When a lecture begins with a video of Miley Cyrus – you know that a fun time is going to be had…
No, but in all seriousness, the past week’s lecture on child sexualisation in the media really opened my eyes to all the things I’ve been overlooking. Through thorough research and views of blogs and websites, it is evident that this is a topic that I did not know enough about.
Now, we all know that Miley had a little stint with Robin Thicke at last years VMA’s that could be seen as her “going too far”. Miley’s new ‘persona’ is far different from the Texas child with a dream over eight years ago. It is of my own opinion that she has actual brains and is doing all of this for her own benefit. The media has consumed her and her “shocking influences” ever since she was only young, and she’s got the ‘press’ right where she wants them. I’m not saying her performance is good, I’m just saying that she’s someone who needs publicity, and got plenty of it, right before her album came out. Now, Miley is a classic role model to many girls (or was), and her new behaviour could cause a rise in the issue of sexualisation of children within the media.
A major issue in our society is the concern of the media’s growing influence of the perceptions of body image, which can eventually lead to the issue of sexualisation in children. The easiest way to think about this issue is comparing it to people in your life. One of my favourite people in the world is my nine-year-old cousin, and to imagine what she thinks and feels when she sees images of children her own age, almost fully naked on a clothing ad, tears my heart to pieces.
Images can be broken down in simple ways – the use of semiotics, connotations and signifiers help bring out a literal and metaphorical meaning of an image, or maybe even something you just wouldn’t have picked up on first glance.
Children are increasingly absorbing sexualised/distorted images about body image, sexuality and gender roles in Australia. (This is evident as the Advertising Standards Board does not consider objectification of women contrary to prohibitions on discrimination and vilification). Another word for this sexualisation is ‘adultification’ of children – sexualising images combined with the commercialism of childhood years.
Unfortunately – through the source of the media and how it’s so easily accessible, this is being encouraged and becoming increasingly common in today’s society. If I’m sitting in a waiting room and see a magazine, I have no second thought than to flick through it, and all that comes up are provocative, photo shopped and airbrushed images of women who in no way look like themselves – and this causes serious effect on my own view of myself. If a seventeen year old is still affected through these images, it’s almost painful to think of what this causes nine-year-olds.
I could honestly ramble on about this issue and how passionate I am about it for thousands and thousands of words, but quite frankly… ain’t nobody got time fo’ dat. Let’s get onto the lighter issues…
As someone who was completely dreading Uni, BCM110 has given me a reason to actually attend lectures (Everything I do is for you, Sue <3). My first thought when we were told that the first assignment was a blog was literally “Hell yeah, that’s right up my alley”, but alas…I was wrong. I thought I’d get an instant pass, then the questions came out and I actually had to think about what I was writing, and well, I wasn’t as prepared as I had first thought.
It wasn’t long before our ‘first year’ eagerness wore off, and we began insanely tweeting each other in lecture’s, flooding the feed with comments on Sue’s gangster outfits, and the hilarious Chaser’s video clips that occurred every lecture. The lectures were extremely insightful and helped us all out immensely in our blog posts.
Ahhh… the blog posts. You see, we have a love hate relationship… The second blog post literally had me up at midnight on a Monday night, staring blankly at the text box, completely at a loss to write absolutely anything, yet the tasks were that of which I felt I could not only express myself, but also go on a journey to the world of blogging.
From topics such as “What is the media being blamed for?” to “Who controls the media”, the use of the blog, and the past six weeks in BCM110 have opened my eyes to what kind of a medium the media is. Personally, my most painful week was definitely when we discussed the control of the media… quite frankly, I walked out of that lecture with absolutely no clue as to what I was to write my blog post on, yet alas, it was formed. Another topic that had me absolutely stumped was the ‘Public Sphere’, look, I’m not sure about you, but I had not a clue about any of it at all in the lecture… I may or may not have been on twitter the entire time. Yet I was able to critically think and understand the various ways information is gathered and beliefs are formed.
Throughout this blogging experience, I’ve been confronted with serious issues, and I’ve been confronted with theories that I couldn’t even get my mind around, yet… it’s been fun. I never thought I’d enjoy an assignment so incredibly much. It’s so interesting to research and observe the thoughts of your peers, grabbing ideas off each other and giving criticism, helping me further develop my own individual knowledge. I have absolutely loved the experience of blogging and I’m so excited to keep it up in the future!
And now, I present to you, an image that accurately reflects my excitement for the end of this assignment…