racheloh: November 2011 Archives

Final paper blog response

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Sorry this is late!!!!!!

1. What option you chose

I am choosing Option 2: Media organization analysis

2. What specific texts and/or organization you are focusing on

I am focusing on the website/organization called About-face.org. It is an organization that provides awareness about media and women's issues--with focus on body/self esteem issues, and perpetuated images in advertising/pop culture/mass media about/aimed at women & its' affects on them. The website makes it easy to respond to and write letters to and about advertisements women feel strongly about. For example--it makes it easy to find out who to write to about an ad you find sexist or extremely inappropriate to be in public--and often the companies reply and will remove the ad or message. It's a very effective way of changing what media is given agency.
I am writing about certain magazine and internet ads and other types of media that is forced on us can be changed and appeal more to us instead of offend/cause negative reactions.

3. Why you chose your texts, etc. (personal interest, interest from class, etc.)

I am choosing this option and these media texts because I think it's a big issue in media and advertising and needs to stop. Consumers should be the ones telling ad companies what we want to see, not vice versa. Killing Us Softly really hit home for me because I think of my little sister and nephews and how absolutely perfect they are but will grow to question themselves and base their beliefs about themselves via the media they absorb--it is apart of our environment and therefore we are responsible for making it positive and empowering.

4. What questions and concerns you have for the final paper (struggling with theory, application, confidence in your text choices, etc.)

My concerns are the basics: time management, giving proper length to each part of the paper, and just assuring that my application of course material is correct & placed appropriately. (I hope to not 'miss the point')

Sports Blog Prompt

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Neither of my parents have ever been much into sports, they both got teased a lot growing up--my mom was shy and my dad was a "nerd". Mind you, they're the smartest most wonderful people I know. But, they did not hand down any competitive nature to us kids. I played various sports growing up including soccer and volleyball, but I hated the favoritism and the catty girls, it wasn't for me. I didn't have a strong love for any sport in particular until high school. I picked up running when I was about 13, because I love being outside and I found I just really loved to run. I joined cross-country and track & field in 9th grade. The two sports were very different I found--not in terms of actual activity (you run...) but the culture around them. What I loved about cross country was that I didn't feel like everyone else on the team was relying on my every action to win--the way I looked at it I was simply competing against myself and trying to set personal records. My friend Rachel and I would always run next to each other at CC meets, even though she was a little faster than me- it was more for the fun of it.
Track was different. It could have been the particular team I had, the generation, the coaches... the town I was from... I am not sure. I went to high school in a small town called Pine Island and I graduated in a class of 94. Anyway, when I began track I started running 800's because I thought I was a better distance runner, then one meet my coach threw me in a 400 and I did really well. So that was my race. The sprint coach was a crazy, lazy, abrasive woman who often played favorites and made the rest of us do Indian runs for an hour while she "focused" on the "star athletes". My times were always just seconds away from these other girls but I never got put in a relay. I could run a track in under a minute. And I couldn't wrap my brain around why this coach favored these girls over me.
Track kind of ruined high school for me, the older girls were all really thin and made fun of anyone who actually ate food and looked like it. I lifted weights a lot and really enjoyed that, but I had a lot of muscle and got picked on for it by these girls. So I started to diet, or starve myself really, I lost 30 lbs in a couple months and was disgustingly thin. I had an "ah-ha" moment looking in the mirror one day, I looked terrible. That was 10th grade. As a junior I decided to attend college full-time as a PSEO student and I no longer participated in high school sports. I still love running though, and now my little sister is 15 and in track and I encourage her to do her own thing, be her own person and tell her she's perfect the way she is. She's got a better head on her shoulders than I did at the time, and is a lot less influenced by other kids than I was.

The advertisement(s) I brought in were for SKYY vodka. One was from In Style magazine and the other two were from Cosmopolitan magazine. They are all very typical/obvious in subscription to the idea that sex sells. The first ad from In Style features a bold canary-yellow background, in stark contrast to the life-size blue Skyy vodka bottle... which looks just like what it does in real life. A pair of legs are propped up against the bottle, one leg angled across it. The legs are in skin tight, bright red vinyl.. tights? Leggings? Doesn't really matter, and seamlessly blend in with the bright red vinyl ice-pick stilettos.
The second ad is the same bottle but bigger and angled against a bright red background, with a gigantic woman's hand with bright red claw like nails holding a melting ice cube against the bottle... And the last ad (which was the next page after the ice cube one in the mag) is a bright orange back-ground, same bottle- upright, with a woman's glistening hand holding the neck of the bottle.. but it looks more like it's stroking it, oh and it's dripping wet. Oh and if you don't look closely you might miss the dude's body placed below the bottle. The bottle is placed like it's coming out of his groin... you can only see his stomach and thigh, and the bottom and top of his gym shorts.
The sign in these advertisements is "Skyy is sexy". The signifier is the bottle of vodka and the signified is sexiness.
The colors used are all "hot" colors other than the cobalt blue bottle itself, making it stand out, drawing attention to the ad, creating a very bold visual display. The ads bolster no words except the bottle's label. The legs ad intrigues me most because its suggestive, but not as obviously suggestive as the Skyy bottle= penis ad. The viewer cannot see the legs' bum or any part of the body, it is cut off, leaving us to assume or guess that the body is on its back- bum against the bottle. The bottle is between the legs slightly--again making a phallic reference--but also the secondary meaning would be that imbibing with Skyy will put a sexy girl on her back. The ever so large and powerful bottle is life size in the ad, but the legs are not. The left leg is being held up by the bottle as the right leg slides down the bottle. Between the two feet is the label of the bottle--drawing the eyes towards it. The ad is an example of what Williams explains as illogical juxtaposition, logically a pair of legs would not be propped against or have between them, a bottle of alcohol. The ad thus engages our emotions and senses--we correlate the emotions of desire, happiness, excitement, lust, envy, power subconsciously to the brightness, shininess, newness... the very large bottle, the very tall heels. It suggests a party without even showing one, by the forms and structures within the ad.

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