An Enormous Pornographic Theme Park

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The pubic sphere, along with myself, is forever asking what has happened to children in the 21st century. Is it the medias fault they are no longer really like children in advertising?

Years ago if I were to flick through a clothes catalogue there would always be a kids section of cute little boys and girls looking joyful and smiling way too big with at least 5 teeth like they should. Nowadays I’m more likely to see a little girl dressed in clothes I should be wearing and posing like she’s 25 years old and on the cover of vogue. An insight into the assumed reason behing this concept can be found within the idea of “adultification”.

It is safe to state that consumers are practically walking around in an enormous pornographic theme park in their everyday lives. Billboards, busses, and shop fronts are painted with models wearing hardly any clothing portraying hyper-sexualised messages, whilst porn magazines are next to the chewing gum at the petrol station counter. Children are being exposed to distorted messages about body image, sexuality, and gender roles within society as a result of advertising and product placement standards being complacent. In simple terms, the adultification of children can be described as children being exposed to objectifying sexual messages combined with the commercialisation of their childhood, constricting their younger years. The public sphere is in constant debate about this ever rising issue, with many concerns specifically coming from parents. A recent incident with Witchery Clothing adult-ifying their children’s clothing advertisement campaign had concerned parents stating “children do not develop healthy self-esteem if they are encouraged to focus on how they look or what clothes they are wearing” (collectiveshout.org, 2014).

I believe this issue with children and advertising will continue to be a major apprehension within the public sphere as long as there are concerns for the safety and preservation of childhoods. There are no indications that advertising standards are going to be changing their ways any time in the future, therefore children will only be further exposed to sexual imagery and concepts at even younger ages adding to the increase of adultification in society with years to come (…god help us all).

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So here we are at the end of the road, I can see the stop sign (…in the form of an assignment drop box) in the very distant future and have just a few hundred words left to upload to the blogasphere for the BCM110 course. Over the past six weeks I have been exposed to, involved with, and become accustomed to the world of blogging (…which is something I never saw happening). When I was first handed the subject outline and saw that I had to create a blog, I was very suspicious. I didn’t know if blogging was something I could do let alone enjoy, and I assumed it would be a classic case of me rushing at the last minute to write 6 blogs in the one night finishing mere minutes before the deadline however by some twist of fate this wasn’t the case at all. I found myself actually enjoying blogging.

At first I felt extremely challenged by being asked to post my own writing on a blogging site that any person around the world could read. My Nosey mother (…Hi Mum) who had no idea of my task found my blog within two days of my first post by simply typing my name into Google (…yes she likes to do that in her free time). This made me very wary of the topics I chose to write about considering the contrasting audiences that might find themselves on my page. To keep myself professional however entertaining and academic all at the same time was probably the biggest challenge of them all, however with enough research into concepts that I found interest in from the lecture content made the writing a little easier than I had initially expected. I especially enjoyed researching the denotations and connotations of advertisements as it gave me a greater understanding into how to pull a part and analyse the way organisations are achieving such high consumer bases, and also how ridiculous some methodologies behind ads really are. Reading other students blogs through the online portal also helped with my understanding of media topics, and commenting on them provided me with a form of connection to others in the online world.

In conclusion I believe the BCM110 assessment 1 blogs were a major learning curve that I will take a lot of new found knowledge away from, the best part being I am far more aware of medias role within society and can use this to my own advantage to be more critical within my academic career and everyday life.

References:

 

No Place For Sheep . 2014. The “adultification” of childhood: the questions some feminists will not ask. [ONLINE] Available at: <http://noplaceforsheep.com/2011/02/03/the-“adultification”-of-childhood-the-questions-some-feminists-will-not-ask/> [Accessed 12 April 14].

Marshall, D, 2010. Understanding Children as Consumers. [Online]. 1, 1-6. Available at: <http://books.google.com.au/books?hl=en&lr=&id=AR9XonAslZQC&oi=fnd&pg=PP2&dq=adultification+of+children+in+advertising&ots=eltUKSa4jn&sig=HedwaymmIW4t9mGXNmbTJyPPayg#v=onepage&q=adultification%20of%20children%20in%20advertising&f=false> [Accessed 12 April 2014].

Collective Shout. 2014. Witchery Adultifies Children in Ad Campaign, Again. [ONLINE] Available at: <http://collectiveshout.org/2011/03/witchery-adultifies-children-in-ad-campaign-again/> [Accessed 12 April 14].

Let’s Get Mortal

 

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Before entering the room of 107 this week I had never heard of the term “public sphere”. I was enlightened to know that something like this concept existed and I can now notice where it flashes a spot light on mediated materials such as magazines, TV shows, films, etc (…you really do learn something new everyday). The public sphere is a concept in everyday life that looks at the realm of the publics social life in which something approaching public opinion can be formed, and all citizens of society are guaranteed access to the sphere. Individuals that contribute to the sphere assemble to form a public body that seem to behave more like business professionals unlike members of an order subjected to the legal constraints of a bureaucracy.

Reality shows are a prime example of mediatised material negatively influencing the public sphere. In the 21st century reality television has begun to dominate TV screens and become a major contributor to a portion of the entertainment world. “It is degenerating our culture” (I 100% agree with these intelligent people that have a grasp on reality) (emersonmedia.com, 2014). Reality TV is however limited as a fair portion of the programs are scripted and edited for the sake of entertainment value however youthful viewers are unaware of this concept and are highly influenced by the scenes they are exposed to (…monkey see monkey do). The actions of reality television often portray negative concerns towards notions such as body image, violence, and legitimate viewpoints of “reality”.

