Are We What We See in the Media?

From the time that you are young you are taught right from wrong, good from evil and masculinity from femininity. A child is one of the easiest people to impress values, images and norms upon. Although as consumers do we feel that it is the parents that are teaching our children or rather what they are consuming from the selected television programs that they are watching?

Media is able to create any type of image to the consumers that they wish, especially when it involves the youngest in our society. When was the last time that you saw a little girl playing in the mud with trucks and toy guys or perhaps a little boy dressing up in princess clothing having tea time with dolls? The images previousy stated are not the images that are depicted to our society everyday. Through all this criteria it can be explained as ideological criticism. Ideological criticism creates a set of ideas for society that are usually partial and selective. Now after studying ideological criticism it is easy to see how some of these ideas seem natural and common. Children in our society are given less and less time to actually be children but an even longer time to live in the “teen” limelight.

It is normal as young children to have a “crush” on a pop idol, but to become obsessed with a star can be related to how much time they are spent being in the spotlight with the media. Justin Bieber video After watching this video it is quite obvious that the media conglomerates condone the exposure of Justin Beiber to young girls. This particular behavior is even found in places where young girls shop such as the Justice Clothing stores. Justice Inside of the Justice stores you will find a plethora of girls clothes as well as Justin Beiber lollipops, accessories and more. This is teaching girls at a young age that it is normal to “like” a boy even if he is unattainable due to his stardom.

Disney has one of the largest impacts on children’s lives as they are growing up. It portrays gender roles to the children of what is considered masculine and what is considered feminine through their characters representing multicultural ideology Within the video Mickey Mouse Monopoly it is evident to children what they should strive to become. Little girls will always be rescued by a dashing Prince Charming. Little boys are shown that they must show courage and fight the evil villain to keep safety and protection in order. On the other hand children must know that in reality life is not a fairytale, and evil spells are not broken by true loves kiss. Women are now at a point in time that they are equal to men and are more then able to get out of their own situations alone. The lastest movie that Disney released Tangled Tangledis a replica adventure of Rapunzel, on the contrary there is a twist though. The Princess in the movie is in quite a mess but in the end she is the one who saves her self as well as others.

Disney movies are criticized for how they portray roles to young girls and boys but these movies are just mocking what society was at that particular point in time that these movies were created. For example Cinderella was released in 1950 whereas Tarzan was released in 1999. Both of these movies have developed from history or a fairytale and are able to be told with the Disney magical approach.

Disney creates this world of wonder and fantasy for the young where all of your dreams come true, in truth Disney is one of the largest conglomerates of them all. This enables Disney to be one of the only programs/media shown to the younger generations. This is able to relate to the political economy theory due to the fact that Disney will always be on top and it does not show any promising chances for anything new to be shown to the public to disrupt society’s norms. This is a way that large conglomerates such as Disney distribute hegemonic power over the rest of society without the elite having to use force to keep society in order through already constructed values.

Disney is able to spread all of the joy they claim to give children by synergistic practices. They use methods such as cross-promotion, cross-advertising, cross-production and blockbusters. Disney StoreThis is able to be done with the consideration that Disney is a worldwide company, there are Disney theme parks all around the world representing each major country. Not only are children shown the movies they are able to buy their favorite characters in doll form, video games, bedding, costumes and even more things. Disney promotes upcoming movies to their consumers while they are already in the process viewing a Disney product. In my opinion Disney is a legacy that will continue to grow and regardless of the issues that the company will face it will always be what children are able to remember of their childhood.

The society that we live in is able to give some construed images to our young and until it is truly analyzed it seems like the normal thing to do. Why wouldn’t a parent buy a set of dolls for their daughter or action figures that replicate their son’s favorite hero? This call all be traced back to how our society chooses to view their value system. We may think that particular ways to act or behave is wrong when in fact it can be perfectly normal to others who are not in the same place with us. As a society we are always intaking thousands of media images a day that construct our norm’s structure. Until society as a whole views some of these ideals, images and values wrong that is when it will be able to change. Until then we will continue to live in a construed society where gender role and status play such an important part in our lives.


About kaylayingst

Junior at Towson University.
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