Reality tv is a huge business for any television station.  It seems that anyone and everyone can get a reality show these days and become rich and famous.  Yet when it you look at the people who are in reality tv, I think a good majority of them and seemingly attractive people.  No one wants to see ugly rich people every time they turn on their tv.  Take example the Kardashians; most ridiculous family on television, but they are all beautiful.  I don’t think that these women have much to offer young women to aspire to be.  They talk about getting, having breast implants, being skinny, and what magazine they are going to be in next.  They don’t want to go in public or be on camera without makeup.  The message being delivered to girls who watch the Kardashians are that you have to be a certain way to be acceptable.
The show the Bachelor or Bachelorette, how about that show?  A woman can’t be complete without her man and vice versa for men?  It’s not bad to have a show where people want to find a significant other, but there are two problems with this show.  One the people who are chosen to be on the show are attractive and secondly all the couples are heterosexual.  Understandably that the network, ABC, doesn’t want to chance there ratings of one of their most precious shows and they don’t want to create conflict, but between 21 seasons of these shows, not once has there been a gay or lesbian couple.  ABC probably doesn’t want to jeopardize such a high rating show and deal with the back lash from society about having an entire season with a non-heterosexual couple.  I think it’s time to move forward.
I do give ABC credit for having Chaz Bono on their show Dancing With The Stars.  He is a transgendered man and ABC probably knew that it would create controversy, but they signed to have him on their show anyways.  I know that my grandma wouldn’t watch the show because of Chaz and Dancing With The Stars probably had a sizeable viewer drop, but I give ABC credit.  People question why ABC would put Chaz on their show and think that it’s some bad message being sent out to the world.  That it’s going to give people the wrong idea.  I completely disagree!  What is they wrong idea?  Isn’t it a great message that people can do things for themselves that is entirely life changing and makes them be the best they can be?  Celebrities are celebrities because people in the world are fascinated with them and people want to know about their lives.   People look up to celebrities.  So isn’t in empowering if you’re uncomfortable in you’re skin to know that it’s okay and that you’re not alone?  Even celebrities change their gender.  Personally I think that it’s an amazing thing because people are so judgmental and have so many preconceived notions about everything and everybody.  People are so set in their own way of thinking that they can’t accept anyone else for being themselves.  It’s amazing that ABC put Chaz Bono on their show.

 

Janell Alston

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Recently I was watching TV and noticed that women in commericails on TV are portrayed differently then women in the TV show.  Women in commercials are shown more as a mother figure or a figure of good judgement.  An advertiser will use a women to show knowledge and experience in their commericail.  For example, an advertiser wants to use a person who has knowledge and experience in the grocery store so they choose a women.  She is shown as someone who has been in that store before and knows what she needs and what is the best brand that she should get.   She knows what she personally like best and what her family likes.  She is a representative of the family and the advertiser is using her as a representive.  The advertiser can show the audience that she is picking their product because it is the better of the products due to her knowledge of the products and her family liking the products.  However, in a tv show that same women could be portrayed as a person of comedy, someone to laugh at instead of someone to take advice from.  In a matter of seconds, she has been taking from a position of bringing laughter to the audience from her stupid actions or mistakes to a person to take advice from because of her knowledge and experience.  To me it is interesting to see how fast a women’s imagine can change.  In just a matter of seconds she can go from someone an audience would never take advice from to a person that an audience would take advice from.  One way this changes is through the environment that she is in.  On a football field a women may be the last person you listen to, but if she was in a kitchen or in a store she might be one of the first people that you take advice from.

As I am writing this I start to think of some of my own experiences.  Yes I am a guy so I might not get the whole experience but I have been in positions where I can see a women being treated different due to her sex and not her knowledge.  I have worked at a rather large hardware store for three years now.  Many of my coworkers are females and know just as much and in some areas more than I do.  However, costumers still come in to this day and treat the female worker like crap because they feeel she should not be helping them with their hardware choices when in fact she most likely knows more than anyone about that product.  There has been many times that I have helped these types of customers and have left the customer to ask my female coworker what product is better.  The gender of the employee has nothing to do with the amount of knowledge that one has about a curtain product.  Just becasue it is a hardware store doesn’t mean that only men know what is in the store and what products are better than others, but that is not the way every customer looks at it.

Matt Zangl

 

I’ve been paying more attention to commercials lately and today, I was watching t.v. and a Tide detergent commercial came on, and this mother was talking about how her daughter only likes to wear cargo pants and hoodies, and how her daughter doesn’t like pink.  They advertise Tide when the mom talks about how her daughter had crayons in her pocket and she thought her clothes were ruined, but with Tide the stains came out.  Then she says to her daughter, “Is that another car garage, it’s beautiful honey.” In a strained voice, like it hurt her to say that to her child, while she herself is in a frilly skirt and pink top.  This commercial, I thought was extremely offensive.  Who decided that girls can’t like cargo shorts and hoodies, or like to play with wooden blocks and build something?  I wore cargo shorts and athletic pants until I was eleven.  I hated jeans, skirts, and dresses.  I also played basketball, and ran around outside with my brother all day, there is nothing wrong with that.  This commercial just irks me to no end!  I cannot stand the message that is sending out to everyone that sees it.  Why would society want to deliver such a sexist view of anything?  It tells people that girls are supposed to want to be dressed up and look pretty play with dolls and bake and that boys are rough and tough and get dirty.
I also saw a State Farm commercial, and it just characterized the man and the women into stereotypical roles of their sex.  The woman was nagging the boyfriend and complaining, while he just stood there frustrated.  Then after they sang the State Farm jingle they asked for new boyfriends and girlfriends.  They could have changed to different people, or had different personalities, but nope.  The man had no shirt and a six pack, and the women had on heels and shorts, in tank top with her hair done up.  Frankly I think this exploits both men and women and I think that it’s a skewed view to advertise to people.  I understand that the commercial is supposed to be funny and that it isn’t supposed to mean any harm, but I think it does.  It gives off the impression sublimely of how a man and women she interact, and how they should look.
How about all the “unmanly” Miller beer commercials; what’s with all of those?  It’s unmanly to be afraid of a rollercoaster or to be wearing skinny jeans.  Obviously to the marketers of Miller Lite it is.  To me, those commercials say two things.  One, “men have to be men” and do things that men are “supposed” to do according to society; two, men are the only people who drink beer.  I know plenty of women who enjoy a cold beer.  I also don’t think that men can’t be afraid of rollercoasters.  They are scary contraptions and if a man wants to wear tight jeans, who is anyone to judge what he wears.  I think these commercials set a bad example for men to want to obtain to be.  These commercials are portraying stereotypical gender roles of men.  I don’t think that they are funny at all, and I don’t enjoy them.

