Are consumers being sold a dream?

There are two reasons you would purchase a product, one being that you understand that it is of use to you and that it will benefit you in some way, the second reason being you’re buying into the lifestyles that the product is associated with. I wanted to ponder on the subject to see which one people tend to go for.

Advertising has so many more platforms today then before social networking was introduced to us. If you have a product, it’s pretty easy for you to advertise it on your account. Many celebrities use this platform to sell or promote items from their own brand or could even be endorsed to do so.

Now here’s the question, do we just buy the items because your favorite celebs are “using” it or is it because the product is genuinely good?

So now, you’ve had your derrière blown up to its ideal size, what would this be followed up with? Two words, waist trainer. Basically like a corset, though we are in 2016. They have become widely popular throughout the western culture for women to achieve an un-naturally small waist. It’s the 11th Jan 2016, 04:20pm and the current number of tags for “waist trainer” is sat at 321,606. Which went up in the time of me taking a screen shot. I think Instagram itself is a very superficial outlet, as it has now come to showing off what you have physically and materially.

Waist training does have its downsides like expected, but how many people are aware of them?  wrote on the Huffington Post about the problems you may face as well as the effects of waist training. He states “As the corset is holding your waistline in, it’s also putting pressure on your internal organs. Among the potential health hazards of waist training are acid reflux, rib damage, and bruising. Corsets can also restrict blood flow back to the heart, which could affect your blood pressure and cause dizziness or fainting.” That is enough in itself to put me off this craze. 

A friend of mine is already mid purchase with a waist trainer, so I wll post up a video or link before and after she used it to see what she thought about it, followed by a short statement of her overall views.

“I saw a lot of people starting to use a waist trainer on social media, they showed it being really easy to use with a quick outcome.

So after using it for the 30 days I can say I did see somewhat of a difference, it does help with posture and when wearing it, it shows you the shape you’d achieve if continuing to wear it. I did realise when wearing it that it is very uncomfertable and I wouldn’t want to wear it for longer then the 8 hours a day that I did. I think most people buy into it without really understanding it or how to use it effectively. It is also something that you have to use in the long run to see drastic effects, but with the discomfort I would just recommend ladies to go about shrinking their waists through gym and dieting correctly, because I could use this for a few months but my body would go back to its normal shape unless I wore it majority of the time, which isn’t healthy I would think. I also think that people aren’t to aware of the damage it does to your insides, because it does manipulate your torso and everything within that area, which was quite scary to think about. Definitely do your research before hand

The affects of social media on your kids

I was born in the 90’s, technology hadn’t reached the level of exposure that it has today. It has become second nature for the upcoming youth to work technology devices a lot easier then most of us. I didn’t even have a phone until my early teens and the use of the internet wasn’t as accessible as it has now become, not to mention the cost of using the internet from phone was something my mum wasn’t willing to pay for. It seems that today, having the internet at hand is something of a necessity, we have it on our phones, but if you need a bigger screen you could always use a tablet… and if that doesn’t work for you laptops/computers aren’t to difficult to get hold off. With all this technology hovering over us, it’s understandable to understand the affects it’s having, whether they are negative or not.

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Stimulation overload

Melissa Williams, professional counselor, public speaker and children’s book author, “The continual stimulation overload we see with social media in the lives of children leaves a negative impact on young minds regarding emotional regulation, proactive lifestyles, judgmental attitudes and self-confidence.”

She shares results from a panel discussion by CSC clinicians at the Nightingale-Bamford School that reported that potential impact of social media on psycho-social development leads to a potential for greater anxiety, increases in depression, can lead to impulsive reactions in order to ‘correct’ impressions or comments being circulated online, and takes time and energy away from physical activity, play (for younger children), academics and family time.”

Social media is anything but “social”

Dr. Kyle Pruett, a clinical professor of child psychiatry at the Yale School of Medicine and member on the Educational Advisory Board to The Goddard School,

“Parenting in the Age of Digital Technology” a recent national study survey from Northwestern University, had more than 2,300 American parents with children eight and under: “The most widely agreed-upon parental concern in the survey was the new media’s negative effects on physical activity and sleep routines. Most real friends at this age will keep you moving — virtual friends, not so much.”

