Media Ownership Across Various Platforms

Blog 3: Less than a dozen corporations control the entire media landscape; making it virtually impossible to escape influence as a viewer, listener, and reader. Not only do these institutions control what we view on television, but a corporation such as Clear Channel is the largest radio station owner in the country. These media conglomerates have ownership in television, film, and print where consumers have no choice to be bombarded with relentless campaigns that don’t fulfill community needs.

Women comprise over 51 percent of the U.S. population but hold less than 7 percent of all TV and radio station licenses. People of color make up over 36 percent of the U.S. population but hold just over 7 percent of radio licenses and 3 percent of TV licenses. Of the 1,349 commercial television stations in the United States: 4.97%, are owned by women and 3.26%, are owned by minorities. Women and minorities make up 51 and 33% of the population, respectively. Lack of media diversity leads to poor coverage of issues regarding minority groups, limited availability of roles for minority actors which allows more opportunities to represent more than the common stereotype and it reduces amount of information available to non-English speaking communities.

Very few companies have a tight grip over the services we like to use. The public i disillusioned with the idea that they have choices as to what services they can purchase, when in reality, it’s all the same thing.

In addition to the oligopoly of ownership, media companies use different different platforms to expand their respective stories and use this as well as synergistic storytelling as an economic ploy that ensures ownership of the specific intellectual property across the multiple platforms. The Matrix movie trilogy is a great example of such because, with great success, the story is told through the video game, a number of animated features, and comic book short stories. A story does not necessarily have to be told across different platforms as unique experiences are offered to the audience. The nationwide scavenger hunt launched prior to Batman: The Dark Knight generated record breaking buzz even before the movie was released.

The Viral Campaign seen around the world

Companies use the technique of multimedia storytelling to allow their content to be displayed over a variety of media platforms. A lot of the time, however, they do not necessarily have to tell a story or experience. It does not necessarily have to remain coherent in that sense. It, more than anything, offers the audience options to interact with the specific product/service. And ultimately, it ensures the company has covered its entire basis as to how it can reach its audience. For example, ESPN broadcasts the SportsCenter on television, but viewers can also stay up to date through their ESPN SportsCenter app on the phones, ESPN Magazine, ESPN Radio, and they also have Watch ESPN online for those on computer.

The Halo video game franchise is one of the most successful franchises across multiple platforms. The bread and butter, of course, are from its award -wining video game series. The games expanded into best-selling novels, comic books, anime, live-action short-films, online parodies, and possibly film.

The original Halo video game trilogy began in 2001 on PC and Microsoft’s Xbox video game console. The game itself pushed the sales of Microsoft’s hardware. In between the sequels, novels were with and released they told he stories of other characters in the games. While not canon, each book old a story ta helped expand he Halo universe. And because the franchise is still such a world phenomenon, fans have he ability to produce their own web-shorts fueling the Halo fire even more.



All imagery are copyright of their respective owner. I do not own or am affiliated with these companies, and do not condone the use, or distribution of these images and/or videos. Use is solely restricted to informative and educational purposes.


Hooks, Bell. “Cultural Criticism and Transformation.” Media Education Transcript(1997): n. pag. ]<

Lutz, Ashely. “These 6 Corporations Control 90% of the Media in America.” Buisness Insider.Published June 14, 2012. Web.

“Who Owns the Media?.” . National Conference for Media Reform, 1 Jan. 2013. Web. 17 Apr. 2014. <;.




Rookie Mag: A Fresh Voice

With the media being an immediate part of our societal structure, it’s hard not to be influenced by it and the message it perpetuates. Although we are constantly surrounded by media, it becomes hard for us to reproduce what we already have to create new content. The laws and restrictions by large companies make it hard for us to successfully build off already existing content to create something different, that is without having to pay hefty fines and going through tedious procedures.

How do the tight claws of copyright infringement affect our society and technically infringe our creativity? I decided to look at the monolithic world of female publications with a focus on teenagers. There are magazines such as Seventeen, Teen Vogue, and J-14, these magazines have been around for a number of years, and as the times change the way that they interact with their readers and build their content change. But who and how are their readers being represented?

Seventeen recently released an issue with pop sensation Miley Cyrus as their cover star. Cyrus might seem like a great choice for a teenage female magazine, but what is interesting about Seventeen’s cover subject is that the it is an unauthorized cover story. Cyrus did not approve of the magazine using her as their cover subject, and the publication went as far to use a stock photo as their cover image. Seventeen Magazine claims that

Seventeen readers love Miley Cyrus and they’ve been begging for her to be on our cover. She ranked high on the March issue’s Girl Power List — her independence and confidence make her an icon for this generation. Miley’s currently on tour promoting ‘Bangerz’ so what better time than now to celebrate her and give our readers what they want.”

This makes for an awkward and uncomfortable situation, who is Seventeen really writing for? Cyrus has been known to attract magazine sales, but is she really a representative of the publication’s target audience? This is where I introduce Rookie Mag; Rookie Mag is an independent online magazine for teenage girls, the site was created by Tavi Gevinson who helmed her personal blog Style Rookie for many years before she decided to create Rookie Mag.


The New York Times credits Gevinson with “Inspiring Young Women to Create Communities of Self-Empowerment” Which is basically what Rookie Mag does, unlike other sites/publications which dictate what to wear, eat and how to live out your teenage years, Rookie Mag creates a conversation about how to make it through the murky waters of being a teenager. Rookie is a site where the readers are almost as or equally as important as the editors. From an observer standpoint, I like to think of Rookie as less of a publication and more of a community, it creates conversation as opposed to dictating and it leaves room for honest and open interaction between the readers and the editors.

Rookie has done something not many online publications have considered, it has somehow done away with the hierarchal structure of publishing that leaves no room for reader input, Rookie is a holistic representation of teenage girls because they listen to the girls they write for.


