Monday, April 30, 2007

Final Blog Post

"Members of distinct genders, classes, races, regions, and sexual preferences are going to receive and process, as well as react to different situations and circumstances in different ways" There are many audiences that Britney has appealed to over her 10 year stint in the celebrity spotlight. Teeny boppers idolize her, mom’s support most of her actions, and dad's and brothers want to look at her on the cover of Rolling Stone. However, in light of recent events in Britney's life such as getting married and having children, these audience perceptions have been less than stable. Her typically younger fan base consisting of teen and pre-teenage girls, who began listening to her music at the start of her career during the mid to late 90's, has transformed significantly from when she was the innocent virginal school girl that everyone grew to love, into something much more: a growing societal obsession with popular culture within the realms of media and advertising. Britney just happens to also be in the center of that realm of frenzy today.

Stalkers and the never ending presence of the paparazzi in a stars life has gotten to the point where the safety of the individuals involved is being questioned due to the unruly lengths some people will go to extort a star. With the growing technology our world today has to offer, it has become increasingly easy to access the most recent information and/or pictures and video's of Britney, which adds to the pressure of being a good role model for her fans and her children. In addition to increasing the ease of which we view information, technology has also led to an outlet for consumer thought, in the forms of blogs such as this one, allowing us to better understand the ways in which the pop culture populace views and reacts to Britney's actions as a normal person and yet still a role model.

Until she went through puberty and became a sexually expressive young woman, who was and is looked down upon by many in light of her transforming image, Britney Spears was at the top of the pop world; selling millions of albums and being judged on her music, not her extra curricular activities. Our recent infatuation with celebrities has driven many stars to their wits end, wishing they had never become famous in the first place. But without their fans, what would a star be?

The audiences that are and have been attracted to Britney and her music and her persona are all convinced of one thing: Brit is Hott! Ever since playing the naughty school girl in her first record breaking single "Hit Me Baby, One More Time," Britney has been constantly transforming herself as a performer and a person, similar to career and life of Madonna. Just like Madonna, Britney has " emerged in a time of dramatic image proliferation associated with MTV, fashion, and the intense marketing of products.” We can correlate her particular intended/unintended audience’s reaction consistencies/inconsistencies to "a study of women’s use of harlequin novels and show how these books provide escapism for women and could be understood as reproducing traditional women’s roles behaviors and attitudes, yet they can also be empowering by promoting fantasies of a different life and may thus inspire a revolt against male domination" This analysis can be applied to the evolving lyrics, videos, and photo shoots of Britney as well.

“’Fandom’s’ of all sorts form communities that enable people to relate to others who share their interests and hobbies.” For example, the young girls first exposed to Britney’s music idolize her image, her money, her music, her love life, her body, her star status, and want to be just like her and buy all her stuff. Their perceptions and reactions have been consistent over the years, mostly in support of Britney and understanding of the rough patch she has gone through recently. Older girls find the lyrics and videos Britney sends to her fans sexually empowering and by expressing herself in the way she feels comfortable, she reinforces the notion that women today are encouraged to express themselves any way they wish, but also understand the consequences and adverse reactions of those around who are not in agreement with what that particular individual may be expressing. Britney does this regardless of what the public think of her.

Mother’s whose children grew up listening to Britney Spears, as a whole originally liked her. When she started to go through puberty (a.k.a. did she get a boob job or was it natural development?) and express her sexuality within her music and videos, mom's began to demonize her behaviors, saying that she is too sexually charged for their children and that she is a bad role model because she smokes and drinks. Men and adolescent boys on the other hand view Britney in a much more positive light, simply because they typically look at her as an object of sexual gratification, and symbolic figure comparable to the Madonna/whore complex, and possesses qualities of both.

For the most part, audience reactions to Britney’s actions have been relatively consistent to the rest of the world. Recently most audiences perceptions such as the general public interested in following the lives of stars, have changed due to her wild and crazy behavior as of late, looking at her not as a person going through an extremely hard time in their life, but as an object for our personal enjoyment, and to feel better about ourselves.

