The Dragon of modern time

Once upon a time, there once lived a group of children who lived in the lands of knee high grass, soggy socks, muddy hair and ripped clothing. From blankets to tunnels, their houses changed every day. Their neighbours were either their enemies or their teammates. And their parents? Their parents would be stashed away in their mansion where they sat awaiting their child’s arrival at night.

These are the children who played hide and seek on the streets, rather than being on their phone. They are the kids who watched The Simpsons at 6:00pm and went back outside to play murder in the dark, instead of sneaking out and meeting up with friends. These are the kids who played ‘mums and dads’ instead of actually becoming a mum and dad.

So what changed?

The idea that television makes you fat has become a massive issue in society. The increase of anxiety over the matter though doesn’t change the behaviour of many people. Technology, in general, is like the fire breathing dragon that we all became scared of in Disney movies. Its fire burned down a 21st-century child’s privilege to experience everything we once did. But in saying that, how does a child become burnt by technology? They learn from the people around them. So is the media really to blame? Or is it the parents who are either living in fear that their child will be abducted or is it the parents who are too lazy to care for their children, that they end up giving in and placing them in front of a TV?

In my opinion it isn’t television that makes you fat, overall it is someone’s actions that possess them to live an unhealthy lifestyle. How we grow up and in what environment we grow up in, is vital to our wellbeing when we are older. For example, my parents never told me to sit down and watch TV, in fact, they encouraged me to play all the sports I could. Maybe that’s why television never interested me.
But at the same time movies – both children and adult – have adapted to the use of ‘product placement’. The marketing of junk food in movies/TV Shows influences a person’s food preference, which is typically unhealthy. Therefore the lack of physical activity and increase of junk food consumption can, in fact, lead to obesity

In my eyes, television has become less of a problem due to the increase in handheld technology which seems to be the main problem, as more children find it more entertaining to play Farmville on Facebook rather than get dirt on their face outside. And parents are relying more on technology to behave their kids and find it more convenient to keep them quiet by handing them a phone, rather than teaching them manners.

So with technology beginning to act as a replacement for responsible decision-making, instead as a tool for human productivity. Is obesity inevitable?


1. What do parents fear? Unwrapping the bubble-wrap generation. 2015. What do parents fear? Unwrapping the bubble-wrap generation. [ONLINE] Available at: http://theconversation.com/what-do-parents-fear-unwrapping-the-bubble-wrap-generation-30467. [Accessed 18 April 2015].

2. Is using a tablet to keep your kid occupied lazy parenting? – … . 2015. Is using a tablet to keep your kid occupied lazy parenting? – … . [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.todaysparent.com/family/parenting/tablet-keep-your-child-occupied-lazy-parenting. [Accessed 18 April 2015].

3. Fat Kids: What’s Really to Blame?. 2015. Fat Kids: What’s Really to Blame?. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.parents.com/health/obesity/fat-kids-whats-really-to-blame/. [Accessed 18 April 2015].

4. TV, Fast Foods, and Childhood Obesity. 2015. TV, Fast Foods, and Childhood Obesity. [ONLINE] Available at:http://www.nber.org/digest/aug06/w11879.html. [Accessed 18 April 2015].

.

Eye spy with MY little eye

We all depend on visuals to act as a signifier to interpret the world around us in a different perspective. As individuals, we all have our own interpretations on images; many of these give meaning to the life we live and others are simple symbols that give us direction (Theorist, Ferdinand de Saussure and Charles Peirce believed this to be the science of signs, also knowns as semiotics). But is this to say these understandings haven’t been embedded into us by society due to the fear of individuality? The following blog looks at two images which will give each individual various thoughts based upon their beliefs.

Some of us see the world in simple black and white, whilst others see it in colours, and it’s those people who see colour in the world that are most vulnerable to become isolated from society. They are the individuals in this world that are looked upon as “different” because of their individuality. Those images with denotative meanings help give these individuals, who crave the feeling of belonging, a sense of understanding as they act as a signifier that society views it the same.


eY0Dix4n6SI

Based on my individual ideologies and knowledge, the image above is a representation of the rapper Tupac Shakur. The shadowing against the wall emphasises that the young boy sees this man as a king, whereas he is simply the prince who is gaining confidence and knowledge by communicating with Tupac.  The focus of the image is the stance of Tupac and the young child. The child is trusting this tattooed man who has his arms open to him as if he is opening his arms up to a new world.

Kendrick Lamar’s new song “Mortal Man” is where both photos were generated from. The song name-checks leaders from Nelson Mandela to Martin Luther King Jr. and Moses. The last poem and verse involves Kendrick interviewing the last king of Hip-Hop, Tupac Shakur. Through the song, you gain an understanding that Lamar realises that he’s a new voice in a long line of leaders.

“It’s gonna be murder,” Tupac says. “It’s gonna be like Nat Turner, 1831, up in this mother—, you know what I’m saying. It’s gonna happen.”
“That’s crazy, man,” Lamar says. “In my opinion, the only hope we kinda have left is music. Vibrations.

