Children in the Media

Children in the media are continually scrutinized for the way they are represented. The idea that children in the media limelight are sexualized is becoming more prominent through time and this allows the term corporate pedophilia to become more prominent and used when talking about children in the media. Corporate pedophilia is, according to Emma Rush from the Australian Institute, “a metaphor used to describe advertising and marketing that sexualizes children in these ways. The metaphor encapsulates the idea that such advertising and marketing is an abuse both of children and of public morality”. Emma Rush discusses this in relation to advertising for children as well as magazines that have a target audience of pre-teen girls which are aged between 8-12 years of age. It claims that this sexualization of girls at a young age can cause serious mental health issues and psychological problems.

A highly prominent case study of this term is the 2015 video clip by Sia called Elastic Heart. This video clip created uproar about its content as a 12 year old girl danced with a man. In an article by People, it is said that many people believed the video bordered on pedophilia due to the attire of both in the video as well as the movement itself claiming the video clip to be “inappropriate and having sexual undertones”. The divide on whether the video is art or pedophilia has sparked debate and the intent of the video, and whether that is a justification of its content. However the video clip has also been defended by some, such as Michelle Geslani who says “Interpretive dance is just that – interpretive. Also, as we’ve come to learn more about Sia and the kind of artist she is, I think it’s safe to say that the art which she puts forth always has a deeper meaning. Skin doesn’t always = Sex. Touching doesn’t always = Lust. Dancing doesn’t always indicate something carnal.”

Different opinions of children in the media always comes back to how the images are read and this reintroduces the idea of semiotics. If an image is viewed in a sexualized way it is going to be read by others in the same way. This also changes from person to person therefore making this concept very subjective to each individual person. The context of an image or video is a highly important factor in determining whether it is pornography or not. An image in a catalogue or advertising material for children is very different from something that was intended to contain perverse images of children.

This issue is continually debated around this world and as sex and sexuality is a topic more openly talked about in recent years this idea of sexualizing children has become more prominent with it. What is the fine line between images of children and pornography and how relevant do you believe corporate pedophilia is?

References

Rush, E 2006, Corporate Pedophilia The Australia Institute, viewed 15th April 2015, <http://www.tai.org.au/documents/dp_fulltext/DP90.pdf&gt;

Nelson, J 2015 Sia Apologizes for ‘Elastic Heart’ Video Controversy, People, viewed 15th April 2015 <http://www.people.com/article/sia-elastic-heart-apologizes-pedophilia-controversy&gt;

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An Image Speaks Volumes

Semiotics is the study of signs and meaning which was first established by Ferdinand de Saussure and Charles Peirce. Semiotics can be used in creative ways to create effective advertisements. However, one needs to have context of what it is representing, to be able to gain the full force of its message like in this Uno Stacko advertisement.

It can be seen that there a a stack of blocks on the page which make up a picture of a man holding a trophy and well as one block having a picture of a tube with the words ‘Doping Test’ written on the front. At the bottom of the image there is an image of Uno Stacko and the tagline ‘one mistake can blow it all’.

It can be seen that the image is promoting a game however, it incorporates the tagline with the image that can be seen on the block. The connotation of this image is the downfall of Lance Armstrong, after he was found using performance enhancing drugs during his cycling career. You could say that the uncovering of this scandal “blew it all” for Lance Armstrong. The organisation of this image has been designed in a way that if the block with the test tube on it was pulled, the blocks would fall down making a direct link to Lance Armstrong’s career “falling down”.

The image is centrally focused on the stack of blocks making this the key to the advertisement, and using the parallel of Lance Armstrong, and how the game Uno Stacko works as the its focus. It uses blue blocks on a neutral background again reinforcing its focus.

The text “one mistake can blow it all” is a clever parallel to both of the connotations this image is showing, and creates an impact on its audience and how they understand the image. However, someone unfamiliar with Lance Armstrong would not find this to be an impacting advertisement, therefore, making context a very important part of this advertisement.

Ideological positions that’s can be made through this image is quite limited. Someone with a negative perception of Lance Armstrong could possibly find this advertisement humorous because of the way it is presented. However due to it promoting a negative perception of Lance Armstrong, he himself or his family members may be offended by its perception of him as it pokes fun of his downfall in his career.

I believe that this is an effective advertisement as it uses a topic that is widely familiar to promote its product and draw attention to its meaning and the connotations it is presenting to the audience, in order to create a memorable advertisement.

Image Source

Inspiration Feed, 2012, One Mistake Can Blow it All, image, viewed 22nd March 2015, <http://inspirationfeed.com/inspiration/advertising-inspiration/50-creative-effective-advertising-examples/&gt;

The New Age of Social Media

In this new age of social media and the ability to be connected with everything that is happening in any given moment our perceptions of other people’s lives have changed drastically. You can’t deny the perks social media and the positive impact it can have as it hosts many charitable causes and allows communities to come together, however on the flip side social media can have a negative impact on those who are constantly seeing the so called ‘perfect’ images of celebrities and even the people around them. Social media warps perception of the realities of life and simply shows the best of times in people’s life. Obviously not many people are willing to share their bad days with the world, however being bombarded with these images can negatively impact many who begin to question their self worth and the life that they themselves are leading.

We could all probably agree when I say that Instagram is one of the biggest culprits out there in the world of social media when discussing the impact of social media. You don’t need to look too hard to see images of thin girls at the beach, people having fun at parties, healthy foods and all the good things in life that every person most likely strives to have.

An article by NY Magazine called The Six Major Anxieties of Social Media discusses this concept in a similar way. It reveals the term FOMO, which stands for “fear of missing out”, which essentially is the feeling you get going through your Instagram feed reinforcing the idea that there are so many better places you could be right now. This idea is constantly there because nowdays it is so easy just to pull out your phone and have access to all these images that reinforce the idea that “whatever you are doing right now, is probably not that great seeing as someone is enjoying the delights of Paris right now”.

The other side of the negative impact Instagram can have on a person is how many likes a photo has. Social media has become based around the concept that the more likes you have a photo, the more popular you are. Social media are constantly blaring the number of followers a user has and the number of likes a photo has and reinforces this idea. This impact also spirals into even more problems especially when it comes to young teens using these forms of social media are vulnerable to its negative impacts which can lead to negtive body images and furthermore eating disorders.

The world of social media is widely debated and its impact on how the world is today is undeniable. Although it is hard to deny the facts of the negative and postive effects of social medias such as Instagram, it raises the question of whether the positive outweighs the negative or whether the negative is too detrimental to its users?

References

http://nymag.com/thecut/2013/05/six-major-anxieties-of-social-media.html