Friday, April 13, 2007

A Well-Written Blog

Dare 2 Share's Blog about teen trends is well written and well structured. The author refrains from using words, such as "very," "really," and "extremely," which are unnecessary words that often evoke no power and that have the potential to weaken clarity and a direct style of writing. The author does a good job varying sentence length and style, which keeps the piece interesting so that one does not get bored with the style of writing. I also noticed that he refrains from using passive voice, which is also something that can take away from clarity. There are not unnecessary phrases, such as "the fact that" or "because of the fact that." Although, I did notice that the author used a lot of "this is" and "there is;" almost every new paragraph started with these words. This blog contains a variety of words and does not use many of the same words more than once, which can make writing repetitive and boring, although, this is a common mistake made by many writers who do not realize that they are doing it. I like the style of writing in this blog because it is professional, direct, and clear without confusing words or sentence structures, which often takes away from the major idea because the reader is focused more on trying to understand the words and sentences, as opposed to getting the main idea. Writing is one of the best ways to share thoughts and ideas and to be successful in getting your point across, you must be able to write effectively with good style and prose.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Web 2.0 Application (Hollywood Grind)

New applications on the web are becoming more popular and are also helpful to different fields of careers. For example, The Hollywood Grind can be very helpful to those people who are either interested in, or have jobs in the entertainment industry.

The Hollywood Grind ( is a great resource for keeping up to date with news stories and trends in the entertainment industry. It keeps up to date stories about the latest celebrity gossip, and even organizes the stories into, "hot off the press," and the "last 100 posts," which are the most recent news stories that have taken place. Even when looking for something or someone specific, you simply type it in and the site will search for a story relating to what you are looking for. The site contains endless articles of all the latest stories and I found it interesting because I read many articles in which the topics were so new to me. Hollywood Grind is considered a Hollywood Blog, so it also allows its users to post comments about the articles and view others comments as well. This is a great way to collaborate with others and see their viewpoints about the things taking place in the entertainment industry. This site is created through Google so its users are also given the option to put this site in their Google toolbar, making it convenient to access.

The site not only keeps up to date in entertainment news, but also contains the latest articles relating to health news. For instance, right now the latest health articles include headlines, such as "New Drug Shows Promise for Treating Epileptic Seizures, Bipolar Disorder and Neuropathic Pain" and "Scientists identify cancer genes, and drugs to block them." The site also contains content relating to politics, as well as having a section for “gay news,” having articles titled, “Green Tea Chemical Offers Hope of HIV drug.”

This site can be a great resource for those in the field of entertainment because most jobs in the entertainment industry require a person to know the latest trends, the latest news about celebrities, as well as all other current news going on in the industry. For example, those involved in advertising often use celebrities and entertainment as a marketing tool because many people relate to the entertainment industry and follow in its trends. Also, those involved in fashion in the entertainment industry can use this site as a way to track the latest celebrity fashion trends. This site can definitely be helpful to my blog, discussing how the entertainment industry affects societal trends. I can search the latest stories and see what trends are taking place in the entertainment industry and compare those trends to what is actually taking place in society. I can also use it as a way to predict what trends might follow in society after seeing new breakout trends in these articles. This site is excellent for finding the latest headlining entertainment news, allowing a person to keep track of the latest stories. It also allows them to comment about the news articles and to view other’s opinions about certain news stories, which can be helpful.

I am mainly interested in how this application can help those involved in the entertainment industry, but it can also be a supplementary resource for those in fields relating to politics, health, and homosexuality. I highly recommend those in the field of entertainment, as well as those in other fields, to add Hollywood Grind to their toolbar.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Comment on The Tyra Banks Show

Last month Tyra Banks aired a shocking episode in response to the tabloids. The paparazzi shot photos of her on one of her photo shoots and made her look like she had gained a lot of weight and had headlines such as, "Tyra has gotten fat!" Although Tyra has gained a little weight since her modeling days, she is still at a healthy weight; however, when those photos of her appeared in the magazine, so many people were saying, "wow, Tyra has gotten kind of fat." But, this just shows how the media has such an impact on how people think and their perceptions about celebrities. She discussed this matter on her show and she came out in the same swimsuit that the paparazzi shot her in. Although, when she appeared on her show, she looked nothing like the magazine photos, but actually looked very in shape and trim, but also did not look too thin; she looked healthy. She discussed how the things in tabloids can be so misleading and how not only are they misleading, but they can also be very hurtful as well. The photographers find one bad angle of her and throw it all around the nation in magazines and on television. Before her show aired, there were many rumors floating around about Tyra becoming fat; however, she is not fat and rumors such as these are the reason why so many young girls and women have body image issues, especially when in the photo, she was not fat, but simply didn't look like a model anymore; however, she is not a model anymore so why are people still expecting her to look like one? This is a fine example of how the media and entertainment industry give us distorted views about what beauty is and what a healthy weight is. I think that Tyra has become an excellent role model for young girls because she deals with many of the body image issues that the media is creating and supports the idea that the entertainment industry needs to stop. We need to have more celebrities support this idea and speak out about what the entertainment industry is doing to the women in our society and how they are setting impossible expectations.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Comment on "Television's Influence on the Family"

There are those critics who argue that it is solely the parents' responsibility to raise their children appropriately and it is not up to the entertainment industry to raise them. The article, Television’s Influence on the Family, discusses television being very influential and much of the time in negative ways to our children. But, the article does not suggest “turning off the TV,” since there seems to be no escaping it. This article suggests that the best approach is for parents to talk to their children about what they are watching and explain to them what is real, what is acceptable, and what is not. The parents do have a huge responsibility to raise their children to know right from wrong and to help them have high self-esteem, but this is not a simple answer. Families do have a huge impact on their children's ideals and values; however, so does the child's peers. And not all parents are willing to filter the things that their children watch, or to talk to them about what is right and what is wrong; the children of the parents who do take the time to do these things will also suffer the consequences when their children are surrounded by the many others who are easily influenced by what they watch and who have little parental guidance. So although parents do play a highly significant role, there are many other factors that have influence over our society's children. For example, the article, Admirer-Celebrity Relationships Among Young Adults, explains “besides family and peers, younger people tend to form other attachments in many of the same ways to celebrities and popular media, which is very significant in their development and the characteristics that they obtain.” Children and TV Violence, also explains how “young people can even be affected when the family atmosphere shows no tendency toward violence.” This supports the idea that a child’s parents are not enough to prevent children from being influenced by the media, as Television's Influence on the Family suggests.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Examples Post

There are many who complain about the content that is being shown on television and there are also many who respond to this by saying, "If you don't like what's on TV, then don't watch it." This is mainly the response that is given by the television industry itself; however, this is not a feasible solution and there are many examples that demonstrate why simply not watching something or turning off the television is not the answer to not being affected by its material and messages.