Works Cited

LGBT Networks and Mainstream Media: A Battle of Acceptance

By: Douglas Reyes

Here Media componentsHere Media Inc. is a media/advertising conglomerate focusing on the interest of LGBT consumers and viewers. PlanetOut the parent company, in affiliation with Here Network LLC, and Regent Entertainment Media Inc., united in 2009 through a contractual agreement/combination of said companies. With the help of both co-founders Paul Colichman and Stephen P. Jarchow Here Media Inc. became one of the leading advertising/media/publishing firms, focusing exclusively on the interests/concerns of the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) community. As of now, Here Media Inc. is responsible for the majority of news media (both television and periodical), social network, publishing, broadcasting network, distribution, and publication of some of the leading LGBT interest companies in the world. These include, but are limited to The Advocate (periodical), Alyson books (publishing), here! (T.V. broadcasting network), (social network), (online periodical venue), and (online venue, covering lifestyle, travel, style and fashion interests of the LGBT community). However, with that being said, mainstream advertising and television media is a bit cumbersome in support of conventionalization of LGBT media, and advertising as a whole within the spectrum of mainstream television.


In recent years, we have witnessed an insignificant rise of LGBT programming within the conventional field of media and television. However, as both a viewer and consumer of LGBT goods, and programming, much of the important issues and concerns of the LGBT community is either ignored or dismissed within popular media culture. This includes mainstream television, broadcast networks (televised news), and periodical media (magazine, newspaper). This in fact had a great impact on the decision of providing the LGBT community/advertisers/business moguls with a venue to publicly advertise/spread information of events relating and influencing the LGBT population. To the extremities that media/advertising/broadcasting firms had to be established as a separate entity within the diminutive advertising and media corporations of mainstream television; all of this in order to concentrate and speak on the manners/interest/concerns of the LGBT viewer and consumer? As if!


With success, must come times of great distress. In establishing a network focusing on the LGBT population, there was definitely a lack of acceptance within mainstream media. PlanetOut, parent company of Here Media Inc., has been scrutinized over the years for their lack of interest from viewers. As a publicly traded corporation it fell within the grasp of being disembarked by NASDAQ after failing to meet the required minimum for its stock market value in 2008. Will this entail the demise of LGBT media in the future? Even in its beginning stages, and as of recent LGBT media and television faces scrutiny from mainstream media, as well as the public for its lack of support, and ratings from viewers. Even LGBT identified viewers are lacking in support for these networks. Has the LGBT population been brainwashed to disregard coverage of media concerning them? Or is something else at stake/lacking. Should they blame advertisers, or management departments for the untimely demise of LGBT television? Or should they (LGBT viewers) give their undivided attention, and support to LGBT networks instead of shunning them in fear of being put in a box or labeled. We will see as LGBT television progresses from its infancy.

Dutch_Ad_Campaign_Targets_Discrimination_2The segregation of both mainstream media, and LGBT concentrated media companies is probably one of the biggest factors of the lack of acceptance of LGBT people. As a people, the LGBT community is segregated and ostracized from the world of popular and conventional media/culture in support and accordance to the values and morals of the once distant puritans who set forth on a journey to this Newfoundland called America. These traditional and blatantly outdated beliefs need to be thrown where they belong… the GARBAGE! With the openness and acceptance of this newfound day and time, as a society we are still enslaved by the morals of days gone by. Why is it so hard to appropriate both mainstream culture, and LGBT culture within the same context in media? Sure they might have different takes in life, sex, morals and practices, but at the end of the day they are BOTH people with the same feelings, and desires in life! There should be no reason why LGBT matters/concerns not be covered in mainstream media, instead of resorting to the use of independent network relations/entities to spread/give the latest updates on the issues relating to the LGBT population.

GayComAdWebOne of the main concerns/topics/focus as an active viewer of both mainstream, and LGBT related media is the separation of media companies’ relating/targeting particularly to gender and race. Especially those matter specific (LGBT, and African-American, in the least LOGOTV, BET, to name a few) media companies that cater and target a specific group of people, instead of incorporating within widespread media. As stated previously within the context of this piece, why can’t these broadcasting networks cater unanimously to all (people) within the same media venue/context? Why are these networks privatized to only reach a caliber of people who are able and willing to pay for these services? Some of the people who these networks cater to cannot afford to pay premiums for television that caters to their specific needs and interests! It seems like the only media firms that are available free of charge, including ABC, NBC, FOX, to name a few, are not relatable to a number of their viewers. Therefore, there should be a unified corporation of media identities in one that caters to all groups of people from different walks of life, within the same media venue.

rainbow+hand+holdingIn a perfect world, a vision of a singular and unified conglomerate media and advertising corporation that caters to the needs/issues of every specific group of people within the same context/venue would be ideal. Until then, we must resort to what is being imposed onto us, and accept the force-feeding of conventionality. That is what is being presented to us, through our daily media experience, but until we do something about it this will remain the same. Until then keep force-feeding the segregation wagon that media has sat us on, and string along for the ride.

Gay Media in America
A Roundtable with Ann Northrop, David Badash, Andrés Duque, Michaelangelo Signorile, and Tanya Domi.

A CLAGS event at The Graduate Center, CUNY, New York City, October 2, 2013. For more information about CLAGS, see our website:

This roundtable convenes nationally acclaimed gay media professionals to discuss and examine the role of gay media outlets in U.S. and proffer arguments about the vital importance of reporting by gay media outlets known as specialty media. The panel includes Ann Northrop (co-host of a weekly cable Gay USA television program), David Badash (publisher and editor-in-chief of The New Civil Rights Movement forum blog), Andrés Duque (publisher and editor-in-chief of the Blabbeando LGBT blog), and Michaelangelo Signorile (host of OutQ Radio and the Michaelangelo Signorile Show, who are carried by Sirius Radio XM). Tanya Domi, Director of Media Relations at the Graduate Center will moderate the panel.