The main media sources that seem to be gaining the attention of the youth are magazines, music videos and television shows. A lot of examples will come to mind when thinking about over-sexualised media, though not all the messages within it will be obvious, understanding the indirect perverted messages may be something that needs some light shone on it to make adults aware of the reality that is today’s media.

Rolling Stones

No matter what your age, I’m damn sure that everyone who isn’t hiding under a rock is familiar with the name Rolling Stones. It could bring a number of things to mind, the music, the artists or even the magazine. Unfortunately I’m not here to discuss their musical talents but to look at the change in how the Rolling Stones magazine has changed over the years. The magazine which was founded in 1967 by Jann Wenner is still one of the most popular magazines to date, covering such topics of music, actors and shows.

I feel like it’s safe to say that over the years, companies have realised how to use sex to sell. The Rolling Stones magazine is one of those, which over the course of time have used this feature to their advantage. I wish I could say that it was for both men and women, but it seems to be the women covers which have become a bit more over exposed, with the occasion male showing us his best features.

 

The two images that you see here were the first two women to feature on the cover of the magazine in the 60’s.

And these are some of the first male artists to feature on the cover.

Both the men and women are shown for what they represent in the media and their characters are portrayed honestly. So far so good right? I mean other than the famous image of John Lennon and Yoko showing us what their behinds look like, there was nothing distasteful advertised.

A transition from the 90’s to the early 2000’s was a turning point for what was acceptable in the media. Women started embracing their sexuality and understandably showed no remorse when baring it all in the face of the media. I guess that’s another issue to cover though. With only 30% of the Rolling Stones covers featuring women, 83% of them were shown in a sexual manner.

This is just one of many examples that connotes the difference between men and women in the public eye.

Eric Hatton, PHD, dug a little deeper into the issue and had this to say after studying over 1,000 covers on the Rolling Stones mag.

“What we conclude from this is that popular media outlets such as Rolling Stone are not depicting women as sexy musicians or actors; they are depicting women musicians and actors as ready and available for sex. This is problematic,” Hatton says, “because it indicates a decisive narrowing of media representations of women.

“We don’t necessarily think it’s problematic for women to be portrayed as ‘sexy.’ But we do think it is problematic when nearly all images of women depict them not simply as ‘sexy women’ but as passive objects for someone else’s sexual pleasure.”

But for those of you who are interested in seeing a raunchy Rolling Stones cover, this is for you, enjoy.

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Are we wired differently?

 

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Dr Michael Mosley who researches for the BBC Two Horizon, explores the idea of men and women’s brains working somewhat differently.

So is your brain male or female?

It’s quite interesting, as from when you have a baby you’re more prone to buying blue clothes, toy cars and so on and for a girl, pink is the color, and they are given dolls, makeup and house play sets. It’s these factors that could determine if men and women are programmed to like certain things or if it’s that we introduce these stereotypes on them. It is these aspects that determine the outcome of a child’s future self.

It has been proven that there are two different brain types, Systemisers and Empathisers. Systemisers being those who like taking things apart to understand how they work Empathisers being better at reading someones feelings or how they are thinking.

Professor Baron-Cohen is an individual who believes that social conditioning is not to blame, but that the hormones that are released from the womb will influence your behavior.

Professor Ruben Gurr, men showed stronger connections between the front and back of their brain, suggesting that, “they are better able to connect what they see with what they do, which is what you need to be able to do if you are a hunter. You see something, you need to respond right away.”

Women, on the other hand, had more wiring between the left and right hemispheres of the brain. According to another of the researchers involved in this study, Dr Ragini Verman, “the fact that you can connect from different regions of the brain means you ought to be good at multi-tasking and you may be better at emotional tasks”.

So does the fact that we may be wired differently effect our roles in society? I guess so to some extent. Men often tend to lie in the Systemisers category and women in Empathsiers. It’s an explanation as to why gender stereotypes are still in place. It could also be that the gender stereotypes are what cater well to both men and women, which would explain a lot of the stereotypes shown in advertising.