For example, there are many who complain about television's violence and its influence on our society, especially on children. The response from the industry is for parents to not allow their children to watch inappropriate material and to turn off the television if they don’t like what they are watching. Some argue that it is the parent’s responsibility to raise their children and not the entertainment industry. Although parents can choose to not allow their children to watch certain shows on television or can choose to just get rid of television altogether, this will not prevent the children from being exposed to television's negative aspects. At home, a child may be prevented from watching certain things; however, once they get to school, there are many children who are not stopped by their parents from watching inappropriate shows. Their peers will still influence the child, even more so than they would be by watching television; and the method of turning off the television is not a solution because television does not just affect those who watch it, but it affects society as a whole. And although families and parents do have a strong influence on shaping their children's values and beliefs, their peers have a huge impact on influencing behavior and this is something that cannot be controlled by a parent's decision to not let their children watch TV.

There are also some studies which suggest that the many violent acts that have taken place at schools across the country can be associated with violent television programming and video games. For example, the Columbine tragedy was linked to The Matrix, due to the killers’ trench coats and behavior with the guns. This shows that even with the possibility of a majority of students not being exposed to violent content on television, they can still be affected in many negative ways. Although there are those who choose to protect themselves from the negative behaviors that television teaches our society by “turning it off,” it seems that they cannot escape it and turning off the television is far from a solution.

The media, especially television, is also criticized for its bombardment of perfect body image and its distorted definition of beauty. But again, choosing not to watch TV or "turning off the switch" is not the answer. For example, one might choose to watch Oprah, which usually has positive material. There is one episode that shows how her and her staff are helping children in Africa, which can be a positive influence on society by encouraging others to help those in need; however, there are then commercials during the show, such as weight loss commercials, those for plastic surgery, and Clean and Clear commercials suggesting that one must have clear skin and the perfect body to be beautiful. So again, turning off the television is not a solution. Even billboards, advertisements, magazine covers, and even the ways that many around us act are influenced by the entertainment industry, but these aspects are hard to escape since they are all around us. These aspects that are influenced by the entertainment industry cannot be escaped by simply choosing not to watch certain shows on television.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Literature Review

"Just Turn off the TV": The Lazy American's Solution to One of Our Nation's Biggest Problems

This article describes how the simple response to television's negative content to just turn off the television is a "lazy solution." The author describes how she understands the "significance of looking away" since television can't please everyone; however, the article further describes that "nearly every broadcast station sells out for the sake of sensationalism, exploiting willing American's in anyway possible and there is no where else to turn." This article delves deeper into the bigger issue, which is more than just being able to "turn off a switch."


This article gives suggestions for how to prevent being exposed to media violence; however, one of its suggestions are to "turn off violent TV programs." It explains how parents need to learn how to say no to their children and monitor what they can and cannot watch. Although this is a good idea because parents should monitor what their children watch, this is not a solution. Maybe these children won't be exposed to violent TV programs in their own homes, but what about once they go to school or what about the violent things that are happening in real life that they cannot escape? There is more to it than the parents not allowing their children to watch certain shows because they will still be exposed to it one way or another in our culture. There needs to be some sort of cooperation from the actual media corporations as well. And also, aside from television violence, body image is also a major issue. It is almost impossible to escape the constant images of skinny women and beautiful bodies. Even if not seen on television, it is all around us in advertisements, at the mall, and the many girls around us that are dieting and going on crash diets so that they too can be as thin as the actresses and models in the media.

Ethics in Entertainment Television

"If you don't like what's on TV, just turn it off." The article explains how this simple solution has been offered as if it were as simple a solution as saying "if you're bothered by air pollution, just stop breathing." Those who support the idea to simply use the on/off switch if you don't like something ignore the idea that entertainment is a large influencer of the culture we live in, regardless of those who choose not to watch it. The author takes it a step further asking for those in the entertainment industry to refuse to write, direct, produce, or participate in any way in the shaping of entertainment that encourages violence, cruelty, and indecent behavior; however, I do not feel that this either is a solution. It is hard to believe that these workers of the entertainment industry will turn away work and money even if the content is not positive. And for those that do choose not to participate, they will just be replaced by someone who will.

This article also explains the viewpoint of the television industry. For so long they have "resisted the notion that its programming offers tacit lessons about what is valued in our culture and how to behave in it." Today's supporters of offensive programming argue that TV simply reflects cultural norms. I must disagree with this notion because it is clear that the media in so many ways influences our perception, therefore having part in shaping our behavior. The media does in fact have an impact on our society's culture and not vice versa as the television industry suggests. The article also explains how it is getting harder for those in the entertainment industry to deny that there is a connection between what they produce and "a dangerous coarsening of our society." There have been too many confirming research studies that have proven otherwise.

"Television's Influence on the Family"

This article explains how "television has become one of the most influential socializing agents of our times. Its pictures and messages shape the way we see--and react to--our world." But, this article does not suggest "turning off the TV," since there seems to be no escaping it. This article suggests that the best approach is for parents to talk to their children about what they are watching and explain to them what is real, what is acceptable, and what is not.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007


There have been many debates about television corrupting society as well as there being proposed solutions to how to solve this problem. Some feel that television has no effect on society, while others feel that television and the media play a significant role in shaping society; however, it is getting much more difficult for those who do feel that television has no influence to continue to support this belief. Not just television, but many forms of entertainment are clearly shaping the many trends in society, such as fashion trends, what is considered beautiful, as well as poor behavior in both children and adults. Because it is becoming clear that negative material on television plays a role in society, especially for young children, big time networks and corporations have tried to come up with a simple solution. Most of the time, this solution is to simply turn off your television, their motto being, "If you don't like what you see, then don't watch it." And as for the children being affected and influenced, many say that it is the parent's responsibility to filter what their kids are watching. I must disagree on this issue because although turning off the television can prevent certain people from seeing certain television shows or commercials that they would rather not see, it does not keep them from the negative trends that the entertainment industry is bombarding on our society. Yes, a person can choose not to watch television, but it is much harder to choose not to be apart of society, which still exposes a person to the ideas that television is responsible for creating. And as for the children, parents can choose to keep their children from watching any sort of television; however, they cannot keep them from interacting with the many children at school who do watch television with negative material. So no, simply turing off the television is not a simple solution, but far from it.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Comment on "Ethics in Entertainment Television"

