Disney

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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.

Women in Music Videos

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.

Miley Cyrus- Wrecking Ball

Katy Perry- Roar

Lady Gaga- Applause

Drake- Just Hold on Were Going Home

Pitbull ft. Ke$ha- Timber

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 videoas 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?

As we get Smarter, so does Technology

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.”