Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Mo-Money's Concluding Thoughts On Media

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Writing these media blogs on a weekly basis has completely changed my outlook on media as a whole. In my first blog when describing my relationship with media I would say that, overall, it was pretty unhealthy. I would scroll aimlessly on my phone for hours, allowing everything that I saw to impact how I felt about myself as well as what I felt that I needed. Slowly, but surely as I began to write these blogs and focus more on the messages being sent through media I realized that the image of myself and my needs was completely based on what an advertisement told me rather than how I truly felt. It was with this realization that I truly understood how greatly media impacts my life. It is sad to think that so much of what I thought, was based on others/advertisements).

Not only did these media blogs help me to identify how media was negatively affecting me, but it also allowed me to take control of the media in my life. As I wrote more blogs the more I started to see right through the appeals and could focus on the true messages being sent through media. No longer did I find myself on social media scrolling aimlessly out of boredom. Instead, I began to, subconsciously, analyze all of the ads that I saw whether they were direct or indirect and I hate to say it, but this kind of ruined some forms of social media for me. I became very critical of what I saw and honestly, I would find myself getting frustrated as I realized that the "good intentions" behind ads in media weren't actually good intentions, but rather a way of selling a product or an idea for a company to profit off of. I guess I realized that I am the exact consumer media and companies want to target because I truly believed that the media wants the best for people. Never once before critical thinking had the thought that the media is really just trying to sell the audience on something even crossed my mind. Ultimately in growing my understanding of the intentions behind the media my usage has decreased greatly, but not because I am any less interested in media, I just feel like I fell into the trap the world of media has created and it kind of makes me sad and irritated.

Image result for laser visionNow, the key things I think about when I am on social media or watching a commercial are; what is trying to be sold, how should it benefit me, how will it really benefit me, and what unrealistic promise is made? While it is great that I am able to see and think about all of those things, they can also be a pain in the butt. I feel like I can't watch anything anymore without trying to dig into its true message, but I guess this just shows how much my media literacy has grown.

Although I complain that being able to critically think about the things I consume, I am grateful for it. The increase in my media literacy allows me to not get caught up in what is trying to be sold to me. I am proud to say that I see (almost) right through the image media tries to create. This means that I no longer get so easily caught up in what I see in the media nor am I given false hope that a product will benefit me in unrealistic ways. But, by no means am I saying that I will never get caught up in these things, however, I am saying that being an overall more educated consumer makes me less susceptible to this media trap.

In the end, this media blog benefited me in ways I could have never imagined and it taught me a lot about my media habits and how it affects me. I am super glad that we got to do this and that I found it so interesting. Based on all that I learned I wish I could say I was done with media as a whole, but I don't think I am quite at that point yet because, while media has its negatives, it also has its positives. Who am I kidding, it's really just addictive. I'm still very proud of the new techniques I have learned to apply to media so that it is healthy and not damaging.

Thanks, Media Blogs! :)

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Female Leaders. Are They Treated Better Now?

The documentary we watched showed how female leaders and women in politics were truly treated and it was heartbreaking to see that they were treated with such little respect. But, considering this documentary is quite a few years old Mr. Maxwell introduced the question of whether or not women are being treated better in today's day in age. My first initial response was yes, of course, it has gotten better. This is true, but only to some extent. We don't see anywhere near as many objectifying comments made by men on live television as shown in this documentary. Slowly women are also beginning to be seen as true competitors for men in many different fields. But, just because we don't constantly hear degrading statements being made it doesn't mean they are gone altogether. Our own current U.S. president has said many objectifying things about women in which he makes it seem as though they are truly lesser than men. So, I guess it's hard to say things have gotten better when the leader of our country seems to be taking steps backward. It isn't just the president who still seems to have less respect for women than men. Sadly, many people still don't think women are smart enough to hold some roles of leadership in this country. When I think more about the question purposed by Mr. Maxwell I guess I am unsure if things have gotten better for women or if new ways of being sexist have just become the norm.

Building off of this question I asked myself what role does media play in how women are treated and what is said about them. Of course, there have always been and, it seems like, there will always be advertisements that sexualize women. However, I think the media has also put a lot of people into check. Nowadays anything anyone says, good or bad, can become known to the world overnight. I think this thought that suddenly you can be made a villain and ruin your career in minutes creates a lot of fear in people and in return it makes people think twice about what they say. Ultimately I think that is what has helped to reduce the amount of degrading remarks about women.

I think that women who are in roles of leadership have also become much more outspoken. It has become common to see a woman speak up for herself and not tolerate the sexual comments made by men. This has been extremely powerful in the sense that it makes men aware that what they say and do has its consequences and it will no longer be excused as just a joke.