This article written by Mary Ann Watson discusses how the term, "If you don't like what's on TV, just turn it off," is a "useless remedy." I completely agree with this view. Like you explain, it is as useful as saying, "If you're bothered by air pollution, just stop breathing;" it doesn't seem possible nor practical. It is as if these huge corporations do not even bother to come up with practical solutions, or they just don't take the time to care one way or the other. One of the solutions that she offers is sticking together as a community meaning that writers, actors, producers, directors, and all other participants will refuse to work in any type of entertainment that "celebrates senseless brutality, aimless cruelty, pointless, and violent death." She feels that together, we can make a difference; however, I must question how many people in the entertainment industry would be willing to give up certain jobs and opportunities because they are not socially pleasurable or beneficial. I have the feeling that many of these participants, not all, but many, are similar to the large companies in that they are only interested in making money and would not pass up opportunites that could make them a generous portion of profits. Although Watson points out that there are some who would make the sacrifice if it could possible benefit our society. For example, "there were more than 300 television professionals who signed a 'pledge of consience' which recognizes that state and motion pictures television are undeniably significant influences on American society." Three hundred is a very small handful in the many particiapants within the entertainment industry, but it is pleasing to know that there are some in the industry who are recognizing that the entertianment industry does have a huge impact on all of us and that they are trying to make a difference to make these imacts positive as opposed to negative.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Wikipedia Edit

Below are some edits that I made to the Wikipedia page about fashion modeling. I thought that it needed to be explained that models are almost always attractive and have tall, thin frames. Also, I made some additions to the section, "Criticism of Fashion Models." The edits that I made are in bold italics and the entire page can be seen at:

Fashion models
Fashion models are used mainly to promote apparel, accessories, and cosmetics. There are two types of fashion models: high fashion and commercial.[1] High fashion modeling is an art form of fashion. The photographer photographs the model in artistic themes that relate to the clothing promoted. The model uses their face and body to express different emotions required and the models are almost always attractive. High fashion is typical for work on campaigns, collections and magazine editorials for high fashion designers. These models are featured in high fashion magazines such as Vogue, W,Vanity Fair and ELLE. Clothing designers traditionally show their new collections in an annual fashion show, for buyers, the fashion industry, and the general public. Fashion models walk the runway, and pose to display clothing. High fashion models have strong, unique and distinctive features. "Runway modeling," also known as catwalk modeling," is displaying fashion, and is generally performed by "high fashion models." These high fashion models tend to be very tall with thin frames.

[edit] Criticism of fashion models

Although the world of fashion models seems to be very glamorous, many feel that this industry plays a significant role in distorting society's perception of beauty. For example, as described above, the AMA has height and dimension guidelines. Women all around the country see these thin models in the latest fashions and they want to look the same. Unfortunately, these body images that society sees in fashion modeling is unattainable for many women. The unusually thin shape of fashion models has been criticized for allegedly warping girls' body image and encouraging eating disorders.[7] Organizers of a fashion show in Madrid in September 2006 turned away models who were judged to be underweight by medics who were on hand.[8] In February 2007, six months after her model sister died, Brazilian model Eliana Ramos became the sixth international model to die of malnutrition.[9] Ramos died of heart failure caused by anorexia. Her 22-year-old sister Luisel died after her weight fell to 40kg. Not only are very thin models influencing eating disorders and creating malnutrition and death for some girls, many feel that it is also creating low self-esteem for many young girls. Many people who agree with this view encourage more exposure to plus size models.

Monday, March 5, 2007

If You Don't Like it, Turn it Off

"If you don't like what you see on television, then turn it off." This is a phrase commonly heard by numerous television and entertainment networks; although it seems as if it is a simple solution, I can't help but to disagree. Yes, people do have a choice as to what they watch and how much television they watch, but television is also responsible for influencing many aspects of society, which are not so easy to escape. Many also say it is the parents responsibility. I do think that parents play a vital role in shaping the attitudes and actions of their children; however, this is not a simple solution either.

Television and movies seem to influence everything around us, which is why simply, "turning it off," is not a simple answer. For example, advertisements, billboards, magazine covers, and even the ways that some people act are all influenced and shaped by the entertainment industry; however, these aspects are not so hard to escape because they are all around us. Even though people have a choice as to which shows they watch, they do not have a choice in the commercials that they are exposed to or the ways in which society as a whole is influenced. For example, one might choose to watch an episode of Oprah in which she is showing how her and her staff are helping children in Africa, which is a positive influence; however, they then might be exposed to a commercial about weight loss or a Clean and Clear commercial suggesting that one must have clear skin to be beautiful. So no, turning off the T.V will not solve many of the problems that it is creating.

There are also those critics who argue that it is solely the parents' responsibility to raise their children appropriately and it is not up to the entertainment industry to raise them. The parents do have a huge responsibility to raise their children to know right from wrong and to help them have high self-esteem, but this is also not a simple answer. Families do have a huge impact on their children's ideals and values; however, so does the child's peers. Once parents send their children off to school and to hang out with friends, the parents no longer have much control as to what their children are being exposed to. Young people are highly influenced by their peers, who are usually highly influenced by not only their parents, but also by what they see on television, hear at school, and see everyday in advertisements and in the media. So although parents do play a highly significant role, there are many other factors that have influence over our society's children.

So since these are not idealistic solutions, what are proper the solutions? This questions is not so easy to answer; however, I do have some ideas for good starting points. Television networks do not need to completely change their content or goals because ultimately, their goal is for entertainment, which many of us rely on, on a day to day basis. It allows many people to relieve stress and unwind after a long days work; however, the entertainment industry does need to realize that what they show and the things they promote do have a huge impact on issues taking place in our society. Showing more diversity and hiring more actors and actresses with more average body types and appearances is a start. Also, if television networks and writers would cut back on reinforcing negative stereotypes, this could also have positive effects on society. I must also point out that it is not only the responsibility of the entertainment industry, but of all of us. As individuals in society, we must not allow the entertainment industry to drive our trends and influence our lives. After all, the entertainment industry's main goal is to make money so they show us things which that feel we want to see and things which our society finds sexy and beautiful. If our society could change its perception of beauty, then the entertainment industry would be forced to change its content to match our ideals.

My ultimate goal would be for society to have control of the entertainment industry, instead of the entertainment industry having control over our trends and culture. I know that this is much easier said than done, but society must start realizing that television and movies are only entertainment. Those who advocate simply, "turning it off" or those who always blame the parents need to look deeper into the issue and understand the many other factors that come into play.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Diversity in the Media

The media is constantly changing as society changes, as there is a relationship between the two, since the media plays a central tole in shaping and influencing. Although I do feel that the media often has negative effects on our society and culture, such as body image and appearance, the media, such as television shows, are changing to include more diversity, which is beneficial to our culture.

Lately I have been noticing more shows that are displaying more diversity in their content. As standards are changing, media content is changing. Grey's Anatomy is a good example of a television show that portrays African Americans as successful, as opposed to mainly just Caucasians. The show was created by a Black woman and she wrote it so that the head of surgery is an African American male, and many of the other doctors are African American as well and all of them are highly respected on the show. One of the African American doctors is also a woman, which is sort of a "double plus." This can be very inspiring to younger generations, not just to those who aspire to be doctors, but to any who have a dream career. Grey's Anatomy shows that it does not matter what race you are or where you come from; a person can be successful without any of these factors making a difference. It also shows more diversity as it displays an African American doctor and an Asian doctor in a relationship, showing how interracial relationships are becoming more accepted and have evolved tremendously over time. You don't see these two races portrayed together much in the media and I think that it is good for popular television shows to popularize certain aspects of our culture that have not been made so public in the past. The sitcome, The Game, is another example of a show that depicts an interracial relationship as it shows a Cacausian female with an African American male. Desperate Housewives is another example of a show that promotes diversity. Eva Longoria is playing the role of a rich housewife and her husband is also very successful; both of them are of Hispanic or Latin descent. The show tries to rid the stereotype of the relationship between minorities and gardening since in this show, Eva Longoria's gardener is Caucasian. Here, the expectation that most people have about gardeners and the wealthy is reversed.

