MALE VS. FEMALE (Media Portrayal)

In our world today and for generations before us, movies, advertisements, and other forms of media have portrayed men in a very explicit way. Men have been represented to be logical thinkers, to think rather than feel and take charge of situations at hand. Their supposed to be aggressive and protect women and children while not being sensitive to feelings or being able to accept help. This leads into a few very distinctive roles we see men continued to be displayed as. One role is the Joker, he's the guy who's eccentric and a very popular character with boys. A negative consequence of this stereotype is the assumption however that boys and men should not be emotional or serious. The next role is the Jock, he's the one that can never be soft and has to be aggressive when potential having to fight other men. His display of strength and power gets his approval from other men and his adoration from women. One example of this is in the movie Fast Five main character Vin Diesel takes on this role of 'jock' because he uses his strength and stature to fear off other men and charming personality to attract women. This has negative impacts on our culture because boys feel that they have to be tough in order to gain respect and that respect is through violence which then leads to attracting women. Another stereotype is the Whimsical man. This man is usual a father figure whose well intended but is completely hopeless when it comes to parenting his own children. An example of this can be seen in the television series "Still Standing." Played by Mark Addey, main character Bill Miller can never seem to do things right in parenting his kids and his wife Judy usually has to step in to assist. This shows men that its okay to leave parenting up to the mother in some instances and not try to fully resolve the situation on their own.

Women in the media also have a very distinct way of being portrayed. In any magazine, billboard ad, and etc. One can be sure to find a triple zero sized model while rarely ever seeing a model over the size of a four. Women are supposed to be thin and beautiful and spend every amount of money they can on trying to reach that unattainable perfection. It has even come to the extreme measures of woman's body parts being used to sell items in the media as well. In his ad for Tom Ford the cologne bottle is placed between the woman's chest in order to attract men to look at the ad. I can't say that I've ever seen an ad where a perfume bottle is placed between a man's thighs in order to attract women to look at that advertisement.. sexuality is a being part of woman's representation in the media, every part of the woman's body has been used in someway in multiple advertisements.

Representation of Difference

Anyone can assume that living in a deprived inner city has its challenges. This idea is developed in our minds as we sit staring from a projection that implies such is true. Already considering these initial struggles, when you mix in an abusive mother, bullying, and a baby on the way, you've created the life of main character of the movie Precious, a young teen who deals with living in the inner city combined with multiple additional challenges. As one may watch even just the trailer of the movie, the audience is presented with a lot of underlying ideas of what life is like as a young African - American teenage girl living in an inner city. In one part of the trailer we hear a narration of her mother with scenes of a disarrayed city; garbage filled streets, graffiti filled buildings, and run down cars. We are presented with ideas that every inner city is poor and filthy. We also assume that most of these kids are illiterate considering the amount of times we are told that Precious is sixteen and still in high school. Along with these ideas, there's also the beautiful, light skinned teacher helps Precious find her way to graduation, and saves her from the troubles of the inner city.

This isn't the first movie were this idea of a light skinned woman helps save inner city kids. For example, in the movie Freedom Writers, Mrs. Gruwell, played by award winning actress Hilary Swank, "inspires her class of at-risk students to learn tolerance, apply themselves, and purse education beyond high school" (imdb). Were shown that kids living in inner cities are only capable of achieving great things by these light skinned saviors. There aren't many movies that show these select group of kids fighting the struggle on their own, they're only portrayed as helpless but having great potential once they're pushed.

standanddeliver.jpgAnother movie that shows this is the 1988 movie Stand and Deliver. This movie is somewhat different in the fact that it's a group of poor inner city kids who happen to be Hispanic descent and are saved by a male Mexican teacher. This meaning that they were pushed to take the mathematics AP exam and all end up passing which inspires them to graduate from high school. Although this movie isn't about African-American students being saved by a white female, it does incorporate some of the same ideas, that these inner city kids needed a push in order to pull the potential they have out of them because the struggles of living in the inner city, gangs, drugs, etc, take up most of their time.

