If TV commercials sell products, then they probably can sell stereotypes as well. The media throws at us images and slogans that people remember without even trying. That is the whole trick behind selling a product. But what if these slogans are derogatory and degrading? Do those slogans still get remembered? Of course! Women have been and continue to be the most targeted group in advertisements. Nowadays it isn’t considered politically correct to have outright sexist commercials; however, commercials from the 1950s were much more sexist because the general public was much more sexist and women did not have full rights. Here is a little history of sexism in advertisement. I am just curious to know why, when we have women in office, and women in high positions, do we still see male dominated advertisements. This commercial, a 2013 car commercial is made up of only women and says in it, “I don’t even need to bring a dude” as if women cannot buy a car without a man to help her. A famous Superbowl ad for Carls Jr sandwiches shows a woman provocatively eating a fast food sandwich while giving a strip tease on the beach. Since the Superbowl is, for many reasons, extremely important in today’s society, we see companies paying millions just to get a couple seconds of commercial space. If a company is putting that much effort into a small commercial, you would think they would try aligned with social norms. But, just like sports in America’s history, the Superbowl is viewed as a time for men to experience and to enjoy the commercials, so of course they are usually of objectified women. The sexism in commercials is not just in the United States however. Here is an Australian commercial about an auto service called Ultra Tune. This commercial shows women not knowing how to drive and being stupid. The 2008 Club Orange Commercials famous phrase is “the best bits in the world” as the commercial shows the oranges being held my women wearing only a bra. Here is an axe commercial, where they are blatantly signifying that women are the only one that wants to cuddle in a relationship, and that once she wants to cuddle she will not allow the man to do anything else that he wants to do. Ultimately, sexism in commercials is not limited to objectifying women, less often they are also about men. For instance, this Dr Pepper commercial portraying a “manly man” being a male who is strong, enjoys the outdoors, and gets what he wants. Here is a Dominos commercial where a woman basically makes fun of her husband for how long he lasts in bed since Domino’s prides themselves on arriving so quickly after you have ordered. Though it may seem frivolous to highlight the sexism in American media, it is an important part of recognizing the messages we give and receive about the equality of the sexes in society as we move forward.
Disney, though always somewhat controversial, has been the spark of new controversy recently with the making of the new Disney film called Frozen. This film is an edited remake of a story called Snow Queen. However, the difference between the story and this new film is that the best friend of the main character is now a male, who of course the princess ends up having a love interest in (as with every Disney princess movie). This movie also represents many movies in contemporary times, where one rarely sees a female protagonist fighting crime and doing right in the world without a male counterpart. This is one reason I have found true hope in the new series of The Hunger Games. Though the films/stories do include male counterparts, it seems to me that the gender roles are quite different. Katniss, the main character, is a hardheaded, strong, independent and hard to love woman who is unmistakably loved by Peeta, one of the male leads. Peeta is an emotional, compassionate and loving character who still being heterosexual, is madly in love with Katniss. Here is a great article from NPR expressing the gender role differences in this movie, then in typical movies.
Now one can read for days the controversy about Disney princess characters, and even go far enough to look at the gender roles with males as well as female in these Disney movies. However, another downfall to the Disney films, again compared to the Hunger Games is the lack of diversity with the characters, some may even say racism. Taking a look at the most famous Disney princesses one sees little diversity, as well as other characters in their stories. For the most part the Disney princess world is predominantly white, thin, long hair and big beautiful eyes, which then ultimately means that many children grow up hoping to look like that. Another critique of the new movieFrozen, is that the main character looks very similar to that of the main character in the movie Tangled. This is incredible given the technology we now have and the people we see everyday in our lives, that we can still manage to show this idealistic white woman as the main character in these Disney movies that young children watch as inspiration and role models. However, then in the Hunger Games, you see many different characters of color, and you see them all sharing a very big connection and love with Katniss. This film is supposed to be based on the future, and though it still has its flaws, it depicts the idea that no matter who you are, and of what race you are, the people with the money hold the power, and everyone else in the world needs to fight together hand in hand in order to win.
