Thursday, October 31, 2013

Post #3

An ad for Equinox gyms by controversial photographer Terry Richardson
In Gloria Steinem's "Sex, Lies and Advertising" she recounts the difficulty of finding ads that fit and advertisers willing to fit the message of her feminist magazine Ms. She also highlights one undeniable fact about advertising and magazines; magazines need ads in order to remain affordable to readers. Ad revenue is also a sign of a magazine's success. Those textbook-sized September issues of fashion magazines are full of ads and advertisers willing to pay for ad space, sort of like the Superbowl of magazines. Magazines offer access to a large audience of potential customers. 

Advertisers didn't see Ms. mag readers as potential customers. She had to convince companies that women cared about technology and cars and that these weren't things that only men cared about. She even struggled with products typically marketed to women. She recounts a lunch with the president of Estee Lauder when he explicitly tells her that the Ms. woman is not an Estee Lauder woman because Estee Lauder sells the image of a "kept-woman." 

They were also unwilling to alter their ads even slightly for her magazine. She was worried about sexist images because advertisers typically present stereotypical images of masculinity and femininity and lazily rely on sex to sell products. Steinem was extremely careful when getting advertisers for Ms. because of how powerful the messages in advertising can be. Kilbourne states, "They sell values, images and concepts of success worth, love and sexuality, popularity and normalcy. They tell us who we are and what we should be. Sometimes they sell us addictions." The influence and impact of ads is impossible to ignore. Often you aren't being sold a product but a lifestyle. For example, car ads don't just sell you a car, they sell you the idea of luxury, freedom, social status or even safety. 
A controversial Swiffer Ad

Madonna photoshopped before and after for Dolce & Gabbana
When advertisers rely on gender stereotypes, sexism and a narrow representation of men and women, this is when the ads become dangerous. The women of ads are often thin, white, young and photoshopped; this skewers the perception of beauty. Advertisers even rely on sex to sell their products, exploiting and objectifying women and young girls. In ads towards men, women are often objects while men are in roles of power. In ads towards women, women are given a plethora of things to worry about: weight, hair, body hair, pores, eyelashes, lips and so on. The result is that people, from young girls to older women are lead to believe that these unattainable images are how they are supposed to look or be. Magazine covers display "FABULOUS AT 50!" beside an actress' smiling face as if it's some great feat because the women ads present as beautiful are often young; and if they aren't they're photoshopped to look that way. Thin is seen as the ideal body type and a majority of the ads presented towards women are about diet, controlling what you and are rarely about exercising or actually being healthy. 

Our current ad landscape is no different from the one Steinem had to navigate. Advertisers are unwilling to change their outdated methods. Overtly sexist images are still being used to sell everything from cars to cheeseburgers. How can we change this? Advertisers should realize that people are smart and the ads should be smart too and not rely on just sex and sexist stereotypes. They should also realize that people come in all colors, shapes and sizes and want to see representations of themselves. Lastly, if a product is good, people will buy it. 

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Alternative Media: Response, Identity, and Roles (Presentation: Group 6)

     Alternative media provide alternative information to the mainstream media, whether commercially or government-owned. It is found in any and all traditional media outlets, such as radio, TV, movies, and, of course, the news. The biggest criteria to establish whether an institution is alternative or not is self-identification.

     Alternative media challenges prevailing ideologies, represents the under-represented, and connects people within communities of interest. It is different from the mainstream media in terms of content, internal structure, distribution, and production, which is especially important in the digital age.

     The way we consume media has obviously changed over the years, so digital alternative media will be the focus of our discussion. 

     Digital Platforms provide an ideal environment for alternative media, in which consumers can easily become producers bypassing the traditional gate-keepers. User-created media is not profit-driven (at least yet) and for that, we love it. In fact, "the Internet runs on love", as Clay Shirky puts it in his writings on the social impact of Internet.

     Recognizing the growing popularity and trust, which digital media receives from its audience, businesses as well as individuals spend more and more money on it and that is a sure sign of its relevance.
     Structurally independent media organization can be close to the vertical hierarchies found in its mainstream counterpart (for example, the Village Voice) or very far from them, such as the social media where production comes built-in with the program, so very little actual staff is required to maintain it.
     Curiously, popularity of same institutions is inversely related to the previous statistic. Social media sites are by far the most popular alternative media outlets.