Douglas Kellner “Cultural Studies, Multiculturalism, and Media Culture.” pg 15-19. Gender, Race and Class in the Media, 2001

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Blog Buddy Work with Amanda D

Where has your Blog buddy shown strong analytical work (be specific—is it a particular post, a type of analysis, a site for analysis that seemed to click more so than others, etc)? Amanda has shown strong analytical work through her research of this topic, and with her posts describing the counter hegemonic trends taking place in the Emo music world, specifically, relating a type of music like Emo, to that of a more mainstream sound such as the Backstreet Boys, which not only makes a reader think on a deeper level about the lyrics in most songs, but also the way in which they are presented to the public, along with the way it is advertised and promoted.

How could your Blog buddy use this strength for the final Blog post and presentation? Amanda is very good at incorporating the advertising and media aspect of our culture into her posts, with a seemingly strong foundation on its workings already. With the help of articles from our book, and her presentation should be chock full of interesting information as it is anyway. Go Amanda! Really great posts!

The Blog is on a topic that has been clearly evident in the Blog posts throughout the semester Yes, Emo is clearly the topic, with the exception of the Girls Next Door Post.

The Blog is on a topic that seems to interest my understanding of music, and emotion ridden teenage males.

Blog buddy Amanda G and Amanda D (Freaking confusing!)

My Blog buddy’s topic is one that has produced a good set of posts that were analytical and used gender as a primary category of analysis with a lot of supporting material from various class articles and personal experiences and research.

The posts make analytical arguments. Yes, each post has a clear focus and is well supported with quotes and

The posts are understandable and each post logically outlines and supports the argument presented. Yes

The posts were clear, provided insight, evidence, and analysis to connect the topic with the assignment for each of the posts. Yes

The sources cited in each post are relevant to the topic and help to aid the understanding of the argument and/or assisted in proving the argument. yes

The quotes used illustrate a broad range of course readings throughout the semester.

The quotes were clear and succinct; additionally, the material was presented so that I could differentiate the ideas you presented in order to analyze the gender aspect of Emo music in a more complete and substantial fashion

Blog buddy’s ideas from that of the author cited. Yes

I thought it was great when you reinforced the commonplace view that Emo boys are just whiny guys filled with too much emotion and don't know what to do with it. It made me feel like in not so clueless about the music world as i thought i was

I didn't really find anything confusing.

I wish you could focus (more) on/alter/edit/explain/expand on/etc these three things: Adding more stuff to your blog like images and/or animation, music, cool extras; Trying to dispel what is already though about Emo, rather than reinforcing what we already know about it (Do any other kinds of ppl sing/listen to emo music other than young males bursting at the seams with feelings?)

Saturday, April 7, 2007

The Popular Demonization of Britney Spears

Britney Spears had been the center of the popular culture world ever since she decided to thrust her every present sexuality upon us, with her undulating dance moves, and most shockingly, her risque maneuver at the MTV movie awards in which she French kissed Madonna in front of millions of viewers. Initially what rose her to fame was her catchy songs and her somewhat private personal life than what we have seen of late. Although you would think Britney being with Justin from N'Sync would be a more titillating relationship, this has proven to be false. The controversy was over Britney dating and marrying K-Fed, who decided he was leaving his “semi-famous” girlfriend/mother of 2 (Shar Jackson) to be with Brit. Right off the bat, she should have known that this guy was NOT good news, but she went with her heart and personally, I give her so much credit for that. Following your heart and going against the wishes of everyone around you proves that Britney has some control in her life, whether that proved to be a good choice or bad choice can only be decided by her.