The media has also helped bring homosexuality out into the open. Before the mid 20th century, gay people were thought of as criminals. Since then, this has all changed and the media has played central role in making gays more accepted. Lately the media has been depicting more gays than in the past in television shows and other dramas. The documentary, Further off the Straight and Narrow, says "gays on T.V. makes them more real." Before it seemed that the only way for gays to be depicted on television was if it had relation to AIDS or HIV; however, now they are depicted in many different fashions. Gay people are depicted on many reality shows, such as Real World and Queer Eye For the Straight Guy and even sitcoms, such as Will and Grace. Even Ellen DeGeneres, a successful talk show host is openly gay and is widely accepted and very popular. Dawson's Creek was even one of the first shows to depict a gay teen coming out to his family and friends, which allowed many gay teens struggling with this issue to be able to relate to. One of the biggest obstacles in society is getting used to and accepting gays for who they are.

It is very important to have diveristy in the media because the media significantly has an impact on the way many Americans think and on their attitudes as well. This can ultimately shape our cutlure and hopefully with time, more diveristy in the media will give acceptance to more diverisity in the real world. Although I have given several exmaples of television shows that are trying to bring more diversity, this trend must continue because it is still not nearly enough. There are still numerous shows which lack any diveristy and have very few, if any, minorities written in their scripts; however, things do seem to be taking a turn for the better and hopefully this will continue. I hope that sometime in the near future, discrimination greatly decreases and women, gays, and minorities are able to be placed in successful positions.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Traditional Library Research vs. Internet Research (Paper #2)

There is a significant difference between traditional library research and research on the Internet using applications, such as Furl, Diigo, and Delicious. I'm sure that most people who have any sense of how to research on the Internet would agree that the Internet is a much easier and shorter process. Although it still does require a lot of searching through different articles to find exactly what you are looking for, it gives you the ability to do all of your research from sitting in one spot. When doing research in a library, you are forced to first find books that you are looking for, write down their locations, and then go searching for them through the aisles of the library. You must then gather them all up and read through them, trying to find relevant information. And then, to keep track of this information, you must either check the books out or make copies of the pages that interest you. When you use the Internet, it is much more convenient. You simply type in keywords or phrases and you are given numerous articles and sites that relate to your topic. When you find something that you want to save, you can use diigo, or other similar programs, to bookmark your article, in which it will save it for you so you can go back to it. You also have the ability to make comments about the article, or highlight important lines, which you can keep private or make public for other viewers. There are some programs, such as Zotero, that will even write the bibliography for you, as opposed to writing all of the information down by hand in a traditional library setting. Online programs, such as Zotero, can save a significant amount of time, especially if you hate doing bibliographies, such as myself. There is even the option of taking part in social bookmarking in which you can find articles related to your topic that others have already bookmarked and read their comments about them. You also have the convenience of having all of your information in one spot as well as being accessible, which can be very helpful when writing a research paper. As one can see, there are many advatages to searching on the internet, as opposed to in a traditional library setting.


Cosmetic surgery's popularity growing thanks to media attention, expert says; nearly 12 million procedures performed in 2004

Cosmetic Surgery is becoming increasingly popular in the United States and some are contributing this increase to media attention on the procedures now that people have had many more opportunities to see first hand what plastic surgery is and what it can do for others, referring to shows, such as Dr. 90210. Plastic surgery is becoming more and more common as Americans underwent close to 12 million surgical or non surgical cosmetic procedure in 2004, a rise of 44 percent from the previous year, with liposuction and botox treatment leading the surge. Women seem to be the main target of media influence to want to improve appearance as the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) said 90 percent of the procedures were performed on women. ASAPS president Peter Fodor attributed the jump in cosmetic treatment to increased media attention. This further gives rise to the idea that women are more pressured in our society to look perfect, mainly due to celebrity influence. People have had many more opportunities to see, first hand, what plastic surgery is like and what it can do for others, Fodor said. That can be a strong incentive for them to seek the same benefits by having cosmetic procedures themselves. Television shows in the media also seem to downplay the risks of plastic surgery and only focus on the benefits of looking beautiful. This can further lead to people wanting cosmetic surgery because the media makes it seem so simple. Surgical procedures were up 17 percent on 2003, with liposuction leading the treatment table with more than 478,000 operations, giving more emphasis on the need to be thin in our society. On the non-surgical side, procedures were up 51 percent, with more than 2.8 million people opting for anti-wrinkling botox injections and 1.4 million going in for some laser hair removal. Even men are considering plastic surgery as an ASAPS survey of 1000 Americans found that 21 percent of men interviewed said they would consider cosmetic surgery--an increase of 50 percent from 2003.

Music, Television, and Video Games and Their Effect on Children!

Children today are watching more T.V. than ever. It is estimated that the average child watches from three to five hours of television a day! A lot of the technology today is also filled with violence. Children are very impressionable and the media plays a significant role in shaping behaviors and attitudes. Obviously these media have a big influence on children's' behavior: we can see it in the way they attempt to emulate their favorite rock stars by dressing in a similar style and the way children play games, imitating their favorite cartoon personalities or super heroes. Studies have shown that extensive television viewing may be associated with, aggressive behavior, poor academic performance, precocious sexuality, obesity, and the use of drugs or alcohol. Television, video games, and music are very influential and if there is too much violence available for children to watch, play, or listen to, this can sway their attitudes in a negative direction. However, because the media is so influential, it can have either negative or positive impacts. If television, music, or video games have violent content, people, especially children and adolescents, can be influenced by this not because of the music or television show itself, but because of the artist that they look up to who is encouraging this behavior, making it look cool. Music can be very powerful and there have been numerous stories in the news of teenagers trying to commit suicide or committing crimes and then blaming it on song lyrics. Perhaps the music itself is not such an influential agent, but the artists are and if they are behaving in an unbecoming manner, many kids will try and be like them. There are also examples of music, television, and video games that can have positive impacts. For example, songs that empower women, inspire children and adolescents to make good decisions, and those that are educational can have positive effects on our society. The article describes how examples of music having a positive influence on kids are also prevalent. The girl rap group Salt-N-Pepa, who are often categorized according to their sexual image, also project an image of feminine strength. Cheryl James, a.k.a "Salt," said, "We get compliments from women like, 'You inspired me to get out of an abusive relationship.' It makes me feel good about what I do" (AP Nov. 5). There is also some good examples of music, which brings a more positive feeling to the group. Unfortunately, when it comes to video games, children are more inclined to like games with some sort of violent content. According to the article, the two most preferred categories were games that involved fantasy violence, preferred by almost 32% of subjects; and sports games, some of which contained violent sub themes, which were preferred by more than 29%. These types of games can give some the idea that violence is the best way to deal with problems and conflict. But again, these are only some of the many games that are out there. There are others that include educational and positivity content. For example, there is an entire business dedicated to developing more challenging and interesting software for children's use.
One can see that the media and entertainment industry do have a significant influence on the lives and behavior of children, but it is the choice of the artist, program writer, or celebrity whether or not this content will be positive or negative.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Social Bookmarks (Paper #2)