Read more about this event and other CLAGS events on the website:


All imagery, videos, and captions are copyright of their respective owner. I do not own or am affiliated with these companies, and do not condone the use, or distribution of these images and/or videos. Use is solely restricted to informative and educational purposes.


Here Media – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. (n.d.). Retrieved April 17, 2014, from

Is This The End of Gay Media? / Queerty. (n.d.). Retrieved from

PlanetOut Faces Possible Nasdaq Delisting – On Top Magazine | Gay news & entertainment. (n.d.). Retrieved from

The Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies at The Graduate Center, CUNY | Start.” The Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies at The Graduate Center, CUNY. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Apr. 2014. Retrieved from





Blog Post Number Three

“In 1983, 50 companies owned 90 percent of American media, and today that same 90 percent is controlled by six media conglomerates,” said Senator Bernard Sanders at an event in the Newseum.  “A vibrant democracy is not going to survive unless we have a vibrant media where we have different points of view and where it is owned by different segments of our society,” he said.

As the industry is now the majority of the power and ownership is held in the hands of a few companies. These companies (the big six): General Electric, Newscorp, Disney, Viacom, Time Warner and CBS are controlling 90% of the media influence that we view, read or hear throughout the day. What they choose to produce is based on their opinions, what they deem will appease the vast amounts of audiences.

Television shows and movies seem to cast the same roles over and over. Taking the example of what was presented in class on Tuesday 15 April 2014 was that the movie Captain American: The Winter Soldier, is a film where the main character – a white male hero – saves the day. While the supporting female role in her own right kicks butt and can save the day; Captain America throughout the movie saves her consistently. Also, she is extremely sexualized in tight fitting clothes that perpetuate the stereotype that women need to be sexy, even if they’re kicking butt.

That movie was directed and written by all men. On the other hand the film, “Stick It” was directed and written by a female, Jessica Bendinger, who also wrote the movie “Bring It On.” Both movies have a strong female lead that broke the cast of a stereotypical strong male lead.

But beyond the grind and omission of proper roles for women and minorities in the media is the effect that consolidation has on journalism.

Letting one company own both a newspaper and broadcast stations in the same market isn’t just bad for the community; it’s also bad business. Cross-ownership doesn’t save anything; it simply drags down the performance of both broadcasting and print operations.”[1] 

Media consolidation has been hurting journalism in many ways since the initiation of consolidation back in 2007 when Bush was president. Newspaper aren’t as dead as most people think.

The Poynter Institute released the gains for newspaper stocks, “six of eight publicly traded companies showed gains for 2012; four of those were up 30 percent or more.” McClatchy, Lee, and Gannett the three that gained the most, more than 22 percent each.

“The Tribune Company has cross-owned print/broadcast holdings in five cities around the U.S. The company just emerged from the largest bankruptcy in media history and plans to unbundle its cross-owned properties.”[1]

Less local news leads to a diluted form of journalism and consolidation creates bigger and bigger companies making it nearly impossible for local news to exist. By hollowing out local news that leads to less advertising and without advertising media can’t thrive.


[1] – Free Press. “;. Films for Action. 16 April 2014


What it feels like for a Girl: The Price of Being Trans (Blog Proposal)

By: Douglas Reyes

I will be discussing trans issues/concerns within the tri-state area (NYC, NJ), mainly focusing on murders that have occurred within recent/past years, some have been solved, others still remain open/unsolved. I will also be reflecting on the daily lives of the trans community, i.e., struggles, dealing with rejection, crime, homelessness, prostitution (escort), ridicule, and finding acceptance within the LGBTQ community (sometimes gay men outcaste them). Furthermore, I will also incorporate trans success stories, i.e., Janet Mock, Carmen Carrera, Candis Cayne, Laverne Cox, and Amanda Lepore, a few among the vast success stories within the trans/lgbtq community.



1. Islan Nettles (2013) (New York)


2. Erycka Morgan (2013) (New Brunswick, NJ) (Rutgers University)


3. Lorena Escalera (Lorena Xtravaganza) (2012) (Brooklyn)


4. Victoria Carmen White (2010) (Maplewood, NJ)


5. Amanda Gonzalez-Andujar (2010) (Queens, NY)


6. Venus Xtravaganza (1988) (Paris is Burning, 1990, Jennie Livingston) (New York) (Jersey City, NJ)

Success Stories


1. Janet Mock (Former Staff Editor, People Magazine) (Activist, Author) (New York)


2. Carmen Carrera (Model [Elite Model Management], Burlesque Performer, Reality T.V. Personality) (Elmwood Park, NJ)


3. Candis Cayne (Actor, Model, Performance Artist, Legendary Nightlife Icon) (New York)


4. Laverne Cox (Actor, Reality T.V. Personality, Producer, Trans Advocate)

26th Annual Night Of A Thousand Gowns

5. Amanda Lepore (Model, Muse, Fashion Icon, Nightlife Icon [Original Club Kid], Singer, Actor, Performance Artist, Businesswoman)


“About.” Janet Mock About Comments. 26 Mar. 2014 <;.

“Amanda Lepore.” Wikipedia. 15 Mar. 2014. Wikimedia Foundation. 26 Mar. 2014 <;.

Baker, Al, and Nate Schweber. “Woman Dies in a Brooklyn Fire That Is Deemed Suspicious.” The New York Times. 12 May 2012. The New York Times. 26 Mar. 2014 <;.

Baker, Al. “In Woman’s Death, an Arrest but No Motive.” The New York Times. 14 Apr. 2010. The New York Times. 26 Mar. 2014 <;.