     Producing alternative media for many people means having the opportunity to create one's own images of self and environment as opposed to those imposed on us by the mainstream media.  
     Jezebel magazine is one example of an alternative news source that is structurally very similar to a traditional publication but is very different content-wise. It is a feminist blog aimed at women's interests under the tagline "Celebrity, Sex, Fashion for Women. Without Airbrushing". Established in 2007, it now has more than 200,000 visitors each day (to compare with New York Post's daily circulation of 500,000 - so it is getting there!).

      Another example of an alternative online publication is the Rookie Magazine. Started in 2010 by Tavi Gevinson, who is still in high school by the way, it targets teenage girls and features posts by staff members as well as readers. Subject matter ranges from pop culture and fashion to adolescent social issues. Here is a short clip from Tavi Gevinson's TedTalk explaining why she created her blog:

     When we were discussing the idea of alternative media, we came up with the metaphor of a media funnel, where you have these traditional media sources like major newspapers and magazines, being funneled through and collected in micro blogging platforms like twitter and tumblr. 
     Tumblr was founded in 2007 by David Karp, and since then has amassed 143.3 million individual blogs, and 65.1 billions posts. It allows you to customize everything, from the interface of your page to the content in your posts. You can post your own work, and then people have the ability to spread it by “rebloging.” The content is completely user derived, and what is more alternative than that? The site averages around 84 million posts a day. 

    Tumblr is where niches come to live and thrive; it lets people from all over the world find others who have similar interests, and connect with each other. For instance, the Riot Grrrl movement, which was very active in the 90’s experienced somewhat of a resurgence through tumblr. Search the tag and you will find flyers that girl most likely passed around high school hallway in the 90’s scanned and reblogged thousands of times for a whole new generation of girls to see and feel empowered by.  

     The platform can be educational too, with info-graphics floating around that make you pay attention to facts you might have otherwise overlooked. 

      As far as gender, females take the majority, but not by much. Female users are at 52% while males are 48%, so this kind of information has a chance of reaching both genders equally. The majority of users are young adult 18-24, which means they are of legal voting age. With important information being disseminated through these platforms, it can make young adults more informed and perhaps influence their political decisions. 

     Ok, so sure the freedom of speech in a global platform is great and all, what does it do for us, and how does it effect our culture? Tumblr can be used for many things. One of things being criticized are self harm blogs.  These have been a recent trouble for tumblr, so much so that tumblr had to implement a new policy on the matter.

     Tumblr states:

"Our Content Policy has not, until now, prohibited blogs that actively promote self-harm. These typically take the form of blogs that glorify or promote anorexia, bulimia, and other eating disorders; self-mutilation; or suicide. These are messages and points of view that we strongly oppose, and don’t want to be hosting... For example, joking that you need to starve yourself after Thanksgiving or that you wanted to kill yourself after a humiliating date is fine, but recommending techniques for self-starvation or self-mutilation is not."

     As a result of this tumblr started banning all content related to "thinsparation" for promoting communities known as proana (anorexia nervosa and pro-Mia bulimia)

     However these negative communities are a minority on tumblr. Tumblr is full of its little communities. As Paula stated there are numerous other blogs that are used to spread activism and informative messages. 

     Such as femblr which informs its subscribers on feminist news, or fitblr which provides people with tips on how to live a healthy lifestyles through diet and excerise and not starvation, and even blogs that inform people how to live a chemical free lifestyle by giving them recipes for homemade soaps and cleaners. 

