Monday, April 28, 2014
Well i know i am a little late on getting this blog done but as i was going through my checklist this was an assignment i had missing. better late than nothing at all i guess. I remember being a little girl and having a ton of dress up clothes, many of them "princess" dresses, more barbie dolls than ever needed, and even a pink barbie corvette. I had all sorts of pink belongings. i even remember me and my brother having power ranger costumes and naturally i had the pink one. although the orenstein's article was entertaining and interesting to read i had a very difficult time relating to it. I do understand her point of view and her concerns and feelings but i don't personally feel that being gendered and playing with certain toys has had anything to do with i was as a teenager. Maybe this is because i had a brother and so i had the option to also share his toys with him...but i do not remember him ever wanting to share my toys. While i also liked to play dress up from time to time i never really let the whole princess stories get to my head, i was just more concerned about getting dressed up and putting on shows for my stuffed animals and dolls. I personally never really started to have concerns about image until i was old enough to start reading teen magazines, and watching teen shows and started to have an interest in boys. I understand where orenstein is trying to argue, but i feel like each individual girl or boy learns differently and some kids are more sensitive than others. Not all girls who play with pink toys and barbie dolls are going to have a negative image about themselves or become some "princess" in adulthood. i just think that children should not be limited so they can all learn and explore equally with any toys they want. i also know that when i have children i'm sure i will be guilty of gendering them but i don't necessarily think that this will ruin them. i think it also depends partly on how that child is socialized with others and how they view the roles of their own parents. Then once they get older there are a whole new set of issues that are more harmful for them to worry about. like i said i had a tough time connecting to this article and have very mixed feelings about it, so doing this blog was a little difficult for me.
Before i even start my blog i have to say how perfect it is that i just happen to catch a scene from boy meets world and cory is concerned about his appearance as he is going through an awkward teenage stage i suppose. Topanga starts to comfort him and tell him that appearance does not matter and he is still the same awesome person and all that good stuff...then she happens to pass a mirror and notices that one side of her hair has been cut and is shorter than the other side. She screams in horror. After panicking briefly she says that all of this time she thought she was someone who did not care about her image at all but really she was just comfortable with her image this entire time so it just did not bother her. She finally goes on to realize that her hair does not make her and with or without her long hair she is the same person. This showed me just how much the media really does affect teens and how they feel about their image. It reminds me about being in middle school and high school and how i was obsessed with having the latest trends and all of the "must have" products out there for young girls to make them popular and enhance their image. Even now i am a little tempted when i see a commercial or ad for a product that seems "life changing". Some teens take living up to these expectations too seriously and devote so much time and energy into their image so others will like them or approve of them. For some these expectations may even lead to serious disorders, self mutilation, drugs, or even suicide. i was never one of the "popular" girls, what ever that really means, and not that i really wanted to be but you could not help but look at them and wish you could know what its like to be them for a day. At a young age anyways, i feel most girls wish for things that they don't have or wish they looked a little more like someone else. it is part of being a girl and being so extremely influenced by magazines and commercials and all sorts of ads...some girls just never really get out of this phase or take it to an unhealthy extreme. I really liked the video that jenna posted on her blog, it showed young girls aware of the negative and unrealistic influence of the media and they were fighting back to not be apart of it and to just be themselves and to make others aware of this problem. After watching the video i noticed a website for an organization pop up called projectgirl.org and it aims at enabling girls to become better informed critical consumers of mass media, advertising and entertainment...it is teaching them to become media literate. There is a really awesome video on the website under the tab labeled "meet the girl" and other really cool stuff in there that i think some of you may really enjoy. It is not only girls that are influenced but boys too, through music and music videos and even from ads on tv or actors they see on tv. Here are a couple other cool video i found just talking about media and how is it shaping our society. I think that it is crucial to teach our children how to love themselves and take a stand, as a group effort, to fight against the media. change only happens when you get a group together. More organizations like project girl could benefit teens greatly and also have just as many that benefit boys too. what are every one else's thoughts and opinions?
Tuesday, April 22, 2014
Before this assignment I had never heard of Tricia Rose, but now I know she is an internationally respected scholar of post civil rights era black U.S. culture, popular music, social issues, gender and sexuality. She lectures on a wide range of issues relating to race in America, mass media, structural inequality, popular culture, gender and sexuality, and art and social justice. She has been featured on many local and national media outlets. She is an incredible speaker and very animated and passionate about the topics she discusses. She is best known for her book titled Black Noise: Rap Music and Black Culture in Contemporary America written on the emergence of hip hop culture. Her book has had great recognition from various institutions. It is considered a foundational text for the study of hip hop. She argues that just hearing the word hip hop today creates images in our mind as to what it is all about. Some of these images may be of well known rappers, drugs, money and sex. She talks about how what we hear in contemporary hip hop creates these negative images and it is all just for ways of making money. Even some well known rappers admitted that they had dumbed down their lyrics in order to make a few bucks. Reading the question and answer section of this reading started me thinking back about Christensen and the "secret education" and how we are taught at a young age how we should view the world. The same thing is going on here with hip hop. The industry creates this image, one that will make them rich, and this is suddenly what hip hop becomes. The value of real hip hop, the underground stuff, gets buried. This kind of also relates to Orenstein in a way. In that reading there was pink and blue, what girls should be and what boys should be. Here there is hip hop and contemporary hip hop, what the music really is and what image the industry has created for money purposes and to gather a following. I am guilty of hearing the word hip hop and seeing the same negative images i mentioned earlier. It actually turns me off from listening to that type of music. It is all the same. I really wish more rappers would take a stand and stray away from this contemporary hip hop image and do some creative stuff again...no need for all the swearing, killing, drug, sex talk. That is not talent.
Monday, April 7, 2014
The main theme of these readings was about "queer" individuals and how they are, as a group, represented in all forms of media. The only thing that kept running through my mind while reading these articles was that society views homosexual individuals as some sort of alien life form, much like the way that we view teenagers. They are completely placed in a category all of their own and pretty much viewed as being less important or less human, mainly because they are different from the norm that society has created for us to follow. Pretty much all of my close friends are either gay, lesbian, or bisexual, but its a little strange that i don't really pick up on the negative representations of homosexuals in the media. This is probably mostly because i do not watch many television shows and because i know what i do see in shows is not reality but instead it is what a narrow minded group of people believe is funny. None of my friends never really get offended by this type of stuff and really we all should be very offended. All of my gay friends are not "sissys" at all...one in particular could physically take on anyone if he had to and my lesbian friends are not all "butch". Why are these the characteristics that are automatically given to gays and lesbians. why are they viewed as being all the same and not as individual people with many different interests, beliefs, goals, styles, values and likes just as all heterosexual individuals do. Now that i have read these articles i am going to make it a point to watch some of the shows and films mentioned and with open eyes pick out all of the negative ways in which homosexuals are represented.