Lately, Britney's public image has been in so much controversy that everyone thinks they should have something to say about her, whether it's good, bad, or just downright mean. Coping with the pressures of stardom on top of being a supportive mother and wife, as well as trying to be a positive role model for the young and not so young girls that have grown up loving Britney, has proven itself to be too much, as can be seen by her more recent alcohol and drug fueled gallivants around Las Vegas and New York after the split with her ex-hubby. Just like the comparisons made to Courtney Love in “Mom's Don't Rock,” Norma Coates perfectly describes the stigmatization that comes along when star status and motherhood come together. By integrating children into the Rock and Roll culture (bringing Frances on stage and including her in the “sex and drugs” lifestyle), in addition to her admitted drug use during pregnancy, and numerous choices that would be considered bad mothering by most maternal figures around her, Courtney Love opened herself up to ridicule. The difference between Courtney Love and Britney Spears is that Brit isn't doing anything a “normal mom from Kentwood, Louisiana wouldn't do.”

We can see by numerous examples that Brit may not have the best judgment when it comes to her mothering skills, but doesn't every new mother go through a few rough times and bouncing babies when they bring their baby home for the first time? According to Brit, everyone in Louisiana drives around with their kids on their lap, it's just what they do. And Sean Preston falling out of his high chair? I can recall my parents telling me about 10 times that i got dropped on my head, or rolled off the bed. Even random mothers around the country are coming to her defense saying things such as “all moms know, "baby bobbles" happen all the time. Luckily, news outlets weren't watching when she walked into a door years ago holding baby son Timmy, whose head hit the door jamb. Her other son, Alex, once fell off the bed as a baby. (Both are fine.)” says Lenna Janick. (

What most people don't think about when they instantaneously call Britney a bad mother is the situations and circumstances that have led her to the choices she has made recently. How is it possible for a mother walking with her son to peacefully and safely maneuver around 50 men with cameras and camera crews yelling and screaming obscenities at her, just so they can get a photo of mother and son together. Protecting her children from the media has been one of Britney's sole goals since she has become a mother, which is one reason why there have been no photos of nearly 1 year old Jayden James. Being in the spotlight with children adds a whole new dimension to a celebrities life, and saying that they “asked for it” is not an excuse to live vicariously through the lives of another. One cannot say that in the same circumstances, they would not be in exactly the same position she is in now.

As Britney begins to put the shambles of her life back into one piece, no one seems to be giving her any credit for that. Entering rehab cannot be easy for someone dealing with a divorce and facing the loss of her children (even if the allegations against her aren't completely true). The one thing Britney needs right now is the one thing she's not getting, privacy. The privacy to deal with her issues and her family in the way that every person should be allowed to deal with issues, behind closed doors, not in the limelight every second of every day, just because it's interesting, or it makes us feel better about ourselves.

Coates Norma “Mom's Don't Rock: The Deomization of Coutnry Love.” p319-331
“Britneys Bad Mother Backlash Begins”

Friday, April 6, 2007

Technorati code is now working

I've fixed your technorati code and it appears to work (minus the fact that technorati thinks you updated your blog 46 days ago- which will hopefully change soon, but not immediately a problem). Hope this helps!
P.S. the link list below is to try to get technorati to see your blog's various linked connections-and get it to update it to this post's time and date and not 46 days ago :o)
Blogging in College: Gender & Pop Culture's Blog Experiment Home
Gender & Pop Culture's Website
The Professor's Page
Our Guest Contributors
Class Notes
The Teams...
The Buzz Team
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The Marketing & Political Economy Team
The PR Team
The Research Team