     Lastly as we all know yahoo just recently acquired tumblr, and last week we discussed ownership and how it effects content. Our question to he class is: Do you think that the content can remain alternative even with the acquisition of a mainstream media conglomerate. Like yahoo and tumblr and Facebook and Instagram.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Project Proposal: People Like Us (Photography, Self Presentation, Gender, Comfort)

Peter, A Young English Girl by Romaine Brooks
Janelle Monáe

Eddie Izzard
            As I was contemplating my project idea, I had an interesting (and frustrating) conversation with my mother. I was doing some research on the computer and my mom noticed a difference in the “sexy” Halloween costumes for women (women are posing in the costumes on the packages) embedded in the article I was reading and the “normal” costumes for men. My mom turned the conversation to whether feminine is sexy and vice versa. I responded that feminine doesn’t have to be sexy, and that both terms deserve their own definitions from individuals, not what is being reinforced by cultural norms. I was curious about her definition of feminine and she said: “You are. You have soft features and you are gentle.” I laughed internally at this description. I don’t consider myself to be very feminine. However, that doesn’t mean I consider myself to be very masculine. Nor does it mean I find anything wrong with femininity. In fact, I don’t identify with the buzz descriptors I often come across in academic and social media: “butch,” “femme,” “queer,” etc. They don’t apply to me, and as cliché as it sounds, I’d prefer not to be in any specific category of self presentation and identification. There are terms I cling to. They might change. I feel comfortable sharing them with very few people because if I try to, people are uninformed. 

Even my mother, who was a young woman in the ‘70s, the age of androgynous and unisex fashions, does not seem to understand this idea. She grew up outside of the normative Western, American values about sartorial choices. She even dressed me in an androgynous style from time to time. She may not have considered it an androgynous style but a substitute teacher of a similar cultural background but from a different generation once called me “modest [insert my alliterative last name]” all because I did not conform enough to the femininity she was aware of. From the second grade, certain cultural ideas were imposed on me, but it didn’t phase me until much later.

I plan on taking a series of photos to ultimately piece together in a photo essay. I would like to take pictures of people, mostly women, in their ideal image of their self presentation. I will not expect my subjects to significantly alter their appearance: this is mostly a sartorial experiment. They should also own or borrow items they find aesthetically pleasing and represent them. The next portion of the project will be a brief interview about what their outfit, makeup, jewelry, etc. means to them. How would they describe their appearance? What do those key words mean to them? Most importantly, I will ask them why they might feel uncomfortable appearing as their ideal self in public. It could be a number of reasons, some which I personally experience. This will not be a multiple choice based interview, but for the sake of the proposal I will list some reasons: anxiety about the male gaze, anxiety about judgment from people in general, societal expectations about gender scripts, fear of calling attention, desire to call attention, avoiding harassment, etc. I will ask about their style icons. Perhaps I will do a side by side photo of how they usually appear in public. 

I will try to recruit my friends, perhaps my brother, and my mother to be subjects in my project. I will make a flyer to recruit more subjects as well. I will put these flyers up around campus. I will contact acquaintances on social media platforms and ask if they would like to be involved in the form of an open call. I will ask classmates if they would like to be subjects. Because I will be working around other people’s schedules, I will be working sporadically. I will bring my camera to school, work, in transit, on walks, etc. to find inspiration and to be ready at any given moment all throughout November. I will publish it either on Flickr or make a separate blog for the project. If another media platform is brought to my attention, I will consider that suggestion, too. I will dedicate this project to my mother and anyone else who is curious and/or uninformed about the varied perspectives an individual has of their self presentation, body, sartorial choices, and level of comfort about how they are viewed by others. As someone who dislikes the abstract, I will try my best to make the photographs and accompanying text as concrete as possible. I need to practice my photography, specifically posed photographs of people. Hopefully this project develops into a habit—one of constantly practicing and not neglecting the things I am passionate about.


Baur, Gabrielle, dir. Venus Boyz. Prod. Kurt Maeder, and Nina Froriep. First Run Features, 2002. Film. 19 Oct 2013.
Braukämper, Tania. "Feminised masculinity: street style." N.p., 25 Jul 2012. Web. 19 Oct. 2013. <>.
Bush, Richard. Trip Hop. from Vogue Russia. 2012. Photographs. Web. 19 Oct 2013. <>.
Empire, Kitty. "Janelle Monáe: why she made the headlines in 2010." Guardian. (2010): Web. 19 Oct. 2013. <>.
Greif, Alex. "Final Project: "Past Patriarchy" ." Women and Media SP2012. Blogspot, 12 May 2012. Web. 19 Oct. 2013. <>.
Shumway, Brian. True Men. Photographs. Web. 19 Oct 2013. <>.
Shyer, Allie. "Fat Queer Tells All: On Fatness and Gender Flatness." Autostraddle. (2013): Web. 19 Oct. 2013. <>.
Simpson, Lorna. "Selected Photographic Works." Salon 94. Web. 19 Oct 2013. <>.
Wade, Lisa. "Dressing Ourselves: Gendered Versus Unisex Pants." Sociological Images. (2009): Web. 26 Oct. 2013. <>.
Wade, Lisa. "Sexy Femininity and Gender Inequality." Sociological Images. (2011): Web. 19 Oct. 2013. <>.
Weems, Carrie Mae. "Bodies of Work." Web. 19 Oct 2013. <>.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Project Proposal

