Political Economy of the Media

On my to do list for summer – see the documentary “Miss Representation”. Here is the extended trailer. I encourage you to watch:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S5pM1fW6hNs

The media is sending a dangerous message to society: girls’ value lies in their youth, beauty and sexuality. Media’s misrepresentations of women are a contributing factor in the underrepresentation of women in positions of power and influence.

If people knew that Cuba, China, Iraq, and Afghanistan had more women in government that the U.S. – that would get some people upset.

While opportunities for women of my generation are greater than ever before, these messages are the greatest challenge for young girls and women to feel confident in their skills and ability when they are constantly undermined for how they appear physically. Attending a girl’s school for high school and joining a sorority in college allowed me to explore my leadership potential in a female-centered environment and address the particular challenges women face. Through these experiences, I developed into the leader I am today, better equipped to serve in co-ed leadership positions across my campus in the Student Assembly and in the community. Not every girl will have these opportunities to explore women’s leadership, so it is important to empower girls AND boys to critically interpret the messages the media and eradicate gendered stereotypes.

The media makes it seems like this is what the public wants. No. They’re giving us what the media companies want and what the advertisers what and packaging it in a way to make it seem like its our fault and its not.

Worst of all, are we truly aware of the effects media has on us? The average person spends about 10 hours and 45 minutes on some form of media per DAY! As a social media intern, my job is to use media. We are constant consumers. Yet we also shape it. I am proud to be in the role I am in to take in media with a critical eye and adapt it for the needs of my company and our clients in a positive way.

While I perceive media as the biggest obstacle, it can also be the force for change. Media can maintain the status quo or it can awaken people. As Katie Couric states, “It can maintain the status quo and reflect the views of the society or it can, hopefully, awaken people and change minds. I think it depends on who’s piloting the plane.”

And a lighter take on the false expectations media gives us, submitted by my friend Ling: http://imissyouwheniblink.com/2012/05/17/10-lessons-from-magazine-ads/

You will never be one of these people

What, you can’t pull off a rugby shirt / bikini bottoms / waders outfit? Might as well turn the page — because you’re old and stupid, and you’re not invited on this preppy rafting trip.

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