“Candis Cayne.” Wikipedia. 26 Mar. 2014. Wikimedia Foundation. 26 Mar. 2014 <;.

“Carmen Carrera.” Wikipedia. 16 Mar. 2014. Wikimedia Foundation. 26 Mar. 2014 <;.

“Daily Kos.” NJ: Murder of trans woman Victoria Carmen White. 26 Mar. 2014 <;.

“Grieving mom encounters man she says beat, killed her transgender daughter last summer.” NY Daily News. 26 Mar. 2014 <;.

“Hey, she was just a ho: Sick bid by killer’s lawyer.” New York Post Hey she was just a ho Sick bid by killerslawyer Comments. 26 Mar. 2014 <;.

“Laverne Cox | Bio.” Laverne Cox RSS2. 26 Mar. 2014 <;.

“Laverne Cox.” Wikipedia. 20 Mar. 2014. Wikimedia Foundation. 26 Mar. 2014 <;.

“The Legacy of Venus Xtravaganza.” Dazed. 26 Mar. 2014 <;.

LeTrent, Sarah. “In the spotlight: Carmen Carrera.” CNN. 06 Feb. 2014. Cable News Network. 26 Mar. 2014 <;.

“LGBTI global news 24-7.” Gay Star News. 26 Mar. 2014 <;.

“Lower East Side man convicted in killing of transgender woman • TimesLedger.” TimesLedger. 26 Mar. 2014 <;.

Mock, Janet. “It Happened to Me: I Told My Boyfriend I Was Born a Boy.” The Huffington Post. 13 Dec. 2011. 26 Mar. 2014 <;.

“The Murder of Venus Xtravaganza 1988 – Reviews – Oct 7, 2013.” Theatermania. 26 Mar. 2014 <;.

“Newark Man Acquitted in Murder of Transgender Model.” 26 Mar. 2014 <;.

Nichols, James. “Eyricka Morgan, Transgender Woman, Allegedly Murdered In New Jersey.” The Huffington Post. 28 Sept. 2013. 26 Mar. 2014 <;.

“” The Star-Ledger -. 26 Mar. 2014 <;.

“” The Star-Ledger -. 26 Mar. 2014 <;.

Reporter, Daily Mail. “Transgender woman dies after being savagely beaten by a Facebook friend when he learned she was born a man.” Mail Online. 24 Aug. 2013. Associated Newspapers. 26 Mar. 2014 <;.

Schwirtz, Michael. “Embarking on a New Life, Transgender Woman Has It Brutally Taken.” The New York Times. 08 Sept. 2013. The New York Times. 25 Mar. 2014 <;.

“Transgender star dies in B’klyn blaze.” New York Post Transgender star dies in Bklynblaze Comments. 26 Mar. 2014 <;.

“Transgender Star Lorena Escalera’s Murder Still Unsolved a Year After Death.” DNAinfo New York. 26 Mar. 2014 <;.

“Transgender woman Amanda Gonzalez-Andujar was strangled by man she was dating, cops suspect.” NY Daily News. 26 Mar. 2014 <;.

“Venus Xtravaganza.” Learn and talk about , 1988 murders in the United States, American murder victims, American people of Italian descent, American prostitutes. 26 Mar. 2014 <;.

“Victoria Carmen White’s Murder Trial & the Prison Industrial Complex.” Wild Gender. 26 Mar. 2014 <;.

Media and Advertisement: The Power of Persuasion

By: Douglas Reyes


Steven Klein, Kate Moss for Alexander McQueen, S/S 2014

Advertising agencies have the power of persuasion. They know how to play on the feelings, thoughts, and emotions of the onlooker. Advertisements have the ability to convey hidden messages within the structure of imagery that alters the perception of an unsuspected viewer. Advertisers go to extreme lengths to come up with strategic ways of making a strong impact on the viewer, in turn making onlookers succumb to what is being “sold” to them. Prospective clients pay top dollar to have these advertising firms convince onlookers that their product is needed and not wanted. We’re living in an era of excess, where materials things are a must have, and not valued on a needed basis! What can you say? “We’re living in [an] age where the pursuit of all values other than, money, success, fame, [and] glamour [have] either been discredited or destroyed… for we are living in the age of [this] thing”! [1]


Terry Richardson, Equinox Ad Campaign, Autumn 2013

Advertisements have negative and adverse effects on the mental state of young women. Being exposed to this type of imagery at an early stage in life may potentially cause body dysmorphic disorders, eating disorders, self-loath, and suicide, as stated in this passage from Cutting Girls Down, “…adolescent girls in America are afflicted with a range of problems, including low self-esteem, eating disorders, [etc…]… Teenage women today are engaging in far riskier health behavior in greater numbers than any prior generation.” [2] Advertisements create this state of mental distress, which encourages young women to believe they don’t meet the standards of societies representation of “perfection”. This “perfection” is highly encouraged by the beauty, and fashion industry, as well as other media venues. This promotes irrational decision-making, which in turn encourages them to strive for these false “realities” created by advertising firms; “The culture, both reflected and reinforced by advertising, urges girls to adopt false self, to bury alive their real selves…” [3] The negative connotations within this state of mentality may result in a lack of self-esteem, which begins to redefine young women’s standards, and forces upon them the expectations of these advertisements.


