Sunday, October 20, 2013

Talking points: Christensen

Christensen argues that at the ages of youth, cartoons deliver unto us a "secret education" which molds and sculpts our perceptions to manipulate the way we look at certain sexes, classes, races, and body types.

On the rare occasion that you catch a glance of someone of a different color or separated from society in some other manner, they're painted with several marks that deem them in some form as lesser. While this is easily overlooked, that is the very issue. Messages are strongest when you don't get the chance to interpret them.  Children receive this "secret" education  at an age where they know only to accept what is in front of them. These simple cartoons are powerfully manipulating one of our greatest abilities as human beings and turning it into a detriment: the ability to absorb information and passively learn from it. This ability is at its most potent when the brain is new. Give child a multiplication problem when the only experience that child has with mathematics is addition and that brain will resort to addition. Put a white student in the same class as a black student when the only account of color that the white student has is one of offensive and obnoxious behavior induced by whatever morning TV was put in front of him while eating his breakfast and his brain will work the same way.
Points to share:
While Christensen makes several great points, I can't help but wonder about just one.

In the instance of social pressure, the perfect hourglass figure being shoved into the faces of women leading to insecurity down the road. All main characters in Disney films and models in media have perfect body types, if every instance of this was wiped clean, and we let generations pass, would physical insecurity stop? Would it even be less prevalent? I firmly believe that nothing would change. Instead of people blaming Disney for their lack of confidence they would blame figures from their personal life. After all, beauty isn't some man-made concept, we're hardwired to perceive certain body types as attractive, as well as to compete for health and genetics. The animators drew these characters this way for a reason, because it's what people take pleasure in looking at. As long as we have eyesight, sex will sell, as long as sex sells, we will be surrounded by sexual icons.

1 comment:

  1. Hey Nick,
    You make a good point as far as the media say we ought to look and act like. Many girls try to have the "Barbie" image when in reality, if Barbie was an actual human being, she would be an average woman; not that I'm saying average isn't good but we as women put a lot of pressure on ourselves to look the way society says we ought to look.