Media Make Me a Sandwich!

Girls.
Boys.
Boys.
Girls.
The preconceived structure that comes with your downstairs…
“I want a side order of pickles please” – Tessa
“Sorry, you can only get a boob job, liposuction and uhh… how about a whole makeover” -Media

Damn Media, I mean, It’s media’s fault isn’t it?

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I was reading this amazing fabulous and juicy case study about this girl named Tessa Oakey.She shared pink and purple room with her sister. She had a collection of Barbie and Bratz Dolls and regularly destroyed them by cutting their hair, proving to her best friend Abbey that she would grow up to be a hair dresser, as well as a singer and dancer obviously! I also read that she has (cough, had*) an unhealthy obsession with Disney. Media, Media, Media… What have you done? You have provided this poor young girl with a pink and purple.. as well as… wait a second! Didn’t her parents give her that?!

And expose her to that, and provide her with that, and allowed her to do that, think that. Because “obviously” people can’t think for themselves. Especially when we let the media spoon feed us with stereotypes and gender roles. 

“Whoever controls the media, controls the mind” – Jim Morrison

Mass media is powerfully influential as it reaches a large and diverse audience. According to a Canadian communication theorist Marshall McLuhan, it also affects people’s lives by shaping their opinions, attitudes and beliefs (Unknown, 2013).

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Considering this, it is understandable that the way media portrays gender roles can affect society. Take an average Australian Televsion series, Home and Away, we see the “River Boys” who walk around the beach topless with their delightful 6 packs on display and act as the strong, protective males who pick fights with anyone that comes in their way. Meanwhile the overly attractive female girls are troubled with boys, boys, boys and the occasional sex scandal. Then there is the typical Swimwear advertisements, internet sites and just about everything else in the media industry. But I believe that Media is just an exaggerated form of reality. Society dictates what the media produces. 

As viewers we know that if you buy that makeup you would not look like that model, that if you buy that swim wear you will not have that body, but we choose to blame the media for these expectations that we place on ourselves.

While the media may portray these ideas of stereotypes and gender roles, society chooses to embody it. This is the choice the educated consumers of the 21st century make, The media is the easy solution, the easy way out of the complexities of the issue. Media is so frequent and such a dense part of  everyday life that it could answer for anything. Hell, it could be the reason why your dog has a rash on it’s left foot.

But just because its a reasonable explanation, it does not necessarily mean it is the correct explanation.


 

References:

Unknown 2013, GENDER STEREOTYPES IN MASS MEDIA CASE STUDY:ANALYSIS OF THE GENDER STEREOTYPING PHENOMENON IN TV COMMERCIALS, Krytyka, viewed 22nd March 2014, <http://krytyka.org/gender-stereotypes-in-mass-media-case-study-analysis-of-the-gender-stereotyping-phenomenon-in-tv-commercials/ >

Unknown, Gender Issues In the Media, ETFO, viewed 22nd March 2014, <http://www.etfo.ca/Resources/ForTeachers/Documents/Gender%20Issues%20in%20The%20Media.aspx >

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