            My final project I wanted to make a video addressing the influence of twerking. Twerking is a form of dancing where one moves their hips up and down in a bouncing motion making the buttocks shake vigorously.  In my research I’m trying to find the origin, which is difficult because it has similar qualities of other dancing. I chose this topic because I realized the impact this may have on people through pop culture. Music videos in general objectify women where the only attributes that are shown are women in little clothing showing off their physical features.  A perfect example is how Miley Cyrus performed at Video Music Awards where she twerked while performing.  When the VMA’s aired it had over 10 million viewers, a substantial amount of viewers the possible effects of viewers and fans seeing a celebrity tweaking are endless.

            The reason I chose this topic is because I see this in so much on a regularly basis. I go to parties and see women blatant objectified. These women go on stages and they twerk on stage because it is what they see in everyday media. In the video attached is a video I personally recorded of women twerking on stage these women see it as a talent or something.  Also below is a tutorial video on how to twerk, the video had over 17 million views. There is obviously people curious or want to learn how to do it.


           I plan to spread this video through the social network of twitter. I chose Twitter because it has most potential of exposure. My twitter account has over twenty- five thousand followers, which will hopefully have a domino effect through retweeting. I’m looking forward to the different responses that I’ll get after followers see this video.  Sometimes people understand things when you expose them to a different viewpoint that has always been apparent, which I hope to do with this project.  

            The research on this project is difficult part of this project. This isn’t any scholarly papers on this topic, which might make me broaden the topic to some form of provocative dancing. Most of the research are visuals images that really speak for themselves with maybe voiceovers explain why this is a problem. This project will fit into my portfolio because it expresses an idea through visual arts, which I really enjoy doing.  

            The power that media has is so powerful in this day and age. Media is around us so much that as a society it is almost imbedded into our heads. Media is on our phones, computers, on the trains we take, the cabs we ride in, billboards, the music we listen to, there is no way to escape it. We as a society must be in control the media we intake, choosing what to read, what to watch, different perspectives in the news and ultimately thinking for ourselves.  Media is brainwashing as a society to change this we have to negate useless media that we are surrounded by that makes use neglected what is going on everyday around the world. The most powerful thing you can be on this earth is informed.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Term Project Proposal : Unisex Alternatives

      For my semester project I have decided to produce a faux magazine mock-up for my portfolio. It took me a while to decide to what demographic to cater to. I then had an epiphany: why should I just cater to one demographic? During one of the lectures Professor Cacoilo had made a statement along the lines of “My job will be fulfilled once I no longer have to teach this course. Why should we have one specific course for ‘Women’s Media’? It should just be Media." We have women’s: art, history, Literature, etc.

      I realized that not only does society impose this segregation in academics, but in everyday living. From day one of birth, boys are given blue, and girls are assigned pink.Why is should this even be a discussion? This format goes onto adulthood on multiple platforms including but not limited to: clothes, electronics, toys, films, fragrances, and even cinema. After all there is a whole industry for ‘chick flicks’.My objective for this magazine will be to further blur the lines of gender imposed limitation, and hopefully branch out to other demographics. Why should a fragrance be deemed too girly or manly? After all it ultimately doesn't matter, since it’s our body’s chemistry that determines our scent. 

