Media Literacy … Disney … now Barbie?

Based on the last post on how Disney has affected our society, there was a few questions on how I would educate the youngin’s on media literacy if I had the chance.

 

Question:

How would you educate all those little girls who want to be Disney princesses? Would you teach media literacy in junior high or high school? Would you try to change how Disney and the media portray females?

My Opinion:

As a young girl, I honestly would not understand any media literacy, or ethics my parents or anyone in society would teach me. I would probably let my child/student/neighbor/etc. roam free with her imagination and just be young.

As for when I would teach media literacy, I would teach it in high school most definitely. Why wouldn’t I teach this particularly valuable subject to the little junior high schoolers? Probably because they would not take the subject seriously and would probably not retain any of the information. As for the high schoolers, they’re older, have an idea of who they are, what they want to be, plus maturity does play a factor. I believe they would take to the subject much better than the younger crowd. Unfortunately, what with the typical low high school budget, I wouldn’t be surprised to NOT see any media literacy class being taught anywhere. (Just like all those “unnecessary” music classes being cut … )

As for the last question, “Would you try to change how Disney and the media portray females?” I would make the audience aware of how the media do affect our society, and Disney would be an obvious example. I would not necessarily try to change how Disney themselves intentionally portrays females … but I would point how the similarity to how real-life situations match coincidently to the Disney stories we have all come to watch and love. Though I would point out how the media as a whole (TV, movies, comics, books etc) does portray females, I would point out the many different categories women play on TV (I haven’t mentioned the different ethnics either yet … ) and how many young females in our real-time world all wish they can be like those fictional characters they see on TV.

Example:

'80s Barbie

There is an article I read and some show I saw on TV that featured a 40-year-old woman who always looked up to Barbie as her role model … and finally became one. She underwent 31 operations in 14 years to become a living Barbie doll … Read the CBS article titled, “Becoming Barbie: Living Dolls, Real Life Couples Becomes Models of Plastic Perfection.”

After reading that article, ironically back in 1997, Mattel chose to redesign Barbie to better reflect our society. According to Mattel, she underwent the ultimate plastic surgery. Complete with slimmer hips, wider waist and yes … smaller bust.Read the BCC News article titled, “Barbie undergoes plastic surgery.”

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