Reflection, Sexualisation and BCM

Reflections, what a curious sentiment, as it is very well merely a simple recollection of the past, but it does however teach the individual lessons on which they once wrote vigorously about, be it media affects or the public sphere. These past 6 weeks have seamlessly gone by, each week the “publish now” button on wordpress is tapped and away goes our thoughts and work of the week onto the World Wide Web.

Over the past few weeks of BCM110, we have delved into the deep and intriguing world of media and communication. The weeks have come and gone, with an array of topics feeding our energetic minds, as within the first two weeks we covered the topics “Television makes you fat” and “The image cannot lie”, where Gustav Le Bon stated “The unreal has about as much influence on them as real” in regards to the effects of media on people and that, in a dystopian view, every new media form inspires anxiety about possible negative effects. (Turnbull S, BCM110 Lecture 2). We then moved on to Media Ownership and the Public Sphere, where the legacy of the Frankfurt School, which led special research into the study of what is wrong with society, including our mass media consumption. (Turnbull S, BCM110 Lecture 4), we too learnt that “The public sphere is . . . a metaphorical term used to describe the virtual space where people can interact.”, (Habermas, J 1991 The structural transformation of the public sphere). Personally, I found the public sphere to be the most controversial and intriguing, as it has the most impact on our society, in my opinion. From there, we then last week discussed the sexualisation of children in the media, which is a topic of controversy and issues, from the question of how young is too young to stare seductively into a camera, onto how short is too short a dress on a young girl. I have found at the conclusion of reflecting upon these weeks, the significance and impact the media has on us, the audience, is far greater than I initially anticipated, however I too have found that the significance and impact that we the audience upon the media is at it’s highest it ever has been. The growth of social media, explosion onto the seen of citizen journalism and the benefits of media globalisation have enabled a closer, more personal interaction, and significant understanding, of the media by audiences, which I personally feel is vital to remaining a free thinking democratic nation, and thankfully these past weeks with BCM110 lectures and tutorials have shown me exactly that.

As aforementioned,the issue of sexualisation within the media of children is a major issue. However we have seen that the majority of the issues raised are that of young girls, not boys, and their presentation and what they are being shown by the media. I will not lie, sometimes I see my sisters and female relatives who are younger than me wearing clothing for someone older, and the style suits a grind-on-me club atmosphere rather than the local cinemas or restaurant they are heading. Today, there is the ever constant issue of paedophiles, rape and other horrible incidents that involve predominantly young women, however we find it acceptable to blast our media and advertising realms with scantily clad girls and women for the purpose of male attention and money.

As Dragon sang- "Are you old enough?"

In 2011, a young girl named Thylane Lena-Rose Blondeau posed for Vogues 2011 issue, as seen in the above image. Wearing far too much makeup, including eye shadow and puffed lipstick coated lips, Blondeau poses seductively for the camera, in what I personally feel is too much. She is wearing an open chest top, extremely high heels (which I doubt she would even be able to stand up in knowing the struggles that females I know have with them) and frankly is just asking for male attention in the worst possible way. Some say what’s wrong with it? Others say let it be, however I personally feel that is it too much, way too much, it just instigates child sexualisation, if a paedophile is turned on by children simply playing in a park, then just imagine the impact a bill board of this would have on them. We have discussed the issue of moral panic, and rightfully so, as this image is a clear example of the downhill road we are on as a society. I am not calling for every girl to cover head to toe, no not at all, however whatever happened to common decency and common sense? If you can’t see an issue with this, then don’t be surprised if your daughter or sister chooses to wear this and be the subject of sexual taunts and hungry eyes, as from a males perspective, this is what it causes. Not that I feel it FYI, however if a model of 20 years old flaunts similar attire and seductive looks with tantalising headlines for men’s cologne, then just so will this image within our cognitive minds.

Stay Classy UOW,
Todd Steele


Turnbull, S BCM110 Lecture 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6, University of Wollongong 2014

Habermas, J 1991, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, MIT Press Edition, USA (originally published in 1962, Germany)

Online publication, Far too much, far too young: Outrage over shocking images of the 10-YEAR-OLD model who has graced the pages of Vogue, Daily Mail UK, last updated 10th August 2011


One comment

  1. Your comments on the vogue magazine images cannot be disputed. it seems completely inappropriate to sexualise a child to this degree though unfortunately it seems that examples like this are happening more and more regularly as time goes on. I also enjoyed reading your BCM journey, very nostalgic.

    Good read man

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