Popular Cultures Existence In Modern Times Cultural Studies Essay

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Popular culture exists today through many different things, just about everything is popular culture like universal things, anything that interests people, music, television, books, radio, cars, clothes, and entertainment. Celebrities influence popular culture, by the way they dress, act, look like, live. Their life is well known by people through the media. Everything can be called popular culture because it's a part of everyone's lives and it is in all aspects of life. Popular culture exists today in the minds of people, it's the information that they get through the media, magazines and newspapers.

If popular culture is what the masses are interested in it exists today in just about everything around us. The advertisements television show us are for everything from acne medication, fast food restaurants, and clothing. After watching these advertisements people are almost tricked into buying what is hip to become part of popular American culture. We all live in a popular culture and want to be a part of it because it is the way we have been brought up and the way we think and who we want to be.

Living in America we deal with a lot of diversity. Stereotyping is one of the biggest problems that we deal with just because an individual is of a certain race does not give us the right to stereotype them as a bad human being. People have created a system that categorizes people and groups into classes, which are than broken down into subdivisions for people's placement in the world. Stereotypes are often created about people of specific cultures or races. Stereotyping has become very common in every persons thoughts that we now base everything we do on it.

People perceive the way you look, dress, act in public and make prejudiced views on whether you are educated, hold a good job, are wealthy or rich, and how successful you are. Everyone seems to do this sometimes without even meaning to do so. We make opinions about other people without sufficient knowledge about them. Throughout our life we have learned about stereotypes, we were taught the way society views people. For example cheerleaders are the prettiest and the jocks and athletes are the most popular. While on the other hand if you're smart or always studying you are considered a nerd.

There are all types of stereotypes culture/race, gender and sexual stereotypes. For example, all Muslims are terrorists, is a culture/race stereotype. Men label women to be less qualified and have less of a reputation compared to them. Especially in the business industry women could have the same capabilities and maybe even higher qualifications than a man going for the same position but the stereotype says otherwise. Sexual orientation stereotypes are very common, especially if you are homophobic and have negative views of gays, lesbians or transgender people.

There is also the "dumb blonde" stereotype. Meaning every girl with blonde hair is a clumsy stupid girl who doesn't understand anything anyone says and relies more on the way she looks. That stereotype traces back to the American culture and the media as well using blonde actresses and making them act as if they are all about "beauty over brains." That is non-sense, how can people base the way people are because of their hair color? That is definitely judging a book by its cover.

In the article "The Culture If Thin Bites Fiji", the author's purpose is to inform people about pop culture in Fiji. After a television show aired the number of teens at risk for eating disorders, more than doubled to 29%, the girls who vomited for weight control went up five times to 15%, 74% of the Fiji teens felt "too big or fat" and 62% said they had dieted in the past month (Ellen Goodman 18-20). All those numbers and statistics are the effects of the pop culture "look" shown in the media. Insecurities and pop culture are leading to eating disorders and illness percentage increasing.

After reading and seeing the ad of the article "Making a Visual Argument", I wasn't surprised of the stereotypes I read about. Inserts included transgender woman, a Hasidic Jewish reggae recording artist, an African- American with albinism, and a heavily tattooed "punk evangelist" Jay Bakker, founder and pastor of Revolution Church (Cole 7) are all stereotypes mentioned in the article. The ad I saw was of a cancer survivor, she was bald. Now people are going to think that every bald person has cancer.

As a Colombian, I have personally been affected by these ridiculous stereotypes; people always get the wrong idea of me and judge me without knowing me all due to my ethnicity. The minute I say I'm Colombian people begin to joke about us being drug smugglers and cocaine traders. Those people are ignorant because there are drugs in every single country, including the U.S. But according to the media and what they want the public to see is Colombia being a country with many dirty cities, with marijuana, and cocoa. I feel that Colombians stereotype are completely ridiculous.

Another stereotype is that all Colombian girls are gold diggers. My answer to that is everyone loves money. The Colombian culture is full of drugs, power, and luxury therefore we are known as gold diggers seeking rich men. Sometimes I'm even scared to order something expensive at a restaurant when I go out with my boyfriend because it leads to stereotypical comments about seeking for money expenses.

Stereotypes can either be positive or negative, but they are assumptions about others with lack of knowledge about the person. Black people are stereotyped to being good athletes and dancers while Asians are stereotyped as being good at mathematics are examples of good stereotypes. But I think stereotyping is wrong and overall bad. It can hurt people and it's not right to let people think of themselves in a certain way just because of their race, gender or sex. As I stated earlier about the school stereotypes about jocks and nerds; it can lead to bullying picking on one another like the jocks pick on the nerds and "geeks". It can drive people to live their life as victims because of the assumptions. I know many gay people who are afraid to admit their sexuality because they fear the way they will be judged.