Tag Archives: media

Business Resource Proposal

While several companies feed into the false depictions of women in the media, others have addressed the issues at hand and have steered clear. Take Dove, as an example. The article, “Performing Beauty: Dove’s ‘Real Beauty’ Campaign” discusses Dove’s unique marketing technique that celebrates women in their natural form, “‘Real’ beauty according to Dove means various shapes and sizes-flaws and all-and is the key to rebranding, rebuilding women’s self-esteem, and redefining beauty standards” (2009). Central to this campaign are unaltered, untouched, pictures of normal looking females. This contrasts with the American ideal of beauty, which has been morphed by the media to mean super skinny, super tall, and super blonde. By advertising what is natural, Dove hopes to redefine beauty rules and change the ways that the media negatively impacts young women. This idea is outlined on their website and in several other articles in which the company has made goals to ‘broaden beauty standards for future generations.’
In this study, Jennifer Millard, from the University of Saskatchewan, interviews sixteen females ranging the ages from fifteen to early fifty. In her analysis of these conversations, she finds that the Dove campaign to be effective, “First, the advertisements provide a means to join the fight against impossible standards/ Second, the regular features of the real people models help viewers feel better about their own physical appearance and self image. Third, the advertisements generated a discussion that allows participants to appear as intelligent consumers and critics of mass media without stepping out of the bounds of political correctness” (2009).
While some may argue that this is just a ploy to further sell their objects, it is not one that should be looked down upon. Yes, this marketing strategy is unique and has caused an increase in sales, however, these sales have helped support the well being and good nature of the company’s mission. Is it so wrong to profit off of the encouragement of self-esteem? Overall, this article characterizes a successful solution to a national epidemic. Government could also play a role here. They could encourage companies with benevolent advertising campaigns like this through the issuing of subsidies and other promotions of this sort. Although this study is based off of sixteen Canadian individuals, it does a good job of going into in depth conversation, therefore stimulating ideas about the campaign. It also comes from a graduate student, and is a published scholarly source.

Millard, Jennifer. “Performing Beauty: Dove’s “Real Beauty” Campaign.” Symbolic Interaction: 146-68. Print.

Society Resource Proposal

The  American Psychological Association has found that there is a prevalent and strong association between media exposure and body shaming. In a Meta Analysis of experimental and correlational studies conducted by University of Michigan’s L. Monique Ward and University of Wisconsin’s Shelly Grabe, several conclusions supporting this were found. The study, called The Role of the Media in Body Image Concerns Among Women, was conducted on the beliefs that, “It is believed that the media’s consistent depiction of a thin ideal leads women to see this ideal as normative, expected, and central to attractiveness. However, because media presentations of women’s bodies are so skewed, showcasing an ideal that is out of reach to most, adopting this reality may lead to decreased satisfaction with one’s own body” (2008).
This study examined previous studies and broke down the media’s affect on body image into four separate categories including (a) body dissatisfaction (b) body self consciousness/objectification, (c) internalization of the thin ideal and drive for thinness and (d) eating behaviors and beliefs. In all of the cases listed above, articles and studies were categorized into one of the above and were analyzed on their findings. For each category, difference, confidence intervals, and p-values showed support that exposure to mass media ‘depicting the thin ideal body is related to women’s vulnerability to disturbances related to body image” (2008). In several instances, it is important to note that this study found that these negative influences have been increasing in the 2000s compared to the 1990s, and that ideal images of body weight are becoming thinner and thinner with time.
This meta analysis provides me with sufficient and pertinent information because it allows me to draw on reasoning for increased policy in media regulation. These numbers provide broad and well rounded statistics that summarize the impact of media on body image with concrete numbers. Even more, because this Meta Analysis comes from the American Psychological Associate, it’s credibility is valid. More, the Meta Analysis is encompassing of many other previous studies, and therefore accounts for many findings and eliminates the error of a narrow viewpoint. However, it is important to note that results were derived for the most part from english speaking white females.

