seen at the Saturday market, almost every single stand could be considered an artisan product.

Conflicting Thoughts From Portlanders

  • There are many conflicting thoughts on why Portlandia is either offensive towards Portlanders or how it praises their unique characteristics. In this short clip above, Carrie Brownstein is being interviewed about Portlandia. The interview is about how Portlanders sometimes find the show insulting. One thing said during the interview was that in the show, that they are “affectionately satirizing and making extreme, a real set of behaviors.” John Hodgman, one of the interviews, said that the show “plays with Portlandians desire to be offended at all times, but at the same time, you’re also playing into their desire to be recognised.” That is one of the main reasons on why the show is either hated or loved by Portlanders.
  • There was a site where there was a question that was targeted towards people’s’ view of Portlandia. The question asked was, “What do people who live in Portland, OR think of Portlandia?” Underneath the question asked, there are genuine answers on how people think of the show and how it represented Portlanders. There is a difference in feelings for the show. This is either that they like the show and it characterizes Portlanders really well, or that it negatives portrays Portland. One thing that stood out was, how people are conflicted on the topic. One person said that “no matter how authentically weird Portlandia is, the real Portland will always be a little bit weirder.” Then there was a serious comment on how it has ruined Portland. A commenter named, Jamie, said that it beats to death the representations of characters. Another thing she said was that it exposed Portland to the world, and it is part of the reason on why so many people have moved here. Some of the representations in the show are true, but they are slowly disappearing because of the rise of the cost of living. Smaller jobs/hobbies that people make a living off of, such as art, are being lost because they don’t provide enough income to live in Portland today.


  • The view of Portlanders represented in the show Portlandia is true, but to an extent. This extent is how it over-exaggerated the characters represented in the show. The keypoint of the show is a over the top satirical view of the city of Portland, OR. There will always be both sides of the argument towards Portlandia, this argument being that it is correctly representing Portland. People will both view it as relatable, but some will find it insulting to them because of the portrayal of some characters. Over the course of the seasons of the show, it is slowly turning Portland into what the show portrays. One of my articles, is about how Portlandia poorly caricatured Portland. In the beginning of the article it says how Portlandia’s representation of how Portland is a place about. “the depiction of a crunchy, fussy, foodie mecca where the young people go to retire” has stuck, and it’s becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy.” It then talks on how all the caricatures about Portland portrayed in Portlandia are actually true, but these are being exaggerated in the show. The show is always going to be over the top because that is how they capture their audience’s attention.

Learning Moments

  • The first learning point that I found the most beneficial was about library sources. I never really knew that the library’s website could be such a big help when doing research. There are so many different ways to search for information about a topic, and sources to help you write essays better. I will definitely be using these in the future, whether it is for searching for sources or for help on forming an essay.
  • Another learning point from this class could include, that I have become better at analyzing articles/videos without a bias. I always end up giving my own ideas when I am interpreting a video/article, and this was a way to avoid that. The keypoint of analyzing was to gather as much information as we could. We did this multiple times during the term, and it helped me improve on gathering information from sources.

Work Cited

Armisen, Fred, et al. Portlandia. Season One /. Toronto, Ontario: VSC, 2011. DVD.

AtariGuy666. “Portlandia – The Knot Store.” YouTube. YouTube, 14 Feb. 2012. Web. 13 Nov. 2016.

CTFORUM. “Carrie Brownstein – “Portlandia” Offensive to Portlanders?” YouTube. YouTube, 08 July 2013. Web. 13 Nov. 2016.

Graziano, Steve. “No You Go Portlandia on IFC.” YouTube, 02 Mar. 2015. Web. 13 Nov. 2016.

Weber, Peter. “Don’t Let Portlandia Ruin Portland.” Don’t Let Portlandia Ruin Portland, 31 Jan.Web. 03 Nov. 2016.

Vardavas, Stephanie. Young, Jamie. Everett, Dawni. Hinsvark, Jacob.”Responses on     What Do People Who Live in Portland, OR Think of Portlandia?” – Quora. Plarium, Web. 03 Nov. 2016.

Sports Stereotypes in Media: How They Are Portrayed in Film

Stereotypes and discrimination have been in our society since this country’s founding. In our current society many of these stereotypes are projected through one of our most popular entertainment outlets, sports. Whether it’s through unequal media coverage for women’s sports, or the perception of individual’s talents based off of their skin color, stereotypes are alive and well in popular culture. Fortunately, many films have addressed these stereotypes and have been shown to be false. Today we will look at films like 42, and The Little Giants  that represent prime examples of stereotype breaking athletes.

In this digital age we as a society have become very impressionable. We have been persuaded to believe many things, stereotypes being one of the most prominent. Whether it’s gender inequality, or a form of xenophobia, social media and popular culture have influenced us, specifically through our consumption of sport. However, through film we have been shown that these stereotypes are unfair and inaccurate.

