The Shattered Illusion

So we’ve all seen such reality TV shows such as Toddlers in Tiaras and many other pageant shows which show case young girls in the media as adults, if you will, dressed to the nines with short dresses and make-up that would be deemed as catwalk worthy. But have we really ever thought twice about it? I mean other than being disgusted or scared out of your mind by how doll like they all look and changing the channel!

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But have you ever thought deeper into it? I know I haven’t, until now that is…Now all I think of when I see children in the media are, are they being sexualised or manipulated for financial gain? How has corporate paedophilia grown so drastically?

Okay so I’ve probably lost you at corporate paedophilia. So lets take a step back and look at it from a different angle.

It has been an on going debate that children in the media are being taken and manipulated into losing their innocence, their ‘childhood’ per say and being made to look and act like adults when they shouldn’t be. That corporate companies have been using children as way to sell products, driving into the metaphor of corporate paedophilia. It is this debate that had sparked moral panic amongst society, for what we now like to classify as out of control youths.

This moral panic is stirred from the way young children are portrayed through the media, especially for young girls being told to pose provocatively to please the eye of the camera. This has a lot to do with over exposing and sexualisation of young children. The most prominent coming from Vogue’s child star Thylane Lena-Rose Blondeau.

original Thylane-Lena-Rose-Blondeau

Here we can see major manipulation of the young star, who has been made to look older than she really is, adding to the hysteria, that is the moral panic.

Although my main though on this whole topic is, where did this moral panic come from? We are quick to place the blame on the media giving it the title of corporate paedophilia, but is it not safe to say that society who had created this problem to begin with? We supply the companies with the money and ideas, yet we stand by with the notion that the media is to blame.

This topic closely relates back to all that I have spoken about in the pervious weeks, on the blame game on media, semiotics what we see and what we associate certain images with, who owns the media, the public sphere and the topic which brings it all together the media effects model. Through each of these topics my eyes have been opened further to the wonders, which is the media.

Looking back on each of these topic, I realize how relevant they are to me and how I precevie the media. Also these viewpoints have shattered the illusion I once had, I realised I’ve always had slight ideas and opinions of these topics but never really knew what they were all about, so I would always push them aside. But now I have a deeper understanding of them all, everything that I thought before has been put into perspective.

My mind will never be the same again.

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Welcome To The Coffee Shop

Central_PerkThe public sphere is seen as a vital part of media and communications; it has created a ‘coffee shop’ for ideas to circulate, in which citizens would debate on common concerns throughout society, challenging ideologies.

However, in today’s society the public sphere has become more meditated with the increasing use technology. People are now taking the ‘coffee shop’ to the world of binary, using media and its platforms to debate upon concerns and issues. Due to this shift, it’s changed the way we look and value particular issues circling today’s society. Creating more controversy on whether issues can be seen as trivial or commercial.

There are many campaigns, which have been trivialised, and commericalised through the use of media coverage that in turn has changed the way we empathise with these issues. It is through more open media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube that have created a wider spread communication amongst the audience in attempts to mediate the public sphere.

The HeForShe campaign looks to create equality for both men and women.

This campaign highlights the strength of the mediated public sphere, ultlising Twitter, Facebook and YouTube to create a following for its cause reaching a mass audience. The HeForShe Campaign has used the face of well-known actress Emma Watson, which reaches an even wider audience given her stature within the public sphere. But having the access to the information on the campaign at our finger tips through such well established media platforms, has meant its issues has reached the public sphere on a new level. As can be seen through the YouTube videos below, but also through this article, which strikes further debate into the campaign, further alliterating the wider audience, which each media platform has created.

It is said that social media is a powerful tool and has a great deal of effect on everything we do at every stage of our lives. But it can also be an indicator to what we see relevant and worthwhile to discuss and debate upon within the ‘coffee shop’. It is something that gets converted into either being trivial or commercial. We’ve seen a campaign that could be considered as commercial but what makes an issue trivial?