Ellen von Unwerth, Equinox Ad Campaign, Spring 2008

Imagery within advertisement has the power to play on the esteem of young women; “Advertisers are aware of their role and do not hesitate to take advantage of the insecurities and anxieties of young people, usually in a guise of offering solutions.” [4] Advertising firms use both, subliminal context, and image tactics, within the content of advertisements to nitpick on the insecurities of young women. These ads are constructed to stigmatize young women, and make them susceptible to the standards of fashion, beauty, and media; “Girls are extremely desirable to advertisers because they are new consumers, are beginning to have significant disposable income, and are developing brand loyalty that might last a lifetime.” [5] This also encourages what society believes should be the aesthetic “norm” of today. On another note, advertising agencies are successful in making young women strive for unrealistic “perfection”; “You can never be too rich or too thin, girls are told. This mass delusion sells a lot of products. It also causes enormous suffering involving girls in false quests… in fact the quest for a body as thin as the model’s becomes a prison for many women and girls.” [6], by incorporating, and encouraging these notions within their advertising campaigns, advertisers are doing more harm than good. This damage is made possible by the evidence, and rise, throughout the years, of reconstructive (plastic) surgeries, predominantly by young women. Unbeknownst to them that these advertisements rely on imagery aided by computer editing software that manipulates the physical and aesthetic appearance of the models within these images.


Mario Testino, Tom Ford for Gucci, S/S 2003

Sexism in relation to advertising portrays women as docile, compliant, and submissive creatures with no sense of thought, values, or morals; “In ad after ad girls are urged to be “barely there”- beautiful but silent… they are even more powerfully attuned to images of women, because they learn from these images what is expected of them, what they are to become.” [7] Within these advertisements, especially high fashion ads, young women are minimized to mere vessels with no power and/or voice. They are portrayed as inferior to their male counterpart, and used as mere props for men’s entitled amusement; within this frame, they succumb to men’s dominance, animalistic sexual appetite, desire and need, all within the content of the imagery. The visual representation of this set of advertising campaign values can be portrayed as the new form of racism, as woman are subjected to lower class citizenship through a bigoted and misogynistic mind frame brought upon advertising campaigns. Racism and sexism have the same origin, the hatred of disliking those who are different from you. Through these advertisements women are oppressed, seen as less than human. They enslave and use them accordingly to feed into the empowerment of men over women, setting forth a subconscious hatred against them. Men are given the idea that they can control and domesticate women. No one is excluded from this! It includes the domination of potential love interests, as well as female relatives. They are encouraged to believe that women can be owned, and forced should be used to assimilate them. Now what woman doesn’t want that? NOT!


Mario Testino, Tom Ford for Gucci, S/S 2003

Media and advertisement can have a substantial impact on our daily lives. It has the power to make people go into a frenzy of insatiable indulgence. It can alter our train of thought, and even influence our everyday habits. Advertisements have the ability to evoke sentiments of nostalgia; making us feel good through positively reinforced campaign ads. In the same token, it can also negatively impact the perception of young people. Everyday we struggle with acceptance. Even as adults we are still trying to find whom we are. Advertising agencies have the upper hand on our train of thought, and they use this to their advantage to make us buy into the hype! They enforce their standards upon us, and we feed into the madness, and why is this you ask? We feel a need to belong! Simple as that! In the end, we’re humans with feelings, thoughts, and emotions and as long as we attain these qualities we will never surpass the influence the media has on us.

A campaign film featuring the Alexander McQueen Spring/Summer 2014 Collection, directed by Steven Klein and featuring Kate Moss. Visit to experience the S/S 2014 collection.

See the Campaign:


All imagery and videos are copyright of their respective owner. I do not own or am affiliated with these companies, and do not condone the use, or distribution of these images and/or videos. Use is solely restricted to informative and educational purposes.

Works Cited

 1. Da Housecat, Felix vs. Pop Tarts. 2003. Party Monster Soundtrack. Money, Success, Fame, Glamour (Remix). New York. TVT Records: Track 4

2. Kilbourne, Jean. 1999. Deadly Persuasion: Why Women and Girls Must Fight the Addictive Power of Advertising. New York: Free Press: 129

3. Kilbourne, Jean. 1999. Deadly Persuasion: Why Women and Girls Must Fight the Addictive Power of Advertising. New York: Free Press: 130

4. Kilbourne, Jean. 1999. Deadly Persuasion: Why Women and Girls Must Fight the Addictive Power of Advertising. New York: Free Press: 129

5. Kilbourne, Jean. 1999. Deadly Persuasion: Why Women and Girls Must Fight the Addictive Power of Advertising. New York: Free Press: 131

6. Kilbourne, Jean. 1999. Deadly Persuasion: Why Women and Girls Must Fight the Addictive Power of Advertising. New York: Free Press: 138

7. Kilbourne, Jean. 1999. Deadly Persuasion: Why Women and Girls Must Fight the Addictive Power of Advertising. New York: Free Press: 138

Does Anyone Really Understand What’s Going On?

By Ashley Okwuosa

In a society where sex sells, it’s hard not to be bombarded with images that propel the agenda. Sex, nudity and all the things that come with it, are used to push products. Now, it would be a lot easier to deal with if sex was our only problem, but unfortunately, sex, sexism, racism and skewed power structures are also part of the discussion. Why does this matter? Actually, the question should be, why should it matter. Well, in a society where constructed ideas of normalcy are disguised as race, gender, and so on, it would be criminal for us not to know how we are being targeted by the media, and the affects it has on us.

As Bell Hooks said in this video, media has become a pedagogy; a method through which we learn. Wether we realize it or not. Not only does the media teach us, it works to reinforce notions that we may have never questioned before, and in reality come to be okay with.

What is wrong with the video below?

I mean, what is really wrong with it? In the text, “Performative Acts and Gender Constitutions” by Judith Butler, she says “Gender is instituted through the stylization of the body and, hence, must be understood, as the mundane way in which bodily gestures, movements and enactments constitute the illusion of an abiding gendered self” (Butler, 392) These constructed ideas of gender are continuously propelled throughout the media, and we have internalized them. We don’t question what is wrong with ad’s like this. It’s either, we have become immune or we’re told that it’s not a big deal.


