Thursday, November 8, 2007

Abercrombie & Fitch

Abercrombie & Fitch advertisement picture from magazine

The media item I chose to write about was from a magazine; it is a picture advertisement for Abercrombie & Fitch. The advertisement has three white male models
with very tone bodies. The males bodies are very revealed and do not have an once of fat on them. In the picture the men are just standing outside with no shirts on with their hands in their pockets. These men seem to be carefree and have an easy life that is what the advertisement seems to be showing. All the men are white and seem to be very clean and well groomed. The picture is in black and white to give it a classy and sophisticated look and the capture of the advertisement says “casual luxury” which from the men in the picture you can tell they are care free with no worries enjoying the day with no shirts on.
The Abercrombie & Fitch magazine advertisement seems to be displaying a classy, casual, luxury care free, perfect body image. Abercrombie & Fitch is an American company that sells appeal and related products fewer than five lifestyle brands. A&F soon was know for their preppy clothes and image and tended to be less resemblance to traditional preppy apparel. The store itself gave a look of its own with the main symbol of a moose head, dark brown ceilings, and concrete or granite floors. The store gave a look of rich, classy and well put together. The workers in the store also had to look very similar. They were all almost white Americans who had nice bodies and a preppy, clean classy look. The store seemed to be discriminating to certain people, and advertised to only the people who had the Abercrombie & Fitch look and the prices of the clothing was not cheap either.
In the article “Why I Hate Abercrombie & Fitch” the author McBride states the reasons why he does not like A&F and how he thinks A&F has made a lifestyle for people and not just a clothing line. McBride states, “Abercrombie & Fitch has devised a very clear marketing and advertising strategy that celebrates whiteness-a particularly privileged and leisure-class whiteness-and makes use of it as a lifestyle that it commodities to sell otherwise extremely dull, uninspiring, and ordinary clothing. I am not, by the way, the first commentator to recognize this fact about the clothes themselves” (66). What McBride is saying is the clothes make a statement that is only towards white people and that is discriminating against other people in the world. Abercrombie & Fitch states, “Our brand is natural, classic and current, with and employment on style. This is what a Brand Representative must be; this is what a Brand Representative must represent in order to fulfill the conditions of employment” (67). Just like in the advertisement they are making a stereotype to their company and cloth line. A&F are gearing their cloths to certain people in a racist and discriminating way. Hiring people because they look a certain way and have to look a certain way is not right. The advertisement is an example of what McBride does not like about A&F it shows three men with their shirts off and the only piece of clothing they have on is jeans and you can barley see them. The store seems like they are selling the men’s bodies more then the clothes. The argument McBride is making is Abercrombie & Fitch is selling more of a lifestyle and a way people have to look instead of clothes. They are racist and discriminating towards people who do not look the way they want them too or would not look good in their clothes.
I agree with McBride because I feel that it isn’t right to discriminate and be racist towards people. Only hiring certain people to work at a store because of the way they look is racist and wrong. It shows which person is in which class and makes others feel oppressed. I feel that if A&F would stop only hiring people that have the look it would be looked at differently. I feel that Abercrombie & Fitch will not change, they had a lawsuit against then and they did not understand why. The people involved with A&F do not see what is wrong with it and see it just like every other store. I think Abercrombie & Fitch will always be that way because that is how they make their money.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Everybody Loves Raymond Blog 9

The television shows “Everybody Loves Raymond.” It is on TBS almost every night and I am talking about episode called “Working late again” from season two.