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Britney Collage

This collage is representative of the “Time line of Britney Spears” beginning with hello, her rise to stardom, relationships, motherhood, and most recently her mental breakdown and admittance to rehab in southern California, followed bye goodbuy, which is representative of the consumerism society in which we live. It is based on the concept that the female sexual desire and desirability are linked to the upward mobility of men, and the cultural codes surrounding the working class prostitute. Because britney needs no one to “care for her” she is free to choose anyone she feels a connection to to marry and have children with , which is exactly what she has done. With Kevin Federline.... She is free to fulfill his fantasies of a low class woman, because she does not need to mold herself to find an “upwardly mobile mate”. Gender analysis of sexuality- By being a woman in power, and a lot of it at that, with no need for a man, she is free to search (sexually) for any mate with her personal desired qualities, and is not left with the notion that she will need someone to provide her with that upward mobility, becuase in this instance, Britney pulls a roll reversal, and it is clear that K-fed has actually USED HER FOR HIS UPWARD MOBILITY (Anyone see that awful Super Bowl commercial? Just stay at Micky D's. k buddy?) Regardless of his intentions in marrying her, Britney has provided K-fed with the counter hegemonic, norm breaking roll as the club jumping husband, baby daddy 4x over.....

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Britney's Mental Breakdown

As can be seen by this picture, our princess of pop is on a personal hiatus from the music world, trying to rebel in every way possible, from marrying K-fed and having kids with him, to partying like a "rockstar" and shaving her head. Normal Behavior? Please feel free to leave constructive comments and add to the analytical discussion i have tried to establish. Thanks xx Jess

Best Non-News Stories of 2006

A little NPR Broadcast about non other than Britney Spears!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Britney as a Gender/Pop Culture Icon

Britney Spears, once an innocent, virginal 16 yr old on the top of the Pop Music World, seems to going through a rough patch, growing up way to fast for anyone around her, whether those people should have a say in what she does (like her husband and/or mother) or not (like the public, who tend to judge and assign labels rather than analyze and delve deeper into the life that is Britney Spears). Living her life in the public eye certainly has taken some obvious tolls on her self confidence/self worth, and as she continues to grow and discover herself, she seems to be rebelling in extremely odd ways. By using a few well known examples of Britney's behavior, I will try to look into the world that is Britney, and connect this as I see fit to the concept of gender and media in the celebrity/reality-obsessed society that we live today.

As a Celebrity, Britney possesses everything a girl could need or want, if you were to look at her from outsider's perspective, and not under the microscope she is currently viewed under. Our obsession with celebrity has come to a point where it is making other people a life living, namely the paparazzi, who will do anything they need to to get that “one shot” of Jayden James or Britney with her sons, which is still not out on the market yet. With her enormous success as a singer and mega-pop-star, with merchandise and things of the like, she has far surpassed any challenges in the consumer world she ever faced. Owning 3 homes, a handful of cars, and a 24 hour entourage/security far surpasses the typical goals of an upper-middle class living.

In a piece by Laurie Ouellette entitled “Inventing the Cosmo Girl; Class Identity and Girl-Style American Dreams. She surmises that female sexual desires are linked to a males potential for upward mobility. However with Britney this is not the case. Due to the fact that she can do and buy what she wants when she want, the financial and class mobility is not an issue for her. She is free to fall in love with anyone she chooses. Kevin Federline, not being of either high class standing or in a financial situation to care for both of his families, has nothing to offer Britney but the love and devotion she deserves. However, his inability to do this substantially has led her to try and “fix her marriage” by having children, once again deepening her ties to this man who in no way has tried to help her before. On the other hand, Ouellette points out that “female sexual desirability is linked to the cultural codes of the working class prostitute.” Britney does this very well for K- Fed, running around without underwear, and rebounding like it's her job, personifying the prostitute image that she has tried so hard to work off.

K-Fed by the way is coming out looking like the dad of the year, and not passing judgment just commenting, anyone who leaves their kid's pregnant mother to date a Teen Pop Queen must know that they will be labeled as a gold digger and a user, sorry K-Fed. NOW WHO IN THEIR RIGHT MING WOULD THINK THAT GETTING MARRIED AND HAVING KIDS IS A REBELLION? Apparently everyone and their mother, or at least the writers and editors of weekly celebrity magazines such as Us Weekly and Star, who help shape the opinions we as a society view these larger than life figures. Getting married and having children in most situations should be the happiest times in a woman's life, not something looked under a microscope and judged/analyzed by the entire country (and even world). Having every photo published, court papers released, and random video's showing up on YouTube of a private night in a hotel room in some random country.

