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. (www.defamer.com)


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.


Citations
Coates Norma “Mom's Don't Rock: The Deomization of Coutnry Love.” p319-331
“Britneys Bad Mother Backlash Begins”
http://defamer.com/hollywood/britney-spears/britney-spears-bad-mother-backlash-begins-176117.php

Friday, April 6, 2007

Technorati code is now working

Jess-
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!
Jessie
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
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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.....