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Pallavi, Kanoa, Catalina, Stanford Group C- Visual Rhetoric

Hello, our names are Pallavi, Kanoa, and Catalina, and we are students at Stanford University, in the course Visual Rhetoric Across the Globe. Our three respective topics are fairness creams and social mobility, portrayal of racism in political cartoons across history, and negative media portrayals of elderly people.


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Older people are negatively portrayed in the media, from magazine advertisements, to health care commercials, to beauty products. Their roles are often those of the simple, feeble, overly conservative, physically or mentally deficient. Furthermore, they are underrepresented in advertisements, and when they are advertised they are shown in an excessively negative light. Negative media portrayals of older people have a detrimental effect on how they feel about themselves, as well as how younger people view the prospect of aging. This paper explores the ways in which our preconceived notions about older people are shaped by the media and the degree to which they are ingrained.

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Skin lightening is a phenomenon that has for years been quietly sweeping Asia into frenzy, particularly in the Indian Subcontinent. Presently, the fairness cream industries are not as discrete about their products as they were in the past. Fairness product advertisements monopolize all mediums of communication with deliberate intent, and promise a better life to their consumers. Companies such as Fair and Lovely and Ponds are thriving on well-believed notions that fair skin is superior to one that is dark, and are using this emotional vulnerability of the consumers to unscrupulously promote their products. The companies clearly state that fairness will lead to success both corporately and socially, thus fueling a plethora of existing insecurities that ultimately, and selfishly translate into reaping windfall profits from their sale of a ‘promise.’

The purpose of this essay is to explore the change in perspective of racism and U.S. relations in Hawaii using political cartoons. The author focuses on political cartoons from the annexation era, circa 1875-1905, to understand societal assumptions of race and U.S. relations in early Hawaii. He then focuses on cartoons of today to see the change of these key issues throughout Hawaiian history. Political cartoons give a definitive lens in which we can understand how Hawaii has changed, due to the social change of the islands. He then argues how cartoons can help to shape the future of Hawaii.


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Comments

I found the issue of old people in advertising very interesting, because they are a huge consumer group that will only get bigger this generation, with the Baby Boomers, so it does not seem wise for advertisers to overlook them. It would be interesting to look at how ads use the elderly as a contrast to sell products to young people, such as skin creams. Also looking at the ads that are geared towards old people could show the way advertisers think old people should live. This could illustrate some of our cultural values about family, independence, physical appearance, and aging. I'm sure other countries that put greater emphasis or importance on the elderly would portray them very differently, for example a culture in which a greater percentage adults live with their parents. I like the way your image shows miscommunication between the old and young, and even resentment within families. It also illustrates the preconceived notions many people have about the elderly.

i found the skin lightening article interesting considering that its the opposite in hawaii. I definitely found the article about the negative image of older people in the media to be different because i never really thought about that before.
and kanoa, i'd like to actually read your whole rba just to see how much of it you stole from me :P haha. just jokes

The idea of how the portrayal of elderly people in the media negatively affects the way younger people view them is interesting because in some cultures the idea is that the young take care of the old. But, in our culture, it seems as if once people get to be a little too old, whatever that is, it's time for the convalescent homes. There's also the stereotype of elderly people being mean and bitter.
There's also the use of skin lightening creams in America as well. In Anthony J. Cortese's Provacateur, there's an example of a fade cream advertisement that says "Fade to beautiful."
It'd be interesting to see how Hawaii has changed and how others who do not live there view those changes or don't even recognize those changes.

The idea of how the portrayal of elderly people in the media negatively affects the way younger people view them is interesting because in some cultures the idea is that the young take care of the old. But, in our culture, it seems as if once people get to be a little too old, whatever that is, it's time for the convalescent homes. There's also the stereotype of elderly people being mean and bitter.
There's also the use of skin lightening creams in America as well. In Anthony J. Cortese's Provacateur, there's an example of a fade cream advertisement that says "Fade to beautiful."
It'd be interesting to see how Hawaii has changed and how others who do not live there view those changes or don't even recognize those changes.

All of these topics are really interesting and relevant today.
On the paper about the representation of the elderly in the media, it is so present in our culture, yet no one seems to speak out against it. It also contrasts the whole idea to "respect our elders." The DOXA is that young is better, and old people dont serve a major purpose in our community, which is false.
On the paper on skin lightening cream, it bothers me how much it is affecting and reaching out to minorities. This archaic DOXA that white is superior is demonstrated by the cream.
For the paper on Hawaiian political cartoons, it interests me to see how Hawaii has changed since its annexation, and how our ideas of Hawaii have transformed as a result of political cartoons.