Racial Inequality

The notion that one individual has an advantage in any physical or intellectual aspect simply because of their skin color is a stereotype. But what exactly is a stereotype? Louisiana State graduate Li describes it as “a description of the over-generalization of characterizations about the members belonging to a social group” (Li 293). Or in other words, the assumption that one person is the same as another based on the fact they are similar in appearance. As noted above, stereotyping has been an issue since this country’s founding. The film 42 takes a closer look at Jackie Robinson, and how he dealt with not only stereotyping, but racism as well. For those unfamiliar with Jackie, he was one of the most influential athletes in the history of sports. He broke the race barrier in baseball, and became an advocate for racial equality during the 1940s and 50s. One of the people Jackie had to deal with in the film was a man by the name of Ben Chapman, a player for the Pittsburgh Pirates baseball organization who said to Jackie “Why don’tcha look in a mirror? This is a white man’s game!” (42). The film 42 gave its audience a great example of how stereotypes affected the perception of athletes. During the mid 1900s, African-Americans were looked upon as the inferior athlete because of their skin color. 



(Chadwick Boseman as Jackie Robinson in the film 42)

I wanted to reference this quote because it reflects well to how we view athletes in sports today. However, in our current athletic landscape, people are usually saying the opposite. That African-American’s have some sort of athletic advantage, whereas whites are smarter.

Charles Barkley is a former NBA player and NBA hall of fame inductee, he is also a black male. When he was asked about the African-American community he said, “(When) you are speaking intelligently… you are acting white” (Barkley). This quote from the video was in reference to how African-Americans talk to one another in schools. This idea that whites are more intelligent and blacks are more athletically gifted is a stereotype that has been so generalized, it even has minority kids in school believing it as a fact about themselves.


This is our core problem, that in our day to day lives stereotypes get thrown around like fact, without question. Referencing back to the film 42, it makes us question these so-called facts. When talking about a box score in the film our narrator said “it doesn’t say how big you are, or what religion you follow it does not know how you voted, or the color of your skin, it simply states what kind of ballplayer you were on any particular day” (42). That’s the point, that your ability doesn’t rely on who you are, or what you look like. That on any particular day, you can be whatever to want to be, and nothing should tell you otherwise.

Gender Inequality

There are a lot of physical differences between a man and a woman. The sports media tends to focus on the strength of men, and what accomplishments they can achieve with their strength, whereas women are more sexualized, and coverage for even professional female athletes is more about what they look like. It’s like this because“from an early age men and women are socialized differently. Men are taught to play sports or watch sports by many different agents such as family, peers, and schools, while predominantly women are taught that sporting activities are only for men” (Trolan 216). From the very beginning women are not supported in taking up a passion in athletics. And even if they end up taking part in sports they are encouraged to take part in sports that “emphasize grace and aesthetic appeal” (Trolan 217). Even during my research of film I found scarce examples of female athletes who performed superior to their male counterpart. One example did shine through, and it was encouraging because its target audience is that of kids around and under the age of 12. Becky “Icebox” O’Shea, a classic tomboy cliche who builds her own team to crush her uncle’s peewee football team in the film The Little Giants. Although her character is fictitious, we still see her battle very real stereotypes set up for young girls her age. Whether to be a member of the team, or to simply be a cheerleader. Becky makes the conscious decision to play, and she leads the team to success. It’s rare to find film or any media platform that celebrates the success for female athletes who choose to be more than just figure skaters or swimmers. Just like men, women should have all opportunities afforded to them when it comes to athletics, even if they aren’t considered ‘graceful’ by popular culture.



The two films 42 and The Little Giants are two great examples of individual’s who decided to break their own respective stereotype, allowing them to play a game they love. For Jackie, it was overcoming the hatred and fear people shared with allowing a black man to play in the major leagues. Whereas Becky had to show that she should be respected just like any other athlete, regardless of her gender. Both had different circumstances, and both lead to different outcomes. However, these two films shared one main aspect in common, they gave the audience a chance to see that these ‘commonplace’ stereotypes are unfair and inaccurate. That unless we stop stereotyping between one another, they will never go away.



Learning Moments

  • I really learned a lot from the commercial analysis week. I thought it was very interesting to take a closer look at an Adidas commercial and analyze why they decided to make certain decisions it the casting of certain actors. I believe it helped aid me when I was trying to decided why one of the directors I chose, chose to portray things in a certain light during this “Looking into the Popular Culture Mirror” post.
  • I also learned how helpful using Portland State’s Library can be when looking for appropriate primary and secondary sources. I always found it hard to find the sources I need by simply Googling for them, but with the use of the tools on PSU’s online library, I feel that I will now be more prepared for future assignments. It even aiding me in finding the main secondary sources I cited for this post.



Works Cited

42. Dir. Brian Helgeland. By Brian Helgeland. Prod. Thomas Tull. Perf. Chadwick Boseman,  Harrison Ford, and T. R. Knight. N.p., n.d. Web. 9 Nov. 2016.

Barkley, Charles. “Charles Barkley with Anthony Garano.” 914 WIP Philly Radio. WIP.            Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 23 Oct. 2014. Television.

Li, Weidong, Louis Harrison, and Melinda Solomon. “College Students’ Implicit Theories on Ability in Sports: Race and Gender Differences.” Journal of Sport Behaviour (2004): 291-304. Web. 11 Nov. 2016.

Little Giants. Dir. Duwayne Dunham. By James Ferguson and Robert Shallcross. Prod. Arne Schmidt. Perf. Rick Moranis and Shawna Waldron. N.p., n.d. Web. 9 Nov. 2016.

Trolan, Eoin J. “The Impact of the Media on Gender Inequality within Sport.” Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences 91 (2013): 215-27. Web. 11 Nov. 2016.