Social bookmarks can be a very convenient way to find topics of your interest as well as see what other people in the same online community find interesting. It is even helpful to be able to read some of their comments and gain insight on the articles from other perspectives. Sights such as Furl, Diigo, Delicious, and many others are making this possible by allowing you to join, posting your own bookmarks as public, as well as being able to view the bookmarks from many others. You simply type in a topic and many bookmarks come up, which you can sort through and read those which sound interesting to you or those you feel will help you in your research.

One social bookmarking program that I find quite interesting is Diigo. This site allows you to engage in social bookmarking, but also has many other features as well, such as being able to highlight and add sticky notes. You can choose to keep these private, or make them public meaning that others can also see what you highlighted and the comments that you made. This also gives you the opportunity to view the highlights and sticky notes of other bookmarks that you view. Diigo also gives you the opportunity to join groups, in which you can collaborate with others who share the same interests. For example, there have already been diverse groups created, such as those focusing on philosophy, java script, and even finance stock and project management. Diigo also gives you the opportunity to form your own groups if there has not yet been one created focusing on your interests. I have searched through many bookmarks of Diigo users and have profiled two users who I found interesting.

Social book marker, Docbadwrench, is a very consistent book marker. For example, when I searched for articles relating to culture, many results came up, a majority of them being from the same person, Docbadwrench. He has several articles with similar tags and he seems to bookmark many articles at one time, as there are at least 10 articles that it shows him bookmaking just in the last 15 or 16 minutes. He seems to dominate the articles tagged with the word, culture. This person seems to be very interested in video games as they influence culture. Examples of his saved articles include, The New Gamer, The Video Game Revolution, and Donkey Kong. He also seems to hold some interest in politics and the media, as he has saved articles about the media’s coverage of the Iraq war as well as other articles, such as The New Republic.

I also looked through the bookmarks of Kurchatovmachine. This person seems to hole a lot of interest in women, society, and eating disorders. For example, she has saved multiple articles about bulimia, anorexia, depression, menopause, and hair care tips, which are all topics that seem to be mainly targeted to women readers. I noticed that she does not use Diigo nearly as much as Docbadwrench, but she also seems to be a new user of Diigo. Her oldest bookmark was saved only about 4 weeks ago. I predict that a couple months from now because since she has discovered Diigo, she seems to be a consistent user. ave been looking through many Diigo users and have profiled two of its user.

Although social bookmarking can be very convenient, there is some searching still involved. For example, some of the articles may appear informative and interesting from the title, but then turn out to be disappointing and far from what you were expecting. I clicked on one bookmark, which was titled "Pop Culture Influence" thinking that it would be discussing the influence of celebrities and other aspects of the entertainment industry, although, it turned out to be just stories of what celebrities have done lately, such as going to Starbucks. Typing in a topic will give you endless bookmarks with similar tags, but you must be willing to sort through them, bookmarking only those that meet your expectations and interests, which will never be all of them. You must be able to be clear in your searches and use the best words and phrases possible in order to receive the bookmarks closest relating to the topic you are searching for.

Social bookmarking can be a very easy and fun way to share and find articles, however, one must know how to search for what they are looking for. Some topics will be more popular than others, and some topics will prove difficult to find bookmarks relating to them. Although, with more and more people joining in social bookmarking, searching and finding will become much easier and convenient.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Comment on "Dare to Share's 5 Teen Trends of 2007"

You discuss the teen trends that you feel will take place in 2007. For example, you explain how "there will be an increase of teen volunteers or new programs for community involvement managed entirely online." I do feel that teens are volunteering more (especially because it looks good on college applications) , and that the Internet has become a significant medium; however, I do not think that teens will begin isolating themselves in their bedrooms because of it. Teens still enjoy going out with friends and being "out on the town." The Internet and computers do make many things convenient, but I do not think that they are ready to take over the entire lives of a teen. Like you explain, teens will be involved with their community, but will also have the characteristic of staying indoors, downloading things on their iPod, etc. You explain how they exhibit strong individualism as well as communal-ism. You also mentioned how teens will increasingly individualize their beliefs. I agree, I think that many teens today are not afraid to express their beliefs just because their friends have a different view. They are even able to see celebrities express their religious beliefs freely. I think that individualism is really popular, but at the same time, teens are finding other ways to fit in with their peers, religious and other beliefs aside. You also explain how students will no longer see value in formal education as much as street education. I do not agree with this view. I do feel that teens highly value "street education," but I also feel that many see a strong value in formal education as more and more teens are choosing to attend college.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Comment on "Class Starts...While You Are at it Shotgun Your T.V."

Brian, I enjoyed your post about television. I agree with your idea that television is often over consuming the lives of many Americans when they could be out doing things to benefit their families and society as a whole. You mentioned how the average American spends about 3 hours a day watching television. When I think about it, that's a lot of time to be sitting and watching other people when you could be doing something more productive. I actually used to watch a lot of T.V when I was younger, but I'm so busy with school and work now, I hardly ever have time to watch television. But what I do enjoy about t.v. is that it is a good way for me to relax and take my mind off things; however, now that I don't have much time to watch t.v. I enjoy that even better because I feel much more productive. You discussed how you do not watch regular television at all in your house, except to watch an occasional movie. You have also never seen one episode of the OC, Survivor, Grey's Anatomy, or 24. Although, you explained how you did actually watch an episode of American Idol at a friend's house, which turned "normal t.v. viewing into a social occasion." I think that this is such a great idea. I think that television viewing would be so much more entertaining and enjoyable if everyone turned it into a social occasion, just watching t.v. on special occasions with friends and family. I like how you have your kids play computer games for entertainment instead of watching television. And I agree with you, even though playing computer games may not be thought of as very productive either, at least they are required to have thought and interaction to play these games. I do feel that many Americans should stop watching so much t.v., but I don't feel it necessary to give up regular t.v. viewing altogether; just enough so that it is not how a person spends all of their free time when, like you said, they could be doing something good for society and spending quality time with family instead. I look forward to read your future posts.

