Aware for life!

In class Dr. Flippin-Wynn told us a story about how there are secret shoppers at “Target”. These secret shoppers follow around people who they think are suspicious. Except I think “Targets” idea of a suspicious customers is a little raciest to say the least. So, I had to see these secret shoppers for myself because in class was the first time I had ever heard of them. On Tuesday, June 29 my roommate wanted to go buy the new Eminem CD so Nick and I headed to “Target”. When we got there Nick went to the CD’s to take a look and I went into the women’s clothing department and just kind of acted like I was lost for about five minutes until I finally spotted one of these “secret shoppers”.  Just like Dr. Flippin-Wynn said it seemed that this “secret shopper” was following around a young black female so I started to trail them myself. I’ll tell you right now I felt like an undercover FBI agent. It was pretty obvious that this “secret shopper” had targeted the black woman and was watching her every move. Once I was sure that the “secret shopper” was really a “secret shopper” I confronted her to see what she had to say. I went up to the “secret shopper” and told her that I knew what she is doing. She replied “go away”. Then, I proceeded to tell her that I was doing a project over diversity and how African-Americans are still being treated unfairly and that it was for a class I am taking and I would like to interview her for the project.  The “secret shopper” became extremely upset at me and told me to “go screw myself”. This was about the time that my roommate Nick walked up and asked what the problem was. I told him in front of the “secret shopper” that we need to go talk to a manager. Once I said this the “SS” became very friendly and told me that she was sorry for tell me to “go screw myself”. Once I told the manager what his “SS” had said to me, he kind of beat around the bush about how “SS” target people of color.

The point of this story is to help more people become aware of some of the diversity problems we still have today. If I would have never been put in this class then I still would be oblivious to race issues that still exist in our society. Now, coming to the end of this class I guess you could say that I am now “aware for life” and hope that by other people reading this story will become aware as well.    

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The light at the end of the tunnel was blinding me but now I wear sunglasses

This will be my last blog for this class and to wrap it up I want to start from the beginning. I was put in this class by my adviser because the class I was supposed to be taking ended up not having enough people wanting to take it. So when I came to “race, gender and the media” I didn’t know what to expect. On my first day Dr. Flippin-Wynn asked me to “step out of the box” and at the time I didn’t really know what that meant. Now I do. Because of this class I have really started to notice things I hadn’t in the past. For example, I have noticed that the media control a lot of our “social norms” by instilling their concepts and ideas through advertising, movies, and the news. This class has also educated me on race and gender issues that I thought had been resolved. The one story that really stuck out to me was when Dr. Flippin-Wynn explained to us how “Target” has secret shoppers that follow around suspicious customers, but “Targets” idea of a suspicious customer seems to be race oriented. This is just one example of some of the problems that still exist in our society. Another topic that was covered in class, that brought me to the harsh reality, was the topic about America and how our history is taught to the younger generations. In 6th, 7th, and 8th grade we are taught that the European settlers are the ones who built America. In class we researched the truth and that is that every culture has had a hand in the construction of America from the Native Americans who were here before anyone, all the way to the Asian-Americans who arrived when the European settlers did. But sad to say the main concentration in grade school history is how the white settlers made America what it is today. The examples I have given above are just a few of the topics that we talked about in class. Talking about these topics has helped educate our class so that we can educate others on the issues that still remain over race and gender.

In conclusion, you could say that falling into this class for me was a blessing in disguise. I have learned how to step out of the box and start asking the hard questions in life and I’m not just saying this to be superficial. My eyes are now much more open to see what I use to ignore and by taking this class I will educate my friends, family, and peers on what I know. Because this is the only way we will begin to see change is if more people become educated on these issues.

Thanks for a wonderful class Dr. Flippin-Wynn and I hope to stay in contact will you and the rest of the class!      

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There is a fine line between advertisements that show the beauty of women and ones that objectify women. In this blog I will go over three different ad’s that show women in a negative light and/or send the wrong message to younger girls who are becoming women.

The first ad I chose was one in Vogue Magazine and in this particular ad I believe that the target audience is women ages 18-45. The problem with this ad is that it shows a picture of a woman with no clothes on and just a bouquet of flowers covering her face. The ad is trying to sell a perfume but it seems to me that the ad is say that women are only beautiful if they are naked and smell good. This ad is obviously a bad one because I believe that it is extremely offensive to women. If I were able to do this ad differently I would come up with something like “Dove” has done and relate to women by showing other women who look like most American females.