       The magazine is expected to include numerous socially friendly – and occasional risqué – gender bending tips. Like all magazines I will make an effort to include: articles, main events, news, and hopefully literature and critiques on social issues.I will also make an effort to create a lot of my own content for the magazine - like short essays and provocative editorials. The main goal of this publication  is to provide unisex alternatives, however the magazine might likely also include other topics to add variety. That is why would like to call the magazine  something along the lines of Unimedia. As a play on words like: unity, unisex, and university, since it’ll most likely largely be distributed around campus. However at the moment the content is being developed as priority before I can fully grasp the direction this project can go.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Starving Yourself Pretty

My final project is going to be a short documentary about eating disorders among preteen, teenage and college age females.This project fits my portfolio and my lifestyle due to the fact that I one day hope to go into the Mental Health field, and I believe that eating disorders are quickly becoming one of the most serious health epidemics in the world, with 20 million women and 10 million men suffering from a clinically significant eating disorder in their lifetimes (these are only the reported cases,most cases are not reported at all and therefore the statistic is likely to be much higher). As we can see, females are affected by eating disorders at twice the rate of men, if not more. Eating disorders may vary, and include anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder or an eating disorder not otherwise specified (EDNOS). Eating disorders are debilitating, all consuming, and highly dangerous.  Anorexia, for example, has the highest mortality rate of any psychiatric disorder, and for females between fifteen to twenty four years of age who suffer from anorexia, the mortality rate is twelve times higher than the death rate of all other causes of death. Eating disorders affect women across all races and ethnicities; The prevalence of eating disorders is similar among Non-Hispanic Whites, Hispanics, African Americans, and Asians in the United States. Eating disorders do not discriminate when it comes to age either: It is reported that around half of girls in elementary school (age 6 to 12) will begin having body image and weight concerns, as well as body dysmorphic thoughts, and these concerns often follow them throughout their lifetimes. For children under 12, hospitalizations for eating disorders increased by 119% between 1999 and 2006. 

The media, especially its representation of women,  is a significant source of much of this body dysmorphia and can be considered a direct cause of many eating disorders. The average child or adolescent spends about 7 hours a day viewing various sources of media, including television, the internet, music, ect. All of these various sources of media promote unhealthy body ideals: magazine covers and advertisements often display stick-thin, digitially altered models. The models shown in many of these have bodies that weigh up to 20% below what would be considered healthy. In addition to that, the rise of use of software such as photoshop, people are digitally made even skinnier. From an early age, people are conditioned to think that that is the norm while in reality it is extremely unhealthy and unobtainable. Many people are unable to differentiate between what is real and what is shown. A gross example of this is when Kelly Clarkson had a cover of Self magazine with the issues theme being total body confidence, her own images were slimmed down digitally to the point of not being recognizable.

Social Media plays a HUGE role in eating disorders as well. With the advent of picture aggregators such as tumblr and pinterest, as well as the prevalence of "selfies", it is now easier than ever to compare yourself to other women. Entire communities have been built on these social media platforms: just do a search for "pro-ana" on tumblr or pinterest, and you'll find girls giving each other "thinspiration", as well as extreme diet tips and exercise regimes. The "thigh gap" measuring phenomenon is a great example of this, and has become unhealthily popular as a way of measuring attractivenenss, being upheld as an achievement on sites like Facebook, Tumblr, and highly popular websites like The Chive . Social media itself recognizes its influence on body image as seen when the website pinterest had to take measures against "thinspiration" boards that made young women extremely self conscious of their weight and lead some towards a disorder. 

I am making this documentary because I believe that is it a growing issue that is not talked about in our society. While women face extreme pressures to attain beauty, many seem to be convinced that starving yourself is the only way to attain such unrealistic ideals. I hope to make this for the general population, because I believe that only through education, awareness, and discussion, we would be able to fully address this problem. I plan to distribute it using social media and video uploading websites such as youtube and vimeo. I also plan to provide it as educational material to organizations that focus on awareness and education of eating disorders, such as the National Eating Disorders Association.

October-  further research, both online and through published studies. Find subjects to interview, including people suffering from ED, people who are affected by others suffering ED, and experts in the field.

November- Interview and film subjects,

December- Editing using Final Cut, Contact media and mental health outlets in regards to the documentary, posting the documentary on public online websites.