Monday, February 5, 2007

Critique of Visual Communication (Article) (Survey Results)

How many of us are able to learn more effectively when visuals are used? Visuals can be very helpful learning aids, but to be helpful they must also be presented effectively. The article "Teens and Celebrities" takes a survey and turns it into the form of a chart, which makes the information from the article visual in a way where it can be seen in overview. "Teens and Celebrities" is mainly about teens in relation to celebrities and discusses how teens view and respond to stars. According to the survey taken, the information shows that although teens aspire to be like stars, they don't necessarily view them as role models. The highlights from the survey results are displayed in chart form; however, although this visual that the article provides is very helpful and useful, the information could have been displayed in different ways to present the material more clearly and easily. When I say easier, I mean in a way that can be viewed almost at a glance, without having to view it carefully and slowly.

The survey results could have been made easier to view if made in the form of a bar graph, which would make it easy to distinguish the percentages of teens who voted a certain way. The way that the results are actually laid out are readable and understandable, but it requires that the viewer read through each stat to get the overall percentages of the teens' opinions. A colored bar graph, or even maybe a different layout like a pie chart, would have made the results more interesting to view, as well as easier on the eyes to see the multiple responses at one glance, rather than having to read through the percentages. Seeing multiple images, in this case responses, can sometimes be distracting; however, in this case, being able to view the responses in graph form would make the results more clearly distinguishable and easier to compare.

In this presentation, it is helpful to read the article first and then look at the survey results. If one looks at the survey before reading the article, they are likely to misinterpret the conclusion that the author has come to according to the results. For example, one might see the survey as conveying the idea that teens admire celebrities and some wish that they could be like them. A person might also come to the conclusion that talent, more so than the content of the person, is more important for celebrities to have. These are all possible conclusions to make from the survey; however, they are different from what the article concludes, which is more about how teens do enjoy celebrities and sometimes want to be one, but they do not necessarily view them as role models. The author, Lori Majewski, also points out how the survey results show that we're raising a generation of smart kids because today, children and teens are able to tell the difference between true stars and those who are just looking for good press. She also points out how teens today are volunteering more than ever, showing that the next generation is doing society good and that even one day, stars might aspire to be like them instead of vice-versa. So although the visual does help the presentation, but only after reading the article, it cannot be looked to as a summary of what the article's point is because this allows for misinterpretation. As a result, looking at only the visual without reading the entire article can actually impede what the article's main point is. This can be a good thing because the author probably wants readers to view both the article and the actual survey results, which is what the reader must do to understand the author's main points.

Although the visual of the survey results is not effective by itself and could be made even more effective with a different layout, it is helpful to the article as a whole and maintains simplicity which can often present things more clearly. If one reads the article first, and then views the survey results afterwards, then the visual is very supportive and persuasive to support the information from the article; however, the visual by itself is not helpful in supporting the article and cannot be used as a summary of the article, but only as a supplement to the article. In this way, the visual is effective in supporting the point of the article.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Resources and Blogs (1)

It can be quite frustrating when writers ramble about ideas and facts that seem to come out of nowhere. To prevent this irritating experience, I have added many resources and blogs to my page, which will be helpful not only in the postings, but also in the understanding of my blog. My resources include everything from surveys, articles, and tables that relate to the entertainment industry, societal trends, or to the correlation between the two. If interested in celebrities, media topics, or the entertainment industry in general, there can also be multiple blogs found on the Internet relating to these subjects. The blogs that I have linked to my page discuss controversy in the news media, the abuse of women in society, and problems in the fashion industry.

Two of my resources include surveys and tables, which contain data that will help me with future postings. One resource, titled "Survey: Teens and Celebrities," gives insight as to how teens feel about celebrities and their overall influence by them. However, the survey seems to ask the teens only hypothetical and "what if" questions as opposed to asking them about their own experiences with celebrities and the things that they have actually done or changed about themselves due to being exposed to celebrities; although, this resource is still helpful in understanding where some teens stand when it comes to celebrities. The table, titled "Entertainment and Media Industry Overview," gives information on how much money consumers spend on television, movies, music, and many other types of consumer entertainment. This table gives an understanding of exactly how much most Americans are exposed to different aspects of the entertainment industry. I have also linked a list of entertainment industry topics, which gives a sense of the multiple aspects throughout the entertainment industry, as opposed to just focusing on actors, singers, and models. For example, before looking through this list, I never thought to consider athletes as well as professional sports, as apart of my topic; however, they are also apart of the entertainment industry. The list also gives a good idea as to what all the entertainment industry entails for those who are unsure. Another resource that I have included, "Cultural Trends," is a list of websites that keep up with current cultural trends, which is very helpful because I can see what current trends are taking place and relate them to trends in the entertainment industry. The last resource I have included, "Celebrity Influence," is like an Internet magazine created by students, which discusses everything in pop culture from body image and appearance, to how celebrities are constantly playing a role in the things we buy and the way we act.

The blogs that I have linked are also related to the entertainment industry and society. They all discuss certain aspects of the entertainment industry and relate it to impacting the lives of Americans. Four out of the seven blogs that I have linked are blogs from My Space, which are viewed by a wide range audience, and also seem to be tapping into the same online community. Whoever the writer has as "friends" will by exposed to their blogs, as well as any others who are searching for blogs about how celebrities, television, or fashion is impacting American culture. For example, in the blog, "Godfather of Domestic Violence," the writer explains how celebrities accused of abusing or mistreating women are either not punished at all or punished very lightly, which sets women at a low standard in society. The writer is focused on getting society to view women with more respect and value. The blog "Discrimination in the Fashion Industry," explains how thin models and actresses are creating trends in culture, causing people to want to be thinner and have certain body images. This is also influencing the fashion industry, as the writer describes how clothes are being designed only for those with ideal body types and not for those with heavier figures. The goal of this blog is to create "more beauty and positive energy in this world," and to make our society see all body types as ideal and not just those of famous celebrities and models.

Another blog, "Celebrity Magazines," discusses how celebrity magazines tend to try to make celebrities appear as if they are "just like us" as they show them eating hamburgers and tying their shoes. The writer of this blog feels that this is condescending. This also shows how celebrity magazines expose us to the lives of celebrities even more, impacting our culture further. However, although this blog discusses how celebrity magazines "irk" her, it does not mention anyhitng about how these magazines actually do influence society and culture, as much as it discusses some of the irritating tendencies of celebrity magazines. The last My Space blog is "Class Starts...While You Are at It, Shotgun Your T.V." This blog discusses how television has become apart of our culture and is consuming the lives of many Americans. The writer of this blog feels that we would have a much better society if we got rid of television. One can see how the blogs included from My Space are similar in that they think that certain forms of entertainment are negatively affecting our society.