Watch Precious Here
Watch Freedom Writers Here
Watch Stand and Deliver Here


ladygaga.jpgWhen we look at power in the media, there are plenty of different things we can look at that branch off this idea. There's power of characters in films, there's power of actors promoting their movies through interviews, there's celebrities even being placed social power lists. According to the Forbes 100 most powerful celebrities, Lady GaGa charted number one, following closely behind was Oprah at number two and Justin Bieber at number three. Oprah has been known to be continuously taking that number one spot, this year Lady GaGa beat her out due to her ability to use social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook to cause her "little monsters" to fall into a frenzy which drives record sales and media attraction. She continues to be successful in the media through her Madonna-esque music which continues to top the charts of the most popular music providing site- itunes. Also according to Forbes, she earns around 90 million dollars a year as well has acquiring 34 million Facebook fans and 10 million twitter followers.
Through these social networking sites, GaGa has been able to promote her line of MAC makeup, Monster headphones and Virgin Mobile phones she notoriously features in her videos. She has even been able to help move one million downloads of her single "Born This Way" in only five days. Celebrities are able to send the word out about their new releases, products, etc in help of all these different networking sites to promote themselves to drive their own careers. We see that age, race, gender, etc, have no effect on this type of power. Her uniqueness, her ability to network, and her money all help her promote herself which drives her to this number one spot.

Following in GaGa's footsteps in none other then seventeen year old Justin Bieber. The young Canadian singer earns around 53 million in one year. This is all due to music sales, concerts, and a 3D documentary that grossed around 100 million at the global box office. Bieber got his start on the internet which made him an online sensation. If this had been fifteen years ago, Bieber would probably still be uploading his videos to YouTube. The power of the internet has led him to become the superstar he is. In most recent news he's even came out with a nailpolish line. A male pop star coming out with a girls nailpolish line has never been heard of before. This separation from other stars in the media only attracts even more media attention. These charts only demonstrate how celebrities use the media to promote themselves through the media. But it doesn't take a chart for one to determine how powerful a celebrity has come, you know by how many times you see or hear their names on television, in magazines, and every other public outlet.

Article: News, ScientistsAOL Weird. "Lady Gaga Bests Oprah as the Most Powerful Celebrity on Forbes 100 List - TIME NewsFeed." TIME NewsFeed - Breaking News and Updates. Web. 19 May 2011. <http://newsfeed.time.com/2011/05/19/lady-gaga-bests-oprah-as-the-most-powerful-celebrity-on-forbes-100-list/>.

michaelj.jpgCONNECT After reading Dominic Litz's wikispace on Modern Day Sports, I found an interesting idea that caught my attention - the amount of racism that goes on within sports. This concept includes the most shocking line I read which was "racial stereotypes [are] being exploited by sportscasters making racial slurs towards players." For example on CBS African American sportscaster Gus Johnson made a comment regarding another African American male Chris Johnson that "He's got getting away from the cops speed." Dominic discussed how this controversial because a derogatory stereotype towards African Americans is that they're often involved with crimes and the police. But this stereotype comes from the mass amount of news we hear about African Americans getting in trouble with the law. This all comes right back to the fact that we are presented this information from the media. Along with this he goes on to explain how stereotypes today have changed from the past and how many believe that certain sports are dominated by one racial group. This could be because for example, in basketball, you see a lot more media attention toward African American players such as Michael Jordan, LeBron James, and Irving "Magic" Johnson. We don't mean to assume that a sport is purely dominated by one race, but it's due to the amount of media attention that we see this idea continuing to be evolved. georgeslaraque2.jpgAnother sport we might see this in is hockey. One thing I found really interesting was a blog post under the blackyouthproject.com It wasn't the article that suprised me, it was the fact that after reading the whole article through, I found that I initially assumed it was a male author. It was only at the end of the blog that I went back to check the authors name and for some reason I found it shocking it was a woman. This could be due to the fact that you more often don't see a woman reporter on Sportscenter talking about an African American hockey player. he author Tamara, talked about how she works for a hockey team and many people seem shocked at first when she tells them where she works. People often ask her if she's the only African American female in her office as well as if there are any African American players on the team she works for. She said how she's heard every reason why you don't see a lot of African American players in the league including "they don't make skates that big" to "they can't get used to white guys with sticks. There are a lot of different factors that could play into this though. This includes the fact that there's sometimes less access to the ice rather than a basketball court for example. A sport that's commonly played at your high school or more frequently shown on television is more likely to be played. Hockey isn't the most popular sport in America but Tamara goes on to discuss how the popularity of hockey is growing and with this growth we might see an increase in the diversity of its players.

Tamara. "Black People Dont Like/Play Hockey." Black Youth Project. Web. 23 May 2011. <http://www.blackyouthproject.com/blog/2011/03/black-people-don%E2%80%99t-playlike-hockey/>.