Lilly Singh is a YouTube user who uses humor to poke fun of racist and sexist commentators. I think this provides an alternative form of media, because even though YouTube has become a mainstream form of communication, it allows for independent communication of individuals, thought their comments on issues. This becomes apparent in “controversial” issues like the crowning of Nina Davuluri as Miss America. Lilly Singh, A.K.A IISuperwomanII, tries to make people aware of some of the ridiculous prejudices people openly display in their comments. A clear comparison between IISuperwomanII and Catherine Saalfield can be made.
Both Catherine Saalfield and IISuperwomanII understand that to reach a large number of individuals it is best done through media recordings. In “Art and Activism”, it is stated that the students who made media pieces for BENT TV used “Short pieces, and humor- sometimes ironic-to help get their messages across” (p.67). IISuperwomanII uses these same techniques to raise an issue and make the racism or sexism more apparent. An example is her video titled “A Message About Miss America” which made fun of the comments that Nina Davuluri received after becoming Miss America. By making that video IISuperwomanII combated what Bell Hooks stated about films making viewers “seduced, at least for a time, by the images we see on screen. They have power over us and we have no power over them” (p.3). By producing a video that showed that Nina Davuluri, who is phenotypically Indian, is still as much an American as any white guy.
“A Message About Miss America”By IISuperwomanII
IISuperwomanII also provides a feminine voice to issues that late nigh show hosts, most of which are white males, debate about all the time. Even when it comes to the issue of Miss America, white late night comedians addressed the issue but fail to view it as a racist gesture. In that sense, IISuperwomanII provides a “separate female way of thinking, and a recognition that women’s experience has been effectively silenced by a masculine culture” (p.95) as expressed on “Author/Auteur: Feminist Literary Theory and Feminist Film”.
The method of dispersing her videos is through YouTube, which is an inexpensive way. IISuperwomanII is an entertainer, making her videos engaging to the public as she bring humor and truth to issues commonly faced by people. Viewers can relate to the issues she raised and understand why her comments are relative to the real issues at hand. This alternative form of media allows for diverse views to be express to a large audience, where if YouTube were unavailable it would be impossible for IISuperwomanII to combat late night show hosts. While the show hosts have the support of mainstream media, equipment and funding, IISuperwomanII is lacking in all of these categories. This issue is addressed by Debra Zimmerman article “Women Make Movies” in which funding is a major concern. Stating that “Government funding cutbacks are a concern for Women make Movies, both because it means fewer projects by independent women filmmakers will be funded and because Women Make Movies itself, which is partially funded by government grants, may lose crucial funding for its workshops” (p.262).
Overall I think comedians have perfecting the art of using humor to combat prejudice and bring the truth to people. Mostly their method of bring forth controversial information is in a subtle way and by entertaining the audience they are able to get to the core issues. Gabrial Iglesias does that through his work and stories of real experiences. In his new show “Aloha Fluffy” he breaks the stereotypes that the media has developed in racial profiling. He himself recognizes that he is a Hispanic comedian and only when he goes out of the United States is he considered an “American”. His shows are hilarious but they dig at a greater truth.
“Aloha Fluffy” by Gabriel Iglesias
"Author/Autor: Feminist Literary Theory and Feminist Film" by Maggie Humm
"Making Movie Magic" from Reel to Real by bell hooks
"Women Make Movies" Debra Zimmerman