Another blog that I have linked is "Dare To Share's Top 5 Teen Trends of 2007." However, unlike the above mentioned blogs, this one is reaching out to a different audience. It is not so much addressing audiences interested in the entertainment industry and its influence, but more to audiences with religious backgrounds as the blog is religious based. It does not discuss celebrities or entertainment; however, the teen trends that the writer discusses will be useful in comparing them to those trends in the media. I have also linked the blog, "Mass Media," which discusses how the media and news channels are covering more and more stories about celebrities and entertainment. Since their content is based on public opinion, they cover stories that the public wants to hear and that they are entertained by, which shows our culture's high interest in these topics. However, this blog seems to be catering to an audience whose interest is in journalism because of its focus on news content. The goal of this blog is to have news with more educational content and content which requires more thinking about societal and global issues, as opposed to current celebrity hook-ups and weddings. The last blog that I have linked is "Celebrities," which is similar to that of "Mass Media" because the writer explains how our society focuses more on celebrities and their whereabouts, as opposed to more serious subjects like the war in Iraq. The goal of this blog, similar to that of "Mass Media," is to get our society to focus more on other issues as opposed to focusing on celebrity news.

Although my resources and blogs contain different material and are not all reaching out to the same audience, they are all related to the entertainment industry, society, and culture in some way. They will all aid in my postings, making them richer with other insight, facts, and information.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Annotation and Commentary on the article, "Do Thin Models Warp Girls' Body Image?" (2)

Do Thin Models Warp Girls' Body Image? (USA Today Article)
(bold italics are directly taken from article)

How many of us have either tried fad diets, or have gone as far as liposuction to be as thin as Paris or Nicole? Well, USA Today reporter Nanci Hellmich discusses some of the reasons why our society is obsessed with being thin. As an experienced reporter and journalist, she has written countless articles relating to societal health issues. She is significantly popular and her many other articles can be found by doing a quick Google search on her name. Her article, Do Thin Models Warp Girls' Body Image, outlines a major reason why so many girls have body image issues. Hellmich mainly attributes these problems to the thin models and actresses in the fashion industry, and the entire entertainment industry as a whole. All women, especially young girls who are very impressionable, see thin women on television and in magazines and look at themselves as if their bodies are not ideal in our society: unnatural thinness is a terrible message to send out. The people watching the fashion shows are young, impressionable women. Furthermore, the fashion and entertainment industry have gone too far in pushing a dangerously thin image that women, even young girls, may try to emulate. This is not only unhealthy to the individuals, but also to society as a whole.

Foreign countries, such as Britain and Milan, have expressed concern in the thinness of the models, but Hellmich explains experts say consumers in the USA will have to demand models with fuller figures for it to happen here. Our society has become so obsessed with thinness that being slim is the only body image seen as ideal, whereas other body types, which may not be as slender or ideally proportional, are never seen as perfect in our society. Our culture has become so intrigued by the promotion of thin and sexy that the majority of women and girls in our society do not like their bodies. Not only is our culture of skinny women and perfect body image affecting people mentally, but it is affecting the health of many as well, since body image issues are likely to lead to anorexia and other eating disorders. The article says, body dissatisfaction can lead girls to participate in very unhealthy behaviors to try to control weight. One idea that struck me the most was that as a culture, we are on a first-name basis with women like Paris Hilton or Nicole Richie. The most celebrated, recognizable women today are famous primarily for being thin and pretty, while women who are actually changing the world remain comparatively invisible. Most of us have a harder time naming women of other accomplishments. The idolizing of models, stars and other celebrities is not going to change until pop culture changes the women it celebrates and focuses on. Our culture has become so celebrity and Hollywood driven that celebrities who are thin and beautiful and who don't contribute much else to society are often more well known than women who actually have significantly contributed to society. However, because some of these women are not as beautiful as Paris or Nicole, they are not displayed in the media as much as these girls. I must admit, I could probably name more celebrities than I could inspirational women who have made some contribution to humanity.

Because our society and culture expose us so much to beautiful and thin models and actresses, our culture has taken this to mean that everyone should look this way; in other words, perfect. The entertainment and fashion industry need to do a better job with displaying diversity. They need to show models and actresses of all shapes and sizes on television and in the magazines so that our society can see multiple body types and figures as beautiful. Culturally, we need to stray away from perfect appearance and focus more on true happiness. This should not include having the perfect body, as is portrayed in Hollywood. I think that this article does a good job in explaining how body image is a problem in our culture, and how this should not be ignored by the fashion and entertainment industry in America.

Nanci Hellmich's numerous articles can potentially be very helpful in my blog postings because she discusses a lot about societal issues and includes current trends and facts; however, my blog differs in the fact that I am mainly focusing on the many aspects of the entertainment industry affecting societal trends, and not just on societal issues alone. While Hellmich's audience includes many USA Today readers and those who are interested in societal problems and trends, mine will hopefully include some of the same audience, as well as those who have any interest in the entertainment industry.

Monday, January 22, 2007


The blog, "Celebrities," by Pinky Rocko is about our media's focus on celebrities and their whereabouts as opposed to other more serious subjects, such as the war in Iraq or plane crashes, which killed hundreds of people. Pinky relates to this subject just as any other person who pays attention to what is currently being talked about in the media and entertainment buzz. Pinky seems to post frequently. There seem to be new posts at least once a day, sometimes twice a day throughout this month. However, I do not think that the site has become too popular yet. It is difficult to find it on Technorati or other general searches. Pinky even mentions in one of her blogs that she has only a few regular readers.

This blog is not something that will always have subjects that relate to my field of study; however, it is clear that Pinky follows what is in the headlines and what major things are happening in the U.S. media and entertainment industry. With this in mind, I know that she will often have opinions or comments about current media events and trends, and hopefully she will continue to include her thoughts on its lack of focus on other more important topics and its irrelevancy towards reality. After reading many of Pinky's other posts, I have discovered that it is not a very scholarly or academic post, as it is more a journal of her thoughts and experiences. Some posts are detailed and others are shorter; however, very few of the posts seem to be rich in useful information. Although, the post about celebrities is one of the more detailed of her posts. I am unable to see the comments made because I think they are private, but I would think that Pinky's audience includes mainly women, seeing as many of her titles even include the word "women" in them, such as the post titled "Many American Women Prefer to be Single." Many of her subjects are also subjects in which it seems that only women would take interest. However, I feel that they are relevant to my subject because they are a significant part of societal trends as well as viewers of the entertainment industry and the media as a whole. I think that this blog might feed my work occasionally when Pinky discusses more about how celebrities are affecting our media structure, which is ultimately affecting our society. It will also help to see what trends Pinky and other women who read her blogs are currently taking part in.

My site will differ significantly from Pinky Rocko's. Pinky's site is more of a journal, which only sometimes displays posts about celebrities and current entertainment and media trends, whereas my site is focusing mainly on the entertainment industry and its correlation to society, culture, and its affect on everyone who lives in America.

(link to the Celebrity post is in my link list)

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Reply to "Godfather of Domestc Violence"

(This is a repost of a comment left on a blog about celebrity power...)

