Archive for September, 2013

Genres: Codes and Conventions

Posted: September 29, 2013 in Uncategorized

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For further reading on “genres“, see Daniel Chandler’s “Introduction to Genre Theory“.

Vague Genre: the Movie

Posted: September 29, 2013 in Uncategorized

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Those who wish to explore the icon of Andy Warhol further, here is an ABC News documentary profile of the pop artists when he was at the height of his fame. Part I is here, and the second part of the same profile is here.

The Whitening of Pop Music

Posted: September 10, 2013 in Uncategorized

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Pop music finds its origins in the southern United States where African-Americans played blues, which became rhythm and blues. Today witht he globalization of pop music, some argue that the  images of stars are “whitened” by the commercial interests that market them. The latest example is the Brazilian pop star Anitta. See this article in Salon, “Pop music’s beauty standard is depressingly narrow and white” and this article in the Guardian, “Brazilian funk star Anitta sparks new debate about skin whitening and race“.  The same claim has been made about Beyonce. See this article, “Beyonce is looking several shades lighter in photo shoot for her new album“.

Watch the BBC interview below with Dencia, South Africa’s “Lady Gaga”.

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Tampering with photos stretches back to the earliest days of photography and continues today with the controversial practice of photo-shopping. See “Photo Manipulation Throughout History: A Timeline” and “Photo Tampering Throughout History“. See also “12 Historic Photos That Were Manipulated“. And for the Oprah Winfrey example, see “Oprah’s Head, Ann Margret’s Body: A Brief History of Pre-PhotoShop Fakery“. On photoshopping, see “Photoshopping: Altering Images and Our Minds” and this gallery of Before and After photoshopped images.

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Pop artist Andy Warhol revolutionized the definition of art through mass-produced images of commercial brands and celebrity figures. One of his most famous series of works were the Campbells soup cans. For reading on this work, see “Everything you wanted to know about Andy Warhold’s soup“. Ironically, art turned into adertising when Campbells started selling Andy Warhold editions of its soup. See “Campbells so sell special Andy Warhol soup cans” and “Warhol soup cans at your supermarket“.

The representation of ideal feminine types has changed over time, from full-figured women in the 19th century to flat-chested flappers in the 1920s, then a return to voluptuous movie stars such as Marilyn Munroe as sex symbols in the 1950s, followed by skinny fashion icons such as Twiggy in the 1960s.

On beauty standards historically, see “How Beauty Standards Have Changed Throughout History”.  In our globalized world today, are “Western” feminine ideals conveyed in media establishing global beauty standards? On that subject, seeThe Disturbing Effect Our Beauty Standards Have on Women Across the World.”

On the role of the advertising in establishing beauty standards, see “Seven Ways the Beauty Industry Convinced Women That They Weren’t Good Enough“. What is the role of the fashion industry and the models on runways? See this article, “The truth about size zero.