Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Unlearning the Myths That Bind Us- Hyperlinks

The piece, Unlearning the Myths That Bind Us, by Linda Christensen discusses the important role that media plays in our lives from the moment we are brought into this world. The main topic of conversation is the "secret education" delivered by children's books, cartoons and movies.  In this article, Christensen uses her own classroom as the main experiment.  The students in Christensen's classroom immediately begin to discover the stereotypical aspects that occur within simple children's cartoons, such as Daffy Duck and Popeye, which, to the average eye, may seem to be normal cartoons. When told to take a closer look, the students start to realize certain stereotypes.  Christensen asks them to notice what types of roles the black, Spanish, and Asian cartoon characters play. Are they the lead role of a servant? As generations pass and time's change, you can find black princesses such as Tiana in The Princess and the Frog, an Asian princess such as in Mulan, and the first Hispanic princess, Elena in Elena of Avalor, but in older cartoons, these races and genders were thought to be of lesser value.

"Women who aren't white begin to feel left our and ugly because they never get to play the princess."

These older cartoons have made them out to be servants or very attractive, yet dumb. Many students in Christensen's class do not want to come to grips with the fact that children's media and advertising has manipulated or "handled" them. They like to believe that the choices they make are their own choices because it is "overwhelming" and "discouraging" to find that their self image has been formed by the media. What Christensen had hoped to accomplish with this experiment is to make these students not only more aware, but ready and willing to make a difference/change, which, I feel, she succeeded.  Her students were not only more aware of the secret education, hidden messages and stereotypes within cartoons, but also the racism, sexism, and violence promoted throughout the world.

I have chosen to connect this article to other articles, videos, and other websites through hyperlinks.

This is an article that describes thirteen requirements in order to be a princess in a Disney Park (as if the title isn't already clear enough).  Some requirements include specific height, size and age limitations. My reasoning for connecting this article to Unlearning the Myths That Bind Us is due to the fact that only women who meet these certain requirements can be considered to be cast as a Disney Princess in a Disney Park. But, even if you meet these requirements, you still may not be good enough. Some requirements that they do not name, but at known, include having a similar skin or hair color, but let's not forget the beauty aspect that a Disney Princess must uphold. You may not be "beautiful enough" to be cast as this role, and that, to me, could be a slap in the face to all women. It is almost as if there is this impossible self image you have to uphold, and if you cannot meet that requirement, then see ya!! 

Which then leads me to my final connection...

I chose to upload the music video Pretty Hurts by Beyoncé to simply conclude my last connection. In this video, Beyoncé faces a challenge that women all around the world face on a daily bases. There is a certain image that women feel they have to uphold in order to be accepted in society. The lyrics in this song says it all.  "Brush your hair, fix your teeth, what you wear is all that matters.", "Blonder hair, flat chest, TV says 'bigger is better'...", etc. (lyrics are hyperlinked above) And yeah I know, it's Beyoncé. Probably one of the most stunning, independent women on Earth that is singing this song, but she must see that women change their body to acquire to the high standards reflected by the media. I believe her purpose in writing this song and create such an influential video is to raise awareness, just how Christensen did in her classroom

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