The media item I choose to talk about is a television show called “Everybody Loves Raymond” its on TBS almost every night and is one of my favorite shows. “Everybody Loves Raymond is an American sitcom that is one of the most critically acclaimed American sitcoms of its time (Wikipedia). The show is about an Italian American man named Ray Barone who is a newspaper sportswriter from Lynbrook, Long Island. He has a wife named Debra, their daughter named Ally and their two identical twins named Michael and Jeffery. Raymond’s parents and jealous older brother live right across the street and they never give Raymond and his family one moment of peace. The loving family is always fighting and has problems occurring everyday. Raymond is usually in the middle of the problem and is the one who usually gets blamed by Debra or Robert. Ray’s mother Marie would never blame Raymond because he is known as her favorite. The show is so good because it has everyday problems that many other real families in America have today. There are so many episodes that I can relate to or know someone that can relate to them. It is a comedy and is informative at the same time. I have learned and understood why some things have happened in my life by watching this show and not feeling bad because I know someone else out there is having problems with their relatives or something of that sort.
The episode I will be using as an example is called “Working late again” this episode is geared toward gender issues and privilege between men and women. In the episode Debra has been working really hard to keep the house together and handling the kids. Debra feels that she is doing all the work around the house and Ray isn’t really helping because he has been working late. When Debra decides to be a nice wife and take Ray some dinner on a night he is working late she finds him in his office with a pizza watching TV and playing paper football with the guys. Debra was horrified all the hard work she puts in at home and with taking care of the kids and Ray does not help her one bit. Debra tells Ray she is upset and he needs to help around the house more and he says to her “That is your job” Debra gets so offended with that remark. Raymond is showing gender and privilege issues here. This reminds me of one of Johnson’s readings from class Johnson stated, “Women’s supposed inferiority has also been used as a basis for the belief that much of the work that women do isn’t work at all and therefore isn’t worthy of anything more than emotional compensation” (49). What Johnson is saying reminds me of what Raymond thinks about Debra. Ray thinks because he is a man and goes out and makes the money he is more superior to Debra. Since Debra stays in with the kids and does house work she does not do real work. Johnson states, “On a deeper level, women are, with few exceptions, the ones who nurture and raise each new generation of workers on which capitalism depends, and this vital service is provided without anyone’s having to pay wages or provide health and retirement benefits” (49). Women are just important as men and they should be treated the same as well. At the end of the episode Ray sees all the work Debra does for the family and he understands more that she is important and does do a lot. Johnson says, “Women do it for free even when they also work outside the home to the benefit of the capitalist system and those who are most privileged by it” (49). Women have issues with gender and privilege and in the TV show Raymond made an issue about gender to his own wife.
I feel that the TV show “Everybody Loves Raymond” is a good example of what Johnson was saying about Capitalism, Difference, and Privilege and Gender. The one episode really gave a good example of how women are genderized and do not get credit for everything that they do. I do not know if that will ever change I feel that some men out there will always think they are superior to women and they do more then women do. I really like Johnson’s reading and I thought it was very informative and perfect to explain through the show “Everyone Loves Raymond”.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Jewish Comic Strip Blog 8

Comic strip

The media item I am going to be discussing is a comic strip called Edge City. Edge City is a nationally syndicated, groundbreaking comic strip about a hip, Jewish-American family juggling relationships, careers, and tradition at the fast pace of modern life. The Ardin family consists of the husband and wife named Len and Abby and their kids Colin and Carly. There are new comic strips every day so there are new and interesting adventures about what the Ardin family experiences in their lives. Len and Abby are trying to keep up with the American dream of lifestyle, which is raising the family, going to work, making money to support the family, and keeping up with the modern lifestyle. The children Colin and Carly are also involved in after school activities, pursuing their dreams and lining up for carpool. The Ardin family is Jewish and practices the Jewish faith while living in America and having many neighbors that are Christian. The comic strip is about the family adapting to the community as a Jewish faith and they are trying to keep their family together and keep up with the modern life in America.
I feel like this media item relates to the reading of “How Jews Became White Folks and What That Says about Race in America” in the reading one of the first paragraphs starts out with Brodkin saying, “I continue to be surprised when I read books that indicate that America once regarded its immigrated European workers as something other than white, as biologically different. My parents are not surprised; they expect anit-Semitism to be part of the fabric of daily life, much as I expect racism to be part of it. They came of age in the Jewish World of the 1920 and 1930s, at the peak of anit-Semitism in America” (38). What Brodkin is stating, the first time Jewish people came to America and their experience of that period of time. The comic strip relates to this piece of reading because the reading talks about the beginning of Jews coming to America and the comic strip is the story life of the Ardin family and their life in America. The Ardin family run into racism at points and it is expected because they know that everyone does not get along with each other. Brodkin states, “Racism in general, and anit-semitism in particular, flourished in higher education. Jews were the first of the Euro immigrant groups to enter college in significant numbers, so it was not surprising that they faced the brunt of discrimination there” (41). Just like the Ardin family Jewish people are successful and are living the America dream. Other around them are jealous and use their religion and way of living against them. The Ardin family get over it just as many other Jewish families do and go on living the nice life they have worked for. “By the time I was an adolescent, Jews were just as white as the next white person,” stated Brodkin (42). In the comic strip Edge City the Adrin family is an example of Jewish people and how they live and are the same as white people. Jewish are not different then white people other than what their beliefs are and that goes for any other minority.
I choose the comic strip Edge City and the Ardin family because I thought it was so interesting and fun to read. It is a good example of how Jews are part of the culture and are thought of now as white people. The Brodkin reading talks about how in the beginning Jewish people were a minority group and now they are looked at as whites and are part of the upper class. It shows that just because a group was labeled a minority we do not have to look at them in that way. I think the comic strip was a good idea to express how Jewish families are just like every other family in America.