Sexualization and Objectification of Women in K-Pop

Sexualization and Objectification of Women in K-Pop

It’s not very difficult to find K-Pop on social media like Facebook or Twitter anymore. Hashtags related to K-Pop stars often come up on popular categories, and a clip of the stars will show up at least once on someone’s feed on Facebook. After Psy’s biggest hit, “Gangnam Style,” K-Pop quickly became a gateway in America. Ever since then, K-Pop music videos became more accessible on YouTube, and many of them easily gained attention from people all over the world. Not only is the music catchy and addicting, the music videos are often praised for their visuals and cinematographies. Another thing that Korean music videos are known for is sexualizing and objectifying women through visuals and lyrics. It’s incredibly difficult to find male figures being sexualized or objectified in music videos nowadays, because they’re often considered to be dominant figures over women and aren’t as weak as women to control. Women wear revealing clothes like lingerie, bikinis and bootie shorts, exposing their body parts to the camera to sexually appeal to the audience. Even in Psy’s “Gangnam Style” M/V, there is a scene where ladies are doing yoga in public and the camera zooms in at Psy observing one of their hips. It is difficult not to see any women in music videos anymore, because that’s one way to attract viewers. It’s like they’re treated as mannequin displays at the mall to attract customers. Because sex continues to sell and attract individuals by fulfilling their sexual desires, the sexualization and objectification of women continues to increase within the K-pop industry. This is well portrayed in Jay Park’s “Mommae” M/V and Stellar’s “Vibrato” M/V in two ways: by showing men as dominant figures over women and by sexually appealing through outfits, and choreographies.

Jay Park – “Mommae” M/V

“Mommae” is a music video for Jay Park, a famous singer in South Korea. The term means “body” in English. The artist was not afraid to reveal what he likes most about a woman’s body, regardless of video being too perverted or shallow. He praised women for their appealing features, while they embraced Jay Park all over his body, making him to look like an authority figure. His main audience were women, because there aren’t many boy fans in South Korea who watch music videos of their idols. However, it was revealed that there were more male viewers than female viewers on this particular video, because of how revealing the girls were. The viewers often said the video was too sexual and controversial, but it was acceptable because it was Jay Park; someone from the States, not South Korea (Kwon). Jay Park is originally from the U.S., and he moved to Korea to share his passion for music. People often referred to him as “American-style artist” because he portrayed his identity as Korean-American through his music. Even though the music video was very revealing and controversial, people accepted it because of how open and free his image was as Korean-American. However, this music video was banned from being broadcasted on televisions because of its sexual contents.


The girls in the M/V were centered around Jay Park, and they all revealed their skin too much. Clothes they wore were sexually appealing; some wore bikinis while others wore bunny costumes or lingerie. Most of their dance moves were focused on their body parts, such as chest and hips. 


In most parts, the stars treated women as objects. Ugly Duck, the guy with tattoos on his arms and goatee, used one of the girls as a plate or table to put his sushi on. He also treated two girls as duck toys in the bath tub, treating them like toys he can play with anytime. He mentioned the term “sexy” a lot in his lyrics, while constantly touching the girls’ bodies. I also noticed that there were more girls than guys in the room, and their hand gestures often reminded me of sexual activities, especially towards the end where Jay Park is centered in front of the radios. Also, in his lyrics, he mentioned the girl’s body parts as fruits; he called their chest melons and called their hips watermelons. 

It seemed like Jay Park’s “Mommae” M/V portrayed how women are used to fulfill men’s desires very well. From beginning to end, all women did was to be used as objects or “mannequins” to display their body parts to fulfill men’s sexual desires. The most shocking part of this M/V was that, this was openly accepted in popular media. The viewers seemed to be shocked by the presence of women in the video at first, but quickly moved onto how sexy Jay Park looked with his tattoos and dance moves (Yoon). The serious issue of sexualizing and objectifying women in his M/V easily became avoidable as Jay Park took people’s attention away from them with his existence. This shows how people aren’t taking this issue very seriously, because Jay Park was easily able to grab their attention away from half-naked women in the M/V. 

Stellar’s “Vibrato” Official M/V

The music video for Stellar’s “Vibrato” was released on July 19th, 2015. They were aiming for men as their targeted audience, which is why they were in such revealing clothes. This video was also banned from being broadcasted on television because of its sexual contents, especially their choreography. The group changed their concept from cute to sexy, and “Vibrato” was their second transformation. Jody, a writer at Kpopstarz, stated that girl groups were forced to change their concepts to sexiness to appeal to male audience, which created competitions among girl groups and caused them to expose more of their skin as the number of competitors grew (Jody). Stellar was also a victim of this trend, because their company forced them into this concept to gain attention from the audience.



It was interesting to see the camera lenses throughout the music video, as well as how all of them are trapped in containers. It seemed like they were forced to be inside those containers to shoot something sexual, because the girls looked confused and frustrated in some scenes. I felt like that was showing the real side of this industry, because I heard a lot about how girl groups are often forced to wear sexual outfits to appeal to the guys. Saeji, the author of “Juvenile Protection and Sexual Objectification” stated that music broadcasting shows like Inkigayo or Music Core often turn female idol singers into sex dolls by drawing attention to their body parts with their camera techniques and framing their performances in a certain way that the girls would expose their body parts to the audience (Saeji). I feel like the scenes where the girls were trapped inside the cubes were indirectly portraying how female idol singers are forced to act the certain way, because their facial expressions changed from frustrated to excitement as the camera started rolling.   


