After reading through Bérubé and the Media Literacy Project, I know how a much better understanding of how I can apply positionality and self-reflexivity to my life. Bérubé's paper got me thinking of how sometimes I fail to recognize my past experiences and just how much they have shaped my view of the world. The Media Literacy Project has brought concepts, methods of persuasion, and ways I can deconstruct the media messages that I see everyday. This post will cover a personal reaction and similarities to Bérubé's writing and an example of deconstructing a media message that I have experienced this week.
After reading Bérubé's, "How Gay Stays White and What Kind of White it Stays" I couldn't help but think of my own personal self-reflexivity and positionality, as Bérubé does in his paper. Within his paper he tells numerous experiences about how being white has affected him within his work and organizations that he is involved with. Many of the groups that I am involved in such as the Student Athlete Advisory Commission, Volunteer Tax Assistant Program and a Bible study are also filled with all white people. In terms of my own positionality, I grew up in a basically all-white rich Minneapolis suburb in which I associated with relatively the same groups of people. I could not believe how similar my experiences were in terms of being apart of all white groups and failing to really recognize this until now.
The media example that I brought in to class on Wednesday was of a make up ad made by Walmart saying, "Do you really love your make up?" and below stating "STOP ANIMAL TESTING." The picture has a barbie-like girl crying with the make up from her tears running down her cheek and in the background a cute puppy inside of a kennel looking scared for its life. By deconstructing this message we came to a group conclusion that the target audience is meant to be towards activist women, hippie and Eco-friendly women, and also younger girls who may be buying make-up for the first time. The last type of target audience, I think looks beyond the basic deconstruction questions because you really have to take in account the depth of this ad. The depth of this ad meaning that it is such a horrible sight that not only will it attract those who already are aware of animal testing but it will particularly stand out to younger women who may be shopping for make up for the first time. Now after the younger women seeing this ad it could lead them to believe that all other brands of make up besides Walmart test animals in a horrific way. This is my example on how deconstructing a media message has lead me to a more thoughtful insight and reaction to one of Walmart's controversial ads.