Lauren's Blog

What’s Your New Skill? Mines Media Literacy

Posted on: June 27, 2011

This semester I learned what it means to be “media literate.” I learned how the media impacts our culture in various aspects. The way we talk, dress, and acquire morals is through the power of the media. I am more aware of how the media influences us as a culture and the decisions we make everyday. Acquiring these skills have allowed me to critique my fellow classmates. The blogs I’ve critiqued included Brittany Chucker, Brittany Young, and John Barr.

Brittany Chucker, I want to start off saying that your blog “Beauty and the Very Good Looking Man” overall is very appealing. You had an engaging introduction with dialogue from the movie “Beauty and the Beast.” The video is a good example of the ideology and power that Gaston has over Belle. He wants her to stop reading and pay more attention to him over the Beast. The three women in the video think Belle is crazy because Gaston is “gorgeous”, and why would you chose a beast over a gorgeous man?

This is an accurate example of how men and woman are attracted to the physical aspect of someone. Looks aren’t everything, I’m sure Belle would say. That is why she was pushed more towards the beast because of his kind heart instead of his looks.

I would say that Gaston is a similar example of a “dominant elite”. Gaston has the power and control over the town and also trying to control Belle. This leads to how our society and American ideologies are embedded through texts such as Disney films.

I agree with you that these films help share the imagination of children’s lives and how they perceive the world. I think there are distinct signs and symbols in Disney films that I did not understand when I was younger, but now I am more media literate as a young adult and understand these signs.

In particular, I learned that just like in the movie Beauty and the Beast, there are embedded ideologies throughout various media. I learned that what we watch and the characters we idolize, shape who we are as a person because we look up to them. Younger children for example, need positive role models in their lives because they are easily influenced by their surroundings.

On that note, I found a link to an online journal of women’s studies on the “Discourses of feminism and femininity in Disneyland.” This paper analyzes the film Beauty and the Beast and how Belle (the heroine) represents the concept of female ideology within a fairy tale. After reading this paper, you might learn more about how Disney utilizes its women in films and how they are represented. Thank you for this insightful blog post. I encourage you to check out my link on the discourse of feminism in Disney films.

Brittany Young, you engaged your audience immediately with questions to your Semiotics Analysis-CoverGirl blog. This is good because you immediately got them thinking about the topic of semiotics. I like how you stuck to the topic of semiotics in relation to Drew Barrymore’s CoverGirl ad. I like that you thoroughly examined one aspect of how fashion relates to semiotics and the signs shown throughout the ad. Also, explaining each signifier as well as the symbolic and iconic signs was a great example when interpreting the fashion ads. You further explained how the color red is commonly used in the fashion industry to draw attention. I agree with you that the fashion ad uses a dominant reading to its consumers.

I found a link that may help you further explain the semiotics of fashion. This article explains how fashion models are hiding their faces to make a bold statement about fashion. They claim portraying this image in fashion is “more symbolic than practical.”

Overall, the fashion industry is a great example of an identity-image producing media. The way the models dress and present themselves help consumers make meaning of the signifiers in fashion advertising.

John Barr, first off, I think your title”The Whole World..In Their Hands is very clever to relate how the media holds the power in the world. I agree with your statement that we ”buy in” to the ideology of the things we consume. As a culture, we want more and more things to satisfy our lives. Like you said, “Happiness has a price tag.” I agree that material things define us. This is creating an issue for young children and their parents. Children “nag” their parents for designer brands and expensive products because they want to be “cool” like everyone else. But, who is defines them is none other than the media!

“From cradle to grave,” the media is following every footstep. You addressed a great point in saying how young girls are represented in our society. Barbie Dolls as well as other toys have bodies that are not an accurate portrayal of how a young girls body looks. But, like you said, young children feel emotionally attached to these products and compare themselves to them.

You gave an insightful example of how we should care as a society about how money should not make up who we are as people. This was a great ending to a blog post because it makes the reader think about what they care about in relation to consumerism.

I learned a great deal in the media criticism class. I was weary about blogging at first, but now that I got the hang of it I thoroughly enjoy it. Im glad we were given the opportunity to read our classmates blogs and provide them with feedback. I will use the skills that I’ve learned throughout this course and continue reading and writing about the media to further my media literacy skills!


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