Another interesting thing about the music video was how they used props to metaphorically tell the story. The barbie dolls in the television screen clearly represented the four girls of the group, but it got disturbing when they poured red paint on one of them. It was as if the girl’s innocence was being taken away as the red paint poured down on her body. Most of the images created by props seemed pretty sexual, especially because human portrayals of sexual images appeared shortly after. They were visually attractive because of the color combinations, and also sexually appealing because of the messages they were trying to convey. The choreography was a bit disturbing as the music video went on, especially when they changed into red outfits. It seemed like they were treated like objects, just like in Jay Park’s music video, because of the cameras that surrounded them.

Stellar’s “Vibrato” M/V revealed and confirmed how sex will continue to sell well in K-Pop industry. Not only they gained much popularity after their release, they became one of the top girl groups in South Korea after 5 years since their debut. Through this music video they were able to fulfill males’ sexual desires with exposed outfits and appealing choreographies. People didn’t care about the group when they promoted their cute concepts, but when they transformed they immediately grabbed people’s attention and became successful. This proves that sex will always sell as a marketing/advertising tool and attract more people if not less. 

What about men? 

Are men sexualized in the industry as well? The answer is yes; but with a different approach than women. When male idol singers appear shirtless on music videos, they rarely become an issue to be featured on the news unlike female singers. It seems like the viewers are more lenient on men since it’s widely accepted for them to go shirtless and reveal their skin in public. Hyun Min Park, a writer at CJ E&M stated, “…the public’s positive reaction of male idol groups who tear off their shirts onstage and the negative response faced by girl groups who dare to wear revealing costumes” (Park). When male singers take off their shirts onstage it’s considered manly, aggressive, sexy… you name it. When female singers expose their skin too much it’s considered dirty, filthy, prostitutes and more. The different reactions from the audience show that gender bias exists in South Korea. It’s very interesting to see how the same action can easily become a controversial issue based on their genders. Like:


This is highly unlikely to be banned on television or any other type of media. Not only that, the audience will praise this specific idol group for wearing such “sexy” outfit for their performance.


But this group? Not so much. This will easily be banned from televisions unless they fix their choreographies, and often always, they will be referred to as filthy or dirty by the audience.

Both genders are using the same concept to gain popularity in the industry. However, the male groups are being viewed as inspirational male figures while the female groups have to go through negative comments and reactions from the audience. It’s true that they both attract people with the sexy concept, but how people view and react are completely different, which is very interesting and yet disgusting to see.

How about the innocent side of K-Pop? 

K-Pop artists don’t always dress in bootie shorts or crop tops, especially if they’re underaged. Hyo-Won Lee, a reporter on Hollywood Reporter stated that South Korean government set out a new law forbidding underage singers and actors from participating in overnight performances and productions, as well as being in productions and performances where they will be sexualized (Lee). The law also prohibits younger singers to wear revealing costumes and outfits, as well as sexual choreographies. Since a lot of girls often debut as minors in the industry, they’re slowly bringing in innocent concepts back to K-Pop. However, the popularity results aren’t looking good. Underaged girl groups often stop promoting before their contract end, because all the attention goes to older female groups with sexy concepts. It’s good that the government is protecting underaged girls from being sexualized on popular media, but the sad news is, once they become adults they’re highly likely to follow the same paths as older female idols because of popularity competitions. 


This group, April, is a good example of how underaged girls aren’t supposed to wear revealing costumes and keep the innocent reputation. Once they fail to maintain their image as innocent girls, they can easily vanish from the industry because there’s no other way to attract fans with over 500 idol groups in the industry.


By examining these two music videos, it was interesting to see how women are sexualized and objectified to gain popularity in the most exposed industry of the world. People at any age can view these contents without permissions, and may influence younger ones to join the industry with same exact images. It’s shocking to know that this issue will get worse in the industry since it’s the only concept people are demanding right now to see on stage. Girl groups with cute concepts often fail to gain attention because of girl groups with sexy concepts, unless they’re underaged, and they end up switching to the same thing. Even boy groups include at least one female figure to appeal to variety of audience, and it’s difficult to to find music videos without female figures now. It is very upsetting to see how women are portrayed in popular media, especially knowing that this won’t change anytime soon.

Learning Moments

A learning moment I definitely can’t forget is from Week 4: The Influence of Advertising. The lecture inspired me to discover more about gender stereotypes and norms for this project, because it was mentioned that different ideas and reactions arise according to which gender the advertisements focus on. I feel like it’s acceptable to consider music videos as advertisements, since the artists are “advertising” their newly released songs with visuals to appeal to the audience. It’s a good marketing strategy, because if they successfully attract audience with visuals, they will be attracted to the music as well. It’s a good way to gain fans for popularity results, and perfect for appealing to people all over the world.

Another valuable learning moment would be working on Annotated Bibliography and Research Analysis Worksheet. They helped me to organize my thoughts and differentiate between what I can or can’t use for the paper. They were used as good guidelines for me to see if I was missing any important information.