The second ad I chose was another one from Vogue and this one’s TA was women ages 18-30. This ad was also another perfume ad and had some of the same characteristics as the first ad did. This ad had a woman standing there almost completely naked with a mask covering her head and the only thing you can really see is her body and some eyes. Once again this kind of ad portrays women as headless objects and sends out the wrong message to girls who are still trying to figure out how to become a woman. The ad in its self isn’t bad; the only thing I would change would be to put some clothes on the woman and uncover her face, then the ad would be pretty decent.

My last ad I chose was yet another one from Vogue and the TA was middle aged women. This ad was sell an anti-ageing cream but went the wrong way about doing it. The ad shows a woman’s’ face and every on her face are percentages that say something like “78% wrinkles and 50% age spots”. The problem with this is that it sends the message to girls that beauty is only obtained by having a wrinkle free face for a face with no flaws. Where an ad like this can do damage is when young girls take this message that it’s sending to heart. I know I have already said this but I really like the idea that “Dove” has with showing women of all different shapes, colors, and sizes to relate to most American females. So once again I would follow “Dove’s” lead.       

In conclusion, we often see these ad’s that say women must be perfect in order to be beautiful and in reality perfection is just an illusion given by the media. “Dove” is really the only company that I have seen making progress in the way women are portrayed in advertisements. So, in the future I hope to see other companies take a look at what “Dove” is doing and follow their lead.


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Please don’t bail out on me daddy!

When talking about Disney and gender roles a few things come to mind. I wanted to start out by saying I am in no way trying to bash on Disney, I love Disney. Most all of us grew up watching Disney movies from “The Little Mermaid” to “Snow white”. When we take a look at gender roles in these sorts of movies more often than not the main role model is a father figure and usually the father figure is a very important person, no matter what the main characters gender is. Many people believe that the reason why today’s youth is so damaged is because there is a lack of a father figure. In today’s society it is much more common to hear of a single mother rather than a single parent father, and like I said many people believe that this is what’s damaging our youth.  To tie this in with the Hip-Hop industry, many rape artist write lyrics about how their father left them and how much hatred they have for him for doing so. Let’s take “The Game” (Jayceon Taylor aka Chuck Taylor) for example he was born and raised in the “birthplace of gangsta rap,” Compton, California. He received his nickname from his grandmother who claimed he was always game for anything. Growing up in Compton, The Game grew up in the Santana Blocc Crips neighborhood. He was placed in a foster home from the 3rd grade until the 9th grade due to family problems with his father. Here’s my question; does growing up without a father make the kids more likely to become violent? “72% of adolescent murderers grew up without fathers. 60% of America’s rapists grew up the same way.  Source: D. Cornell (et al.), Behavioral Sciences and the Law, 5. 1987. And N. Davidson, “Life without Father,” Policy Review. 1990. Based off these stats it seems like growing up without a father can make the kids more susceptible to violence. I am in no way saying that it is the single mother’s fault for this. What I am saying is that fathers need to start taking more responsibility for their actions and in other words they need to “man up”. I bet if men went through the birthing process then they wouldn’t be so quick to bail out of the responsibilities of having a child.  "The Game"

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The Advertising industry and the ugly truth

Why are we like this

I am an advertising major so since today is a free blog for our class I thought I would do mine over the question of; is the advertising industry diverse enough? I have been and AD major for about three years now so I have done extensive research over this topic and I even have been involved in a debate for a class over this subject. What I have found is shocking.

While the U.S. advertising industry continues to diversify its content in order to reach a broader audience, the reality behind the scenes is one riddled with racial discrimination and unfair business practices. In my years of research I have found that the NAACP did a study called the Madison Avenue Project which explored just how unfair the advertising industry is.  The study found that while some industries are making strides in diversifying their work forces to reflect global economy, the advertising industry seems to be moving backwards. In fact, about 16 percent of large advertising firms employ zero Black managers or professionals. To fix this astonishing employment gap between Black and white employees would mean tripling Black managers and professionals. The study also found that Blacks are only 62 percent as likely as their white counterparts to work in the powerful “creative” and “client contact” functions. Another shocking number is that Black college grads earning 80 cents for every dollar earned by their equally qualified white counterparts. Other findings included that Black managers and professionals in the industry are only one-tenth as likely as their white counterparts to earn $100,000 a year. During my debate the other team fired back at me saying “there is a shortage of “qualified” Black job seekers in the advertising industry”. My rebuttal was that the problem is not a shortage, but rather a “persistent unwillingness by mainstream advertising agencies to hire, assign, advance and retain already available black talent”(Madison Avenue Project). I also mentioned in my debate how the project found that at the rate the industry is going in progress, Black numbers among advertising managers and professionals will not reach their expected level for another 71 years. This isn’t the 60’s anymore so I don’t understand how these problems still exist.