Janell Alston

Have you noticed that all the advertising invovles beautiful women?  Every advertisement that you see involves at least one beautiful women.  Well, beautiful is the key word here.  Are they beautiful?  Yes, they are skinny and have perfect hair and perfect make up and the way too white smile to be real.  Why do advertising firms feel the need to make women so fake when the advertise their products.  They are advertise to the average person so why don’t they make their model an average person, an average women or man.  Everyone knows that the model just had numerous hours of hair and make up before they even got close to the camera so why do they still dress the model up.  Why make the model look so perfect when everyone knows that she has been touched up by a digital program from a computer?

Advertisements can be very diceiving.  Ads portray who we want to be or who the advertiser wants us to be.  Even though we know that most of the time the models apperance is out of reach from us, but yet we still buy the product hoping we will in return turn out like the model.  Advertisements are very popular and are very successful.  When you look around you will realize how many advertisements there are in you everyday life.  They are on TV, in the magazine you are reading, on billboards, on signs and even on the bus that drives by you when you are no your way to class.  They are part of you daily lives.  Most of the time we dont reconize the advertisments untill we pay attention.

As winter becomes close, one of my favorite sports comes to life: Snowmobiling.  Snowmobiling is a sport that takes place in the winter, I know that is pretty obvious to most of you.  However, even in a sport that takes place in the winter, when people wear as much clothing as possible, there are still advertisements with bikini wearing women.  Why does the advertiser do this? The advertiser does this to appeal to men.  They think that since there is a half nake lady modeling for their product that men will automatically buy it.  Does it work? It might, I know it is hard to believe but there are men out there who think “Oh look, theres half naked lady on that product so I should buy it!” However, not all men are like this and actually buy the product for the product.  Wow, what a concept, buying a product for a product and not for the person who is holding the product in a poster that you are looking at.  One of the many companies that does this is Amsoil.  They are a company that makes oil products for snowmobiles, trucks, cars, off road vehicles and anything that needs oil.  One of there main advertisments is a group of girls that walk around snowmobiling events wearing tight clothing that has Amsoil written on there shirts.  Another well known company that tries this technique is Monster Energy.  They also have a group of girls that walk around wearing pratically nothing in 20 degree weather with Monster stamped on there clothes.  So next time you see an ad, buy the product for the product and not the model trying to sell the product.

Matt Zangl

I just read that Paramount Pictures has acquired the rights for a film adaptation of The Likeness (as well as Tana French’s first novel, In the Woods). This got me thinking about which actors I’d like to see in a motion picture version of the novel. So here they are!

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In anticipation of next week’s lecture about gender, crime and popular culture, I decided to blog about some of the things I like/dislike about female detectives on television.

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Women in pop culture are not always portrayed as a negative figure or giving a sexual imagine.  There are tv shows that the main character is a women and she has a repectable position with a lot of power.  In many shows the supporting actor is a women and she is their to be the smart and rationale person.  These shows show women as smart, mature and intelligent people.

In the TV show The Mentalist, the main character, Patrick Jane, is a male who can read other peoples minds based on there reactions to questions that he asks.  He uses his powers to help solve murders.  One of the supporting actors, Lisben, is a female and she solves the murders by hard work and clues like any cop would do.  She is more of a logical thinker and a more rational person.  Patrick has problems listening to authority people and Lisben has to keep him in line.  Lisben is also the agent in charge of a group of cops and has a lot of power over the people she works with.  She intructs the agents in what to do each day.  She represents women in a positive way by taking control of a group of people and watching over Patrick.  This seems to be a common theme in criminal shows.  There is often a female in high standing power.  She is portrayed as a smart individual with a logical thinking.

Two Broke Girls is another show that the main characters are both women.  Max, one of the main characters, once was a rich daughter of a very power and rich man.  After Max and her family lose all of thier money, Max is forced to moved out and find her own income and her own home.  She finds a job serving tables at a local diner and meets the other main character Caroline. Caroline lives by herself and invites Max to live with her. The two decided that inored to make money they will open a new business making cup cakes.  This show shows how to women can come together and form a strong relationship and help each other out.  It shows how generous Max is to invite Caroline to live with her when she had no where else to live with no money.  Max also helps Caroline by teaching her how to wait on tables and how to be nice to the costumers.  Caroline helps Max by sticking up for Max when people are mean to her or take advantage of her.  It also show that if the two women stick to there plan and keep trying that at some point there plan will come true.  They are trying to open a cup cake business but keep facing problems.  Max wants to quit and go back to how she was living life but Caroline wont let her. Caroling makes sure that Max sticks to the plan and gives her the support she needs to keep going in order to meet their goal of opening their own business.

Matt Zangl