Mirror mirror on the wall, who said blogging was easy at all?

The past 6 weeks at University has been full of procrastination, stress, wasting petrol looking for a car park and getting lost around the campus. On top of all that, I have been exposed to extreme blogging in BCM110. At first it was hard to get into, and it kind of still is, but if you told me 6 weeks ago I was going to have 5 or 6 blog posts that somewhat make sense and seem even the slightest bit intelligent, I would have laughed at you. I can proudly say I have now grown as a blogger and actually have some cool stuff on my blog!

Through the concepts we have learnt in BCM110 such as the media effects model, semiotics, connotations and denotations, ideologies, differing interpretations, media ownership, the public sphere, sexualisation and corporate pedophilia have definitely helped to broaden my understanding of the media today.

The majority of these focus points can also be intertwined with a major issue in the media; sexualisation of children. Now look at this image below, and what do you see?

HotShots_Model_Aug1_01

In relation to denotations and connotations, when you first view this image what did you see? A little girl dressed up like she is 19? An innocent 10 year old cuddling her bunnies on her bed? A girl that probably can’t even walk in those heels? (I still can’t) But when you look into this image more closely, the confronting and provocative pose the little girl is doing in both images, the leopard bed spread, pillows and the silk chair and clothing is highly confrontational. This image shot for a French Vogue magazine has ‘sexualising children’ written all over it.

When I was searching for photos to be included in this blog post, I came across this blog that made this advertisement so much more than it is, or did it? These edited images that say the words “Cadeaux… A Perfect Gift For Pedophiles” make the underlying message of children being sexualised in the image a stand out.

Vogue France Baby sexy Cadeaux pour les pedophile 7 Vogue France Baby sexy Cadeaux pour les pedophile 9 Vogue France Baby sexy Cadeaux pour les pedophile 11

The issue with sexualisation and corporate pedophilia is being discussed all around the world. The public sphere would immediately look at this image and start a debate on why some aspects of the media choose to present children in this form. Parents also have an impact on the way children dress today. Some parents would let their children dress however they like, even if they are 12 and dressing like 18 year olds. Although the majority of parents play a major role in the way their children dress and would find the Vogue photo shoot very confronting.

Over the past 6 weeks that I have studied the media in BCM110, I have learnt a lot from writing these blog posts. Coming from a girl that wouldn’t dare turn the TV on any channel that was broadcasting the news while watching dinner, reading articles on the computer in search for good ideas for these blog posts has really opened my eyes to what is occurring in the media today.


References:

Jussel, Amy. “Vogue “Cadeaux”-Children ARE Gifts. Not To Be Wrapped & Sold – Shaping Youth.”Shaping Youth, 2011. Web. 13 Apr 2014. <http://www.shapingyouth.org/vogue-“cadeaux”-children-are-gifts-not-to-be-wrapped-sold/&gt;.

Unknown. “Humor Chic: December 2010.” Humorchic.blogspot.com.au, 2010. Web. 13 Apr 2014. <http://humorchic.blogspot.com.au/2010_12_01_archive.html&gt;.

Unknown. “Adultification & Sexualization of Girls in French Vogue » Sociological Images.”Thesocietypages.org, 2014. Web. 13 Apr 2014. <http://thesocietypages.org/socimages/2011/01/08/adultification-and-sexualization-of-girls-in-french-vogue/&gt;.

Unknown. “10 Year Old Supermodel in Vogue.” Socialphy.com, 2014. Web. 13 Apr 2014. <http://www.socialphy.com/posts/off-topic/11735/10-Year-Old-Supermodel-in-Vogue.html&gt;.

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The Public Sphere Is Sooooo Fetch!!

When I first heard the term “public sphere”, I honestly thought to myself “what the hell is that?” So if any of you bloggers out there don’t know either, here is the definition:

“The concept of the public sphere’ is a metaphor that we use to think about the way that information and ideas circulate in large societies. It’s a term in everyday use to describe information when it’s made generally available to the public: we say that its in ‘the public sphere’” (McKee, 2005)

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When it comes to a debate in the mediated public sphere, the movie Mean Girls (2004) is a perfect example. The hilarious movie Mean Girls is a film that almost every girl can relate to when going though high school and has had such an enormous impact on teenagers over the years.

The screenplay Mean Girls was released in 2004 and based on Rosalind Wisemans book, ‘Queen Bees and Wannabes’, published in 2002.

200px-Queenbeesz

Mean Girls is a cleverly directed film, which focuses on teen girls at high school how they bully each other, and say nasty things behind each other’s backs. How the school is divided into ‘cliques’ such as the “freshmen, ROTS guys, preps, J.V. jocks, Asian nerds, cool Asians, varsity jocks, unfriendly black hotties, girls who eat their feelings, girls who don’t eat anything, desperate wannabes, burnouts, sexually active band geeks, the greatest people you will ever meet… and the plastics”.