In conclusion, the advertising industry is obviously not diverse enough and I have proven that by taking a look at the facts that the Madison Avenue project has given. When I first came across this information I was surprised that my major had such big diversity problems, but I am coming to realize that this problem extends much farther than just advertising. The way we can fix this problem is with my generation and education my generation over these problems so more people can see the ugly truth and be motivated to do something about it.

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Who I am today

South Park and Family Guy are some of Cartoon Network’s and Adult Swim’s most popular shows. In class the question was ask; do these shows and shows of this nature reinforce stereotypes through the use for comedic relief or do they dismantle them? We all know that stereotypes can be nasty, but for shows like South Park and Family Guy, who take comedic relief over these stereotypes, it maybe all in good fun. One the other hand, to people who are less culturally experienced these kinds of show may reinforce all the ugly stereotypes that are portrayed in these shows. Lippman argues that the main reason stereotypes exist is for our own need to feel valued and secure in ourselves through trivializing and generalizing others. What this means is that by generalizing others we can find out who we really are as a person and where we fit in. I disagree with this because I believe that you don’t find out who you really are by generalizing others. I think that one finds themselves by exploring their own thoughts and coming up with their own beliefs. Generalizing others to find out who you really are is the wrong direction to take.

I am a white male and my senior year of High School I graduated with 109 students with only 4 of them being from a different ethnicity. So you can only imagine the stereotypes that went around school about different ethnicities. I had a choice when I was going through High School. I could generalize others into stereotypes like the rest of my class mates or I could come up with my own thoughts. Me being the free spirit I am I have chosen not to generalize other and I feel that has helped me to realize who I am. Parents also have a big part in stereotypes because I feel that whatever your parents believe they will pass down to you and since many kids look up to their parents the problem really starts here. I was fortunate enough to have parents who encouraged me to think for myself and that is a big part of what has made me today.

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why does the media do this?

Stereotypes in the media are everywhere from advertising to entertainment and news industries. The problem with these stereotypes that the media portrays is that it can reduce a wide range of differences in people to simplistic categorizations. Another problem that can arise from these stereotypes is that the assumptions about particular groups can become realities, as well as, create inequality which is the complete opposite of what America stands for.
This blog is not just talking about how race is portrayed in the media but gender as well. The media puts out the idea that every women must look as beautiful as the women on the T.V. do or they will be considered unattractive, and in reality this is an unattainable persona.  The reason why these women have figures that are so unattainable is  because they have been airbrushed into the perfect body. Most women would be only too happy have Jessica Alba’s stunning figure.  Just five months after the birth of her first child, the 27-year-old actress showed off her body in a series of plunging beachwear and skimpy tops for a new calendar. But those feeling envious can now breath a sigh of relief … because even Jessica’s curves were airbrushed before her latest pictures were released. Another example is how Britney Spears has allowed the pre-airbrushed images from a shoot she took part in for fashion firm Candie’s to be used alongside the digitally-altered ones, so people can see the difference. The 29-year-old singer made the extraordinary move in order to highlight the pressure exerted on women to look perfect.
Rihanna has also joined the airbrush group when Her slimed down look had fashion fans wondering if Rihanna has become the latest victim of airbrushing. Normally curvy Rihanna wears a bejeweled dress cinched in with a belt and her waist in particular looks smaller than usual.<a href=””&gt; Airbrushing of celebrities has been slammed by critics which say it creates an unrealistic image of women. I find this to be extremely true because young teen girls have a hard enough time as it is fitting into “the cool group” at school, they don’t need the added pressure of having to look like an airbrushed celebrity. My question is; What kind of message are we sending to the younger generations with these airbrushed models and celebs? Could this be why young teen feel the need to become anorexic in order to be perceived as beautiful?


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