Works Cited

“스텔라 (Stellar) – 떨려요 (Vibrato) MV.” YouTube, 19 July 2015, 12:00 a.m.,

C, Jody. “Sex Appeal in Kpop: Tasteful or Indecent?” Kpopstarz, 23 Mar. 2014,

Kwon, SooBin. “박재범 ‘몸매’ 후끈한 반응 “선정적이지만 끌려”” News One. N.p., 22 May 2015. Web. 19 Nov. 2016,

Lee, Hyo-Won. “South Korean Law to Protect Young K-Pop Stars From Sexualization, Overwork.” Hollywood Reporter, 8 July 2014,

Park, HyunMin. “Gender Bias Alive and Well in Entertainment Industry.” MWAVE. CJ E&M EnewsWorld, 10 Apr. 2002. Web. 18 Nov. 2016,

Park, Jay. “박재범 Jay Park – 몸매 (MOMMAE) Feat.Ugly Duck Official Music Video.” YouTube, 21 May 2015, 12:00 a.m.,

Saeji, Cedar T. “JUVENILE PROTECTION AND SEXUAL OBJECTIFICATION.” Acta Korana, vol. 16, no. 2, Dec. 2013.

Yoon, SoYoung. “박재범, 화끈한 신곡 ‘몸매’ 국내외 반응 HOT.” Sports Korea. N.p., 22 May 2015. Web. 19 Nov. 2016,

Not Your Average Asian- Diversity in Asian American Character Portrayal.

In the Beginning..

When I first started the process of finding my identity portrayal in popular culture, I thought choosing the identity of being Asian American was too typical or cliche. However, I realized my ethnic culture makes up a big portion of who I am. The first thing I knew and thought about of Asian Americans in popular culture is that they are underrepresented in media. From movies to televisions shows many can say there is a lack of Asian American roles. However I decided to think of shows that did cast Asian Americans and the ones that I came to analyze where London Tipton from the Suite Life of Zack and Cody, Tina and Mike Chang from Glee, and the full Asian cast of Fresh off the Boat. Although many may think that Asian Americans are underrepresented and are portrayed in a consistent stereotypical manner, there are shows in the media that give diversity to character portrayal of Asian Americans. That is what I realized from the three television shows. All three are sitcoms with some depictions of Asian American character diversity than the average stereotypical traits we may find in modern American shows.

London Tipton in The Suite Life of Zack and Cody

The first show I analyzed was The Suite life of Zack and Cody. where they co star Brenda Song as London Tipton, the Tipton Hotel heiress. Song is a mix of Taiwanese and Hmong however she is part Taiwanese in the show. In the show, London Tipton is a side character but also one of the prevalent main characters. She is from a rich family since they own the Tipton Hotel. Her character is outgoing, obnoxious, gullible, and unintelligent. She is a ditzy and privileged girl. Only her father is mentioned, but is never screened. She is conveyed as stylish, and spoiled with almost everything she desires. .These characteristics I find the opposite from the average Asian american stereotypes such as being smart, having strict parents, or being prim and proper with an accent.  Below is an attached clip of a scene from an episode in the show. It depicts London Tipton inabilities to study well, or study at all even with the tutor attempt of Bailey. London also shows her inabilities to comprehend the questions in its entirety. She states herself as “not a very good student” and does not like math. I find this important because it shows how her character does not follow the Asian stereotype of the “model minority”.  However, in an article called Disney Does Race, the author Turner states that London’s character portrayal is problematic in Asian American representation because it degrades her image and does not show a role model or positive representation. The show does not show much of her cultural heritage and for that, he deems that there is not much race representation since characters including London in Disney are all the “same”. They are all the same despite their race because they can inherit any characteristic but nothing presents or portrays their ethnic race. Yet I believe showing that people can be the same despite color is and positive note. Although London’s portrayal seems negative, her personality is a bright smiley girl who shows love and compassion once in awhile throughout the show. If anything I also question if showing cultural heritage is needed to be then shown as color conscious. How can that be done without being presumed as being stereotypical?

Asian Americans in Glee

The next television sitcom I analyzed was the show Glee broadcasted on the network FOX. It is a show where they star a diverse group of high school  misfits with talent into a musical group called Glee. Throughout the series they show the accomplishments and milestones that the students achieve. In the midst of the group are two Asian Americans; Tina Chang and Mike Chang. I found that Tina Chang portrays different characteristics from the Asian stereotypes. She is a quiet Gothic girl who stutters a lot but eventually comes out of her bubble and becomes more bold. Usually Asian women are expected to be prim and proper. However, her attire is very unique with a lively personality. However there are times when she feels pressured to look a certain way. In one of Glee’s episode “Born this way” the show addresses a issue common in Asia, which is plastic surgery. Tina Chang had always wanted to fix her her eyelids which are small and mono-lid. However, she learns to love herself more and be the unique person she is.tina

Next is Mike Chang and he may seem like your typical Asian with strict parents, and goals to get good grades for the sake of them. In an article called Beyond the Color Line, the author Wo states that the show depicts the stereotype of the Asian model minority, represented by Mike in this case. In such episodes such as Asian F, and how Mike states he needs to be applying to Harvard or Stanford. However, I find that the show purposely did this to convey a different approach for understanding Asian Americans students and their relationship with their parents. Mike is one with a talent in arts and dance however usually there is a stereotype where Asian parents only want their children to pursue high end careers such as lawyers and doctors. The clip below is a scene where Mike’s parent’s come to accept and his support his passion. It is a rare thing people may expect from Asian american parents. Although Wo states that the show overly exemplifies and labels certain actions as labels, I find that it just reflects how people in reality may label such actions unconsciously. I find that the show Glee uses such stereotypes to build a greater meaning.

