Sunday, February 7, 2010

Media Literacy

After Googling "Media Literacy", I learned that it is the way we analyze and question the media.

Growing up, I would read magazines like Seventeen Magazine and Cosmopolitan, both magazines that are geared for teenage girls. However, almost every section is about ways a girl can be better for a man. Different sections show you how to lose weight (no one likes curvy girls of course...), how to please your man in bed (since every single person in high school has sex...), and how to do your makeup better (no one is pretty natural...). This bothered me growing up, but now it bothers me a lot. I never felt the need to be stick thin, but after reading these magazines and learning that in the modeling world a girl who is 5'9" and over 120 pounds is considered plus sized, I started to question myself. How in the world could I ever be that thin I thought? It grossed me out that other girls of my body type felt the need to be this skinny to be pretty. Also, why is a young girl expected to "hook up" in high school? Whatever happened to having a relationship? Why do you have to look hot at parties? Why can't you go to the movies or hangout with friends at home? What about the girls who are not heterosexual? They never even mention anyone being anything but "straight" in these magazines. I will not let my teenagers read such things when the time comes.

This is a video a group of young girls made, questioning the media.

This particular Dolce and Gabbana ad is supposed to portray their clothing as being "sexy", yet to me and many others it seems as if this ad is portraying rape as being cool. The woman is being held down, while other half-naked men look at her being held down. Not cool with me.

Axe is a men's fragrance company the mainly aims at younger men and teenagers. This ad shows a bikini-clad girl who is dirty and her stomach says "wash me". Most teenagers would think "If I buy Axe, I will get hot girls in my shower". However, this ad is portraying a woman as solely a piece of property since one would write "wash me" on a car. Also, the woman's face is not shown, showing that a woman's body is all that matters. She is also trapped in a corner which disturbs me, making her seem insignificant and helpless.

What are these ads teaching our youth?