Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Media Movment

I watched this video and I wanna know if you guys think the "feud" between Mariah and Nicki is talkd about so much and used to get people to watch American Idol because they are female? I picked this because I have seen alot about this "feud' between these two women on t.v.
Also what do you guys think of the term "Diva" do you thnk its bad,good and over used in the media.

Female California Lawmakers ask Academy to use Better Judgeemnt in the Future

Though I didn't watch the Oscar's this past Sunday I heard a lot more about it this year than I ever have before. Surprisingly the attention it drew in last weekend had nothing to do with what the nominees were wearing, who they showed up with or even who took home the little golden man...this year was all about the host Seth Macfarlane.  Many award shows have had less than entertaining and crowd pleasing hosts, but this years Oscars hit an all time low.  From the very beginning of the show MacFarlane made derogatory comments and jokes about women. From singing a song about seeing women's breasts and endless comments about the attending actresses nude scenes, his sexist views and disrespect for women was clear to viewers around the world - including 2 women in legislative power in California. These women, who were rightly offended, got together and demanded that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences use better judgement when choosing the person that will lead their shows.  MacFarlane's comments were not only sexist and at times defamatory towards women, they also "glamorized" violence against women and made it seem like it was funny and okay...

Here's the link to the huffington post article:

Who do you think is to blame for Seth MacFarlane's disregard and blatant disrespect for women? Do you think award shows should do a better job at "editing" their hosts before they take the stage?

Stop and Frisk

I can't help but notice that they didn't mention anything about precincts in Manhattan or Staten Island. It seems to me that they're targeting boroughs that have larger black communities. Is it possible that they're keeping those statistics because the percentage of blacks and Hispanics are high even though those boroughs    have mainly white communities?

Nick Cave and Album Art

So I've been a casual Nick Cave listener for a few years now. When I learned that he just released a new album, his first since 1998, I immediately went online to see if I could listen to it.

Before listening to any of the tracks though I had stumbled upon an image of the album cover:

featuring Nick Cave on the left, fully clothed, and a nude female figure on the right.

I was really disappointed by the image that I saw, even preventing me from listening to the album as I immediately started to research more information hoping that context might either excuse or erase what appeared to be a clearly misogynistic image representing the album and Cave.

What I learned complicated the image even more.

Initially, I had interpreted Nick Cave as standing infront of an open door, his arm opening the door behind him, forcing her to leave the room/house regardless of the fact that she's naked. Because of the woman's posture I assumed that she was sulking from being scolded. In essence I read this as akin to public shaming of the woman.

But what I learned (albeit from Wikipedia) is that the naked woman is his wife, this was shot in their bedroom, he's opening the window in order to let in the light and to illuminate her body, and that this photograph has been hanging in their bedroom for a number of years now.

Whether or not this is true, I think what is most interesting about this image is whether or not Knowing The Context (her being his wife and that this hangs in their bedroom) changes the reading of the image itself or the effect of the visual narrative. Is it now less offensive? Is it easier to shrug this off as not sexist?
What it probably intended to illustrate is the traditional narrative of the woman-as-muse and a source for creative inspiration, as the artist struggles to create his art.

Either way, what doesn't change (between reading it as kicking her out or letting the light in for the benefit of seeing her body better) is that she is meant to be looked at and he is the one controlling the situation.

Female Body Builder As New Face for MAC

Jelena Abbou, a Serbian-American body-building competitor is the new face representing for MAC cosmetics in their new makeup campaign launch called simply, "Strength." Jelena Abbou is a unconventional model that would not be normally featured in beauty advertisements.This ad shocked many people when this advertisement was released to the public for their choice to choose a female body builder. I think it is refreshing to break away from the traditional model "looks" that dominate our ads everywhere and on fashion runways, and see this kind of strength and beauty.

Makeup and tanning is a huge part of getting ready to compete in these kinds of body building competitions and many female body builders mainly uses MAC cosmetics because they are well known for their long lasting makeup. 

Some people may not like a female body builder as a model for MAC cosmetics because it is unconventional beauty by the societal norm standards and also some people may argue that preparation to compete such as constant tanning, not eating for days before competition, etc. does not represent beauty at all and not "natural."