Image via Styleite

Above is an editorial from the online publication Buro 24/7. Well, the image is clear to see, but again what is wrong with this image? I was told that this was a poor attempt at an artistic representation. Major side eye. In the reading, “The Spectacle of The Other” Hall, discusses representation. Although, it’s hard for me to say, Miroslava Duma’s intention might not have been outrightly racist (It doesn’t make it any less) but what did this image represent. Racial power structures, Insensitivity, and everything but Art.

“Representation is a complex business, and especially when dealing with ‘difference’, it engages feelings, attitudes, and emotions in the viewer, at deeper levels than we can explain in our simple, common sense way” (Hall, 226)


Image via


Image via

The point that i’m trying to make, is that a lot of people don’t see the racism or sexism that is rife in today’s media. When we think of sexist ads, we immediately think about the Mad Men era (See below)

A quick google search  shows pulls up, ads from the mid 90’s first, before showing the most recent examples. The culture that we live in, isn’t fully aware of what we are up against, let alone it’s impact. We must learn to question the ads, question the motives of the companies, because silence and ignorance only feeds the monster.

Work Cited

1) Butler, Judith. Performative Acts and Gender Constitution. An Essay in Phenomenology and Feminist Theory pg. 393. Print

2) Hall, Stuart. Chapter 4 The Spectacle of the Other pg. 236. Print.

3) Hooks, Bell Cultural Criticism and Transformation (Video. Hyperlinked above)

* All Images are linked back to original source*

Branding the People

Let me first state that I come from a matriarchal family. Women were viewed as the leaders and heads of the family. I learned this through my mom and also through my great aunt and grandmother. Being from this background, my experience through patriarchal society is limited. Patriarchs to me are being phased out.


However, where the standards for this idea don’t apply is the mainstream media or popular culture. The images that are distributed through this medium employ both sexist and racist underlying themes. Like in the commercial for, “Summer’s Eve” that was shown during class, sexist.

I found an interesting conversation in the comments bellow:

Liz Thompson said, “If Summer’s Eve is trying to sell their product to women, why bother to piss most of them off with a dumb commercial like this? Also, it’s not even healthy. Don’t bother buying this shit.”

Three replies followed:

Zaya2 said, “It’s called a joke that most people get and laugh at. I’m sorry you didn’t get it and completely ostracize a product and/or group of people based on your own personal opinion on a singular video that was made for 33 seconds.”

Dorian Stark said, “SOmebody has sand in their vagina today….Maybe you need…summers eve.”

ProudAmericanLady said, “I love this commercial. No I LOVE this commercial. One of the best out there. If any one gets pissed off by it they need to grow up. Good job guys makes me never want to buy any other brand but yours.”

The first girl makes the connection of a woman’s product advertisement is basically all about the guy and the responses to her criticism of the commercial receive blow back.  An insult from one person and then two others that completely miss the connection she was making.

In Cutting Girls Down to Size, Jean Kilbourne states, “Advertisers are aware of their role and do not hesitate to take advantage of the insecurities and anxieties of young people, usually in the guise of solutions.”

This is a perfect example of those insecurities that she was talking about. In the commercial the woman couldn’t even say the word vagina, she referred to it as, “a woman’s v.” The commercial also attacked the insecurities of a man who after using a woman’s product had to establish that he wasn’t a woman through a decathlon of manliness.

The purpose of images is to capture the attention of the viewer, drawing them in and holding their gaze to create a memory and an experience. Advertising doesn’t necessarily sell you a product as much as it sells the sensory emotions that come equipped with the advertisement, not even the product.

But there are many ways to advertise and reach consumers take for example, what happened with the airline Song.

Can you tell this was an airline from the brand logo?

Delta created this separate airline to engage customers away from using JetBlue; specifically, the market for northeastern flights to Florida. What did the Song experience teach us about branding? It taught us that no amount of branding can help sell a product – though branding an airline Song, a word which makes little to no connection to airplanes and flying – started off in a downward spiral. As we saw when a random customer engaged with an employee, asking “So wait, are you an airline or a travel agency?”

Like you said in class, popular culture is created through the people in culture and regurgitated. The people demand and then the advertisers make it so.

Sex always sells, with the basic nature of humans being driven by the need to reproduce it’s an essential and easy target for advertisements. Like you showed in class through the high end fashion advertisements. Pictures of murdered woman and gang bangs with homosexual tendencies being displayed openly through magazines and billboards in urban arenas. Men always seemed the focal point of them, the advertisements that you showed had a male presence even if only in shadow.

Anthony J. Cortese said in “Constructed Bodies, Deconstructing Ads: Sexism in Advertising” that, “The perfect provocateur is not human; rather, she is a form or hollow shell representing a female figure. Accepted attractiveness is her only attribute. She is slender, typically tall and long-legged. Women are constantly held to this unrealistic standard of beauty. If they fail to attain it, they are led to feel guilty and ashamed” (Page 54).

The industry of advertising cannot change by it’s nature, it’s been created to sell through whatever means is necessary and the tragedy of the commons tell us that – people will act according to their own best interests even if those interests hurt the society on the whole.

Matthew Cole

Professor Meredith Goncalves

Imagery & Culture

March 11, 2014

Differential Artistic Expression

During the past four weeks in imagery and culture class we have learned various terms that have not only showed us a different way of looking at art but also how to interpret it as well.  This is a form of pedagogy which is “teaching of art or science; a form of education; instructional methods (1).”  The teachings of pedagogy showed me how art can be looked at and even perceived in many different ways; it has much to do with representation.  In the world of art representation is ” a process through which we construct the world around us (2)”, basically it is how each of us individually visualize things.iridescent angelFor example, one person can perceive the picture above as an iridescent angel floating around in the night sky; whereas, someone else may not view the image as such.  It is very possible that another person could look at the same image and have totally different viewpoint.  This is called consumption of a particular image.

