Saturday, April 26, 2014

Talking Points: Teens Talk Back


I have to start by saying that I didn't think it would be hard to find teens standing up against the negative images that the media displays about them. I guess my thinking could have been persuaded by our positive talks about teens in class and after seeing the Youth in Action group. I was very impressed by their presentation and on their awesome progress with their school. This article reminded me of the three Queer readings when they linked personal experiences with teens. For this blog and research, I started by searching on Google and then went to YouTube where I found a video. This video showed girls talking back against the negative and unrealistic images that the media portrays. Many of them felt angry and upset with the commercial and shows because they were displaying unrealistic images that they thought all girls should live up to. The girls said the following things when asked to talk about media and the negative images that it displays “if you’re rich or you have money, then you can be popular other than that you’re a nobody. That’s not fair,” It’s trying to say your ugly without this product, or you’re not popular without this product,” “The media gives you standards for looking good, and makes you think the product will help,” “It’s almost like they want you to judge people by their clothes instead of this personality,” “It makes you get angry at the companies and say why can’t I look pretty on my own, why do I need something to help me.” Everything that the girls said was true. The media does try to make you feel like you need “things” to make you more popular, pretty, successful, liked, etc. It is constantly trying to make you feel like something is wrong with you but if you do these few simple things such as buying make-up products or losing weight, you can be the “picture perfect person.” It is unrealistic and gives young girls false hopes and dreams. There isn't any commercials that say “your beautiful you don’t need anything to make you better” or anything along those lines that I can think of, can you? 

Another interesting link I found about media and its effect on teens- Check it out and let me know if you agree with what it says!  

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Hip Hop Controversies

Free Writing:

This article reminded me of Oriensteins "Cinderella ate my daughter" because they both expressed memories from their past that implemented what they said in their article. Tricia Rose is a professor of Africana studies at Brown University. She is also the Director of the Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity at the university. “Professor Rose is also on the Boards of the Nathan Cummings Foundation and Black Girls Rock, Inc (Van Evers, 2014).” 
She is best known for her award winning book, Black Noise: Rap Music and Black Culture in Contemporary America, which is about the emergence of hip hop culture. 

Her primary position on the contemporary world of hip hop in the US is covered in her lectures and seminars. Rose argues that hip hop artists and the commercialization of black popular culture more generally has more power than ever to shape racial and gender images, perceptions, and policies (Van Evers, 2014). The people who are on her team and support her work are MSNBC, CNN, NPR and other local media connections as well as in Time, Essence, The New York Times, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. Her speech in the YouTube video was very educational. I liked when she talked about playing basketball while she was growing up and how the creative players would rap on the tape. I agree with her when she says that hip hop music has been “dumb down” and its creativeness has really escaped. A lot of it has to do with being able to sell the product and it has effected hip hop to be commercial than inspirational. The article on “Hip Hop Wars” was also very powerful and filled with knowledge. She is trying to get the point across that hip hop isn’t what it used to be and it is because of media and the “need to sell” that is affecting its original origin. Hip hop music used to be about implementing change for the better in society and people’s lives. She talks a lot about this in this article. I like that she is passionate about hip hop and see’s the good that it was and still can be but also acknowledges that change needs to take place and I couldn't agree more! 

Monday, April 7, 2014

"Queer Youth Readings"

Free Writing:

I decided to free write for my blog this week. These articles made me think back to Croteau’s article when he discussed media and ideologies, another classmate also picked this out. I want to talk about the representation of queer people in the eye of the public because I felt that it came up in all of the articles and was discussed thoroughly in each. A lot of my classmates also discussed this topic and I think it’s because it’s a big concern and issue that everyone notices, whether they care or not, it’s still visible to society. The media doesn’t always give the best representation of queer population and how it is portrayed isn’t always true. It is sometimes seen as either really negative or really positive. There is never a happy medium and this portrays them as being different than everyone else. The article “Queer Representation and the Media” talked a lot about this. One point that it mentioned is that queer representation has been brought to media’s attention and they are finally noticing it. However, even when it is seen in a positive light, there are still challenges that are brought up like sexuality and actors/actresses that play queer roles have different obstacles than heterosexual roles. This article also talks about representation in the negative light as it stated, “criticism was particularly concerned with negative portrayals of gays and lesbians as sissies, drag queens, butch lesbians, and other groups that didn’t fit into mainstream gender categories.” This is a big issue that arises in the media representation. It is definitely something negative that queer roles are seen as in the media and can be hurtful and also create false stereotypes. I am interested in hearing my classmates view on this topic.

~If you look at my hyperlink for queer, the first definition is very interesting. I'd be interested to hear your thoughts!