Fresh off the Boat

The last show I analyzed is the family sitcom Fresh off the Boat. It stars a whole Asian american family which was viral news when the show first aired. The family moves from a Chinatown in Washington D.C to a very white populated community in Orlando Florida. The family consists of the father Louis Huang, mother Jessica Huang, and their three kids, Eddie, Emery, and Evan. At first glance the show may seem very stereotypical with Louis enforcing “Asian rules” such as taking shoes off in the house. Other stereotypes including showing the model minority within Evan and Emery whom are very intelligent kids. However, there are ways that depict a more modernized representation of the family. Louis owns a restaurant called the Cattleman’s ranch, both the parents participates in the boys and girls clubs. It shows modernization but it also depicts how this Asian family is trying to assimilate into the more white community. Eddie who is the opposite of Emery and Evan doesn’t like to carry on the cultural stereotypes. Hes likes basketball hip hop and rap, and does not bother becoming that “model minority”. He also goes through difficulties himself trying to assimilate in school. He gets made fun of his “Asian lunch” and therefore wants “white people food”. The show depicts some of the struggles that some Asian Americans might be going through. In an article called Bringing Race into “white” Television, the author Stewart states that Fresh off the Boat is able “to traverse typically “white” scenarios, while bringing in important aspects of Chinese culture”. More than showing just what seems like Asian stereotypes, it gives an Asian American perspective on Americanized situations. The portrayal of Asian Americans has taken another step to convey something different, diverse. We may ask why Asian actors and actresses like to convey such stereotypes however, these roles are their jobs and gives them opportunities. Constance Wu had stated she did not pay much attention and just needed to pay of her rent (Hess). Rather than showing just stereotypical aspects of Asian Americans, the show has given its viewers an Asian American lens to show their perspective.


Conclusion, Learning Moments

After analyzing three different sitcoms that have Asian American representation. I realized that they all portray different characters. However, although they are similar because they are comedies and sitcoms, I wonder if Asian Americans may have any or much representations in other genres such as romance or action. When was the last time a Nicholas Sparks movie starred an Asian cast? With the help of the analyzing modules I was able to look at similarities, binaries, and anomalies to help draw conclusions about the representations of Asian Americans. In the articles about advertisement and I discovered how a woman was behind creating the idea of objectifying women for the sake of creating opportunities for herself and for others. I realized it applies to everyone including Constance Wu who place Jessica Huang who was focusing on paying her rent. I also learned about advertisements this term and how one company can display two entirely different messages. Therefore I feel like television shows not only show stereotypes, but also portray messages behind them as well.

Works Cited

Glee’s “Born this Way” – the self-hating Asian. (2011). Retrieved November 02, 2016, from

Hess, A. (2016, May 25). Asian-American Actors Are Fighting for Visibility. They … Retrieved November 2, 2016, from

Park, J. H., Gabbadon, N. G., & Chernin, A. R. (2006). Naturalizing racial differences through comedy: Asian, Black, and White views on racial stereotypes in Rush Hour 2. Journal of Communication, 56(1), 157-177.

Stewart, E. Bringing Race into “White” Television: The Quest for Color Consciousness from Colorblindness.

Turner, S. E. (2012). Disney Does Race: Black BFFs in the New Racial Moment. Networking Knowledge: Journal of the MeCCSA Postgraduate Network, 5(1).

Wo, E. (2012). Beyond the Color Line: Asian American Representations in the Media.

Alexander’s Big Picture!!

Big Picture

        When you think of a lead actor for a TV show of a movie, who comes into mind first? Now I’m not talking about a specific actor, but their ethnicity. Let me guess, it wasn’t an Asian, was it? If you look closely, the “average” lead actor has to be Caucasian, speak perfect English, have a great body, and just be a good looking actor! I’ve come to notice in of all the movies I have watched, I can barely remember any Asians being in the role of leadership in films. Now recently, times have gotten better, but you literally just count on the tips of your fingers the number of fairly popular Asians leads in movies and TV shows.


How Asians are viewed in the media: The average Asians portrayed in the media are usually the not-so-good-looking ones, or just average at best. They are usually on the nerdy side, and they just seem weird all around. More often than not, the “average” Asian is portrayed like this guy, pictured below. He is just weird, and not that great looking.


Then you have this rare stud.

Take for example, Daniel Dae Kim, he really is one of the rare Asians that have a lead role in the TV show, “Hawaii Five-0”. Kim plays Lieutenant Chin Ho Kelly in the series, and he honestly gets a lot of screen time. Over time, people will get used to a person of color being in a leadership role, and pretty soon this will start to create a path for other aspiring actors and actresses. It will also send out a message that it indeed is possible, just work has to be put in. Now, the work may be harder, but at least it’s still achievable. It’s pretty rare that you see an Asian male lead, but in this case, he’s at the top, not only acting, but also directing.

Asians being passed over are not just happening in the film industry, but also in the corporate world. Sure of course there are a lot of Asian employees working for big companies such a Google and Intel, but how many do you see working in the corporate world of these companies? Not much right? According to a Mercury News article, it states that part of the reasoning why Asians aren’t climbing up the corporate ladder is due to the fact of cultural differences. In corporate America, outspoken individuals are the ones who get the corporate positions. Basically, the ones who, not necessarily show off, but rather showcase and put themselves out there are often given a shot at a corporate spot, but with Asian culture, Asians tend to think that just doing a good job will bring in rewards. This can even translate into the military. Take for example General Viet Xuan Luong. There are a lot of Officers in the military promoted often, but how often do you hear of an Asian-American General? This is why it made big news. It’s big because it’s out of the norm, but sometimes, being out of the norm can set an example for others to follow, to prove that there is hope.