How do you feel about Jelena Abbou as the new face of MAC and this Strength campaign?

A Head Scratcher Moment....

An article in the New York Times was released last week about the Facebook CEO Sheryl Sandberg who is pushing a feminist movement through her book called, "Lean In" that will be released to bookstores on March 11th. In her book, she writes about gender issues in the workforce and how hard it is to break the glass ceiling as a woman. Although she is not the first female entrepreneur to publish a book about these matters, I personally think it will be intriguing to read about her story of how she broke the glass ceiling as CEO of Facebook and her advices for all women on how they can achieve that. Sheryl Sandberg will utilize social media platforms to push the feminist movement and encourage women to break the glass ceiling and make that change in their lives. Only time will tell of how successful she will be on raising awareness and pushing this feminist movement.

Here is the New York Times article called, " A Titan’s How-To on Breaking the Glass Ceiling"

After reading the article, would you think that this is just a regular article published by the New York Times?

Will you believe that this article was actually on the front page of the New York Times last week?

Does the article now seem a bit odd or maybe even out of place to make it to the front page of the New York Times? (Especially when the front page of the New York Times that day and usually mainly about the nation's political matters and the big topic of the week on Sequestration cuts)

I stumbled upon this article because I have to read the New York Times on a daily basis for my journalism class. My professor read this article to us in class and addressed how odd it was that this article made it to the front page of the New York Times. The entire class agreed it was a little odd and the professor asked us why do you think the article made it to the front page.

No one had an answer, not even the professor himself and so we moved on to the lesson of the day.

What do you guys think? The article is very straight forward but are their hidden messages?

My only conclusion is maybe the editor-in-chief of the New York Times, Martha Nelson, hidden agenda is to bring this to our attention of this feminist movement pushed by Sheryl Sandberg. Although the New York Times is always objective with the hard hitting news of the nation on it's front page....

What makes this article different?


These are the two media examples I used for Project 1, has anyone else seen these ads thought hmmmmm?
They are short but full of social and cultural commentary of sex, intelligence, beauty, and materialism
What do you think?

Example 1 Herbal Essence 

Example 2 Fab Shoes National 2012 Commercial “Library”

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Media Moment: Cooking Mama 4

Here is the trailer for Cooking Mama 4 for the Nintendo DS.  This game has floored me since its first release.  The game features a girl and the only activities are cooking and cleaning.  They even tempt consumers with bonus levels of stacking plates.  I can only imagine how much damage this is doing to children who play this game and get so easily influenced by it.  The main character is always happy and perky and smiling and happy to cook all this food.  Oddly enough, the voice over is done by a male.  Why do you think they chose a male to do the voice over?  Do you think young girls are taking away a message from this game?  What about boys who play it, or see someone play it?

Media Moment: GoDaddy's "Perfect Match" Commercial

This is one of the superbowl ads for, a website domain client. I saw this commercial and immediately thought of two things. One, why is that the supermodel is only considered sexy and not smart, while the "nerdy" guy is considered smart, and not attractive? Are they saying that you can't be attractive AND smart? Second, is this super long kiss offensive? It isn't to me personally, but it does have the potential to be offensive. I guess what was offensive to me was the idea that smart and sexy can't be contained within the same individual. What do you guys think?

Media Moment : Verizon Home Phone

Since starting the readings for this class I have been trying to analyze every thing I come across in the media. I've been diligent in trying to deconstruct even the smallest advertisements I see. Peering into store windows to look at the ads has not been uncommon for me lately. I walk by a Verizon store every day and always notice this but tonight as I passed it I realized how it does have an underlying stereotype associated with it. Forgetting the fact that no one has a home phone anymore, do you think having a woman, of this age and complexion, in this ad was intentional? As in, they are marketing this to women because they're the ones who classically stay at home? You can see this ad at the Verizon store on Lexington Ave if my poor quality picture doesn't suffice.

Media Moment: Seth MacFarlane's "We Saw Your Boobs" Opening Skit

 “We Saw Your Boobs,” was a musical number that was performed as the opening skit at this years Academy Awards by Seth MacFarlane, the creator of “Family Guy”. MacFarlane has built his career on offensive and silly comedy but I believe that this was a classless act for a sophisticated award show such as the Oscars. While his comedy has built himself a very successful career, it was inappropriate humor, being that it was sexist material. The lyrics of this music number consisted of a list of actresses that have bared their breasts on film.