“Like Tupac, Lamar could effortlessly juxtapose his feelings of worthlessness with a bravado that was magnetic, inspiring. His rapping was so virtuosic that he almost seemed bored by his own skill”¹

jnhj

Both images are complex as each individual will have their own input based on their own beliefs and knowledge. The second image can be viewed differently to what is actually happening. The denotation of the image involves Kendrick Lamar and Tupac conversing in the walls of a church. Kendrick’s facials are saddened compared to Tupac, who is smiling as if he is proud. In the walls of a church, Kendrick finds his passion for Hip Hop by conversing with the king, Tupac. During the interview/song, Kendrick mentions being one of Tupac’s offspring of the legacy that he left behind. Therefore through listening to the song and viewing the images, you can tell there is a strong sense of familiarity between the two.
Through my eyes, it seems like Kendrick seems alone in the world of Hip Hop. His saddened features tell us that he would rather be with a king. Tupac, on the other hand, is smiling like the two friends are simply catching up. Unfortunately at the end of the verse, Tupac doesn’t reply – I recommend you listen to the interview, I actually got goosebumps –

Although these images have no text, the song gives all the meaning each photo needs.


¹Log In – The New York Times. 2015. Log In – The New York Times. [ONLINE] Available at:http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/24/magazine/notes-on-the-hip-hop-messiah.html?_r=0. [Accessed 27 March 2015].

A bad call for the modern game

Our whole lives we have been taught to respect and cherish our bodies, especially a woman’s body. So when did it become okay for the media to start disrespecting female athletes and advertise males before them?

The simple model of communication is from the work of Shannon and Weaver who’s model consists of a sender, message, a channel where the message travels, noise and a receiver. The model relates to this topic of the media and society anxiety of female athletics as the lack of media coverage has caused young girls to be undermined. The message the media often sends about female sports is often negative and, therefore, many partitions are created by the fact that females are sexualised to create a message. A perfect example is the new Roxy commercial – Found here – which caused drama² in society.


Through researching this topic I gained an understanding on how much female athletes aren’t actually publicised for their achievements and how the media has undermined a female athlete’s ability to be respected and taken seriously as people and certainly as athletes. Therefore, the central idea towards this blog post is to criticize the media for their lack of involvement in female sports and therefore creating anxiety within young people.

Female athletes, Indigenous people and ethnic minorities, are groups in Australian society who have and are usually discriminated against. The depreciating attitudes towards these groups reflect on today’s societal attitudes and the equality issues in relation to sports participation. Women always had social expectations to act like a lady and not become dominant in the masculine culture, therefore they were confined to sports like croquet and tennis. The 1960’s and 1970’s saw women take action and demand equality between men and women in the social, political and cultural life. This developed into the sporting sphere, where women began to challenge the expectations of society and take up sports like football, long- distance running and even weight lifting

Although as more females joined the sporting field, it saw a negative effect on younger girls as they were growing up with increased pressures and stereotypes that must be faced on a daily basis. A popular stereotype was that “females can’t play sport”, statements such as this downgraded women and disallowed females to be taken seriously. This added pressure for young girls has lead to consistent patterns of physical anxiety and therefore eating disorders and further body complications.

But why would that be true? Young boys are constantly watching heroic images of male athletes who have accomplished many achievements through their dedication and strength, therefore they have a figure to look up to. Whereas young girls don’t receive the same figures to look up to, due to the lack of media coverage of female athletes achievements. Then in 2009 a report from the ABS, showed that almost half the girls aged 5-14 do not participate in any sport aside from school. This shows that in today’s society males are the dominant figure in sport

In 2006 a study was conducted by Kimberly L. Bissell.
“The study developed that those with higher levels of physique anxiety were participants who were frequent consumers of general entertainment media, these females scored higher on the social physique anxiety scale than those who spent less time with entertainment media. Results across sport were inconsistent, yet athletes across sport had fairly high degrees of physique anxiety regardless of the amount of time they spent competing or practicing their sport and exercising.”¹

To validate these beliefs of society’s anxiety and the media’s lack of encouragement for participation, I have also found the popular video “Like A Girl” – which is linked below.

“Why can’t “run like a girl” also mean win the race?” ²

Through the video, as a viewer you can understand the immense pressure that young girls go through during their developmental stage and, therefore, there has been a clear increase of physique anxiety within young females. I believe society still has a long way to go until we reach full equality between men and women – on and off the sporting field – and it all depends on how the media broadcasts female achievements and development in society.

¹Project MUSE – Who’s Got Game?: Exposure to Sports and Entertainment Media and Social Physique Anxiety in Division I Female Athletes. [ONLINE] Available at: http://muse.jhu.edu/login?auth=0&type=summary&url=/journals/journal_of_sports_media/v001/1.bissell.pdf. [Accessed 15 March 2015]. ² Always #LikeAGirl – YouTube. 2015. Always #LikeAGirl – YouTube. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XjJQBjWYDTs. [Accessed 15 March 2015].

²21,000 People Sign Petition Against Roxy ‘Surf’ Video. 2015. 21,000 People Sign Petition Against Roxy ‘Surf’ Video. [ONLINE] Available at:http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/26/petition-roxy-video_n_3999783.html. [Accessed 20 April 2015].