Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Reflection 1 - Latinas and the Media

Bradley W.Gorham uses his article “Considerations of Media Effects: The Social Psychology of Stereotypes: Implications for the Media Audiences” to reinforce some of the topics explored during our discussion focused on Latin Women. His analysis allows the readers to identify traits of racial prejudice encouraged by the media that have become embedded into our cultural schemas and therefore our behavioral approaches. These automatic responses are so deeply ingrained in our collective mentality that we tend to marginalize certain groups of individuals without recognizing our actions.
Unfortunately, the effects are far more unsettling than just huge gaps between communities. We have taught minorities to discriminate against their own members and pushed them into a cycle of insecurity and shame. As a result, the identity of smaller communities is getting lost among western popular culture. Dominant societies have created specific boundaries and expectations for subjugated groups, which we naturally tend to comply with without questioning.
In the case of Latin women, mainstream media has grossly diminished the meaning of femininity: dark features, voluptuous bodies, seductive personalities, loud, and fiery, while still submissive and unintelligent are their only significance. In order for Latinas to be accepted as public images in a global market they are forced to play stereotypical roles that barely comply with reality. Sofia Vergara, a natural blonde and flawless English speaker, has learned how to exaggerate her accent, adopting purposeful mistakes in her speech and a darker hair color to please television networks. Her efforts can only allow her to play a stereotypical role in the most relevant point of her career: a loud, over sexualized housewife who uses her looks and dishonest tricks to reach her objectives.
How could we possibly expect more from Latin actresses Like Sofia, when a simple web search of “movies with Latinas” results in huge amounts of online pornography? The images created by the entertainment industry completely dominate our perceptions and demands, stimulating unconscious racial prejudice and marking our interactions with those unfamiliar to us. It is our responsibility as to demand respectful and equal environments for all people, prioritizing minorities that are susceptible to manipulation from 

1 comment:

  1. You truly have to question whether the actors and actresses who take the stereotypical roles can be blamed especially for the reason you touch upon, what other option do they have? As you mentioned, in the case of Latina women, where such a simple web search results in massive amounts of porn, how many opportunities can they recieve while looking for roles in film or television? We also have to remember they are trying to create a career and that could mean sacrificing what you know is right or wrong for what will bring you rent money.
    I also agree with you that is is our resposnibility "to demand respectful and equal environments for all people" within the entertainment industry. This is a statement which I hope to work towards more this semester, since I believe there should be more pressure from media consumers to demand a more inclusive portrayal of all humans. This seems like an issue which should be more prevelant than it currently is since it is 2013, and our technological abilities have far surpassed the ability of the entertainment industry to create images reflective of our modern society.