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HOW DOES MEDIA SHAPE YOUR SELF-ESTEEM

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Korean American comedian Margaret Cho describes herself as a “trash-talkin’ girl comic.”

 

In this excerpt from her one-woman show The Notorious C.H.O., she offers her thoughts on selfesteem

(Custudio, 2002):

 

You know when you look in the mirror and think, “Oh, I’m so fat, I’m so old, I’m so ugly”? That is not your authentic self speaking. That is billions upon billions of dollars of advertising—magazines, movies, billboards—all geared to make you feel bad about yourself so that you’ll take your hardearned money and spend it at the mall. When you don’t have self-esteem, you will hesitate before you do anything. You will hesitate to go for the job you really want. You will hesitate to ask for a raise. You will hesitate to defend yourself when you’re discriminated against. You will hesitate to vote. You will hesitate to dream.

For those of us plagued with low self-esteem, improving [it] is truly an act of revolution!

 

Cho is right. We live in an “appearance culture,” a society that values and reinforces extreme, unrealistic ideals of beauty and body shape (Thompson, Heinberg, Altabe, & Tantleff- Dunn, 1999). In an appearance culture, standards for appearance are defined not by individuals but through digitally enhanced images of bodily perfection produced by the mass media (Field et al., 1999). When we internalize media standards of perfect body and perfect beauty, we end up despising our own bodies

and craving unattainable perfection (Jones, Vigfusdottir, & Lee, 2004). Results? Low selfesteem, depression, and, in some cases, self-destructive behaviors such as eating disorders (Harrison, 2001).

 

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

• Consider your own body. How have images of ideal beauty in magazines and on TV influenced your ideas about what constitutes an attractive body?

• How do your feelings about your body affect your self-esteem? How do they affect your interpersonal communication and relationships?

 

Film: Forrest Gump


The movie starts with Forrest Gump (Tom Hanks) telling his life story to strangers at a bus stop. He starts with telling about the braces he wore on his legs as a child, which caused other children to bully him. At school, Forrest met Jenny (Robin Wright), an abused girl who became his lifelong friend. Her advice to Forrest was to "run" whenever he got into trouble. Forrest ran constantly, eventually allowing him to discard his leg braces and "run like the wind blows."

 

Despite having below average intelligence, Forrest earned a scholarship to the University of Alabama after Bear Bryant spotted Forrest running away from bullies. While in college, he witnessed George Wallace's infamous Stand in the Schoolhouse Door and was named to the All-American football team, who met with President John F. Kennedy.

 

After graduating, Forrest enlisted in the Army and was sent to Vietnam, where he became friends with Benjamin Buford "Bubba" Blue (Mykelti Williamson), a man whose lifelong dream was to buy a shrimping boat. When the platoon was ambushed, Forrest's "running" saved many of the men in his unit as Forrest ran repeatedly into the firefight and carried them to safety. Bubba died, while the platoon's commanding officer, Lt. Dan Taylor (Gary Sinise), lost both legs. Forrest himself was injured and awarded the Medal of Honor by President Lyndon B. Johnson.

 

Please read the assignment carefully and write a good paragraph in response to each of the questions, referring to at least ONE concept in each of the paragraphs.

 

  1. How does what other people tell him, shape Forrest Gump’s self? Do you see any self-fulfilling prophecies?

  2. How aware is Forrest of himself at the beginning and at the end of the film? What can you say about his self-concept and self-esteem? How does he change other people’s understanding of themselves?

  3. What do you think Forrest’s “life theater” according to Goffman, looks like? How do other people view it?

  4. How would you describe his Johari Window at different stages of his life?

  5. What are the three lessons you believe we can learn from this film for our communication today? What would have changed for Forrest if he had lived in our day?

 


Дата добавления: 2015-10-30; просмотров: 140 | Нарушение авторских прав


Читайте в этой же книге: Chapter 1. Introducing Interpersonal Communication | III. Understanding Communication Models | A. Defining Interpersonal Communication | IX. Issues in Interpersonal Communication | A CUPCAKE STORY | Focus on Culture | Relationship Problem | HELPFUL CONCEPTS | I. Components of Self | C. Disclosing Yourself More Effectively |
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