When defining power the words possession and control over something or someone comes to mind.  Images have the ability to exude power over the mind of others.  Think about it.  When you see a photograph of two people kissing you might assume that they are dating or even in love; however there is a possibility that the picture could be deceiving; the total opposite of what you are seeing.  This occurs because images especially those from “cameras are considered to have a truth value (3).”  Camera pictures are seen as more personal and trustworthy because there is not a chance that the pictures are altered.  This is why if you see family photos of a particular event such as a birth of a new baby you are more inclined to believe what you see.  The photograph(s) symbolizes truth and proof that the even actually took place.

baby picWhen it comes to viewing media hegemony is also involved as well.  Hegemony is “a state or condition of a culture arrived at through a negotiation or struggle over meanings, laws, and social relationships (4).”  Images can have different meanings depending on someone’s culture.  For an example, one culture may look at an image of war and destruction and may view it as a horrid sight; while another culture can view the same image and see it as a symbol of protection and courage displayed by soldiers fighting for their country.  It is all about perception and consumers (viewers) way of thinking and what they absorb from a particular image.


Sexism in media towards women is not something that is uncommon.  Sexism is defined as “discrimination or devaluation based on a person’s sex (5).”  In society and media today men are still considered to be more dominant and in control, however, now women have more rights, are able to speak more freely, and make their own decisions in media.  This is a drastic change from how things used to be in the past for women.  As Lucy Lippard made not of in the excerpt Double Take, it was considered to be inappropriate for a woman to interfere in a man’s territory (line of work, profession, etc.).  Even though women have more of a say and influence in media now they are still somewhat being controlled and degraded.  Most women in media are now equated to sex objects and derogatory expressions.  It is as if women in media today have to demean themselves in order to become popular in pop culture.

sexism pic

Pop culture is defined as “cultural activities and commercial products reflecting suited to, or aimed at the tastes of general masses of people (6).”  Popular culture when compared to art is considered to be on a lower scale because popular culture has much to do with television, internet, movies, and so forth.  Whereas, paintings are considered high class and more upscale because the come from a more artistic approach.  I think both pop culture and art are very similar when it comes to images.  Both capture images and expressions of artistic meanings the two just display it differently.

popculture 1popculture2

With art, images are objects are things that are visible and tangible.  They are showed off as spectacles (“anything presented to the sight or view (7).”) to consumers/viewers.  The viewing of these artistic pictures is called the gaze.  All of these factors make art what it is today; powerful depiction of artistic creation that is absorbed through the lens of today’s society and media.ending pictureNotes

1)”pedagogy.”, n.d. Web. 16 Feb. 2014. <;.

2) Sturken, Marita, and Lisa Cartwright. 2009. Practices of looking: an introduction to visual culture. New York: Oxford University Press: 12-14

3) Sturken, Marita, and Lisa Cartwright. 2009. Practices of looking: an introduction to visual culture. New York: Oxford University Press: 17

4) Sturken, Marita, and Lisa Cartwright. 2009. Practices of looking: an introduction to visual culture. New York: Oxford University Press: 54

5) “sexism.”, n.d. Web. 16 Feb. 2014. <;.

6)  Lippard, Lucy. “Doubletake: The Diary of a Relationship with an Image.” (1996): 88. Rpt. inThe Photography Reader.

7) “pop culture.”, n.d. Web. 16 Feb. 2014. <;.

8) “spectacles.”, n.d. Web. 16 Feb. 2014. <;.


Image Is Everything?

By: Douglas Reyes


Rihanna for Balmain, S/S 14

In today’s society image is everything. Image is a perception of  people as a whole; it not only represents who we are, but also encourages who we’ll undoubtedly become. Both visual and perceptual imagery allows us to make meaning of the world around us, and “everyday, we are in the practice of looking to make…” [1] sense of this, “through looking we negotiate social relationships and meanings” [2]; as depicted in Practices of Looking. For instance imagery has the power to convey so many feelings and emotions, it has “the power to calm or incite to action… to persuade or mystify” [3]; Imagery sets out to deconstruct our thoughts and beliefs, and reconstruct them in a way that serves their purpose. It makes us think, imagine the possibilities, inspire creativity within our senses “a single image can serve a multitude of purposes, appear in a range of settings, and mean different things to different people” [4] images help us make our own representation of what is being portrayed. - Free Magazines Download in PDF for iPad/PC

Lady GaGa for Versace, S/S 14

Imagery and representation go hand in hand. Imagery helps us make meaning of the world around us; representation “refers to the use of language and images to create meaning about the world around…” [5]; this in turn helps us create assumptions of said imagery, through the representation of others. In fact the world as we see it today is not of our own representation, but the vision of others, as presented to us in this quote:

… we only make meaning of the world through specific cultural context. This takes place in part through the language systems (be they writing, speech, or images) that we use. Hence, the material world only has meaning, and only can be “seen” by us, through these systems of representation. This means that the world is not simply reflected back to us through systems of representation, but that we actually construct the meaning of the material world through these systems. [6]

Stating that said forces influence our intellect and beliefs, and that we only mimic what we see and hear, but isn’t imitation the sincerest form of flattery? Didn’t the people we grew up with influence our entire belief system, and our “image”? Didn’t our teachers influence what we know today from what we learned in school? Through pedagogy being “the science, art, profession of teaching” [7] we acquired said notions of influence and representation, whether it be through our parents, siblings, teachers or other influences in our lives, we are all representations of those said forces! So in fact we are a society of copycats and posers, who have no sense of individuality! We are all different per say, but more a like then we dare to admit!