 

Grabe, Shelly, Janet Shibley Hyde, and L. Monique Ward. “The Role of the Media in Body Image Concerns Among Women: A Meta-Analysis of Experimental and Correlational Studies.” Psychological Bulletin 134.3 (2008): 460-76. Print.

Government Resource Proposal

Congresswomen Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (Florida) and Lois Capps (California) have co-sponsored a bill that has come to be known as the Truth in Advertising Bill of 2014 (issued on April, 27, 2014). Formally known as H.R 4341, this bill addresses the fallacies and abuse of the human body in the media. Advertising and the media have for a long time now altered and abused images of humans for commercial use. This has led to many problems, and primarily to a false perception of human perfection. This bill would require the Federal Trade Commission to submit to Congress a report and make decisions on appropriate use of altered images in commerce and advertising.
This bill finds that these altered images can, “Create distorted and unrealistic expectations and understandings of appropriate and healthy weight and body image,” leading to “eating disorders among men and women of varying age groups” with a “particularly destructive health effect on children and teenagers” (Sec. 2. Art. 3 and 4).  Overall, this is a public health issue that clearly has implications for our nations well-being and needs to be addressed.
Overall, this Bill would require the FTC in addition to the Director of the National Institute of Mental Health and the Administrator of Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to regulate and reduce the use of photoshopped images in advertising and the media. These methods of control would be largely informed by important stakeholders from the health, business, and consumer sectors.
Congresswomen Capps has voiced her opinion, “Just as with cigarette ads in the past, fashion ads portray a twisted, ideal image for young women,” Capps said. “And they’re vulnerable. As sales go up, body image and confidence drops” (Jezebel, 2014). While many researchers and eating disorder awareness groups have lobbied for this bill, it has also faced some criticism. Dan Jaffe, of the Association of National Advertisers, thinks that the methods of regulation proposed in the bill need to be more specific, “It can’t just be the photoshopping that they go after, it would have to be tied to something specific. Are you just going to say that whenever someone photoshops it’s a per se violation? I think that would be going too far” (2014). Other opponents argue that the bill raises free speech issues and sheds too much negative light on advertising. More opponents go on to say that previous laws already address deceptive and untruthful ads.
Overall, this Bill directly addresses my area of interest in my White Paper. While addressing a governmental audience, this bill raises valid and debatable arguments for and against the further regulation of photoshop in the media. In my paper, I will argue in favor of governmental action and bills like the H.R. 4341. This will help develop my further goal of addressing the larger public health issues and unrealistic depictions of the human body in the media.
I obtained this information from the Bill itself, in  addition to the reliable sources of Congresswoman Ros-Lehtinen’s website. Overall, no one really argues against regulation, what is up for debate is just how these regulations will be orchestrated.

 

Truth in Advertising Bill 2014, H.R. 4341, 113th Cong. (2014). Print.

Jezebel, Hillary C. “Congresswomen Introduce Bill to Regulate Overzealous Photoshopping.” Welcome to Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen. Washington, DC Office, 17 Apr. 2014. Web. 12 Dec. 2014.

Jason DeRulo Talks Dirty to Me

I actually got to meet Jason DeRulo after the concert last week– we talked ethics for a hot sec.

Do you think your goal as an artist is to be the most profitable tour or to express yourself and bring the most joy to your fans? Continue reading Jason DeRulo Talks Dirty to Me

Blog 6- Are Relationships and Interactions Changing?

The BC noticed that many of the previous blog posts revolved around questions relating to social norms and the cultural changes that are affecting the world today.
This reminded Matt of a video, “The Japanese Love Industry” he had seen on the news magazine, Vice, which tries to be an edgy journalistic enterprise across many platforms and which challenges staid news conventions.   Some of the posts from week 5 indicated a general concern that normal relationships, be they collegial, familial, friendship, or romantic, are withering.  Is Japan offering us a glimpse of a possible future America?  Please watch it.
WARNING: at minute 12, as the reporter meets with an organized-crime-sponsored sex worker, the content is graphic and about fetishes.  You can stop there.  Jordi was unsure whether to use the video for this reason, but its overall point is interesting about how a declining birth rate is perhaps linked to the commodification of interaction and intimacy.