So why is this film being mentioned to frequently in the public sphere? Close to being the most quotable movie of all time, for some of us teenage girls its hard to finish a conversation without bringing up a mean girls quote such as:

  •  “That’s so fetch!”
  • “Get in loser we are going shopping”
  • “She doesn’t even go here!”
  • “On Wednesdays we wear pink”
  • “You can’t sit with us!”

…And of course…

  • “Glen Coco? Four for you Glen Coco! You go Glen Coco!”

The main issue addressed in this film is definitely bullying. Characters Regina George, Gretchen Wieners and Karen Smith have a “Burn Book” where they cut out photos of their classmates and write harsh words about them. Many teen girls now and before could relate to this as the majority of girls at high school have either said something behind someone’s back or had someone say something about them behind their back.

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This film is timeless and clearly relates to the past, present and the unlucky high school students of the future and of course you will be hearing about this movie in the mediated public sphere for many more years!

Now get in loser, we are going shopping!

xoxo


 

References:

BCM 110 Lecture notes week 5 

Mean Girls 2004, Film, Paramount Pictures

Wiseman R 2002, Queen Bees and Wannabes, accessed 12/4/14, http://rosalindwiseman.com/publications/queen-bees-and-wannabes/

Au.eonline.com. N. p., 2014. Web.

GIFs, ‘Mean, and Sydney Bucksbaum. ”Mean Girls’ 10-Year Anniversary: Celebrate With The Most Fetch Moments In Gifs – Zap2it’. Zap2it.com. N. p., 2014. Web.

‘Mean Girls’. Wikipedia. N. p., 2014. Web.

‘Queen Bees And Wannabes’. Wikipedia. N. p., 2014. Web.

‘What Were All The Cliques In The Movie Mean Girls.? – Yahoo Answers’. Au.answers.yahoo.com. N. p., 2014. Web.

Why does it matter who controls the media?

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Morning news, midday news, prime time news, midnight news, news is everywhere.  Listening to the news every day is a common factor in the majority of peoples lives. You may watch the news while eating breakfast, driving to work or school, on your lunch break and then again when get home and flick on the TV and the news pops up in almost every ad break. Unknowingly, the media is controlling the thoughts in our head; but the real question is, does it matter who ‘controls’ the media? Of course.

If you’re not into the news or up to the date with the current media owners ill give you a quick break down:

News Corp owned by Rupert Murdoch:

  • Satellite TV Asian Region (STAR TV)
  • MySpace
  • The Australian
  • REA Group
  • HarperCollins
  • Fox Film Music Group
  • Fox News Radio
  • 20th Century Fox
  • (Just to name a few!)

Fairfax Holdings owned by Gina Rinehart:

  • Sydney Morning Herald
  • The Age
  • The Canberra Times
  • The Brisbane Times
  • WA Today
  • Australian Financial Review

And the individually owned media platforms:

  • Facebook- Mark Zuckerburg
  • Twitter: Jack Dorsey
  • Tumblr: David Karp
  • YouTube: Steve Chen

These days people rely on traditional forms of media such as the news on TV and in the news paper rather than news posted on Facebook, Twitter and any other “new age” media platforms.  This is mostly because the smaller companies don’t have the high credentials like the bigger companies such as Fairfax Media and News Corporation.

The media is dominated by a small handful of extremely powerful people in Australia. It is said that Australia’s media ownership diversity is so insignificant, that is has resulted in our country ranking 28th in the Press Freedom Index.

Freedom of the Press Worldwide 2014

So why does it matter that these media owners have such control over the media? Considering News Corp and FairFax Media owned by Rupert Murdoch and Gina Rinehart are the most significant forces in the media in Australia (and in the case of News Corp, worldwide). Being such large corporations, viewers rely on the information processed through TV, newspapers and the radio initially influencing their thoughts and actions towards the news. This is extremely worrying. As a result of the extremely diverse media ownership, the information available is extremely diminished as the news organisations own and controls the majority of TV channels and forms of communication. For example, News Corporation owns Fox News, Wall St Journal AND the New York Post. So it is more than likely that one news story produced by a company, may be broadcasted on all of their channels, which push the agenda, and ideologies of the owners of the media shaping the thoughts and ideas of the viewers.

 “Whoever controls the media, controls the mind.”media-ownership

 


References:

Poposki, Claudia. “Who Owns Who?.” Weird Little Words, 2014. Web. 9 Apr 2014. <http://claudiapop13.wordpress.com/2014/03/26/who-owns-who/&gt;.

