I am finding that with age, the less hegemonic media I consume... yet, if I take into account all the media I come into contact with or seek out on the regular--it tends to be mass media. I read Glamour, Women's Health, and the New York Times for most of my fluff-reading/fashion updates and news, respectively. I do not own a TV and do not plan on purchasing one. I don't watch a regular TV show online either, I have never been into watching TV because I'm really impatient with commercials and am always the one in the room saying things like "Why are they making people sit through this?"... and I annoy the crap out of my friends. So no TV for me. I believe that would be a counter-hegemonic way of using/not using media. I do analyze the media I consume, but some ideologies are ingrained in me so deeply that I often do not realize I am subscribing to them and truly, living them. For example, in the magazines I read, one cannot find an advertisement or article featuring an average-looking woman/man unless it is
A.) about becoming thinner (i.e. Molly's Weight Loss Success- from fat to FAB!)
B.) about how to dress your not-so-perfect shaped body.
The reiteration of how important it is to be thin and "stylish" and made up and young and fake..... yet I purchase these clothes, and I diet, and I buy from Sephora, and I think I have wrinkles.
I have to list Glamour's cover stories--
MEN TELL ALL--The #1 Thing He Craves in Bed Tonight Is.....
Could You Be making More $$$?
Your Weight--8 Foods that Keep you Full (And Thin) Plus the secret celeb butt workout
Free! The most popular beauty products in America
500 Fab Fall Outfits! How to Flatter your Shape
and of course..
It's Our September MEGA issue--Fashion, Beauty, Guys, Health, Celebs & Lots more
What more could a girl need to know, right? I think that is what the editors of Glamour want us to think to ourselves. *If I buy this magazine and purchase these products then I will be all of these things that are apparently important to my ideological happiness. * Hm.
One of the counter-hegemonic ways I use media is by being very informed on health issues. Ever since taking microbiology and anatomy and physiology courses I have been extremely aware of the ways in which mass media covers health in general. The coverage of such an important topic is so subjective and skewed a certain way it makes me sick. For example, in this same Glamour issue is a story about the Mirena intrauterine device (a contraceptive placed internally for women that contains hormones and lasts for 5 years). There is not a shred of information on the possible (and likely) bad side effects of this contraceptive, which are very present. In fact, none of the media or information readily available on this device explains the side effects that are most commonly associated with it. Probably because Mirena pays people off to advertise in their favor. The same goes for food ads, OTC/RX medication, health procedures. Our society places such high value on looking good and being healthy yet we consume products and employ information that is directly detrimental to this ideal... all because of capitalism and this idea of hegemony. I'm guilty of it, but I'll continue to work on that!