Continue reading Blog 6- Are Relationships and Interactions Changing?

“The story does not end here…”

This was originally written here.

I have edited a few sentences to reflect changes.

SPRING 2012

Almost no one calls me in my office.  90% of the calls are my wife or a textbooks ales representative (poor souls- they are ever-optimistic.).

So, when the phone rang two weeks ago, I answered it very informally.  “Unh, hello?”

“Is this Jordi?”  I didn’t have time to realize I should have recognized the voice.  “This is Mike Daisey.”

Mike Daisey Performing

Continue reading “The story does not end here…”

“Truth” is in the eyes of the beholder

We all watch the news and believe everything they tell us. The media would never lie, right? Or are we just expected to take every single thing we hear with a grain of salt? In my opinion, many people are too busy to come up with their own interpretations and would rather just listen to what they hear on the news. But many times, stories are reported through different perspectives and given different twists based off the views of their network. Continue reading “Truth” is in the eyes of the beholder

Pushing Daiseys

mike-daisey-decoder-blog480Mike Daisey is an accomplished storyteller, there is no doubting that. So accomplished, in fact, that he was able to draw large quantities of empathy from his audiences through his captivating tale. Even more intriguing is that Daisey stays true to the mold of “storyteller” by fabricating parts of his story– in the same manner that an old bard in Ancient Greece might fabricate parts of the tales of great Odysseus to enthrall the audience. Continue reading Pushing Daiseys

Sensationalism: Is it ever justified?

A while back I was talking to a friend of mine who is obsessed with journalism. Like most journalists, she lives, speaks, and breathes controversy and through quick responses, emotional arguments, and sometimes (knowingly or unknowingly) dishonest statements she brings herself to the forefront of the conversation. In general, I like to share my opinion on any topics in the news, but with this person I felt like I could not accurately portray my opinion without it being twisted into something it was not. During one late night of a heated-debate I confronted her about her argument style describing it as “sensationalist”. She admitted to knowing that some of the things she said were not 100% true, but that she believed that it is okay to use arguments with more impact to get a point across. After all, there is no future for a journalist that doesn’t rouse support, and gather followers.This brought me to my understanding of the only truth behind media and journalism: The truth doesn’t sell.

For issues like the Apple, FOXCONN case, we want the answers be black and white. However, the truth is almost always grey, and the further dug into the story (with an open mind), the more complicated it becomes. The reality is that it would be impossible to convey the complexity of any issue in a podcast/report that would allow the audience to develop an informed decision. It then becomes the responsibility of the journalist 1. Create a short “snapshot” of the issue as a whole. 2. Create a story that will sell (which for most audiences is a sensationalist story they can repeat back to others) and 3. Represent the issue in a way that is (if fabricated) ethically justified.

I want to draw particular attention to the podcast titled 460: Retraction (found here http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/460/retraction), where Rob Schmitz, an award winning journalist, refutes the emotionally-driving fabricated story “The Agony and Ectasy of Steve Jobs” as told by author/actor Mike Daisey. Rob Schmitz refutes some key points from Mike Daisey’s monologue; for example, FOXCONN does not have armed gaurds outside the factory, the percentage of underage workers is likely under 1% of the total workforce, and in general conditions are not quite as bad as he had made them seem.

I don’t want to go into analyzing which argument is correct, but rather point out the potential flaws in the reporting of both Rob Schmitz and Mike Daisey. Firstly, Mike Daisey has obviously fabricated many details in his monologue which, in my opinon, allowed the story to hit mainstream attention. I think that people should question whether his visit to FOXCONN really caused him to feel strongly about the treatment of workers, or whether he saw the opportunity to hit it big with a emotionally-appealing story. As for Rob Schmitz, I wonder what motivates him to cut down a movement to bring attention to work conditions. There are still many unsolved problems that globalization has caused, that need the attention and emotional rallying of a majority of people to create change. The bottom line question: When issues are never black and white, is it ever justified to sensationalize them into greater media attention?