Sunday, March 30, 2014

"Cinderella Ate My Daughter" Orenstein


This article was very interesting. It reminded me of Chritensens "Unlearning the Myths that Bind us," article.  I want to comment on the author’s statement of “colored” princesses because this really fascinates me. When I think about Disney princesses, I think about Cinderella, Belle, Ariel, Sleeping Beauty, and even Snow White and Jasmine. But I never really think about Pocahontas and Mulan. I really don’t consider them princesses because their stories and movies don’t make them seem like one. In all the other Disney princess movies, the princesses play damsel in distress and the prince comes and saves them. Pocahontas and Mulan are independent and are after something bigger than falling for their true love. I often wonder if my perspective of who the princesses of Disney are has been shaped by the movies and personas they give off. Why don’t I consider Pocahontas and Mulan princesses? I know I gave a short reason why but there must be more to it. There has to be an underlying fact that these movies have created and probably hoped to create this division. Orenstein also mentioned that “not all eight of the Disney princesses are of royal extraction.” Mulan and Pocahontas are technically Disney princesses but like she also mentioned, they are hard to find in the store. I think this has a lot to do with my perspective on which ones I consider princesses because the ones I see in the stores or on anything labeled Disney princesses are Cinderella, Belle, Ariel, and Sleeping Beauty. This is not coincidental and is part of marketing and advertising. I want to end my reflection on this thought, what does everyone think about the Princess Tiana from the movie Princess and the Frog? She is African American and is the first Disney princess of this race. The movie is very cute and involves the same features of all the other Disney princess movies, true love, music, singing and dancing, and a happy ending. Why did it take Disney so long to make a movie with an African American Disney princess?

Sunday, February 23, 2014

"A Cycle of Outrage" James Gilbert

The article by Gilbert was filled with many appealing facts and information about the lives of teenagers.I found that this article relates very much to Rabys five discourses. I choose to write about a quote for this blog because this one really stood out to me and I have strong personal opinions about what was mentioned. “For several years, debate raged over whether or not mass culture, particularly in the guise of advertising, comic books, films, and other consumer entertainment aimed at youth, has misshapped a generation of American boys and girls (Gilbert).” I find this statement by the author to definitley be true and it pretty much speaks for itself. I believe that media and technology has definitley shaped teenagers as they grow. Their minds are focusing on the latest trends instead of enjoying their time growing up. I can remember my teenage years being with my friends and doing stuff actually “with them.” Now a days kids are talking with their friends online and it is becoming more socially acceptable. I was always outside playing with neighborhood friends or friends from school. My parents would have to call me in to come eat dinner which I would do, but then go right back outside. Life and times have definitley changed from when I was younger and even for previous generations. I didn’t have all this technology growing up so I had to make my own fun. I think that’s the huge disadvantage that children and teens have today. Their sense of fun is already made for them and they don’t use their imagination to create things because unforuntaley they no longer have to. 

Sunday, February 16, 2014

"A Tangle of Discourses"


This article talks about the five main discourses of a teenager. They are listed as: storm, becoming, at-risk, social problem, and pleasurable consumption. The article takes each one and goes into detail about how the term relates to teenagers as they grow and develop in the world. I found this article to be pretty interesting. Some points I agreed with but others reminded me of being in class and discussing how people talk about teenagers as being “those crazy teens.” One thing that I do agree on falls under the “at risk” category (I really don’t like this heading). I agree that teens are more prone to experience “risk-full” situation such as experiencing with drugs, alcohol, relationships, eating issues, etc. but only because they are being influenced by their surroundings, peers/media/society and because they have not yet tried these things so they are curious. Everyone who tries something new does it because they are curious about the particular interest. So why classify teens as being “risk-takers” when technically all of us who try something new could be called this. I think that teens are just trying to live and grow and in order to do this they have to do a little experimenting. The negative experiments of teens are always talked about but teens are also experiencing with positive things as well. Teenagers learn at a young age that sometimes only negative things are worth being talked about and all positive and helpful things that happen while growing up are seen as, for lack of terms, “not worthy.” This made me think of Christensen's article and how kids are being blinded for my negative stereotypes and the secret education but maybe it is a good thing after all because it is protecting us from so much negativity. I think parents are too hard on teenagers, not because they mean to be, but because they know what they were doing as a teenager. My big thing with this is that teens are going to be influenced by other people and factors but how they are raised and the home life they come from determines a lot about their characteristics and need to experiment. My parents were always involved with what I was doing, who I was with, when I would be coming home, and all of these things factored into the kind of teenage years I had. Growing up, especially during my teenage years, I often fought with my parents over little things because I thought they were too involved in my business (seriously though what business did I really have at that age!?) but looking back at it now, I’m happy they were always involved because they helped me make good decisions.