Saturday, April 5, 2014

Queer Youth Readings

In the readings on queer representation in the media, Media Smarts gave us some questions to ask when it comes to media. 
1. Who created this text and what is its purpose?
2. Whose voice and interests are being represented and whose are being left out?
3. What do the images and narratives being used say about queer people?
4. If the representation uses humor to make a point, are the queer people in on it are they themselves the joke? 

But what makes a form of media queer? you might ask. Well, they give us some questions to ask to decide..
1. Is it made by a queer person?

2. Does it rely on queer aesthetics or is it concerned with queer issues?
3. Has it been widely embraced by queer people?

Media Smarts then goes on to talk about "queer money" and advertising. This is an interesting issue because a lot of companies are now coming out with commercials having to do with different kinds of families like gay couples, interracial couples, etc. Media Smarts asked the question about whether or not these representations are actually balanced because with many representations of queer people, their sexuality is implied or swept to the side--it's nothing more than a label shown by their dress or speech. 

My question for the class is this...
How do you decide if a commercial is trying to represent queer people equally or if queer representation is just a way to make people feel good about a product an spend their money on it? Is it or can it be both? How do you feel about that? 
Have you seen the Honey Maid commercial yet? Great example for consideration. 

Lastly, they keep on with tradition and give us some questions to address media and queer representation. 

What's being assumed and not said?
Why are things represented in a certain way?
Does the author leave open the possibility of being queer or single and still being fulfilled and happy? 
How are queer characters or situations positioned against dominant heterosexual culture? 

I was thinking about how to connect this to our other course texts, and the thing which popped up first in my mind was "Cinderella Ate my Daughter" by Orenstein. It might not directly address queer representation, but "media" absolutely connects to Disney and princesses. Not once was a Disney show mentioned as an example of queer representation in the Media Smart articles. What do you think little girls are taught when they don't see queer characters or princesses? They're taught the same thing they are taught when they don't (often) see princesses of color or princesses who save themselves or don't fall in love at the end of their story. It's made weird, it doesn't fit into the narrative of what it means to be a princess. 

Here are the GLAAD statistics on queer representation in the media for 2012-2013! Thought you might find it interesting.. 


  1. i havent seen the honey maid commercial yet but i really like it. to me it seems they arent being judgemental. a "wholesome" family doesnt mean it has to be a straight couple of the same race. as long as the family works and if healthy it is "wholesome". i do think that some companies advertise gay couples to possibly just pull in customers. did you hear about the Barilla PR crisis that happened a few months ago? Barillas CEO stated in an interview in Italy that he would not represent gay couples because his companies roots were based on straight families. It went viral and people boycotted his company. He made an apology although i did not feel it sincere. I cant remember the company, but in response to his remark, another pasta company made a tv commercial staring different types of pasta as "couples". and their version os same sex couples would be the same type of pasta holding hands walking down a spoon. i wish i could find the link but i cant. just a little interesting.

  2. I also liked the honey maid commercial a lot. I thought it was cute and the words really stood out to me.

  3. To answer your question of how to decide if a commercial is trying to represent queer people equally, I don't know if there really is an answer. In order to answer that question I feel as though we would need to know what the producer or person in charge was thinking when putting a commercial together that represented queer people. It is a really good question!

  4. I think we need to look at the message it sends...every advertisement is trying to get us to buy their product through manipulation, so why not represent queer people too? It's a tough subject

  5. Great post ! people are definitely labeled depending on their outer appearance and you never really get to know how that person is. especially on tv shows, where almost everyone acts in some stereotypical way