Unknown. “What online brands and assets does Fairfax Media own?.” Fairfax Media Subscriber Services, 2014. Web. 9 Apr 2014. <https://support.fairfaxmedia.com.au/entries/23385147-What-online-brands-and-assets-does-Fairfax-Media-own-&gt;.

Unknown. “News Corporation.” Wikipedia, 2014. Web. 9 Apr 2014. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/News_Corporation&gt;.

Unknown. “Media Control: Does It Matter?.” Pen & Print, 2013. Web. 9 Apr 2014. <http://melyssatroy.wordpress.com/2013/03/28/media-control-does-it-matter/&gt;.

Unknown. “Fairfax Media.” Wikipedia, 2014. Web. 9 Apr 2014. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fairfax_Media&gt;.

Unknown. “Reporters Without Borders.” Rsf.org, 2014. Web. 9 Apr 2014. <https://rsf.org/index2014/en-index2014.php&gt;.

 

Don’t Buy Exotic Animal Souvenirs

WWF

Travelling overseas is exciting for everyone. The majority of people’s first instinct when they arrive overseas is to sight-see, try out the traditional foods of that country and of course do some shopping. But does anyone know what they are actually buying? Every year millions of people bring in illegal and endangered animal products from overseas without even knowing. “In 2006, customs officers in the UK seized over 163,000 illegal wildlife items coming into the UK from both smugglers and returning holidaymakers.”

The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) released a highly controversial advertisement “Don’t buy exotic animal souvenirs” created by a Polish advertisement agency, LOWE GKK, in 2008. This outrageous image features a woman carrying a suitcase, which is leaving a distinguished trail of blood behind. The graphic image aims to convey the message that people that are buying products that are made from exotic animals is posing a threat to nature and wildlife.

Interpreting this image in terms of denotation and connotation can be confusing. When I first glanced at this image the first thought that came to my head was “OMG is there a body in there?!?!” and then I thought “maybe she has an open can of paint that is leaking in her suitcase”. This image can give off different ideas if there was no caption at the bottom of the advertisement. After further investigating the image, I discovered the advertisement highlights the ongoing issue of killing endangered animals and then making products and souvenirs out of them such as clothing, jewellery and other valuable items.

The suitcase being the main part of the advertisement symbolises the slaughtering of endangered animals. Also, the positioning of the woman in the image, having her back turned, represents the woman being totally unaware of animal endangerment.

“You can help save nature by asking basic questions and getting the facts before you buy something. The best piece of advice I have for you is if you’re in doubt, don’t buy it.”

Souvenirs to avoid while travelling:

  • Animal skin, fur and feathers (made into clothing, handbags, hats, belts, shoes etc.)
  •  Marine life such as starfish, seahorses, coral, conch shells and shark teeth (made into mostly jewlerry and hair combs)
  • Turtle shells (made into jewellery, combs and sunglasses)
  • Traditional Asian medicines (made with rhino horns and tiger bones)
  • Elephant and hippo ivory
  • Shahtoosh “wool” which comes from the endangered Tibetan Chiru Antelope (made into shawls and scarves)

The aim of this image is to create awareness and encourage viewers to take action and help stand up and support this cause.

For further information and if you wish to show your support for WWF, click the following link and see several ways you can contribute to this ongoing issue: http://www.wwf.org.au/what_you_can_do/support_wwf/


 

References:

“Don’t buy exotic animal souvenirs” by WWF.” : “Don’t buy exotic animal souvenirs” by WWF. N.p., 21 Sept. 2013. Web. 2 Apr. 2014. <http://theg6agency.blogspot.com.au/2013/09/dont-buy-exotic-animal-souvenirs-by-wwf.html&gt;.

“Buyer Beware.” WorldWildlife.org. World Wildlife Fund, n.d. Web. 2 Apr. 2014. <https://worldwildlife.org/pages/buyer-beware&gt;.

“Buying Exotic Animal Souvenirs: Consumer Ignorance or Disregard?.” Arte Bella  Portraiture Fine Art Photography Blog. N.p., 15 Apr. 2013. Web. 2 Apr. 2014. <http://artebellaportraiture.wordpress.com/2013/04/15/buying-exotic-animal-souvenirs-consumer/&gt;.

“Elements of Argument: Comp II.” : Analysis of an Advertisement. N.p., n.d. Web. 2 Apr. 2014. <http://comp2hotspot.blogspot.com.au/2011/01/analysis-of-advertisement.html&gt;.