Though I don’t want to start off with a massive generalization and say that all women in music videos are overly sexual and objectified, because that is not true, this issue is one of the biggest feminist topics around. Though music videos are usually pretty degrading for women in the way that they dance and show their body, Kanye’s new video, Bound 2, is shockingly degrading and not what I would call romantic for a newly engaged couple. Kanye has always been extravagant and likes going over the top, so I can understand why he wanted to create a video that everyone would remember. But throughout the video, you see Kim and Kanye soaring through the sky on a motorcycle, which can be metaphorically relevant and important to the song itself. But then when Kim is completely naked and the two of them are caressing while on a bumpy ride on a motorcycle, that is a bit too relevant and important to their sexual relationship, like many other music videos. He says to radio station Power 106, “you know me and Kim are in the exploitation business. We get paid to exploit ourselves.” Which probably explains this video and also their relationship in general. So there may be method to his madness since they both obviously enjoy the attention and fame. But for other artists, what is the reasoning? Is it really worth the public’s judgment of your naked body just to make your songs sell a little more.
Here are a couple of videos of top rated song on the radio currently, in 2013.
and the very controversial song Robin Thicke ft. TI and Pharell- Blurred Lines
These are just a few of the current songs on the radio, that all have half naked women dancing provocatively in the video. Of course we know that this is because sex sells, and these women are making tons of money off of these videos.. However, the real negative impact is how these videos are becoming the norm and easily accessible for the younger generation. Both male artists and female artists are objectifying women in their videos. Even this 13 year old girl thinks that music videos should be rated because there is an age group that should not be allowed to watch. But this is not to say that there are not artists that are not fighting against this. Here is a quote from singer Janelle Monae as she performs wearing a button down shirt and a bow tie: “People don’t ask Jay-Z to take his shirt off when he ryhmes. Showing my skin is not what makes me sexy. I like skirts and dresses just like everyone else, but I had a message I needed to put out there. It was up to me to show people and young girls there was another way”. Also singer Lily Allen’s has a new video called Hard out Here where she purposefully contradicts every norm for a female in a music video. This video, as well as many others, sell as well and have really perpetuated this idea to fight fire with fire. Is it true that the only way to prove that we do not need sex in our music videos to make them popular is to make videos without sex?
In my presentation I am looking to explain the new systems of technology that have been created specifically for classrooms in order to help teachers and students organize, create and view their work. It is clear that technology is crucial to education in this day and age, and that new technologies are always advancing. I will discuss the research done on the brain and how technology is helping people broadening the way we think and create. My presentation will be in the form of a Prezi and include a TED Talk called “Why our IQ Levels are Higher than our Grandparents’” and a TED Blog called “7 Tech Tools now Available in the Classroom, for Better or Worse.”
Having been born in the digital age, we have coined a term called “catfishing”. Catfishing is a term used in online dating where people make fake profiles and socialize with others pretending to be someone they are not. The term was created by a man named Nev Schulman who himself experienced an online relationship scam. He now has a show on MTV called Catfish where he finds people who are in online relationships, does research and sets up the time and space for the two people to meet. Since most fake online relationships can stay online and never in person, the point of this show is to show the harm in creating fake profiles. This show is also teaching others to be careful with what they get into online, and to look out for certain cues that highlight a fake profile.
Online dating is becoming more and more popular as a way to meet people through the Internet. It speeds up the process of finding someone you are interested in, and meeting him or her if and when you choose to. Census statistics show that about 40% of people in the United States use online dating. However, as technology advances we also learn to enhance and edit every picture we take, making it no surprise that people would alter their pictures enough to hide their real features. The new “selfie culture” (taking a picture of yourself) has been put into effect in order to improve self esteem, after it has been brought down by the newest and latest magazine and articles and photos on the web telling you how to look perfect and how to change yourself to do so. (Click here for more information on the evolution of selfie culture). The frequently airbrushed ideals shown in the media create these body image problems in teenagers today, leading to the creation of online fake identities that people are using to create relationships. In the MTV series, Catfish, many of the people that have made fake profiles blame their lies on not being okay with the person that they are and not having confidence to meet people on their own. So is catfishing only done to improve your own self-esteem or is this culture slowly becoming masochistic? Who can really be sure? I definitely know that the Internet makes it especially easy to do these things.