Although the overall sexualization of female leaders has decreased (but by no means gone away), the idea that women are unfit/unqualified to do a "man's" job is still unbelievably evident. Women in roles of power are, in most cases, not taken as seriously as a man would. I think that is the biggest prejudice that women still face today and something that needs to change soon. I don't know exactly what needs to be done to alter this mindset that a man is above a woman, but it needs to start now. There is no doubt that there has been growth, but we are nowhere near where we need to be.

Who do women fear more? Men or each other?

The documentary we recently watched in class did an incredible job of painting the picture of how women are treated in politics. To listen and watch the endless examples of men saying horrible things to and about women really opened my eyes to the world we live in and that's a world of hate. There never seems to be just support for people, there is always a downside or something to dislike, especially when it comes to women of influence. While it is men who are constantly targeted in the media for degrading women, and rightfully so at times, I grew my understanding that they aren't and shouldn't be the only villains. The documentary also did a great job of talking about how we see a lot more women tearing one another down rather than supporting them. The more I thought about it the more I began to understand how true it is.

A man can say the most hurtful and disgusting things and of course, it will hurt because we are human, but it's different when another woman says it. When a man makes a nasty remark you remind yourself that he has no idea what it's like to be a woman, but when a fellow woman says the same thing it cuts deeper because maybe that's the woman you are constantly comparing yourself to. Suddenly the rude remark about your body by a know-it-all man who clearly doesn't know-it-all becomes the way you see yourself because another woman said it.

So, I began to wonder why in the world we, as women, care so much about what one another thinks of us. Is it because we become so consumed in comparing ourselves to each other? Is it because our sex has been given less for so long that we feel the need to fight one another to get more? I'm not exactly sure what the reason is. But if I had to make a guess I would say women hurt women more than men do because women know women. It is very similar to friends. It really hurts when a close friend insults you as opposed to when a peer does because your close friend knows you better than most and the same goes for women. A woman knows the struggle of being a woman better than a male ever will, obviously.

If women have such a great impact on one another than how great is the damage to one another. If I were a woman in politics fighting to become president and one of my fellow candidates that's a woman said I was unintelligent I think I would lose my motivation to keep fighting. I wouldn't see my value anymore. So, now let's think of this on a larger scale. Let's say this same scenario takes place all over the world on the playground, in school, at work, etc. Now no woman feels like she's worthy of what she wants nor does she feel good enough. That's a huge impact one that is so damaging it could keep all women from becoming leaders. Thank goodness there are women out there with tough enough skin to keep fighting, but let's not just cheer for the women who have pushed past gender-based discrimination. Women need to simply stop hating one another and instead of loving and supporting one another. Imagine if the same power women have to damage each other was used to push each other. What a beautiful world we would live in.

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Sunday, December 22, 2019

Cool is Fashion

In the documentary. "Making Cents out of Teens: Merchants of Cool", the question frequently asked is, What is cool? What does cool look like? After paying more and more attention to all that is advertised to me and what best defines a person's status I determined that fashion/clothes are cool. Throughout the movie, we see lifestyles and cultures being advertised, in which, clothing all play a huge part into what they are.

Recently while I was in San Francisco I noticed a huge billboard with an image of Gucci Mane that was an advertisement for Gucci. That's when I truly realized that fashion and style is how our world determines if someone is "cool". All Gucci needed was for a celebrity to associate themselves with their brand and automatically it is cool, which is the case for every other name brand. Nike endorses well-known athletes, Lois Vuitton shows up on red carpets, and Calvin Klein seems to be every famous person's choice of underwear. What do all of these companies have in common? They are all successful and they all revolve around appearance.

Image result for gucci gucci mane adNo matter what you say the first thing you notice when you see a person is their outfit. Often times you can tell if someone is "cool", depending on whether they have the newest pair of shoes or nicest belt.  One's clothing shows people who they are, who they associate with, and more times than not how much money they have. Sadly in today's day in age money is connected to status/coolness.

More into the advertising piece of clothing, I would say it is impossible to escape. Whether it is direct or indirect some sort of apparel is always being sold and advertised. You may be watching a show with one of your favorite characters and notice they are wearing Nike Air Max's and now you want a pair too. Even though it wasn't a direct commercial for the shoes the association they had with your favorite character stuck out to you and automatically made them cool. Then, of course, there are blatant commercials or ads selling specific products. Either way, they work and they have managed to control our society so much to the point where we judge one another based on their appearance. Therefore, I would argue that to be cool is to have the newest and nicest clothes.