Finally, Britney is a HUGE pop culture icon, making her a mainstream phenomenon, and thanks to her booming music career and unpredictable life decisions she has made, she continues to capture the publics attention whether they want to admit it or not. Trivializing the things that one is going through in their life is not only wrong, but adds another dimension of craziness to her life. BY being a controversial topic in the pop culture relam today, we simply cannot dismiss the flood of gender related and pop culture related information she is giving us on a nearly daily basis. Britney is and will continue to be a huge influence in gender and pop culture/media issues simply because she is a good looking girl with lots of money and celebrity status, and hopefully she can conquer her demons, and come out on top with another huge album soon! Lets Go Brit!!!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

The Politics of Plan B

Wednesday, March 7th, I attended a lecture given by Dr. Susan Woods, formerly of the FDA (Food and Drug Administration, focused of the politics and controversy concerning Plan B, otherwise known as the morning after pill.

She explained in great detail the circumstances surrounding the issues with approving Plan B, as well as the circumstances surrounding her subsequent resignation from the FDA. She said that never in a million years would she even ponder the though of resignation, especially over something as common as what is essentially high dosages of birth control.

She talked about all the different types of drugs that had been given and tested on pregnant women, and how these women were later removed from virtually all scientific trial studies due to the unknown negative effects the experimental drugs might have on the fetuses. These drugs include thalidomide, and DES (diethylstilbestrol) which was used to prevent miscarriage in women late in their pregnancies.

The issues surrounding Plan B in particular stretch as far back as the early 60's, when birth control first became available with a prescription during the self help gynecology movement that spread fast and vast across the country. Unknown to most, Plan B was simply a higher dosage of birth control medicine, comparable to taking 6, 8 or even 10 birth control pills at once. Although they were not designed to be used this way, doctors could prescribe a patient to take this many pills from her pack in order to prevent pregnancy from occurring. The largest misconception people have to date regarding this line of drugs is that once taken, it DOES NOT KILL A FETUS!!!!!! It simply prevents ovulation, making the fertilization of the egg impossible.

(By the way, the FDA's sole job is to approve products that are safe, effective, and correctly labeled, to make sure they are in compliance with numerous food and drug laws, and products within their grasp include things such as cosmetics, microwaves, and breast implants, to name a few.)

Once enough people knew about this little secret to the birth control pill, many were willing to use this as a last resort method of preventing pregnancy, the only down side to this method is, if not taking within the first few hours/day/days at the latest, it will not work.

Make a long story short, there was way too much controversy about what age groups this drug should be available to and the prescription/over the counter status, and it was in limbo for way to long. What is puzzling to me is why the FDA was so reluctant to approve it, when so many people are on the pill to date, who can follow the “unsafe” method of the morning after pill if they know about it.

The lecture itself was very informative and interesting, and provided me with great argumentative material. Granted I have no knowledge prior to this about birth control and Plan B, other than my own personal experiences, but thats ok

Sunday, March 4, 2007

Class Blog Topics~ feel free to comment if i spelled your name wrong or you have updated/changed your topic!

Name Blog Topic

Jessica T, Britney Spears
Jessica B, Family Guy
Jessica B, 24
Amanda G, American Idol
Melissa Z, Flavor of Love
Erin D, America's Next Top Model
Darling C, Women in all media
Amanda D, Emo Music
Spencer H, The Office
Lauren P, Da Ali G Show
Katelyn R, Hollywood Female Ideology
Michelle L, Adverts related to Viewers
Devon M, Beauty and the Geek
Jennifer M, None Yet
Melissa M, Oprah
Leo M, Gender and Anime
Kristin C, Gender, Desperate Housewives
Alexandra A, Gender Representation in Ads
Pat D, Family Guy
Kristian E, Gender, Professional Sports
Kyle G, South Park
Tara B, South Park
Mark B, Seinfeld
Dan G, Scrubs
Nicole U, Grey's Anatomy