Thesis: I discovered that Hollywood as a whole isn’t too willing to cast more Asians because they just don’t want to take a gamble. They just want to stick to what they know, and what they roll with best, because it they take a gamble, chances are they might take a big loss in profit, and the popularity of a certain film. This is a chance for Asians-American actors and actresses to really prove themselves that they are worthy of the big-screen, and that diversity should really matter in the film industry. This can also translate to careers, where Asians are being denied a “high ranking” position in the work environment.


            One learning experience that I have gotten so far is from week 4, talking about the influence of advertising. Aside from the marketing strategies, it also had me thinking about my identity that I’m researching. I know that a lot of advertisements only show the good looking Caucasian people, and that it’s the only acceptable look, while Asians are either not portrayed, or just portrayed in a different light. Another experience was when I was working on my annotated bibliography, I came across an article talking about Daniel Dae Kim on how he wants to raise awareness to Asian-Americans taking more lead roles, and how important diversity is. Diversity should be more prominent in Hollywood, and with Kim’s big role, as well as directing, he can be a good example for others to follow suit.


Conclusion: These days, it’s just hard to come by people of color, particularly Asians in roles of leadership, and if in the film industry, lead roles in TV shows and movies. What has to be overcome is the cultural aspect of two different sides. Of course, it’s easier said than done, but if society as a whole starts to accept other cultural aspects, as well as respecting it, then Asians will have a much better and broader opportunity to become leaders in a corporate world, as well as people who want to make it big in the movie industry. The talent and the will to achieve is already there, it’s just the right opportunity that needs to come in order for Asians to prove they really can work and achieve at the same level, or even higher than the standard set by a society that is used to Caucasians taking the lead.


“’Hawaii Five-0’s’ Daniel Dae Kim On His TV Directorial Debut Hollywood’s, ‘Disconcerting’ Diversity Issue.” Author is Ryan Gajewski, published on the “Hollywood Reporter”   (

Liedtke , Michael. “Asians Passed Over For Management Roles At Silicon Valley Companies, Study Contends.” The Mercury News, 6 May 2015,

Gandhi, Lakshmi. “U.S. Military Promotes First Vietnamese-American General.” NBC News, 11 Aug. 2014,

Waitressing Through a Popular Culture Lens

How often do you go out for dinner at a restaurant? Now consider the expectations you have during your meal. You probably expect to be treated nicely and with respect, you expect to get your favorite drink, you expect free refills and water, you expect to be able to customize your food order just the way you like it, and most of all you expect an experience. Now consider where do these expectations come from. You might say your parents, you learned from their behavior, or your friends because they shape who you are as an adult. I would say the media; movies, television, music, and social media. Although we may not acknowledge it, the media and popular culture play a large role in shaping the way we see the world and what we expect from the world. As a waitress, myself I have certain expectations of a restaurant. It I also understand the hardships of the job. As a person who is solely a customer you may not understand the flip side of your dinner experience, you might think you do because you’ve seen what it is like in movies and on TV and I’m not going to lie, the media has it spot on.

Wow what a concept the media accurately represents a population for once!

This is a rare occasion and I think this accuracy in the media is attributed to people fulfilling the expectations of media. One of the most important things I have learned this semester is that the media is a constant advertisement. Whether you are watching an advertisement for a specific product, like laundry detergent, or watching a heartbreaking movie, the media is creating a life style that appeals to people. Media plays such a large role in our lives that our lives begin to portray the image that the media has created. In my opinion there is a cycle in place where people have an experience and the media notices the experience, the media adds glamour to the experience, then people begin to want this glamorous experience and so the real-life experience changes to become the glamorous experience. The media accurately depicts waitressing because people look for stereotypes in life and other fulfill those stereotypes, despite how wrong stereotypes maybe.


How the media is Right in a Bad way

There are established expectations for servers in any restaurant, we are taught these expectations when we are trained, these expectations make up the flow and appeal of the restaurant. I think that without these previously instilled server expectations there would be no standard for service and no rules for behavior in restaurants. But, in shows such as 2 Broke Girls wait staff are harassed by customers, managers, and other employees. In the clip below Max is harassed by two male customers as well as the cook, this sort of treatment is what gets negatively translated onto the public.  Being a server can be demeaning because you are fulfilling the needs of another person, and a tip is not always guaranteed, because of these servers are like puppets to expectations. We get it, it’s part of the job and that is all good and fine.  What becomes an issue is when customers begin harassing servers or vice versa, then a professional line has been crossed and that changes the perception of servers and puts servers in a less appealing light. In the article, “The shame of servers: Inquiry and agency in a Manhattan cocktail lounge” the issue of harassment is addressed because it leads servers to feelings of shame, and this is unacceptable. A server should not feel shamed for being a server, but when the media makes it seem acceptable for servers to be treated like servants, shame becomes and inevitable result. Max deals with her rude customers in an empowering, yet disturbing way that ultimately outs them in their place. The author of this article on shame supports Max’s actions, “embrace and harnessing of their shame has given them a means to realize their agency and an opportunity to embody a proletarian pride in their lives as working people – to identify with a political class of workers though an active harnessing of refusal as a tool of agency” (Murray 2014). This clip from 2 Broke Girls shows two sides of serving, it shows how harassment of servers is perpetuated through media as well as showing a way for servers to cope with harassment and shows that this harassment is not appropriate or called for.