Media Pressure

I think it’s safe to say that females get it a whole lot worse when it comes to body image. There are so many unrealistic characters in the media that kids come across on a regular basis. With all this pressure and the younger generation being able to have access to the media, there would be no surprise in the amount of eating disorders that are targeting young girls. 2 in 5 girls will start dieting at the age of 14 due to the pressure of looking an acceptable way that is seen as “ideal”. So it is a question as how we plan to shelter kids from the harsh pressures of the media.

Author, blogger and speaker Sheila Wray Gregoire looked into the consideration of sheltering your kids. She has said..“It is simply wrong for a ten-year-old to be swearing, chasing down the opposite sex, or telling rude jokes. Let kids watch too many adult themed movies, though, and that is what they are going to believe is natural and normal.”

Female role models today consist mainly of musicians, actors and reality stars. I’m not saying they are all to blame but more so in the music industry as well as reality shows show more risque behavior with the attitude that its normal behavior.

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Artists such as Nicki Minaj who are constantly admired by the media are consistent in showing provocative behavior. Are these the kind of role models that we need the upcoming generation to admire?

Though the graphic videos may not be shown on TV, there’s no stopping the public in just Googling it (since Google has the answer to everything). So we could easily implement some boundaries for controlling what is shown on tele, but with the way that technology is progressing over the years, there’s no certainty that consumers who admire these individuals will go out of their way to look up new media put out.

Luis Quiles shows the harsh reality of today’s society

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Controversy in the media is enough to gain the attention of the public, it was Luis Quiles artwork which showed the harsh reality of society and social media. The images touch on topics such as sexism, exploitation, violence and homophobia, all problems that are apparent in today’s society. The controversy that is shown very bluntly in his art may have viewers feeling uncomfortable but you can’t argue with the honest messages shown through his illustrations.

The Spanish artist who shares his art through social media platforms such as Insatgram, Facebook and Tumblr to name a few, has over 45.9k followers, with an average of 1500 likes.

 

ASSets

The world as we know it, is being filled with women with massive asses. From what I see in social media, curvaceous women is what’s in, which is better then the unrealistically, stick thin models who were idolised in the 90’s. The problem I’m seeing with this new image is that women are taking unhealthy options in order to achieve this figure that is admired by so many.

Before I go into the latest examples of this, I wanted to talk about how social media platforms such as Instagram, Twitter and Vine’s don’t show any remorse when it comes to what they show. I couldn’t tell you the number of times I’d come across just body pictures on my feed.

So with my posts, there is always a reason as to why I would be discussing it. This one in particular was due to the vine compilations that appear on the World Star Hip Hop website. I mean, they start off with normal humerous vines, which then lead to showing a number of brawls followed by a long few minutes of ladies (literally) showing of their behinds. Sounds a bit odd right? The first thing that came to my head was that it seems a bit too much effort to go to just to show people they have a nice ass. Honestly I think the only thing they achieve from this is feeling more accepted through the trends that we have in society.

Here is a link to one of the Vine Comps if any of you are curious… Just to prove my point I will insert a screenshot of the page which shows all the related videos.

http://www.worldstarhiphop.com/videos/video.php?v=wshhk0Gm52617peH0820

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Okay, so moving onto the lengths that women seem to being going through to look a particular way. Cosmetic surgery is not as frowned upon as what it used to be, so more women are choosing this quick fix to look there part. More so in America then anywhere else in the world (surprise surprise).  “It’s just amazing, the numbers,” said Dr. Douglas Taranow, a board-certified plastic surgeon in New York City’s Upper East Side. “It’s with J.Lo, and Beyonce, and everyone else having a great derriere… I think people see that and they want to mirror image it.” The increase in butt enlargements has become one of the most popular procedures over the past 3 years, coming up close to lipo and breast augmentation. I think peoples insecurities come from all these unrealistic images that we are constantly being shown. There is pressure to look a certain way because or women looking a certain way will get you further, if you fit into the what is ideal then life might be a little bit easier for you. Sad but true.

 

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