This is old, but I thought I might add it anyway

Come on brit, think about your kids! lol

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Americas Next Top Model: An Analysis of Feminine and Masculine (or lack there of?), and their Respective Norms

As I sit in front of my T.V., flipping through the channels, Tyra Banks at her fullest and most voluptuous (wow she looks good!) catches my attention while steppin' with Phi Beta Sigma, Fraternity Incorporated, shouting commands at 15 somewhat pretty girls, all wearing army fatigues and wife beaters sporting "ANTM" across the chest. Some have long hair, some have short hair, but they all have one thing in common. The courage and drive to be critisized to no end about everything that shouldn't matter with regard to a healthy self image; their looks.

This aspect of the particular reality show i chose to analyze completely encompasses what the "ideal" feminine prototype should be as according to our current standards of living and consumerism.

The masculine component of this post is much more difficult to identify and define, simply because the masculinity (or lack there of) is portrayed much differently than what would be expected (if it can be seen by the lay couch potato at all.) In fact those you would expect to be masculine (the only men involved in the show, whom include Ms. J Alexander and Jay Manuel, both of whom happen to be homosexual) act more towards the feminine ideal rather than the masculine ideal, most if not all of the time.

Although this show seems to be geared towards women, considering the majority of advertising and product placement focuses on consumer goods that would typically appeal to the "modern-day housewife" aka tampons, makeup, std vaccines, teeth whitening gum, hair products, and every day tips to please your man better (do they really think we don't know how to do that?) The fact that there are pretty girls (or what the "high fashion" world considers to be pretty aka prepubescent boy ((ewwww))) prancing around in little outfits appeals to the male sex drive, which is a common factor in most TV shows and advertisements geared towards men. It's hard to notice but every once in a while a SUV commercial or Insurance scam will peep through every once in a while. Typically TV shows that have middle class white men as their target audience have exceeding amounts of image based advertising, focusing primarily on sex, followed by sports, violence, and cars for example. (Fiske)

It is obvious that this show is searching for the ultimate feminine woman and basically using her to sell and/or endorse products, which can be connected to the idea that there is a need to sell increasing amounts of "nonessential" goods in a comprehensive contemporary marketplace (Jhally) . She will be an idol of all idols; with all the necessary qualities and characteristics to be a great, wonderful, chameleon, liked by everyone, all the time, no matter what.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Uh-Oh: Brit's in Rehab

Britney Spears has finally entered rehab. After shaving her head and getting 2 tattoos one night last week, Britney has checken into an undisclosed location to recieve rehabilitation treatment for drug and alcohol abuse.

Personally, I am relieved. This is the best thing to do for her and her children, especially if she wants to keep custody of her two very young children, Sean Preson(19 months) and Jayden James (5 months).

Its been along time comming for the party mom.

So lets think about this on a psychological note, shall we?

Monday, February 19, 2007

Website Choices i chose this site because it is where to get the most up to date info on all the celebs, the hot spots, and also allows users to post to the site, commenting on whatever they like another blog dedicated to Britney, featuring pictures, videos, music clips, as well as posts from site users Well i feel i must link this site to my blog, simply because of the fact that, while having her difficulties, and bad judgement calls, Britney regularly posts personal statements on her website that try to "explain" her wacky doings. this website is basically CNN for Britney. a little amateurish, but so is mine, so whatever. This site is just a blog, with space for readers to post their feelings, nothing fancy This site is just a place to find videos of all sorts. I kinda like this one, it covers a lot of bases, although theres not much analysis here this site has personal blogs and diaries of various celebrities such as Kylie Minogue and William Shatner (hahahah)

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Ok heres the first of my postings, letting all readers decide wether they think britney is stoned, high, whatever, or simply j ust a hometown girl from kentwood louisiana going on about a movie....