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Reply #5: I think like everything, [View All]

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Home » Discuss » DU Groups » Women » Feminists Group Donate to DU
Heddi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-28-05 07:30 PM
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5. I think like everything,
the "media" (And when I say "Media", I mean everything from advertising, news, print, videos, music, movies, TV shows, etc) strives to portray the "Unobtainable Reality".

Even if a movie shows a woman working as a cashier, making $2.15 an hour plus tips, she STILL lives in a decent house in a decent neighborhood, has a decent car, wears decent clothes, tons of beautiful friends, no facial blemishes or bad hair, and STILL has the money to socialize at bars and restaurants---an unobtainable reality for many working-class poor. I remember when I was a waitress, making $2.15 an hour plus tips, I was in my mid 20's, living in a slum in the ghetto, wearing clothes I'd been squeezing myself into since High School, not enough underwear, not enough money to do clothes, DEFINITELY not enough money to go out and so such frivilous things as go to a bar or eat at a restaurant.

I grew up very poor. My mom was a single parent, we lived in a trailer that by all rights should have been condemned because it had holes in the floor, infested with roaches, etc. She often worked 2+ jobs PLUS owed her soul to small time loan companies just to make ends meet. We had no phone, no cable, and all of my clothes were hand-me-downs.

I remember watching "Pretty in Pink"--classic tale of the poor girl who hooks up with the rich boy. Only, for being so poor, Molly Ringwald certainly had a nice house (not a hovel), had nice clothes (not hand-me-downs donated by the church up the street), had a 2 bedroom house, a large room, a car....

I never felt that *MY* reality (and by proxy, the reality of MILLIONS of adults & children in this country) was ever accurately portrayed by the Media. Even if you were poor, you were never *that* poor unless the movie was about blacks living in the ghetto...and even then, their hovels and shanty shacks were much nicer than any shanty *I* ever lived in.

I remember when "Roseanne" came on TV--finally, a show that kind of captured my reality, but again, not really because it was a 2 parent household, 2 story house, and they had things. No trailer, no roaches, no holes in the floor, no plastic on the windows in the wintertime to keep the cold out.

I grew up always feeling like I was on the outside of society. THe area I lived in was very impoverished, so 99% of the people I grew up in were either in the same situation as I, or one slightly better or slightly worse. Even with their influence, I still felt as if *I* was a nobody since NO ONE took the time to see what REAL poverty was like and portray it accurately and without stereotypes or 'rags to riches' ending where everyone hugs on the porch and life goes on peachy-keen.

Even now, as an adult who lives a fairly affluent life (and by affluent, I mean that I want for nothing, am financially stable, and don't have holes in the floor, even though technically I live at the poverty level by census standards), I still don't see realistic portrayals of REAL families, of REAL people who live in not so idyllic situations.

This really doesn't have shit to do with your post :) about showing 'real' women, other than the fact that the media rarely shows anything 'real' or obtainable. Even IF the woman has her own business (which is good), she can't be dumpy or fat or have bad hair. She has to HAVE IT ALL, which just isn't REALITY.

If the media didn't show constantly the Unobtainable Reality, then we would have nothing to strive for (in their eyes). They would have nothing to market to us if we were perfectly happy with our station in life. Why would we buy X product if we felt TRULY that we were content without it?

So they have to show the unobtainable reality. They have to always make it seem that there is SOMEONE out there who, in one way or another, has it BETTER than you, and that YOU can obtain that only if you try hard, work hard, and by all means, BUY BUY BUY and STRIVE STRIVE STRIVE.
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