An example can be seen through the recent announcement of One Direction’s Zayn Malik was to leave the popular hit group in order to lead a “normal life”. This is a perfect representation of a trivial issue, this was created through the mediated public sphere, being blown-up and commercialised before anyone had anytime to notice what was even going on. There was a ridiculous amount of media time dedicated to this story, a story that had little worth within the public sphere but had made its way to the centre through its mediation.

The strong influence of social media has changed the way we look at the public sphere, creating a divide in what we believe is commercial and trivial.


References:

Turnbull, S, 2015, ‘BCM110’, Lecture 5, Media Mythbusting: Big Brother is Watching You, University of Wollongong, delivered March 31 2015

HeForShe, 2014, HeForShe Campaign Video, YouTube, <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ZptgM-jhZo>

Karim M, 2014, He for she, TNS – The News on Sunday, <http://tns.thenews.com.pk/he-for-she-un-campaign-for-gender-equality/#.VS-ZO6X6lfN>

HeForShe, 2015, HeForShe Coversation With Emma Watson On March 8th, 2015 (ANNOUNCENMENT), YouTube, <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rzz0N9lTw8c>

HeForShe, 2015, HeForShe Conversation With Emma Watson on Internatioon Women’s Day 2015, YouTube <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iJ-2qkgJ0Xk>

Fahy, C, 2015, Hysterical One Direction fans spark self-harming fears as disturbing hashtag trends on Twitter after Malik quits, The Daily Mail Online, <http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-3011449/Hysterical-One-Direction-fans-spark-concerns-self-harming-disturbing-hashtag-trends-Twitter-Malik-quits-chart-topping-boyband.html>

Brooks, D 2010, ‘Riders on the Storm’, The New York Times, 4th February, p.21.

All For One and One For All.

Is it not baffling how the media and its platforms are only owned by only a few? But does it really matter? Do people actually care about it? I mean as long as we get our entertainment and news do we really care who takes ownership of it? I know for a fact that this never crossed my mind before I started learning about it. I was quite oblivious to all the big names that owned shares in different media platforms.

But then it occurred to me after extensive discussion that it does actually matter that the media controls us and its shown through the way we use it and interpret it. But I think the main reason why it impacts our lives so much is through the manipulation of options through the basis of one person. The television networks and other media platforms where we gain our knowledge about what is going on in the world we all created by one person who owns that particular platform. Their options no matter how small or big get embedded into the content that gets brought out to the public.

You’re probably thinking how that can’t be true. But I want you to take a step back for a moment and think about when you have tried to be impartial to a debate…you can’t, you’re opinion always shines through one way or another. That’s the same for the media as shown through this clip. In Australia there is such few people who own the media it is their views and opinions that take shape in our minds, especially that of Rupert Murdoch who owns a fair share of the media industry.

This is also clearly evident in the Daily Telegraphs views on Kevin Rudd and Tony Abbott.

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But lets take a different spin on the medias impact in us; lets take a look at it from the view of social networking. Social media in itself is an instrument of control. Social media has mislead us to believe everything we put on Facebook or Instagram or Twitter is safe and for our use only. But that’s not the case, in fact they catch you out with terms and conditions they know you’ll never read purposely using big words to throw you off so you’ll just click accept so you can get your new account. This means all privacy is breached as once you press that send button on your status that information is no longer in your hands or part of your property.

But as a result to all this media control people are now pushing back against the big names that claim to own us and putting out their own opinions, these people range from actors to everyday citizens all becoming whistleblowers using the media as a mark to go against its control.

But what do you think? Do you think the media has a profound control over us through the lack of diversity?


References

If Images Could Talk…

If images could talk what do you think they would say? Would they tell you the real message that’s behind their frame or only what you want to hear? Is it possible that all the images that we have been looking at over our lifetime could have been lying to us? Is there a deeper message than what meets the eye or is it a lot simpler than that?

Okay question overload, am I right or am I right? You’re probably thinking hey hey slow down, and explain!

