Over the past few weeks we have been asked to blog about the media and the role it plays in shaping our views, thoughts and ideals, also, how media ownership can sway our views one way or another, because if one or a very small group of individuals owns a large percentage of the media, we get a very one-sided view of the world and what occurs in it, purely due to what the media allows us access to. This course has taught me to be much more active in my consumption of the media. I have learned to think critically when about what we are fed by newspapers, magazines and news programs, and also to consider whether the bias of those owning the media effects what we deem acceptable in society, the media and in entertainment, and to acknowledge those who try to challenge the status quo. The act of writing these blogs week to week has taught me so much more about my own writing style, and how to write and think critically. Reading and critiquing the work of my fellow BCM110 students has also showed me so many interesting ideas and perspectives I may not have previously considered.
Most recently, we have discussed the idea of ‘moral panic’, largely surrounding the sexualisation of children and young women. Now, this moral panic, in my eyes, is, in some aspects, warranted, here is why.
As a culture, we are exposing some children to very graphic material very early on, and it can have extremely damaging effects, to different ways to different children and genders. The over sexualisation we see in the media is largely of women, it is of men sometimes but, lets all be honest here, it’s mainly women. By over sexualising women in the media, we give this idea to young girls that their purpose, and only way to be successful in the media, is to be ‘sexy’, and to young boys, that it is perfectly alright to view women’s value on the amount of sexual gratification she can offer. An example of this is Lana Del Rey’s GQ cover for ‘Woman of the Year’, which is shown as the titular image of this post. In her cover shoot, she is completely naked, except for several items of lavish jewellery. In contrast, her male counterparts, winners of GQ’s ‘Men of the Year’, are fully clothed in suits, the only flesh showing being their faces and hands. By having Lana Del Rey pose naked, whereas the men posing clothed, it gives off an idea that Del Rey’s value was placed less in her talent, but more the sexual gratification she provides to her audience, and could provide to the readers of GQ.
Now imagine being a small child, you walk past the magazine stand see the rows of magazines. The women on the covers are posed provocatively and scantily clad, whereas the men are in suits, standing tall, and looking powerful. Imagine what thoughts that could put through a young child’s head. Saving a child’s innocence, and making sure they dress age appropriately and only watch ‘G rated’ films are one thing, but what we put in the media, and in public, that they have access to is another. There is nothing wrong with a consenting adult being sexual. But putting out the image that the only way for a person to be successful is to exploit their sexuality, is one of the most damaging things you could tell to a child, even if not intentionally.
For now, this is me done and dusted, signing off my last post for the last time.
p.s. Comment, like and tweet at me @mssamiejohnson