Danielle, you write: "This is a strange country we live in isn't it? And for many many MANY reasons. One of the crazy aspects of our American culture is how we interpret the private lives, struggles, and criminal behavior of celebrities."

I agree with many of the things that you have to say. For example, I feel that we do sometimes look at celebrities like they are perfect; and most of the time we have never even met them in person! Like you mentioned, celebrities are almost always able to escape the law or get special treatment in many other ways as well. However, just because they are talented in certain aspects, such as in singing or acting, this does not mean that they are not flawed in many other aspects of their lives as well. Although, because all that we usually see is their talent and personalities on television and in the media, we are blinded by this and we tend to forget that just like us, they are also humans, and also make mistakes. However, they are often either not punished at all, or not punished as intensely as others who are not considered to have celebrity status when it comes to breaking the law.

You also write: "Despite [James] Brown's history of violence against women, we continue to reward the accomplishments he made to the music world. I could never doubt the power, soul, and downright badassness of James Brown, but at the same time I cannot doubt that he commited criminally violent acts against women."

You explain how James Brown treated women poorly, but is still looked to as an icon by many. You also go on to explain how this is demeaning and shows that our society does not completely value women. I feel that this makes perfect since and enforces the idea that women are still not where we should be in this society. This also continues to show how the talents of celebrities can often out shine their sometimes poor behavior and character flaws. Our society seems to forget a celebrity's criminal behavior once they come out with a successful new movie or record. And I am stunned at the guy you mentioned who went on to win an Oscar after he was charged with raping a 13-year old girl in 1977, and never even served his sentence after fleeing to France! I agree with your idea that abusing women should have consequences no matter what; no matter how talented you are. I also feel that many of these celebrities who get away with so much are setting a terrible example for the youth in this society. They are violent towards women, but are still admired and awarded, simply because they have talent.

Now don't get me wrong; I do not at all hate or dislike all celebrities. I feel that there are many out there who use their fame and fortune for good causes, which help better our society. However, I also feel that there are far too many celebrities out there who abuse their fame and power in order to escape the law or for other purposes as well.
by Mervyn
4:28:00 PM
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Monday, January 15, 2007

The Entertainment Industry's Effect On Society (3)

How many people do you know who have favorite celebrities and look for them in magazines or movies to see what the next hair or fashion trend is? I must admit, I also often look in celebrity magazines to see what the stars are up to and to scope out the "hot" new trends. However, this has brought me to the realization that the entertainment industry is constantly changing our perceptions of who we are and is highly responsible for our changing cultural trends. People look at celebrities and completely change their own views and ideals in order to match what they see as perfection. Why is it that many people cannot see an average middle class family as ideal? People want more money, the ideal career, and a Range Rover. The simple things are becoming less and less appreciated as people look to those people with more wealth to see how they are living in comparison to their own lives. People want something more, something bigger. The media and the entertainment industry are constantly in view and have a huge impact on our societal trends. These aspects of the entertainment industry in our society remind us of how the rich and the famous live. We cannot escape the magazine covers, constant advertisements, or the entire entertainment industry in general. All aspects of the entertainment industry overwhelm our society and are highly responsible for our changing perceptions and trends.

For example, there are numerous television shows which make many look at their own lives, causing them to suddenly want something different. Television shows such as "Top Model" and "The Fabulous Life Of..." are perfect examples. "Top Model" displays tall, thin, beautiful girls as the ideal "top model." This makes many young girls wish to be thinner with perfect bodies and untouchable beauty. Their own image of themselves becomes distorted as they see what is considered as beautiful in our society. "The Fabulous Life Of..." shows celebrity lives, including the places they go, their extravagant homes, and over the top vacations, which are out of reach for many who are not fortunate enough to make millions. This show makes families and people of lower economic status feel as if their lives and the things that they do for fun or for pleasure suddenly aren't as good as the many celebrities who can afford to do whatever they desire.

Divorce is also much more common in our society, and it is no surprise that this trend is seen with celebrity couples. Celebrities are getting divorces almost everyday. It now seems that divorce is expected with those couples who are in the media. Because these divorces are publicized as normal, and even sometimes as a good thing, this has allowed our society to look at divorce and view it with less and less significance. There is hardly any negativity carried along with divorce anymore. Marriage seems to have become the trial run as opposed to dating. Celebrity couples have created a divorce trend, and in turn, have created the meaning of divorce to not really have much meaning anymore. Divorce is now looked to as extremely common, which is another example of how celebrities and the industry are changing our own perceptions.

Cosmetic surgery has also swept through our society and is becoming increasingly common as people want to look like their favorite celebrity and be more beautiful. Television shows, such as "I Want a Famous Face," "Extreme Makeover," and "Dr. 90210," make plastic surgery seem almost as if it is "the thing to do." "I Want a Famous Face" takes mainly teens and tries to transform them into looking like a certain celebrity by giving them multiple cosmetic surgery procedures. This is absolutely ridiculous. This sends out a message that a person's own identity is not good enough. "Extreme Makeover" and "Dr. 90210" make plastic surgery seem like simple procedures and send out the message that a person should get plastic surgery if they do not feel that they have the perfect body. Things seem as if there is no excuse not to have the perfect look, since there is the option of plastic surgery. Celebrities are also getting plastic surgery to better their appearance, most of the time because they think that it will help their career. This trend makes it even harder on our society, making it seem as if a person must be perfect to be successful in this business. This has changed many people into constantly thinking that they are not good enough or good looking enough, which then causes lack of self-fulfillment.

Although I do feel that the entertainment industry has negatively affected the minds of people in society, I do not believe that the entertainment industry is bad. I just think that many aspects of this industry, such as those mentioned above, need to be recognized and changed somehow so that our minds are not clouded with this idea of celebrity perfection. Self-fulfillment and confidence are key ingredients for true happiness, but these ingredients are becoming hard to obtain. The media and entertainment industry are constantly sending out messages of what perfection is, making it difficult for some to be happy and content with the way they are. Why do we look to celebrities and the media for guidelines as to what should make a person happy when we should be happy with what we already have? Yes, it is good to want more and strive for higher goals; however, until a person reaches that state, it is important for them to be content with where they are, no matter the way they look, or the amount of money they make. I want our society to stop looking to television shows, movies, and celebrities for what the "perfect" or "ideal" life is. Studying this topic over the next few months will help me to understand what creates this obsession with the entertainment industry and all of its components, which could further help myself and others to know how this might be changed. Looking to the entertainment industry for just that, entertainment, and not as the guide to a perfect life, will help many to be more satisfied and happier with who they are. The entertainment industry will always have an effect on societal trends; however, we need to work towards the idea of these effects being positive on society. Transforming models and actors into more average looking people would be a huge start; although, it will take a tremendous amount of societal change, as well as a change from huge corporations, which is not an easy task. With more people expressing concern over the negative images that the entertainment industry is creating, there will only be an increased chance that things might change for the better.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

First Post

This is my first post, yay!