Hermes Matte Alligator Graphite Birkin, ca. 2013 [Q]

 As a people we are driven by consumption, consumerism not only encourages this, but also influences the indulgence of excess; living beyond our means to keep up with the demands set forth by the media, advertising, but most importantly the higher-ups in the fashion industry. These “connoisseurs [are] considered to be an authority on beauty and aesthetics, who [are] more capable than [you] to pass judgment on the quality of cultural objects.” [8] In this sense, being advertisement, and high fashion editorials. Fashion insiders make life-leading decisions into the next highest trend of the season, in terms “that is, they are able, regardless of their own class position, to rank images and objects according to a system of taste steeped in class-based values.” [9]


Christian Louboutin, Python Pigalle, S/S 14

That new must have “it” bag, that’ll bring status symbol into our lives, that tweed jacket that screams stature, poise, and luxury, and/or that hot new shoe that screams I’m better than you! In a world where flaunting you’re wealth is all the rage, image is EVERYTHING! But this notion also puts you on the forefront of one of the biggest misconceptions of our reality… wealth, status, and image are not all it’s cracked up to be! In a world where spectacle is all the rage, putting up a front is what most people have in reality, and it’s pretty sad. Through hegemony being “the social, cultural, ideological, or economic influence exerted by a dominant group.” [10] We are forced to fall within structured guidelines and accept the ideals of people with influence, whether it is through media, high fashion, or advertisement.


Fashion Editorial, S/S 14

Pop culture in relation to representation, and imagery is composed of perspectives, ideas, and attitudes, consisting with the times. Through appropriation these ideals take charge, and compose the mainstream of any given society/culture. These strategies (perspectives, ideas, attitudes, etc…) are used within pop culture to “[borrow], and [change] or [reconfigure] images, [ideas, etc…] [that] have proliferated in contemporary image-making, [ideas, etc…] processes.” [11] This indeed identifies the representation of the culture interpretation of pop culture where the “remaking of style through appropriation of historical objects and images can be a… statement about class and cultural identity.” [12] As we age pop culture changes, what is “hot” today won’t be as “hot” ten years from now, in this sense, “… culture industries are constantly establishing [and, changing] what is new [with] style…” [13]; in an effort to keep up with the times, but also the demands of the new generation, through the influence of the media, advertising, and fashion industry.


Alexander Wang, S/S 14

Sexism and the “gaze” within the representation of the female nude are one in the same. The “gaze” encourages the objectification of women as mere tangible property; “men survey women before treating them. Consequently how a woman appears to a man can determine how she will be treated.” [14] This in turn makes women the “object” of desire, referring to them as simple property. The “gaze” is one of the main culprits in both the sexist, and misogynistic ideals of our society, “She has to survey everything she is and everything she does because how she appears to men, is of crucial importance for what is normally thought of as the success of her life.” [15]; this in fact encourages the objectification of women; by making them succumb and appeal to the demand and standards of her male counterpart. This is also driven by the over sexualization of society through the use of crude, sex driven advertising within pop culture. This in turn has a negative effect on the quality, and representation of the female gender, and encourages the devaluation of women, which in fact is turning them into sexually driven beings with no values and/or morals. Makes women “[submit] to the owner’s feeling or demands”! [16]


Dolce & Gabbana, S/S 14

In conclusion, imagery and all that entails with the notions of present day norms, influences our every thought and being. Imagery is one of the biggest influences in modern-day life. It not only depicts our sense of style, but also encourages our taste in music, and fashion. Without imagery some of us have no sense of purpose. Visualization helps in the construction of fantasies, and desires, which drives us to make something of ourselves. Not everyone is fond of written word, especially those who have no patience in creating their own imagination, but desire to live vicariously through the imagery, and vision of others. This to say that not all imagery has a negative effect, some help us construct those visions that are missing in our lives, but with the same token not all imagery is good either. Indulge at your own risk!


Images link to their website. All imagery is copyright of their respective owner. I do not own or am affiliated with these companies, and do not condone the use, or distribution of these images. Use is solely restricted to informative and educational purposes.

Works Cited

1. Sturken, Marita, and Lisa Cartwright. 2009. Practices of Looking: An Introduction to Visual Culture. New York: Oxford University Press: 10

2. Sturken, Marita, and Lisa Cartwright. 2009. Practices of Looking: An Introduction to Visual Culture. New York: Oxford University Press: 10

3. Sturken, Marita, and Lisa Cartwright. 2009. Practices of Looking: An Introduction to Visual Culture. New York: Oxford University Press: 10

4. Sturken, Marita, and Lisa Cartwright. 2009. Practices of Looking: An Introduction to Visual Culture. New York: Oxford University Press: 10

5. Sturken, Marita, and Lisa Cartwright. 2009. Practices of Looking: An Introduction to Visual Culture. New York: Oxford University Press: 12

6. Sturken, Marita, and Lisa Cartwright. 2009. Practices of Looking: An Introduction to Visual Culture. New York: Oxford University Press: 12-13

7. “Pedagogy.” 2014. (17 Feb.             2014)

8. Sturken, Marita, and Lisa Cartwright. 2009. Practices of Looking: An Introduction to Visual Culture. New York: Oxford University Press: 49

9. Sturken, Marita, and Lisa Cartwright. 2009. Practices of Looking: An Introduction to Visual Culture. New York: Oxford University Press: 49

10. “Hegemony.” 2014. (17 Feb. 2014)

11. Sturken, Marita, and Lisa Cartwright. 2009. Practices of Looking: An Introduction to Visual Culture. New York: Oxford University Press: 60

12. Sturken, Marita, and Lisa Cartwright. 2009. Practices of Looking: An Introduction to Visual Culture. New York: Oxford University Press: 65

13. Sturken, Marita, and Lisa Cartwright. 2009. Practices of Looking: An Introduction to Visual Culture. New York: Oxford University Press: 65

14. Berger, John. Ways of Seeing. New York: Viking, 1973: 46

15. Berger, John. Ways of Seeing. New York: Viking, 1973: 46

16. Berger, John. Ways of Seeing. New York: Viking, 1973: 52