Altman, S. E., &Shankman, S. A. (2009). What is the association between obsessive-compulsive disorder and eating disorders? Clinical Psychology Review, 29, 638-646.
Arcelus, J., Mitchell, A. J., Wales, J., & Nielsen, S. (2011). Mortality rates in patients with Anorexia Nervosa and other eating disorders. Archives of General Psychiatry, 68(7), 724-731.
Boutelle, K., Neumark-Sztainer, D.,Story, M., &Resnick, M. (2002).Weight control behaviors 
among obese, overweight, and nonoverweight adolescents. Journal of Pediatric Psychology,27,531-540.
Cafri, G., Thompson, J. K., Ricciardelli, L., McCabe, M., Smolak, L., &Yesalis, C. (2005). Pursuit of the muscular ideal: Physical and psychological consequences and putative risk factores.Clinical Psychology Review, 25, 215-239.
Collins, M. E. (1991). Body figure perceptions and preferences among pre-adolescent children.International Journal of Eating Disorders,10(2), 199-208.
Hoek, H. W., & van Hoeken, D. (2003). Review of the prevalence and incidence of eating disorders. International Journal of Eating Disorders, 34(4), 383-396.
Hudson J. I., Hiripi E., Pope H. G. Jr., & Kessler R. C. (2007). The prevalence and correlates of eating disorders in the National Comorbidity Survey Replication.Biological Psychiatry, 61, 348-358.

What Body Language Looks Like

From the Eyes of the Other Sex 

 Audrey Leonard

Project Proposal

For Women and Media my final project will be a photography composition. I will do a casting for five women and five men. After they have been chosen I will photograph them all in three positions. First, I will ask for a natural pose. Second, I will ask for a feminine pose and then finally a masculine pose. I am interested to see what stereotypes of women and men people will choose to create with their bodies. This will show what body language they associate with each gender. I am also considering interviewing them after I have finished photographing the subjects and then show them their photos. I will ask them why they chose each pose and what they think it will convey. And finally I will ask them to pose in an androgynous manner.
I do photography for Cult. Magazine at Hunter and have worked as an assistant and intern for several photographers, because photography is something I will potentially do with my future I’d like to include it in my school work and final project. If the photos are a collection to be proud of I would like to show it off and attempt to see where I could exhibit the work. I would like these photos to be a very straight forward and classic portrait style like more modern Walker Evans, maybe something similar to the portrait Annie Leibovitz did for the anniversary of Vogue of the editors over the years. It was a beautiful portrait. I will also research body language stereotypes and pull photos to analyze and compare and contrast with my own photos.

       One of my inspirations comes from the portrait of Vogue editors that can be seen from this website . It was startling to see how powerful these women appeared. Many of their poses could potentially be categorized as masculine.        
To me, in my industry, these are the most influential women in the world. They choose the trends that will stay around for years. Many of them have never married and are the idols that young women strive to be like. The embody feminine success. They also encourage heels and the more painful trends we see in the fashion world. The new and crazy is their normal, to not be pushing boundaries would be wrong. They choose a life of fashion and work rather than children and housework. Jade Hobson, Babs Simpson, Phyllis Posnick, Carlyne Cerf De Dudzeele (Bottom Middle), Polly Mellen, Grace Coddington, Camilla Nickerson and Tonne Goodman are some of the most powerful women in the world, in one of the biggest brands of fashion in the world but their names are largely unknown. Anna Wintour is known but the editors who support her are not. I'm still working on my sources and feeling out my topics of resource so please leave all the comments you can.

The Unconventional Life Choice

            For centuries, plenty of girls have dreamed of it. With full attentiveness, they’ll start planning out their wedding day to every last detail; This includes the handsome fiance, the massive rock on their finger, the time of year, the dress, the hairdo, the wedding song and you can’t forget the elaborately decorated cake. However, as women all over the world continue the tradition of marriage and family, something else is brewing beneath the surface, and it’s no coincidence that it arrives not to long after the Feminist Movement. What’s appearing is a new type of woman, one who doesn’t follow the world’s expectations and who chooses to do things her way. The conventional marriage and family don’t serve as a priority to her. As women continue to gain their independence, could it be that marriage is outdated? Certain females feel comfortable living their lives without signing the paper, and while some opt to raise children, others opt to do the opposite. Females from the past, would cringe at the thought of this and look down on the few women that lived this way, but currently it’s become more acceptable. There are a string of celebrities who serve as poster children for the unconventional female, including Eva Mendes and Cameron Diaz.
            This video project is meant to reach out to females who don’t necessarily want what older generations expect of them. It’s also meant to allow women to open up to the idea that they don’t have to settle downt to a husband or family. Priorities have changed for individuals and its better off that they don’t get themselves into something they don’t want. A spouse deserves someone who’s 100 percent dedicated and a child deserves a parent who wants children. As more people feel pressured into getting married, divorce rates continue to go higher, and some may find that couples that choose to stay together are keeping their distance. A new alternative allows for two different people who aren’t romantically involved to share a child. Children aren’t obtained by sexual intercourse, but they are created through artificial insemination.
            I would also like to include other females from the past who criticized the idea of marriage. Sylvia Pankhurst was an early feminist who never married the father of her children, causing society to dislike her and her mother to never speak to her again. Clare Chambers, another feminist makes note of how sexist marriage can be. Overall, this topic would be interesting to discuss, because it’s something that is taboo for certain people.

