After transferring from a course of bone dead material to BCM I was immediately brought back to life with the content we have covered. During the last six weeks learning about the physical nature of media I have been able to step outside of the public realm from an audience member to that of an observer, in which I have found it a very rewarding experience.
Covering the effects model early on really aided this transition and generated a moment of self-reflexivity, as I immediately became aware that I had conformed to the belief that “TV makes you fat”. Combined with an enhanced perspective on how to read an image, my approach towards interpreting the media has become effectively critical in everyday life.
Exploring the impact of culture on ‘signification’ I believe enhances our understanding on issues ever present within society. One of these major issues being the relationship between children and the media. There is, unfortunately, a strong collaboration between child stars and a dramatic fall from the heavens. Most recently seen in pop star Miley Cyrus. But is the media the issue or are we once again playing the blame game?
It has been noticed that “over the past decade, the fashion industry has started using younger models and now commonly portrays 12 year-old girls as if they were women”. Images such as the Roger David one above, have fuelled the argument that children are being continually exposed too and apart of over sexualised material. Thus creating what is known as a ‘moral panic’ within society. Moral panic is defined as “a threat to societal values and interests” (2014) But this raises my question… If we as a society are so concerned with keeping sex behind a closet door why are we continually surrounded by it? In the developing era of modern society sex was expressed as an art form and worshipped. A prime example being ‘The Vitruvian Man’ by Leonardo Da Vinci
Before studying this BCM course I would of immediately disregarded the image of the young girl above. The context behind this ad provokes a view of he girl in a sexualized way. The camera angles show her “averted eyes, wounded facial expressions, and vulnerable poses mimic the visual images common in pornographic media”. How disgusting are you for looking at her like! She’s only a child! However as suggested by Gauntlett one of the ten things wrong with the ‘media effects model’ is that society has made no attempt to understand the meaning of the media and relies on unjustified conclusions and unified beliefs, leaving no room for expression or interpretation. But that’s exactly what an image of this genre needs, its a work of art (for some) deserving recognition and multiple opinions.
I don’t see sex in the media going away, its simple sex sells and entices people. So perhaps as a society we need to grow up and adjust our belief system. Teach our children right form wrong, acceptable and unacceptable, so when these images are flashed between the latest episode of Game of Thrones (which by the way is way more explicit than any of these images) children will be able to maturely deal with it. Don’t underestimate the kids for Christ sake!
Children and young people in advertising, Commission for children and young people and child guardian, viewed 14/4/2014, http://www.ccypcg.qld.gov.au/pdf/…/children-and…/Corporate-Fact-Sheet4.pd…
Gauntlett, D, 1998, Ten things wrong with the media effects model, Approaches to Audiences – A reader, Arnold, London, Viewed 14/4/2014, http://www.theory.org.uk/david/effects.htm
2012, Premature Sexualisation of Children, Women’s Forum Australia, Viewed 14/4/2014, http://www.womensforumaustralia.org/significant-issues/premature-sexualisation-of-children
2014, Moral Panic, Wikipedia, Viewed 14/4/2014, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moral_panic