Although the act was witty and catchy, the content of his material was not humor. Humor should be funny. This musical number simply made fun of the fact that these talented and serious actresses have bared their breasts to create art and film. For the women that participated in this act, it was as if they were approving the musical skit in its entirety. The focus was only on women. There was no mention of any jokes about any male actors and their nudity.

Media Moment: Equinox

I'm sorry for the bad photo.  Many of us have probably passed by the Equinox Gym on Lexington.  The funny thing is that you probably would not guess that this is an advertisement for a gym when first seeing it.  This advertisement is obviously selling her body and telling people that if they work out they will one day achieve this body.  I find it funny that their ads usually nothing to do with going to the gym and working out, but they seem to be working.  Do you think that this is absurd or a good advertising strategy?

Cameron Russell, a model, speaks out about the industry

I came across this video of Cameron Russell, a professional model who has walked the runway for companies like Victoria's Secret and Chanel, giving a talk about women in the media. Here she admits that she won a genetic lottery and she is lucky that she looks the way she does but she raised some excellent points such as: "Image is powerful but image is superficial." She explains that a "sexy girl" in the industry is defined as a "pretty white woman." She explains that those pictures are not pictures of her but pictures of constructions made by the clients and photographers and makeup hairstyles.

It was especially insightful since she is a making her money through this industry and recognizes how destructive it can be. For me, the most disturbing point raised was when she showed an over-sexualized picture of herself in a bikini and mentioned that at the time of the shoot, she hadn't even gotten her period yet!

The talk of Photoshop being destructive has been discussed at length and the same goes for talks about models setting an unreachable ideal for women and how pretty white women are the norm, but I would say that models themselves speaking out about it is not something I've seen too much of before.

How do you feel about models speaking up about the industry they are so heavily invested in? Do you think it will help young girls realize that so much of what they see in magazines is altered? Or are Cameron Russell's arguments useless since she still willingly participates in the industry?

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Media Moment: "Touch Both Sides For Added Enjoyment"

While doing my usual internet browsing I came across an advertisement that really struck me and left me speechless. The advertisement above is made by a French advertising agency and is used to sell PS VITA, a handheld gaming console by Sony. This ad is obviously targeted to men because of the imagery as well as the product. Are women just a game/ object meant for men's enjoyment? This isn’t just a horrible representation of women but it also excludes all the female gamers from their target audience. What kind of message do you think this sends to people, both men and women? There are so many things wrong with this ad, what are the ones that struck you the hardest, the body image, body ideal, how women are to act/be treated? How did you read the ad and its underlining meaning?

media moment: armed forces

I came across this photo while going through the Reuters website and it struck me as a bit off. A photo of a female US Navy corpsman doing some sort of exercise. It was the second image of a slideshow, but the one in the headline that we see before entering the actual slideshow.

 I'm not sure if this same approach would be taken with men doing the same training, but maybe the image is just "suggestive" because we make it seem that way. The whole idea seems a bit archaic and not rooted in any science, maybe just to impress or gain the trust of the Thai Navy (seen below in the actual headline)

Do you think this kind of practice is necessary for people in the armed forces, or do you think it's almost a "forced" practice for a certain group of people? Do you think this photo would have even made it on the site if it wasn't for the sub-meaning we get from it?

Headline reads:

A U.S. marine drinks the blood of a cobra during a jungle survival exercise with the Thai Navy as part of the "Cobra Gold 2013" joint military exercise, at a military base in Chon Buri province February 20, 2013. About 13,000 soldiers from seven countries, Thailand, U.S., Singapore, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea and Malaysia are participating in the 11-day military exercise.


Friday, February 22, 2013

Media Moment: Sexy associated with "sore"?