"Season 2, Episode 26." Bethenny. Fox. 14Oct. 2013. Television
"Season 2, Episode 27." Bethenny. Fox. 15Oct. 2013. Television
Chelsea Lately. E!. 27May. 2011. Television
Cosmopolitan. July 2009. Print
Chambers, Clare. "Feminism, Liberalism and Marriage."
"Sylvia Pankhurst Background." Sylvia Pankhurst

What's a GIRL on TV?

For my project, I am exploring what it means to be a “girl” on television today.  There are three shows currently in their 3rd season (or about to start their 3rd season) with the word “girl” in the title, Fox’s New Girl, CBS’s 2 Broke Girls, and of course, HBO’s GIRLS.  All three of these shows feature young women in their mid-to-late-twenties as protagonists, yet their titles call them girls.  I want to textually analyze these characters lifestyles, jobs, fictional living situations, sexuality, relationships, their race and the race of the other characters on the shows, to figure out what it means to be a “girl” on television.  I will be writing an essay comparing their similarities and differences, and what I believe these characters are lending to the meaning of the word “girl”.  For presenting purposes, I will create a Power Point, with key points high lighted from the essay, and link scenes from each to show examples.

I have found many articles discussing GIRLS, and some about New Girl and 2 Broke Girls.  For the rest of October, I will focus on reading these articles critically and keep looking for more examples.  In early November, I will continue reading articles for others’ examples, but also start re-watching episodes to find specific scenes I want to use as examples.  In mid November, I want to write and edit the essay, so that I have December to create the Power Point.

This project interests me because I enjoy watching all of these shows, and love to hate them a little bit.  I am writing my own television script about young women, so I think examining what other people have created in a similar market is key to my success.  Making a power point will also be a good refresher for me, as I have not made one in years.

I hope this project will be of interest to the class audiance.  And if anyone likes debated what Lena Dunham should have done different in GIRLS, I'm always down for that! 


Albiniak, Paige. "More Years Of Laughs Ahead For Hope, New Girl." Broadcasting & Cable 143.12 (2013): 29. Communication & Mass Media Complete. Web. 19 Oct. 2013.

Bell, Katherine. "“Obvie, We're The Ladies!” Postfeminism, Privilege, And HBO's Newest Girls." Feminist Media Studies 13.2 (2013): 363-366. Communication & Mass Media Complete. Web. 19 Oct. 2013.

Daalmans, Serena. "“I'm Busy Trying To Become Who I Am”: Self-Entitlement And The City In HBO's Girls." Feminist Media Studies 13.2 (2013): 359-362. Communication & Mass Media Complete. Web. 19 Oct. 2013.

DeCarvalho, Lauren J. "Hannah And Her Entitled Sisters: (Post)Feminism, (Post)Recession, And Girls." Feminist Media Studies 13.2 (2013): 367-370. Communication & Mass Media Complete. Web. 19 Oct. 2013.

Colston, Cherese E., "Seeing the Unseen: Underrepresented Groups in Prime-Time Television" (2013). Senior Honors Theses. Paper 331.

Grdešić, Maša. "“I'm Not The Ladies!”: Metatextual Commentary In Girls." Feminist Media Studies 13.2 (2013): 355-358. Communication & Mass Media Complete. Web. 19 Oct. 2013.

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