How the media is Right in a kind of Good Way


A common stereotype for servers is that they are young people lost in life or, in a more positive light, working in a restaurant to support their dream. Either way they are working in a restaurant because they are going through a phase of transition. Personally, I can support this stereotype, I do not plan on working in a restaurant for my whole life but it is a good gig to have while in college. Working is a restaurant has many benefits, flexible hours, tips, customer service experience, problem solving skill development, and socializing. The flipside of being in this transition phase is that sometimes it never ends, you don’t develop skills needed to advance and you are stuck in a rut. There are many, many movies out there about these aspiring servers, for example the Ryan Reynolds film Waiting. This movie is a comedy about a restaurant where the wait staff are bored and waiting for life to move on, they are waiting to get on to bigger and brighter things while they wait on tables. There is a clip where Justin Long’s character has a realization that he wants to progress in life and get out of the restaurant go to college and follow his dreams. This is the positive presentation of being in the food industry in this movie. On a negative note these servers have been stuck at the restaurant and they don’t end up going anywhere, their lives are waitressing and this negative image is the one that most Americans come to accept and translate onto the real world. I think the worst part about being a server is feeling like everyone you help thinks less of you and pities you for going nowhere in life, they just assume this because that is what the media has trained them to assume.



How the media is Right in a Good Way


Finally, I want to talk about the benefits of serving and the social stereotype that servers fall into and why people love servers so much. Have you seen Cheers?  Throwback to the 90’s with this feel-good sitcom about a bar and its employees. The servers Carla and Diane are the most relatable servers of all time. Diane is attractive, the young, well-educated but slightly ditzy, friendly server that everyone loves. Carla is the down to earth, older, tom boy, hard ball server. Everyone has had a serve like one of these ladies and both types make for an entertaining meal and a good time. This is servers portrayed in the best light, most of the time. The media portrays eating out as a good time, something everyone wants to have. Cheers, I think does a great job in representing how employees of a restaurant are family. They fight, they love, they care about each other, they pick on each other, they treat each other just like family. AS a customer seeing these interactions between the wait staff and being incorporated into it as well makes more a better and more memorable experience.

A study was conducted to see how drinking facilitated social interaction between employees in restaurants. In this study, it was found that drinking was often a key part of the social interaction between employees in restaurants, weather it was drinks after work or discounts on drinks or out of work occasions. Drinking did increase the socialization between coworkers and often defined the roles of employees. Certain social patterns occur and those who participated in drinking or out of work activities were part of the “in” crowd and were therefore treated differently than those who were not. I think this article supports how the media perceives restaurant employees (Doern et al. 1998). In many different scenarios restaurant employees are portrayed as fun and social people in the media. Server social ability makes them better at their job. This article demonstrates how a restaurant job is more than just a job for employees, that working in a restaurant forms bonds and the employees become more of a family than just people who work together. I personally like working in a restaurant, I know that I have people to go to and share my life with, even if I do work with them I consider them family and I think this makes restaurants more unique. When a staff just melds together I think it changes the experience for the consumer and makes the workplace a better place to be. It is a positive advertisement of the industry and makes everyone want that experience. I mean who doesn’t want a home away from home where they can go and everybody knows their name?


Final Thoughts

In conclusion, although stereotypes are wrong, the media accurately describes waitressing for two main reasons. First, people look for stereotypes. But most importantly, people fulfill the stereotypes presented in media. I noticed that in the article “The shame of servers: Inquiry and agency in a Manhattan cocktail lounge” the type of customer described was the same type of customer that comes to my restaurant. They are older, wealthy, and mostly men. Because these customers have money and they have for a long time they have a certain expectation from their servers. They want to be pampered, and to get to know the person serving them. For me I see no problem in giving out some details of my life to customers, especially regulars. I love being a server because of the connections I make with customers, so I found it a bit strange that it was such an issue for the “Den women” in the article. In Cheers Norm is a regular and is always received happily by the bartender and servers. This is an accurate stereotype presented by the media that I am happy to fulfill. On the other hand, when customers start to mistreat, take advantage of, and abuse servers is when a line is crossed. The stereotype that servers exist to wait on you hand and foot and are yours to call on at any time is not the type of stereotype that should be perpetuated. Overall, the media can be accurate and can be used positive. What ruins or taints the image of servers is when people misinterpret the media and turn it into bed representations of reality.


Works Cited

Burrows, James. “Cheers.” 1982.

Cummings, Whitney. “Two Broke Girls:Pilot.” Two Broke Girls, CBS, 2011.

Doern, Rachel R, and Steven M Kates. “The Social Meanings of Drinking: Strengthening the Social Bonds of Restaurant Employees.” vol. 25, 1998, pp. 481–485.

Knapton, Sarah. “The Most Stressful Job? Waitressing, Say Scientists.” The Telegraph, Telegraph Media Group,

Murray, Jennifer M. “The Shame of Servers: Inquiry and Agency in a Manhattan Cocktail Lounge.” Ephemera Journal, vol. 16, no. 3, Aug. 2016.

“Waiting…,” director. 2005,