Let’s start with an ideology, a system of ideas and ideals.But let’s look at it in a different light; let’s make ideologies the way in which we imagine the world to be, basically what do we immediately think when we see something.

Now we have to put that into the everyday images we see, but that’s always easier said than done. We seem to let conventions dictate over connotation, letting signsjust stay as what they are. For instance, what if the toilet signs were based on the way you were dressed that day, meaning that was the direction you were going to go in?

I think that would be more problematic for women more than men!

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But let’s take this even deeper, what if we were to look at the denotations and connotations of an image?

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Let’s start with the denotations, what we can see at first glance. We see a woman most likely in her late 20’s gazing off to the side, there’s a foundation bottle to the right of her face and the background is fairly simple with few accents of colour of red and orange. The text present is scattered on and around her face.

Now for the connotations, what the image means. There are many ways to view this image, with convention this image tells us it’s a way to hide our imperfections and make us feel better about ourselves through the use of a high coverage foundation. But when we strip away the conventions I personally see a woman being made to feel like she is not good enough in the eyes of other people and is therefore being forced to hide her wisdom that shows through the signs of aging. To me this is another way to oppress women in telling them how they are meant to look for others to appreciate them. It gives off a negative notion to what beauty stands for. The words “The Eraser” enhances the notion that woman cannot possibly look pretty if they are natural.

And in 1, 2, 3…there we have it, a connection to the effects model and how the media can hold a significant factor in the dishonesty of body image.

But tell me this, what do you see when you look at an image? Let me know down in the comments if you find that convention is taking over connotation.

Until next time, this has been Captain Kirk.


References:

Turnbull, S, 2015,’BCM110’ Lecture 3, Media Mythbusting: The Image Cannot Lie, University of Wollongong, delivered March 17 2015

Image one, Toilet sign, <http://www.directsigns.co.uk/toilets–gents–ladies-symbol-arrow-left_ds9438.aspx&gt>

Image two, Maybelline print advert, <http://artimagesfrom.com/famous-controversial-ads/&gt>

Can we really blame the media?

For those born after or during the 2000’s would know that technology and the internet has become increasingly popular, it has become a necessity in our daily lives. I don’t think I’ve gone through a day and not looked at a screen at least once. This notion of needing to be comforted by a screen has made us dependent; we can’t do anything without checking it out on our phones firsts. We spend so much time on screens or looking at screens that we miss everything that’s going on around us. We become disconnected from the world and can only find hope and happiness through a screen. In this day and age everything is presented on screens, take me for example, for me I need to sit at a screen to post this blog post I need to sit at screen to write it and then I spend endless hours scrolling through comments and responding back that I get lost in this vortex of binary code, that the next time I take the time to look out the window the sun has already set.

We’ve become so engaged by the image that is projected at us that we become oblivious to its control as it dictates our entire lives. But as soon as we’re able to pull away from the screen and witness the damage it has caused, we are quick to place blame onto its sister, the media. This is where we are at in society, attached to the screen, attached to the media, which influences our every move, and decisions we make. Showcasing and dictating what is right and wrong, the right way to look for young girls, that the type of body you have effects you in more ways than one. This YouTube video clearly showcases just how influential the media can be,it is absurd to think the media doesn’t have any hand in the issues and actions of people in society.

However, it is always absurd to believe that media is the only cause for violence and outbreak in young people especially. An article written by David Gauntlett, ‘Ten things wrong with the ‘effects model’, quite rightly proves this point through its selective criticisms of media depictions of violence. Now we all now how this one goes, parents are sure that violence shown through media has a direct effect on the behaviour and minds of young children. However this is not the case, as psychological studies have shown that when young offenders were asked what their favourite TV show was or which character they’d like to be.

“The offenders stated that they watched little television, could not remember their favourite programmes and, consequently, could not think of anyone to be.”

This had me baffled, psychological research…if we have come to learn so much about our brains and how they work how on earth can we still believe that media is to blame for that is wrong in the world? Surely the media and its effects aren’t the main source for all our corruption, violence and abuse but instead those of our working minds.


References