Phakathi, Snethemba . “Controversial Ad Lab.” Don’t buy exotic animal souvenirsInternational…. N.p., 14 Apr. 2013. Web. 2 Apr. 2014. <http://controadlab.tumblr.com/post/47974269681/dont-buy-exotic-animal-souvenirs-international&gt;.

“Souvenirs to Avoid While Traveling.” About.com Endangered Species. N.p., n.d. Web. 2 Apr. 2014. <http://endangeredspecies.about.com/od/howyoucanhelp/ss/Souvenirs-To-Avoid-While-Traveling_8.htm&gt;.

Who took the cookie from the cookie jar? It was the media!

“The media does not cause eating disorders just like it doesn’t cause you to experience any other mental illness”

A common question asked these days is “What are the media being blamed for today?” and I’m sure we could all come up with 100 and more answers.  Eating disorders are characterised by a lack of self-control and inability to think and behave rationally because it’s a mental illness. Almost too often, people are blaming the media for eating disorders amongst teenagers and young adults. In my opinion the media does NOT cause eating disorders.

The media doesn’t tell you to skip dinner, the media doesn’t tell you to go on a 10km run after only eating one cheese cube the whole day, but what the media can do, is negatively affect body and self image which THEN can lead to extreme dieting.

Yes, the media does have some impact on eating disorders, “what it can do is trigger and already predisposed brain”, but what else is out there? Friends, family and other social aspects can also have a major impact on eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and purging.

When you haven’t seen someone in a long time, what’s the first thing you say? “Wow! You look different”, “Did you get a hair cut?”, “You look thinner!!” “You look a little…. Bigger”, “OMG GUUUUUUUURL YOU LOOK GOOD IN THOSE JEANS” and also a common question wives ask their husbands, “Does my bum look big in this dress?”. Feeling the pressure to look good when you leave the house to impress people you don’t even know. If you are going to a special event, if you are going grocery shopping, or going to the Laundromat to pick up your clothes, nobody wants to go out of the house looking fatter or bigger than they are. So lets face it, the media isn’t the only one to blame; society also has a defined impact on eating disorders, low self-esteem and unrealistic body image.

“Blaming the media for eating disorders is a dangerous trend because it helps create stigma around eating disorders making it harder for people to get help”

What the media doesn’t tell you, is that they photo shop the life and reality of the models on TV and in magazines and how NOBODY looks like in real life (and how nobody ever will)

photoshopping-model-timelapse

Blaming the media for eating disorders is a serious and alarming subject and there are most certainly two different sides to this argument. “The media doesn’t cause eating disorders any more than it causes people to commit murder”.


References:

Group, CRC. “Eating Disorders and the Media | Media Influence on Eating Disorders | Anorexia | Bulimia | Eating Disorders | Compulsive Overeating | The Something Fishy Website on Eating Disorders.” Something-fishy.org, 2014. Web. 14 March 2014. <http://www.something-fishy.org/cultural/themedia.php&gt;.

Unknown. “Media, Body Image, and Eating Disorders | National Eating Disorders Association.”Nationaleatingdisorders.org, 2014. Web. 14th March 2014. <https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/media-body-image-and-eating-disorders&gt;.

Unknown. “Eating Disorders and the Media.” YouTube, 2014. Web. 14 march 2014. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QtwUZLcohhQ&gt;.

Losing my blog-ginity

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Starting a blog for the first time is almost as frightening as walking into a crowded nightclub by yourself – one of my worst fears. 

When i was told that I was to start a blog as a part of my uni course, I froze. The first thought that came to my mind is “what the hell is a blog?”; and I still don’t really know. After searching in google “funny tag lines”, “how to introduce yourself in a blog” and “why did I leave this to the last minute?”, I managed to bring myself to create a word press account and start my first post.

I think I am up to the part where i’m supposed to introduce myself and talk about how great I am. I have come up with a list of 10 funky facts about myself that will help you get to know me:

1) I love sushi

2) I play water polo for Sydney Uni (i should probably play for Wollongong Uni)

3) I received 100% in my p’s driving test – 8 months later i crashed my car and now don’t have one

4) Leonardo Di Caprio and myself have been in a relationship for 8 months

5) I like cheese, my favourite is Gouda

6) I leave all my assignments and work until the last minute – as  I am right now

7) I am studying a Bachelor of Communication and Media Studies at UOW

8) I am obsessed with aeroplane food

9) I get 400% more anxious when someone says “can I talk to you?”

10) My hobbies include, partying, sleeping and eating

Anyway, I think that is all you need to know about me for the time being. I hope you liked my first ever blog post, if you did, you should definitely follow me as i’d love you to be a part of this crazy journey I have got myself into for the next 3 years. Toodaloo 🙂

Em