I stumbled across this image on my cousin's Instagram this week, and was pretty taken aback for a number of reasons.  My first reaction was shock that anyone could think this was okay - to encourage women to literally cause themselves physical pain in the form of workouts, to achieve the societal standard of what's considered "sexy." We can't see the woman's face in the image, but that is perhaps, part of the point of the ad.  Our bodies are what's sexy, and according to the ad and text, only thin, flawlessly smooth, but sore bodies are sexy. The fact that my cousin, who's 20 years old, was posting it, with a comment that read something along the lines of "Hitting the gym #beautyispain," was also rather jarring to me.  Here is a well-adjusted, intelligent, and independent young woman, who is still affected by ads like this, and made to feel that she's not enough unless she's worked her body to fit the ideals set by society.

Upon studying the image a little further, a thought came to me that might be pushing the limit of what the ad is trying to say.  But I considered the idea that because the woman is naked apart from her underwear,we can infer that she's just slept with someone. And to say that "sore" is sexy, led me to think of physical abuse in a relationship.  Do you think that this idea might be too far-fetched?  Or do you think it could be fair to make that jump considering the text in the image?

Media Moment: Infographic Related to our Readings

In our reading last week in the chapter which we are using for the paper/presentation, it discusses how the concepts which we decide to signify with words are arbitrarily chosen, as the world could be divided into an unlimited number of nameable concepts (such as how the Inuits had four different words for "snow"). This week I came across this inforgraphic, which illustrates many feelings that we lack the word for in English, but have probably experienced at some point. (I took a screen-shot of the graphic, but because of the nature of the site's embed, definitely follow the link bewlow to see a more complete, interactive version.) It immediately reminded me of the reading, and I thought I would share it with you all.


Can you think of examples of something (be it a specific object or emotion) that doesn't have a name but seems like it should? If you speak another language, can you think of an example where there is a word in that language that doesn't have a direct translation in English?

media moment : American Apparel, is there a line they haven't crossed?

As familiar as we all are by now with American Apparel's  ongoing sexual and raunchy ad campaigns, this one in particular really stood out. The image is of a naked woman, but just the lower half of her, suggesting that this may be the most important part of a woman. It certainly doesn't help that the word "FREE" is in bright red, in order to draw ones attention to that word before reading anything else. 
Basically.. the first thing I get from this ad is "free pussy".
Is this an intentional message?
of all the objectifying they already do.. is this crossing a line?

If you do read the small print, and I emphasize the "if" because I personally don't know how many people actually do, there is a little blurb about the artist, that reassures readers that this is just a painting of a woman, not a real photo. (Its realistic enough).  
Does the fact that it isn't a real photo justify it?

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Media Moment: Facebook removes an image of a woman

Link to the article:

I came across this post amongst various blogs and I thought it would be an interesting topic for this blog because it deals with double standard.

The photo of the women is of her chest covered with tattoo after undergoing double mastectomy. Facebook pulled the photo because it is against their policy to allow nude photos. This is plain ridiculous. There are numerous Facebook photos out there of shirtless men and I don't see why the photo of woman shared was offensive. There is a double-standard going on in which having shirtless photos women are considered if not offensive, something frowned upon while the men's are often admired.

Do you think that Facebook is justified to pull the photo from the page? Should they also remove pictures of shirtless men on their pages?

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

"A Valentines Day Treat"

As innocent and silly as this Valentines Day Treat is, do you consider it to be exploitation? Would it be any different to have a man strip down to his underwear and dance for his partner on V-Day? Is Valentines Day a holiday for women to submit to their  partner while he brings home the materialistic gifts?

Friday, February 15, 2013

MEDIA MOMENT: Nike pull Pistorius Ad

Yesterday Oscar Pistorius was charged with shooting and killing his girlfriend in South Africa. Ironically there was an ad running of Pistorius compared to a bullet with the caption "I am a bullet in the chamber" Consequently, Nike pulled the advertisement.

It begs the question: Should people be used as weaponry in advertisements? Is there a need to eliminate images of weapons in advertising?

The Full Story

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The Weeknd- Twenty Eight

New music video by The Weeknd, how do you feel about how the females are portrayed in this video. Is it objectifying or an art form?

Friday, February 8, 2013

MEDIA MOMENT: Gender Stereotypes examples in 9:12 minutes

Some are subtle and others are over the top examples of gender stereotypes in the media.

Pick one example and discuss the messages it conveys.