Mook and Midriff of Our Favorite

After learning what a mook and midriff were I realized that they are truly in everything we watch and sometimes it is more apparent than others. But, I was shocked when I realized that they even appear in one of the all-time greatest shows, Friends. Maybe it's because I love Friends so much or I didn't want to believe my favorite characters would follow the stereotypes of mook and midriff, but it became evident to me that Pheobe and Joey were the mooks of the show and Rachel was the midriff.

Image result for phoebe from friends being stupidNo matter what the situation we could always count on Pheobe to say or do something silly and outrageous to make us laugh. She was characterized as the airhead from the very beginning, which drew the audience in. keeping them wondering what she would say or do next. But, Pheobe is different from other mooks in my opinion. In the show, she was never obnoxious or at least not to the point where it made the audience over her, which I feel like is often the case with other characters. Of course, there was Joey who was very similar to Pheobe in the sense that he was stupid and always gave us a laugh with his dumb thoughts and comments. The chemistry between both Pheobe and Joey was great and always guaranteed laughter, which is why I think two mooks were included in the show. Something about people being dumb is always appealing to audiences and the producers of Friends truly fulfilled that want.

Image result for rachel from friends being stupidAs for Rachel, she is always portrayed as the pretty one with fashion sense, and who can get all of the men. She is more the woman everyone wants or aspires to be. Rachel's love life is often the focus of episodes and keeps people wanting to know who she will choose as her love interest. Love and beauty are both things that intrigue and audience and they are both given by Rachel.

Who knew the mooks and midriffs of shows are oftentimes our favorite characters as they are the ones most appealing to our needs and wants. Learning that even the characters in one of my favorite shows play into the roles of mooks and midriffs taught me that everyone uses these roles in order to sell their show/movie and some do it better than others.

Saturday, December 14, 2019

Moms and Facebook.... Am I Right!

Is it just me or are moms always caught up in some sort of Facebook drama? Sometimes I feel like they are just as addicted to media as we are, but they never seem to agree. There is constant talk about how negative Instagram and Snapchat are and how all of us teens get caught up in comparing ourselves. But, what about when our moms compare what they had for dinner to others or their kid's accomplishments. They are just as caught up in the drama and black hole that social media has become as we are. Not only are moms constantly looking at each other's lives, but they also can't seem to stop posting about their own. "Jimmy got a car", "First day of school for the kiddos", "Kelly's going to Berkley", it's never-ending. They feel the need to share every detail of everything. So if this is the case then why is it that the use of media is never a concern when it comes to our parents. I think it's because they are older and they think they know more and consider themselves more responsible with their media usage. However, I would argue that no matter what media has a big impact on people's lives, oftentimes more than we realize.

Social media has to power to subconsciously change people for the worse or the better. I worry that just like kids, parents make to many excuses as to why they can/should use Facebook, not understanding that it has its effects on them too. This truly just goes to show that no matter what age you are social media has the power to impact people. Although the thought of this is kind of frightening it also shows how much social media could do good for the world if it was used right.

As much as I get frustrated at the fact that moms always seem to be such hypocrites in regards to media, I have also learned that maybe their extreme need for control when it comes to our use of media is unintentional. They just may not realize that it often has the same impact on them as it does on us. But, I still can't over how much they are consumed by there friends' lives even as adults. It is rather comical to me LOL :)

You Can Park Anywhere

Sometimes I think Jeep tries too hard. And honestly, this ad would prove that to be true. We get it, Jeeps are offroad vehicles, they can go "anywhere" and they are meant for the adventurer, but do they really need to show us that we can park on steps in the city. The true off-roader would never dare to drive their Jeep in the city. So my question is, what is the point? 
Image result for guerilla ads jeep"

Maybe I'm being too harsh. Could it be that I am jealous, or possibly that I have no interest? No. It's the fact that I am not a try-hard, not someone who needs to show the world that my jeep can park on stairs, therefore this ad doesn't appeal to me. But, I must say that this picture gets the point across because I immediately knew that it was advertising Jeep's offroad abilities. And, it clearly got me talking about it. Jeep: 1, Mo-Money: 0. I guess for me personally it was more the idea of the people behind Jeep and their audience that bothered me more than the car itself. 

On the advertising and marketing side of things, I wonder who exactly Jeep was trying to appeal to. I suspect it was city people to show that even though they may not be able to offroad in the mountains all of the time Jeep can still give you the same thrill in the city. This is also an example of a guerilla ad, which is where a company uses surprise or an unconventional idea to promote its product. In this case, Jeep created the idea that you would park this car on city stairs or curbs, which is rather unconventional if you ask me. At the same time, it makes this ad stand out from the others, which will result in the audience not only remembering the product but also what it can do. This is pretty smart and the more I dig into this technique and ad, the more I see the genius behind it.