Thursday, April 2, 2009

COM 390: Response to Two Newsweek Articles

After reading the Arnell story:
First thought
: Hey, that ridiculous college education must be paying off since I can picture at least 90% of the things this nut is referencing.
Second thought: But that’s probably a result of two other things: A) Lyons probably only remembered/wrote about the stuff he recognized and B) it wouldn’t be good business sense to fill an article with stuff you didn’t think your audience would recognize.

Listen, the way to make an impact isn’t going to be legislating healthy girl-image or any other agenda into the media. Trust me—creatives, more than most people, get a crazy thrill from circumventing rules.

As for a solution to combat the garbage in the media, I think it comes down to good parenting and setting kids up with good role models. There is always going to be stuff that will trip kids up, warp their brains, mess with their perception of themselves and their culture. You know it. I know it. As a parent, the point is to try to prepare them to deal well with these situations when you’re not around, right? I hope so.

If your 5-year-old is obsessed with glamour to what you think is an unhealthy extreme, do something about it. Be an adult. Limit the amount of exposure she gets to media influences you don’t approve of. I know, novel idea, right? Refuse to buy her make up—you can do that. Take away her mirror so that she can’t bemoan her haggard appearance, and set her up with a mentor who can teach her fun things besides the joys of self-tanners.

Ultimately, I think the key to maintaining personal/professional bearings comes down to three things:

  1. Knowing what you stand for. This requires some thought. And it might take effort to adjust things you didn’t like discovering.
  2. Critical thinking. Again, analyzing your daily situations through the grid of your worldview isn’t as easy as caving to public opinion.
  3. Having a backbone. After you’ve drawn your lines, don’t cross them. As simple and as difficult as that.

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