A popular media text that highlights this concept perfectly is the British television show “Geordie Shore” (…Although I’ve fallen into the trap of watching it and find it somewhat entertaining, it really is an embarrassment to the characters, culture, and the entertainment industry itself). Geordie Shore is an MTV reality show that focuses on a group of young adults moving into the same house to live, party, and work together for a certain period of time under a set of house rules. Geordie Shore has raised much debate in the public sphere with the most dominant issue being parental concerns with their teenagers getting ideas and possibly even reenacting the characters actions in regards to binge drinking and irresponsible behavior within society. The first season of the hit TV show was filmed in Newcastle, and the Central MP Chi Onwurah was far from impressed. Onwurah stated “I’m going to be raising questions because I think there should be a limit on how much alcohol a broadcaster can pour down the throats of young people and to provoke sensational acts” (BBC.com, 2011).

Watchers of the program have been described to lose their sense of vital thinking and natural emotions towards real life situations, for example if they see the Geordie Shore characters consuming alcohol and acting inappropriately by being violent and not getting arrested they naively automatically assume the same will apply to them and they will get away with it if they carry out the same actions.
Geordie Shore still remains on air with an upcoming season in 2014, despite the fact when the show was first introduced there were a number of negative responses. More than 23,000 people joined a Facebook group called “RIP Geordie Pride” which slammed the show and cast, and according to the Sun, around 4,000 people signed a petition calling for the top MTV show to be axed (dailymailco.uk, 2011). This Geordie Shore phenomena is a prime example of a media text that managed to escape being canned due to the concerns of the mediated public sphere, however complaints still continue even today (…Clearly realistic people with their heads screwed on straight are becoming a dying race, and money is worth more than public concern to those in power).

 

References:

BBC News – Entertainment and Arts. 2011. MTV’s Geordie Shore Upsets Locals. [ONLINE] Available at: <http://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-13581236> [Accessed 01 April 14].

 

Habermans, J, 1964. The Public Sphere. An Encyclopaedia Article , [Online]. 1, 1-4. Available at: <http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.2307/487737?uid=2&uid=4&sid=21103955575643> [Accessed 01 April 2014].

 

NineMSN Mail Online. 2011. Geordie Shore Slammed by Angry Newcastle Locals. [ONLINE] Available at: <http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-1391036/Geordie-Shore-slammed-angry-Newcastle-locals-embarrassing.html> [Accessed 01 April 14].

 

Teen Ink . 2011. Reality TV Content is Negatively Influencing Our Youth. [ONLINE] Available at: <http://www.teenink.com/opinion/movies_music_tv/article/383652/Reality-Tvs-content-is-negatively-influencing-our-youth-should-be-censored/> [Accessed 01 April 14].

 

There’s Always a Catch

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Social media is a phenomenon… and I have to admit I’m absolutely a part of it; a contributor, a person who checks their social media religiously throughout the day greedy for the latest juicy Facebook status, amusing Instagram picture, or friendly snap chat of someone’s cat. A friend tested me in a lecture today to see how long I could go without touching my phone… I lasted exactly one hour and 13 minutes, I was shocked to realise how much I rely on technology and social media. There are approximately 41,000 Facebook posts made every second around the globe (do people seriously have nothing better to do? … Me included), which just goes shows how consumers are now living their lives through their computers, tablets, and mobiles. But who owns all this media content and controls what the public is posting and views?

Copyright is a concept that has been on the increasing rise for many years in todays society with many breaches and crossing of boundaries in modern cyber applications. Instagram is a major contributor to this ideology. Under copyright law a photograph, video, or any media content belongs to the creator and original poster. As the copyright owner you have the rights to distribute the media content as you please and see fit… however there’s a catch (Isn’t there always?). As soon as you upload your latest “selfie” to instagram you will be shocked to find when you press that little innocent “share” button you’re actually signing an invisible contract that grants the media site a license to use your photograph anyway they see fit, as well as everyone else around the world on instagram that can view your photo (Delsack, 2012).

Breaking away from media copyright in social networking, I believe I need to touch on the importance of media ownership. Media ownership is a huge concept within society that truly matters. It undermines the values of democracy within a given dominion and affects the role of media within the public by replacing traditional interest constraints with corporate objectives. Australia is said to have one of the highest media concentrations in the world, leading with the three major media dynasties of Fairfac, Muroch, and Packer.


PS: I plan on cutting back my social networking addiction that I didn’t realise I had… my next phone bill will be smiling back at me.

References:

DLVR IT. 2014. Social Network Statistics . [ONLINE] Available at: <http://blog.dlvr.it/2013/08/how-many-facebook-posts-are-made-each-minute-infographic/>. [Accessed 01 April 14].

Law Offices of Craig Delsack. 2013. Who Owns Photos . [ONLINE] Available at: <http://www.nyccounsel.com/business-blogs-websites/who-owns-photos-and-videos-posted-on-facebook-or-twitter/>. [Accessed 01 April 14].

The Australian Collaboration. 2013. Democracy in Australia – Media Concentration and Media Laws. [ONLINE] Available at: <http://www.australiancollaboration.com.au/pdf/Democracy/Media-laws.pdf>. [Accessed 31 March 14].